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A Beginner’s Guide To Starting An E-commerce Business

E-commerce is the way of the future. Globalism, increased digitisation and market demands all point towards this. To stay relevant, businesses are encouraged to, if not go exclusively online, then develop a hybrid model which lets them take advantage of the increased traffic in digital spaces. 

 

Many entrepreneurs and small businesses are using platforms like Instagram, Tiktok and websites to promote their brand online. But the e-commerce field can be difficult to navigate. With many e-commerce technologies still being novel, there is a huge learning curve for entrepreneurs looking to expand their business into digital spaces. 

 

A short e-commerce course or SEO class from an established, SkillsFuture approved training provider such as @ASK Training in Singapore can help you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams and support your growing online platform’s development.

 

1. Select Your Business Model

 

Before you establish an online presence, the first course of action is to decide what business model to pursue. This will determine your digital strategy and will help direct your focus from the early days. Some common e-commerce business models include:

 

  1. Dropshipping: Your business website acts as a storefront and you prioritise customer relations, advertising and the website. This is a simple model that faces much competition out there, which means that many of such businesses don’t see profits above 10%.
  2. White Label: Under this model, you source products from manufacturers and sell them under your brand. This method has a large emphasis on brand marketing and often employs a narrower target group focus.
  3. Manufacturing: This method incorporates traditional manufacturing processes into your e-commerce business. You supervise production from beginning to end, keeping overheads down, but must account for excess stock and storage. For this reason it is a riskier option.

Select a business model that accounts for your resources and goals; this way you can optimally establish your online presence for future success.

2. Identify Your Platforms

Choosing a suitable platform from which to operate your business can be the difference between success and failure for your e-commerce business. Doing so will get you in touch with customers eager to purchase your products and seeks to improve both buyers’ and sellers’ experience.

E-commerce marketplaces including Amazon, Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10 are popular options for Singapore enterprises. Rather build your own shop? Platforms such as Shopify and Magento can be a huge help. If you have the capacity, working across multiple platforms can increase your exposure and sales.

3. Design Your Store

Designing a professional look for your store and ensuring its ease of use are two key factors that determine whether a customer will make a purchase. If your website looks unprofessional or is difficult to navigate, many customers will redirect their energy to a competitor instead.

Maintaining a clear brand identity across platforms can help establish brand trust and encourage repeat business. You can also use your website to further your exposure through ad campaigns and SEO-style blogs. Consider going for an SEO class to help optimise this area of your e-commerce business.

4. Set Up Payment Systems

An effective payment system will effortlessly guide your customer through the checkout whilst providing you with transparent information about your sales. Your payment system should be reliable, simple and effective. Online payment options include PayPal, Stripe and Smoovpay.

Consider implementing a buy now pay later (BNPL) option like Atome and Hoola to reap the benefits of delayed payment systems for your e-commerce business.

5. Implement Customer Communication Channels

Feedback and customer reviews are a big deal in e-commerce. Without customer reviews and effective communication, people don’t know whether the brand or business is to be trusted. You can optimise your customer communication channels by being easy to reach, answering fast and preparing in advance for queries.

These will help develop brand trust and a positive relationship with your customers which is essential in the e-commerce landscape.

6. Drive Traffic With Marketing

Marketing is a necessary part of e-commerce, but what separates a good marketing campaign from a bad one? Knowing your target audience is a must. Use analytics to recognise customer trends and adjust your marketing strategy for your business accordingly. Effective SEO implementation, paid ads and an easy-to-use website will all help you get customers to the checkout and get your name out there.

Make Inroads Into E-commerce With @ASK Training

With e-commerce gaining traction amongst the next generation of consumers, Singapore businesses need to get behind digital shopping or get left behind. @ASK Training’s professional training and development courses can help you realise your business objectives.

Our e-commerce business courses are recognised by Skillsfuture Singapore as an accredited professional development course. By choosing to enrol in a short e-commerce course, you will get insider information on market trends, essential hard and soft skills, and learn to navigate the complexities of an online business.

If you’re interested in upskilling through an e-commerce training course, get in touch with the team at @ASK Training today!

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