Of all of the business models that are available online I have a real soft spot for Ecommerce.
The beauty of selling stuff online is that it gives you a whole lot of flexibility depending on whether you want to actually stock the stuff you sell or whether you can organise someone else to drop ship products for you.
For those of you who don’t know what drop shipping is, it is simply where you sell something online and then route the order to another business, typically a wholesaler who carries the stock, who is then responsible for fulfillment.
I’ve decided to write a series of posts on the topic of Selling stuff online because I think most people “get it”. Many people already run retail businesses in their offline lives and it’s not a big step to transition this process online.
I also think it is the easiest model for people can have success in…and I’ll go into that in more detail about my thoughts on that at a later time. But now, on with the show.
What is Ecommerce?
Ecommerce is simply conducting business online. It’s the process of taking orders for good or services that you have placed online, receiving payment for those goods and fulfilling the delivery of those goods.
The term ecommerce is typically associated with the sale of physical goods in the real world and it’s the one I prefer to use. However with the growth in the sale of information products delivered digitally, that definition is starting to be used more broadly to encompass both physical and digital products.
In the virtual world, commerce is conducted in much the same way with the use of various technologies to meld it all together.
Why is Ecommerce gaining in popularity?
- Convenience – Shop when it is convenient for you, from home or at work, from your ipad or iphone. You get where I’m going with this.
- Speed of transactions – I refer you to Amazon’s one click checkout
- Large numbers of businesses and consumers using eCommerce methods
A business is only as successful as the number of customers they attract. With more and more people using the Internet for more than just surfing, more business owners use Ecommerce as a new avenue for increasing their sales.
But, like anything else that is new, you have to gain your customer’s trust. And there in the detail lies the complexity of setting up an Ecommerce business.
Purely online businesses rely on Ecommerce for their livelihood. Physical businesses have discovered that Ecommerce expands their markets globally (depending on their product line). The Internet opens up an entirely new audience of consumers with infinite niche possibilities.
All of this can result in a head rush but before you look through the crystal ball and predict dollar signs in your future, selling online is simple in concept but not necessarily in production. Knowing the nuances can make the difference between a successful enterprise and on that barely scrapes the bottom of the barrel.
There are many decisions to be made before embarking on the Ecommerce ship.
Planning and strategy are important here. But, to your advantage, there are many resources available to get you going in the right direction. Like this blog for example.
Coming next: What Types of Ecommerce Sites can you Create