There are so many businesses that can be started from home but one of the best is an e-commerce site. If you have a great product idea then it makes a lot of sense to go this route instead of opening a brick and mortar store.
There are a lot of advantages to running an online store. For starters, there is no need to pay for renting a storefront. There are fewer employees and the overall costs are far lower. And, your market is not relegated to the foot traffic in an area, but the entire world potentially.
In this article, we will go over some of the basics to know about getting started with an e-commerce site.
1 – Think about fulfillment
One of the biggest concerns is going to be about how to get the purchased product to the customer. There are two primary ways to go about doing it. One is to have your own warehouse and fulfill the orders yourself. Usually, it involves using a delivery system like UPS or californiacourierservices.com to pick up orders once you’ve processed and labeled them.
That is usually the more cost-effective way to go about things since owning a fleet of delivery trucks and shipping packages all over the country is not logical.
The second primary way of going about it is to outsource the fulfillment completely to a third party. In this scenario, you hire a company that is set up to use state-of-the-art systems to pick products from the shelves and ship them as soon as an order comes in. You just sync your software with theirs and they send out the orders. In this case, you don’t even need to have any of the products in your own facility.
2 – Pick a platform
It is very rare for an e-commerce store to code its own website from scratch. There are Content Management Systems (CMS) that do all the heavy lifting for you. For instance, the most popular one is Shopify that is a template with loads of ways to customize it to the way you want your store set up. It also handles the software for shopping carts and syncing to payment processors.
Another alternative is using WordPress which is an open-source template for blogging or website creation. Within it there are many plugins that can handle setting up an e-commerce site.
There is no right or wrong one to go with so you do have to make a list of the features that you want and then pick the one that ticks the boxes.
3 – Be ready for customer service
Running an e-commerce site is not exactly passive. There is a lot to deal with when it comes to customers. There are returns to process and also many questions that need to be answered. Usually, this is also outsourced as customer service is very time-consuming.
This involves hiring a call center that can answer questions, or setting up a chatbot that can do most of it automatically.