E-commerce is not purely about selling products or services online. There are lots of factors to consider in order for your business to be successful with it. You have to understand that failure or weakness of one factor can impact the whole electronic commerce situation for your business. According to statistics, electronic commerce is rapidly growing from the time it began; thus, many businesses want to join the train. But the question is, are they really ready for it? Here are some points to consider when it comes to ecommerce readiness:
- You should have a planned idea. The light bulb signs on top of your head so you get excited and rush things to sell the idea and convert to profit. Unfortunately, it was a miss. Ideas become failure due to lack of plan. Thus, it is important for you to have an ecommerce plan that run along the likes of a business plan. It should include the following:
- Target market and customers. Who, what, and where are your customers? The result will help determine selling channels and infrastructure requirements relevant to ecommerce.
- Demographics. Determining your customers shop online on top of knowing their age, sex, and purchasing power.
- Infrastructure requirements. This includes secured transactions, hardware, software, memory requirements and many more.
- Channels to sell the product. It includes logistics, warehousing of inventory, and merchant traders.
- Convert the idea into product. You should determine if you really have the product to sell, knowledge on how to sell your product and the channels where you can sell the product. If you find everything in place, then you just passed another indicator for ecommerce preparedness.
- Know your competitive edge. Just because you have positive answers on item number 2, it doesn’t mean that you are really prepared for ecommerce. Sadly, it is not a definite answer. It is only one part if you want a greater chance of success with online commerce.
You should know the competitive advantage of your product. You should be able to tell the demand factors of your product or service, determine the right prices, have fair idea on competition, and possess a unique selling proposition to customers.
- Try to review and analyse different business models on ecommerce. You should know that there is no one fits all solution when it comes to online commerce. For example, if you are starting right now, part of your considerations will be accepting bitcoins as payment medium. Will you limit credit and debit card transaction only or accept other modes of payment? Knowing different ecommerce models will help you decide which one is right for you.
- Analyse pros and cons. Just because it is there, you have to reach for it. There are cases where maintaining an online presence with ecommerce solutions is more expensive than maintaining an online presence and selling it in the physical world. For example, you might be goaded by your web designer to install different applications and platforms without determining if these are relevant to your ecommerce objectives like maintaining an online payment subscription where your customers will not be using it.
E-commerce is good for business; however, you should first if your business is ready for it ask so that you won’t be wasting money when you find out sales did not increase after installing the ecommerce features in your website.
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