eCommerce is one of the easiest and most lucrative ventures when working from home. It involves setting up an online store for goods or services. Since you serve the clients online, you can work from anywhere and still meet your business as well as client targets. You can start as a student and scale operations upon graduation. If you are already working, you can set up the store and serve your clients part-time.
Working on eCommerce and working from home requires a strategy. Ecommerce operates like every other business, meaning that you have to think like an entrepreneur. How do you start an eCommerce shop while working from home? Here are excellent expert tips.
Choose a niche
What do you want to sell online? Do you want to focus on goods or services? If you choose goods, you must identify the specific items to sell.
The best niche for e-commerce depends on personal preference. You might want to sell particular items yet the distributors do not offer them for online sale. In other instances, the number of people buying such products could be too low such that you cannot make enough profit. Choose an item that is easier to market online and make money.
Part of choosing a niche includes profiling your target audience. The internet brings together people from all corners of the world. The message you send to these people will depend on their character and characteristics. For instance, if you choose to target students, your messaging will be different from an e-commerce store targeting professionals.
Profiling means identifying their unique qualities. For instance, they may be men or women, students or professionals, seniors or youth, parents or persons yet to bear children, and such classes. By profiling, you determine the kind of content to create and communicate better with them.
Choose a niche that you understand. The product descriptions you create and the information you share will compel your target market to buy or skip your store. If the readers feel that you understand the product you are offering, they will buy easily. Should they feel that you do not present the product convincingly, they will skip your store.
Learn the industry
Learn more about eCommerce and the specific product you are selling. E-commerce uses apps, online payment systems, search engine optimization, and content creation, among other tools. You must learn to use these tools and how they affect your business.
E-commerce is extremely competitive. An app, trick, or technique that was effective today could be obsolete in a week. Successful e-commerce entrepreneurs are constantly looking for new ways to win the ranking and conversion battles. Learning the industry, therefore, becomes a daily pursuit.
Invest in the right tools
E-commerce requires you to set up a store online. It is at this store that customers will find you. You will need other apps to engage clients, improve your ranking, enhance product images, and close sales online. If you are a Shopify store owner, buy Shopify tools to help you create the most efficient online marketplace.
On the other hand, you need physical tools to operate the online store. A laptop is one of the basic tools you need to run an online store. It helps you to create content, manage orders, run campaigns, and research the latest e-commerce tools. You may operate with a phone on some functions but others require the efficiency of a laptop.
Setup e-commerce channels
Set up an eCommerce platform where potential customers can find you and your goods. A website is an ideal platform for a store because you can customize the features. Alternatively, you can use some of the free or subsidized e-commerce platforms. These platforms come with templates to suit a particular market.
E-commerce will also require the use of social media and blogging platforms. Social media helps you to engage potential clients daily and on a rolling basis. Social media platforms come with a lot of traffic that is easy to convert into sales. Luckily, social media platforms are designed for different purposes like long text content, images, breaking news, and videos. Such features allow you to speak to your target customers in different ways, increasing the chances of conversion.
A blog is a crucial platform for e-commerce stores. It helps you to broadcast engaging articles on the products you are offering. It will also help your store to rank during online searches. A blog will help with thought leadership, helping you to win the confidence of your target customers.
Pros of e-commerce
An e-commerce store promises excellent returns for anyone working from home. Here are some of the pros of setting up an e-commerce store when you decide to work from home.
Flexible work hours
The store comes with the advantage of flexible working hours. You do not have to rise early or bear morning traffic rushing to the office for an 8-5 job. Instead, you determine your work schedule. It means that you can take up other responsibilities or jobs, consequently increasing your income.
Low capital requirements
An e-commerce store will require almost zero capital. You only need money to set up a website, create content, take pictures of the products you are offering, and buy the apps you need to enhance the efficiency of your store. Such capital does not match the humongous expenses that come with setting up a physical store in your neighborhood.
Most of the items sold in online stores are sent directly from the manufacturer to the consumer. You act as an agent who engages logistics companies to deliver. You also avoid a lot of licenses and office expenses that come with physical stores. It opens up opportunities to students and other people who may not have the huge capital needed to start a business.
Ability to multitask
You can run an online store while still working or engaging in a second and third business. E-commerce stores do not require a physical presence. You communicate with the supplier and the client on the phone, email, or social media. Such communication can happen while you are still working or in the evening when you return. An e-commerce store is the beginning of self-employment and entrepreneurship.
Higher profit margins
In the absence of too many licenses, office setup costs, and availability of affordable logistics options, your expenses are reduced to the bare minimum. It leaves you with more money after selling your merchandise. Considering that you are working online, from home, and with minimal tools, you will be making a very decent profit. You can easily scale online stores to become multi-million companies.
24/7 work schedule that increases your profits
An online store will occupy your time 24/7. It means that every minute is a chance to make money. This includes weekends and holidays when most physical stores would be closed. As you work from the phone, you make money wherever you are and at any time. Since you work from home, it will be interesting to run a 24/7 store while sitting on your couch.
A global marketplace
E-commerce stores have a global audience. Since logistics companies can deliver your goods to any corner of the world, you can scale your operations and turn the business into a multinational. A global market also means that you have a variety of products to offer. It is a mark of confidence in your brand because potential customers know that they can get anything they want from your store.
Cons of e-commerce
Though e-commerce stores come with numerous advantages, there is a downside you need to consider and even find a solution. It will help you to make realistic projections about your operations.
Take time to build a name
Online stores are a bit competitive. People know of stores where they can find the best products already. You must have an edge to win substantial market share from the online stores with a huge financial muscle.
Lack of customer relationship since you are dealing with logistic companies
Dealing with suppliers and logistics firms may disconnect you from clients. In case a supplier lets you down, the client will look at you as the cause of the mistake. You lack control over the products and processes, an aspect that could cause friction.
Prepare to deal with return orders whenever you are selling goods online. Such back-and-forth eats into your customer’s confidence. It also comes with additional expenses that could deplete your capital.
Will deny you a social life
Working from home and running your business online will deny you the opportunity to socialize. You have no colleagues, employees, and other people to engage each day. Prepare to live a solitary life unless you have engagements that will bring you into contact with people.
E-commerce shops are the future of business. It is one of the best revenue plans to start your entrepreneurship journey. The low capital requirement means that anyone can start an online store. Take up the opportunity and start the next big internet-based brand in the world.
Anna is a freelance writer and homework helper with UK Assignment Geek. She helps students to start entrepreneurship projects while in college and make money through other means. She believes that college years should be more than getting a certificate.