As an entrepreneur who is preparing to launch their first start-up, it can be quite a daunting experience. Planning is essential so that you can be prepared for all scenarios, but even with the best planning, there will still be challenges you’ll need to face. It’s how your business deals with those challenges that will determine its success. To ensure you’re ready for what lies ahead, here are four challenges that are commonly faced by e-commerce start-ups.
What Are You Going to Sell?
It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and get excited about the idea of an e-commerce store but before you can start visualizing your success you need to figure out what you’ll sell. This is often the determining factor in how well your business will do. The products you sell need to be in demand, priced reasonably, and have a unique hook to them. This is a great opportunity to do some market research taking a deep dive into the industry, the competition, the target market and so forth. Without putting in the work, you risk launching a product line that is bound to fail and not sell.
How Will You Deal with Distribution and Warehousing?
When you think about an e-commerce business you think in terms of online transactions. There is no physical storefront that you need to supply; it all exists in an online environment. But that’s not to say the physical product doesn’t need your consideration. How will you deal with distribution and warehousing, which plays a vital role in the business model?
Supply chain warehousing is something consultants such as SupplyVelocity can help you plan and implement. It’s important to think about the entire supply chain including inventory, the warehouse order management process, the layout of the warehouse and even performance tracking and measurement to ensure all systems are working properly.
How Will You Get Leads?
It’s a common misconception that all you have to do is launch your e-commerce store and the sales will start rolling in. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for the majority, rather it’s up to you to market your product/store and find good quality leads. So, what’s the best solution? Efforts should be made from the get-go to build a quality email subscriber list. Efforts can’t slack off either; this is a step you need to maintain so that you’re constantly building more leads. Keep in mind that any lead you’re after should be a high-quality one with the potential of turning them into a customer and landing a sale.
What’s the Marketing Plan?
Speaking of getting customers, another challenge e-commerce start-ups face is marketing. How will you build brand awareness and get the word out? Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be incredibly useful for advertising – just be sure to always link back to your online storefront.
While the success of your e-commerce start-up isn’t something that can be guaranteed, there are certainly steps in the planning process that you can take that will better your company’s odds.