According to PwC’s ‘Global Total Retail Survey 2016’ where it surveyed close to 23,000 consumers worldwide, close to 54% of them buy products online on a weekly or monthly basis. With digital disruption causing a major stir in the retail industry landscape.
The speed of technology adoption has raised the stakes for both retailers and consumers on both fronts. Ecommerce business is seeing a lot of traction with close to 206 million shoppers will be spending money online this year. Industry experts believe, if you are thinking about starting with your own ecommerce business, then this is the right time to start and sell products online.
You can use our 9 point checklist to start your Ecommerce business:
Starting with a Great Business Name:
After you have decided to sell a certain product / service online, then next thing you have to do is to choose a great business name that no one else is currently using. Make sure you are conducting corporate name search so that no one else is using it or already patented the name. The next logical step after is to register your business name. The place where you are registering will either give you LLC or Corporation status. But it would be great if you create a limited liability company (LLC) as it provides protection in case you are sued down the line for various reasons.
Acquire Domain Name and Website:
On many occasions, the domain name will be your business name, but if it is not available or is highly prized out, choose a URL which is easy to say, spell, and something that relates to your business. For instance, if your business is George’s Recreations and Georgesrecreations.com domain name is not available, then re-word it to RecreationsbyGeorge.com and similarly you can do other combinations with your domain name and stay true to your business.
Designing your website is one of the crucial aspects of your Ecommerce business. It has to be functionally and aesthetically appealing. Starting from a product landing page to the checkout should be a seamless experience for your customers. Moreover, your website has to have a responsive design that caters to most of the digital engagement platforms.
Employer Identification Number is a Must:
Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a must to open your business bank account and to file your taxes. The EIN acts as a social security number, which is unique to your business and helps you will lot of paperwork. If your business does not have an EIN then your business is not legal and will be prosecuted. Irrespective of whether you have employees or not, you need to have an Employer Identification Number.
Get a Business Checking Account and Business Credit Card:
The first thing you have to do if you start any form of business is to separate your business assets from personal assets. So, first set up your business checking account and business credit card. Do a thorough check from small banks, credit unions, and large MNC banks to make sure you are getting the best deal. And when you are applying for a business credit card, check the interest rates, cash back and rewards and other objective reviews to determine which type of card you require.
Apply for Business Licenses and Permits from your State:
Just because your business is online, does not exclude you from requiring certain business licenses and permits from the state where you reside in. Check with local authorities and departments in your city / state to get a clear picture on sales tax licenses / home business licenses which you need to start your Ecommerce business in the right way.
Hiring the Right People:
Yes, this is one of the main aspects of your business. Hiring the right people from the beginning will set the ball rolling in your favor. With right people in charge at critical positions will help you to sort out your business critical work minimal supervision. By empowering your employees you will see more productivity and less employee retention.
Finding the Right Vendors to Work With:
Do not procrastinate on this front. Finding right vendors for your products / services has to be on top of your priority list. Ecommerce business will have a lot of competition, so it is in your best interest to find the right quality and best quotation for the products you sell online. Do a thorough research on vendors until you find the right vendor who wants to do business with your for a long period of time.
Start Your Marketing Campaign Early:
Do not wait till you get your business online. You can start early and give the feelers to your customers by creating your social media page and blog section to draw your customers more curious and interested and you are not starting everything from Day 1. Get your website up, even if it is not ready, just keep it with a “Coming Soon” page, this ensures your users are more interested with your product and will sign-up for your regular updates.
Create a Stock Inventory:
Any Ecommerce business for that matter needs to stock their inventory to tackle unusual business demands and to ensure there is no missed opportunity. Your inventory can be your garage or a big warehouse elsewhere, make sure you have enough of inventory before launching your business. We know it can be tricky to know what will be the demand and how much of inventory needs to be stocked, but in general, it is good to have more inventory than not having enough of it. Even down the line pay attention to your sales cycle and you can be proactive in inventory management.
Ecommerce business is completely changing the demography of the retail industry. Many who had a niche business are going online to reach a wider target audience and have found great success. And success in Ecommerce does not come easily; it requires hard work from beginning to the end. This medium is breaking the existing ceiling and pushing the barriers to new frontiers in online space.