Adventures in Ecommerce: Running a Retail Business From Home

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Ecommerce is growing massively all over the world, making for really exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs. Best of all, it’s something you can do right from the comfort of your own home, giving you flexibility, more time (no commute!) and job satisfaction. You can start your business selling anything you like, meaning you can choose an area that you’re genuinely interested and passionate about.  If you’re looking to get involved in selling online, here are a few things to consider to make your store the best it can be.

Research ecommerce platforms

One of the main things to be aware of when you’re starting an ecommerce business is that over fifty percent of your customers will now be shopping from their phones and tablets. This means the storefront you choose needs to look good across all devices- so pick carefully. Spend time choosing the right ecommerce platform, bear in mind that there are different platforms available. For example, some are best suited for businesses that sell to other businesses, others are for businesses that sell to consumers and others that sell to administrators. Work with IT support companies so that everything runs exactly how it should, when you’re selling products directly from your site, it needs to be a seamless process. Add a number of payment options in the checkout so that people can choose their preferred method, and give customers the option of saving their basket and adding items to a wishlist. 

Think about fulfillment

You might have overlooked the idea of running an ecommerce business from home, thinking that you simply don’t have space for all of the stock and items you’ll need. And this is true for just about everyone- most of us don’t have warehouse sized space we can utilise at our properties! Shipping out items is another issue you might be wondering how to overcome- but both of these things are easily solved. Utilise a fulfillment company that specialise in e commerce businesses- these will already have the manpower, equipment and space needed to deal with your orders and get them where they need to be. Instead of being responsible for storing, picking, packing and shipping orders yourself- everything is all done for you. You’re simply running everything from your home from the top- no need to get your hands dirty yourself! Of course, there are costs to outsourcing these areas so look into how much you’ll need to spend. But overall, you’ll still save money doing it this way. You don’t need to hire your own staff or premises, you’re saving money on office space by running things from home and the outsourcing company will be skilled and experienced in getting your orders to your customers so there will be fewer errors or issues in that department. 

Consider your marketing

Regardless of what you do or what you sell, marketing is important. As an ecommerce business owner, it’s something you should be certain you’re getting right, and there are lots of different methods for going about it. Take blogging for example, this can easily be linked to your ecommerce site and every time you publish a blog post, it’s another opportunity for your site to come up in search engines. Posting regular, engaging content will earn you followers and social shares which helps to get your company name out there. Plus, having a business blog makes your business look legitimate and more reliable which is something potential customers will be looking for before buying from your store. You could employ a blogger or even hire a freelance writer online to create articles for you very cheaply, it’s not even another job you’d need to take on yourself. Another thing to look into would be SEO; this can be relatively complex so again think about hiring a professional company or freelancer. They will ensure your store ranks as highly as possible within search engines which will mean more sales for you. They will also be able to advise you on what the best techniques are for turning website views into sales. You of course need to be as discoverable as possible if you want your business to succeed, and SEO is a good way to achieve this.