You need to buy a blender, what is the first thing you do? Google it to find out where you can get one and how much it costs.
Today, the face of retail has changed tremendously from what it was 10 years ago. While going to the mall and shopping is still a fun pastime, very often we prefer to buy things online. Online retail- eCommerce – is growing very fast, and has already replaced many stores in the West. While we have not yet completely become an eCommerce dependent society here in the Middle East, we are definitely moving closer to it.
So what do you need to consider before launching an eCommerce store? Here are some things that I learned along the way while launching Farahii:
- Is your product internet-friendly?Is what you are selling going to be easy to buy online? Not all products will sell well online. You need to be able to ensure that your online display is sufficient- and appealing enough- to your consumer to be purchased online. Some customers will prefer to touch, smell, or taste certain products before making a purchase online, so ensure that you are either able to accommodate their needs, or provide an alternative way for them to test the product.
- How do you plan to deliver?Will you be delivering the products yourself, or will you outsource shipping? Will you provide international shipping or just local? Or to select countries? Make sure you think about these things before you start selling.
- Extra costWho will incur the extra costs such as shipping, packaging, the return of shipments, and any other extra costs that come with selling your products online? Will you pass them on to the customer or not?
- Do you really need a website?Many new online stores build a site, upload their products, and wait for customers. while this may work for some, it is worth considering starting a little smaller. Facebook and Instagram are great test platforms to use if you want a low-cost small scale pilot ground to play around in before you go big.
- Customize or off the shelf?Do you need a customized website built from scratch or can you make do with off the shelf tools such as Shopify or WooCommerce? Depending on your product, sales strategy and the vision you have for your business, you should decide what type of platform you need.
These are just a few things you should be thinking about before you decide to launch your eCommerce startup. So next time you think of going into eCommerce, I hope you will take all the considerations above and put all your efforts into them. Good luck!