The internet is not only a huge source of information and entertainment. It has become a profitable platform for various types of business that we call ecommerce. More importantly, today almost anyone can try one’s hand in this sphere.
Here is a general instruction on how to make money with ecommerce.
Step 1. Choosing a business model
There are many ways to make money on the web, but creating a web store is probably the most common type of business, and it has a good potential. Here you can choose between three popular models.
A widespread model that implies reselling products from a wholesaler or manufacturer (supplier) for a higher price. Here you’ll have to find a supplier, make a deal and start selling. Sounds simple, but keep in mind that you’ll also have to take care of storage and shipment.
Selling handmade stuff
This model will suit those who can make handmade stuff. It can be anything really from plush toys and fashion jewelry to clothes and even cakes.
The owner of such store is the seller and manufacturer all in one. The good news is you don’t depend on a supplier or his prices. The bad news – you’ll have to work harder.
This type of ecommerce business has become quite popular in recent years. In this case, the store owner’s role is to promote goods, attract customers and support clients. The goods are delivered to buyers directly by your supplier, so it’s easier to handle.
However, you’ll have to do it blindly since you have no control over the product quality or delivery speed, and finding a trustworthy supplier becomes one of your main concerns.
Step 2. Choosing products
If you can’t make your own goods and have to resell, you’ll need to choose a niche.
Product niche is your store’s theme. You can devote it to health and care, smartphones, clothes, anime merchandise, etc. If you really want to make money with ecommerce, you’ll have to keep a balance between popular and unpopular niches. The most profitable niches have too high competition. Narrow niches may have zero competition as well as too few potential clients.
Besides, not all types of products are suitable for online stores, unless it’s a world famous brand. Look for products that have the following features:
- cannot or unlikely to break during transportation;
- are not pricy (buying a scarf online is Ok, but ordering fur is a bit too risky);
- cannot be bought in a regular store;
- have either good functionality or strong emotional value.
Step 3. Creating a web store
Now you need a web store to make money with ecommerce. The simplest way to do it is to order one from professionals. However, if you’re short on money or confident in your skills (or at least have enough spare time), you may want to try making one on your own.
Most bloggers and other amateur site owners strongly advise to use WordPress content management system. It’s designed for non-professional users and has intuitive interface. Furthermore, the CMS offers a lot of plugins and addons including those that will turn a site into a fully functional webstore (WooCommerce) or a dropshipping store (AliDropship).
Here you’ll have to create a website, adapt it for mobile devices and popular browsers, setup payment gates and add products. For more details, see these instructions for a traditional storeor this article for adropshipping store.
Step 4. Promotion
When everything is ready, you can start attracting customers. Here are the most popular methods of promotion:
- Search engine optimization by using proper keywords in texts on your site.
- Promoting in social media by finding groups with similar interests or making your own group in Facebook or Instagram or a YouTube channel.
- Pay per click ads.
- Email marketing.
Collaborating with affiliate partners, bloggers and influencers.