Interested in making a career change? There are different reasons why people want to change careers: you might wish to have more flexible hours or make more money, or you’ve discovered new interests that you’d like to implement into your job. Maybe you’re fed up with working in a stressful environment or you’re looking for a position that will offer a better work-life balance. If you’re exploring a career change, consider moving into an eCommerce business. Why? With consumers increasingly relying on online shopping, eCommerce is opening opportunities to countless entrepreneurs. This year, it is estimated that there will be 2.05 billion digital buyers worldwide and eCommerce sales are expected to account for more than 15% of all retail sales on a global level.
If you decide to enter the world of eCommerce, you have two options: you can buy an eCommerce business or opt to build one from scratch. Let’s look at both options in more detail.
Start an eCommerce Business from Scratch
Building an eCommerce business from scratch is the best route to take for those that aren’t ready to invest in buying an already established business. If you want to start a business from scratch, here are 5 tips to help you do it the right way.
1. Choose a Great Business and Domain Name
After you decide what you’re going to sell, the first thing to do is choose a unique, easy-to-remember name for your business. Once you have picked a name, you need to register it. If you form a corporation or an LLC, this will happen automatically in the state where you file your paperwork. If you can’t get your business name as your domain name, choose a URL that is related to your business but also easy to spell and pronounce.
Here’s a quick list of rules to follow when coming up with domain names:
- Brainstorm top 5 keywords related to your business
- Make sure your domain is unique
- Stick with the .com extensions
- Make the domain easy to type (no hyphens, double letters, numbers, and special signs)
- Make the name as short as possible and easy to remember
2. Design Your Online Store
When designing your online store, you need to make sure it is both visually appealing and functional. If your budget is tight, consider out-of-the-box solutions like BigCommerce and Shopify. However, if you have more money to spend, or you want a custom-made website, you’ll need to hire a professional web designer.
Whether you decide to build the site yourself or hire a pro, there are several important steps you should take to ensure it will do its job:
- Organize your site based on how people shop
- Make your website mobile-friendly
- Include a search bar
- Have a shopping cart
- Include wish list functionality
- Invest in high-quality product photography
- Include customer reviews
- Make your contact information easy to find.
3. Find the Right Vendors
The competition in the eCommerce world is fierce, so finding the vendors that offer quality products at affordable prices is of the utmost importance.
There are many factors to consider when selecting a vendor such as price, shipping, product availability, attention to customer service, etc. As a small eCommerce business, it’s crucial that your vendors’ interests align with your own. Take your time to look at as many options as possible before you choose the vendor you want to collaborate in the long run.
4. Begin with Marketing in the Early Stages
Like any business, the first couple of months are very important, and in particular, getting customers to visit your store is vital. Even if your website still hasn’t launched, you should start with marketing from day one. Create a ‘Coming Soon’ page on your website where people who are interested can sign up for updates.
Marketing your eCommerce website doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of the basic online marketing methods to kick-start traffic to your e-store include:
- Content marketing – start writing articles for your blog in which you will include the targeted keywords
- Social media marketing – choose the platforms your target audience uses to showcase your products and reach potential customers.
- Email marketing – use emails to keep customers coming back when they receive information on sales, promotions, or new products.
5. Increase Productivity with the Right Tools
Remember that tech can make things much easier, so before you launch your e-store, take some time to explore automation tools and software solutions related to email marketing, customer relationship management, project management, accounting, etc. Make sure you can integrate these tools into what you’re doing once your online store launches.
Buying an eCommerce Business
Many entrepreneurs decide to make their career change by buying an eCommerce business because they believe it is a faster path to success.
If you buy an already existing business, you’re going to start seeing significant returns much sooner than by building one from scratch. An existing online store already attracts traffic and has customers. In addition, the previous owner has already negotiated deals with suppliers, so if you buy the site, you won’t have to go through any of these or take the risks the original owner took. Experienced buyers can buy an already profitable business and increase the yearly net profits by two or three times within one year, which means an average ROI of 33% – 50% a year. This makes the eCommerce business worth much more than they paid for it.
Finally, when you buy an eCommerce site that has already proven to be successful, you can choose to enter into a new niche, acquire other online stores to merge with your store or use it to upsell and cross-sell your existing customers.
Ask a Website Broker for Help
Bear in mind that buying an eCommerce business requires a significant investment. So, before you decide to pay up, you should make sure you’re making a good investment.
If you want to buy an already established eCommerce site that already generates revenue, you can start by looking for a reliable website broker. An experienced website broker will present all the websites for sale that fit your needs, help you find the best options, and give you a recommended selling price. They will even provide post-sales support to help you gain familiarity over your newly-acquired website.
A survey conducted by Joblist found that nearly 80% of people who made a career change felt happier, 75% of them felt more satisfied, and 65% felt less stressed. So, whether you decide to become a part of the eCommerce industry or choose a completely different path, there’s a big chance that changing your career will turn out to be a great decision.
If you’re interested in making a career change into the eCommerce business world but you’re unsure how to pull it off, consider hiring a career coach. Career coaches are experts in skills like resume building, career planning, interviewing, and negotiation. They’re up to date with current hiring practices, so they’ll be able to help you pursue your dream job.
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