Last updated on November 8th, 2018
With the technological advancements in the world and the popularity of the World Wide Web, online business has grown into a specialised niche industry in the past few decades. New Entrepreneurs and even existing companies are in the process of setting up of an E-commerce portal to display their products and services. The significant advantage of this business type is that it does not require tangible physical space and this saves a great deal of the overhead cost. The business owner only needs the right platforms and the product portfolio to create a brand for themselves. This trend is advantageous even to the consumers as they enjoy the services at a much better cost and from the comfort of their home or office.
Here Are Top 10 Things You Need To Start An Online Business
01. The Right Plan
Like any other business, the digital enterprises need the right and robust plan to become a success. In fact, the idea should be more detailed and organised as there is a high probability of deviation in the industry. The owners should decide on the type of products or services that will be offered by the company.
It is essential for the team to determine the demographics as well as the target audience. This vision is an integral part, as the portal will be developed based on the product type, demographics, target age group, etc. A detailed project plan could be of great assistance as they highlight the focal areas. It also aids in avoiding any deviations and keeps the project on track.
02. The Development Team
This is the significant step in the launch of the online business. The portal development plays a critical role in the determining the success of the brand. There are various avenues which form a part of the development team. It is crucial to have a positive and productive group who are knowledgeable on the industry trends and innovative to implement newer techniques in the portal.
The crew should be equipped to build the necessary coding to display all the required information, an exemplary outlook which would be trendy and upscale and the essential features to make the portal search engine optimised. It is always prudent to have an in-house resource or a vendor who offers round the clock service to ensure proper functioning of the portal.
03. The Magic Portal
What is your favourite e-commerce portal? Which is your favourite feature on the website? Why do some sites succeed while others fail? The answer is not the product/service offered. Though, they may be one of the essential reasons for the success. The website design, the navigational speed, the buying process, the payment options are some of the factors which are on the top of the list.
The standard template followed by the portal emphasises on the professionalism and the reliability of the website. Most leading e-commerce companies have stringent protocols on the branding and take utmost care in ensuring the brand look even when multi – products are displayed. It is imperative for the companies to identify the brand theme for their product or service and ensure that it is followed on all pages.
04. The Promotion Strategy
The World Wide Web is a deep dark ocean filled with exotic and ordinary companies/brands of all shapes and sizes. It is quite easy to get unnoticed amidst the heavy competition of the corporate giants and smart peers. The only way to sustain and succeed is to be proactive and build a systematic as well as practical promotional plan.
There are many mediums which can be used for the promotion of a product or a service. However, the ideal way of creating the promotional strategy would be to create a plan based on the available budget and to identify the most effective mediums within it. You also need to make sure that your elements of brand identity such as your company logo should be creative and attractive as well. The most successful companies work on both long-term as well as short-term promotional goals.
05. The Competitor Analysis
Competitions is what keeps the game interesting. Healthy competition is required for the betterment of the product as well as for the welfare of the society. Some of the most innovative and serviceable products are the by-products of the competitive commercial world. All companies can have more than one nemesis from different segments.
Companies which overlap between different industries or even companies which do not sell the similar type of products could be in the race. It is important to segment the products offered by the company and have a detailed analysis of the competitors in each segment. This will help you stay forward in the competitions.
06. The Unique Selling Factor
There is always a thin line which differentiates all the companies offering the similar service or product. This line is the Unique selling factor and plays a dominant role in determining the success of the company in the market. This could be something simple like a customised packaging system, exemplary customer support, faster delivery or it could even be actual modifications in the product itself.
It is essential for every brand or company to determine their magical secret right from day zero and position it in all their marketing and branding collaterals. The more exotic is the USP, the more attractive the brand. Some companies come up with very innovative ways to capture the attention of their audience.
07. The Social Media Positioning
In today’s world, social media pages have become an influential medium for promotion of services and products. Even most people consider themselves as a brand and implement different techniques to garner attention. The E-commerce portals should have a fruitful social media promotional plan. The platforms selected for these promotions will be as per the product or service offered by the company.
Social media promotions are a constant war, and continual informative updates are required to ensure the leading positioning for the brand. There should be an equal balance between promoting the product/service of the company, highlighting their unique selling points, providing useful information for the consumers as well expressing neutral concerns over social issues. This will create a favourable impression of the brand among the consumers.
08. The Target Audience
Every company, both online and offline should have a precise segmentation of their target audience. This is very imperative as the entire promotional activity is created on the basis of the data. Targeted marketing efforts are much more efficient than random ones. All strategies are bound to have a certain degree of overlap regarding their visibility.
It is relatively easy to determine the target audience based on their demographics, age group, gender, income and buying patterns. There are various tools available online to segregate the people into separate categories. Once the target group is identified, then different techniques could be deployed to create visibility for the brand. Even customised marketing campaigns could be conducted to increase footfalls.
9. The Brand Visibility Plan
What is a brand? Is it the name of the company? It is the unique message and value that the company advocates. Every company or establishment in the market has a tailored message which they represent through the companies brand identity. This message differentiates the brand from other companies in the market. All companies struggle and fight to achieve one common goal. It is the silent goal behind all efforts taken by them.
They intend to familiarise their company, product or services, their positive attributes compared to their peers and the significance they deliver to the table for the betterment of their consumer’s life. This message is shouted over and over again across all mediums to cause the maximum impact. It is vital for every start-up e-commerce portal to have a clear brand visibility plan to help them attain their goal.
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10. The Vendor Network
There are different types of e-commerce portals. The product-oriented portal which could sell products belonging to a specific brand or multiple brands like Myntra. It could also market various kinds of product at the same place like Amazon or Flipkart.
The service-oriented portal which could offer service of a particular type like Designhill who provide graphic design services to their clients. Either way, there are many stakeholders involved in the entire system. It is essential to select the vendors and partners with utmost caution and vigilance as even a small mishap will damage the image of the brand. This vendor network plays a significant role in the e-commerce portal.
Starting an Online business will be a cake walk, if all the right elements are in the right place at the precise time. These factors prepare the companies to face the consumers and their peers with confidence and pride. It is crucial to recognise the pitfalls in the industry before starting a new venture. This industry has seen its share of success as well as failures. It is essential to read those case studies to have a better understanding of the consumer needs. The entrepreneurs will be inspired by the victories of other brands and also understand the mistakes to avoid as well. Every step is crucial, and it takes them a step closer to achieving their dream. It is also important to associate with the right team and be transparent in the operations. Credibility and reliability are two virtues in this industry without which survival becomes difficult. With all the ingredients in place, it is time for the e-commerce portal to succeed.