Ecommerce has become an increasingly lucrative marketplace in the digital age, with the UK sector reaching an impressive £137.38 billion last year. The online share of overall retail sales is also up to 16%, with this number having almost doubled since 2012.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the current generation of graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs are looking to establish an ecommerce startup. Customers across a wide range of markets are also increasingly active online, so there are a number of areas that entrepreneurs can target successfully.
In this post, we’ll look at the key considerations for graduates when setting up an ecommerce business, especially if they want to minimise costs and optimise profitability.
- Your Own Experience as a Customer
When planning your endeavour and developing your business model, one of the key considerations should be your own experiences as a consumer.
After all, ecommerce ventures live and die by the user customer journey that each user enjoys, so you can apply your own preferences as a consumer to inform the decisions that you make.
Such insights can be applied to every aspect of your ecommerce venture, from the design of your website and its layout to the available delivery methods and the quality of customer service provided.
It’s also important to tap into the experience of others too, so don’t be afraid to review online case studies or contact successful ecommerce entities directly. In terms of the latter, this may mean contacting the owners of a particular site through email or a forum, but the key thing to remember is that you’re proactive and try to reach as many entrepreneurs as possible.
- What is your Competition up to?
Ecommerce ventures are typically low-cost and relatively easy to set up, which means that almost every market that you enter will be extremely competitive.
As an ambitious startup, it’s absolutely imperative that you study your competition and how they’re performing in your chosen marketplace, whilst also determining how they’re looking to market themselves to customers.
This information is relatively easy to source to, as you can identify key competitors by performing a Google search for relevant products or services. You can then perform quality tests by ordering from shortlisted businesses, whilst also reviewing their marketing techniques and materials.
The data that you gather here can prove invaluable, both in terms of understanding what your competitors are doing well and identifying the ways in which you can present an improved value proposition.
- Where can you Add Value?
The concept of a value proposition is important, as this is something that can truly separate your business from its competitors.
You also need to focus on adding value wherever possible throughout your business model, as this can translate into customer savings that don’t compromise your profit margins.
In the case of delivery, for example, you should consider partnering with nationwide service providers like TNT. Not only will this provide you with access to a national consumer base, but it also lets you create flexible delivery options for parcels of all shapes and sizes.
Don’t be afraid to offer free samples to selected customers either, as this is a great way to target a market share and get your products out on the market!