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E-Commerce: Definition, Benefits of Online Sales and Tips for Getting Started Part 2

E-commerce requires financing, anticipation, and ambition  

Once you have an attractive offer, you will need sufficient financing. That is to say the budget but also the skills to manage, maintain and promote your e-business.  

It’s about measuring the scale and specifics of your project, what you can do and what you should delegate. You can ask yourself several questions (a non-exhaustive list):  

  • What financial contribution can I make?  
  • How can I find external contributions?  
  • Which e-commerce solution is the most economical? The most efficient?  
  • What features or developments do I need?  
  • Which design and logo to use on my e-commerce website to build my visual identity, be ergonomic and highlight my offer?  
  • Am I going to sell internationally?  
  • What merchandising strategy should I apply?  
  • What technical support and advice will I need?  
  • What is the short/medium/long term vision?  
  • What are the weaknesses of the project?  
  • What are the key factors to success?  
  • How important is the competition?  
  • What communication skills do I need to have?  
  • Which professionals should I work with (consultant, referencing, etc.)? 

Among the key points to get a functional e-commerce website, you will have to imagine the most suitable delivery methods (depending on weight for example), their prices, and whether you can offer delivery (which is highly demanded). 

E-commerce requires certain legal steps and obligations  

Project viability 

Determining your business model and anticipating the risks associated with your project usually involves producing specifications (even in a very simplified version) where the main questions to ask are: What do my future clients want? What do they expect from my products and/or services and how I will sell to them? How can I ensure profitability?  

Legal status  

Similarly to a physical store, the assignment of legal status is mandatory to sell online.  

However, compared to brick and mortar stores, there is a set of specific rules to e-commerce.  

To do so, you can start by obtaining a micro-entrepreneur status. Legal notices, as well as e-commerce T&Cs (accessible from the homepage in particular), are mandatory. 

E-commerce requires skills or at least sufficient knowledge  

Acquisition of traffic 

More often than not, the most visible e-store sells more than the ones that have the best offer.  

Increasing your visibility can be done through the acquisition of qualified traffic. This can be done by:  

  • Creating and regularly updating unique content  
  • A “clean” and optimized source code  
  • Compliance with rules for tags and URL rewriting  
  • A constant presence on social networks and market places  

Do not hesitate to start a blog or to write press releases online with links to your e-commerce website for example as this will be very helpful to your traffic acquisition. 

Visual identity and user journey 

Your virtual shop must be ready to welcome customers that can generate good conversion rates. Your website design will be decisive. Internet users are demanding. Simplify their task, highlight your products and strengths.  

A well thought out design will highlight your products’ value, your identity and respond to the browsing habits of your visitors. They need to be able to easily find the products they are looking for.  

Analytics 

To measure the efficiency of the pages and content of your online store, do not forget to integrate a powerful upstream statistics solution such as Google Analytics. You will thus optimize the profitability of your site.  

Statistics will allow you to analyze what works and what doesn’t work so you can constantly adapt your E-commerce strategy.

Craig Ruiz

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