Looking to Get Into Ecommerce? Here’s 3 Things to Do Before Getting Started.

17, 2021

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

At the start of 2019, I was presented with an incredible opportunity, which was pivotal in the trajectory of my life. At the time, I was working for two Melbourne-based entrepreneurs. They kindly offered me the opportunity to run their current business in events for them, as they had bigger plans to make their mark in the world of ecommerce. I accepted. 

Without giving me too much insight into their grand plan, they said we’d all be working in their office most days of the week. While I ran their current operation, they were tirelessly working to make their ecommerce dreams a reality.

The next six months were stressful, to say the least.

Like the first six months of most bootstrapped startups, there was a lot of money going out but not a lot of money coming in. After months of research and development, testing and getting their marketing strategy dialled in, upon launching the product the sales weren’t quite reaching their expectations or needs. 

I remember what the office felt like. The energy was low, and I could honestly feel the stress in the air. Their money was dissipating with nothing to show for it … yet. 

But as they say, the light is always darkest before dawn. I’ll never forget the day I walked into the office and felt an entirely different energy: After sharing with me that they’d just had 70 orders overnight (their biggest day by a longshot) which equated to nearly six grand, it was safe to say that this is where the momentum truly began.

However, for every success, there are a dozen failures. Particularly when we’re talking about e-commerce. Having seen first hand exactly how they were able to build a powerful, profitable and successful ecommerce brand, here are three things I’d recommend to everyone who’s looking to get started in ecommerce.

1. Focus on building a brand

A lot of marketers sell the ecommerce dream as easy. “Set up a website, find a product from China, and sell it to customers in America for a 200% markup — you’ll be at six figures in no time!” 

I hate to be the one who says it, but buying a course on how to dropship is not the way to do ecommerce in 2021. That ship has sailed.

What impressed me most about the entrepreneurs I worked with was the way they built a movement around their brand. At first, I genuinely thought they were a little crazy. However to this day, they have created an audience of wildly passionate, raving fans. As Simon Sinek says, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Before starting any business, figure out your company’s why. By doing so, you’ll build a brand that creates an emotional connection between you and your audience, which creates loyal customers who will keep coming back for life. 

2. Find a great product-sourcing company

One of the biggest problems when it comes to ecommerce is finding a supplier or manufacturer for your products. As most products are sourced overseas, particularly from China, it can be risky business sending thousands of dollars to a supplier when you have no idea if it will arrive in one piece (or at all, for that matter). 

Fortunately, there are companies specifically geared towards solving this problem that can save you months and thousands of dollars in the process. Australian-based product-sourcing and manufacturing company, Sourci has improved the ecommerce product-sourcing experience for those who are looking to source products overseas but have a local team acting on their behalf. Quality control, time constraints, language barriers and mitigating financial risks are all incredibly important to consider when sourcing your products, and this is where finding a great sourcing is of utmost importance. 

3. Get complete clarity on your target audience

Find your audience first and then create your product to sell to them. At the end of the day, the consumer doesn’t care what you want — they only care what they want. 

I observed how the company I worked for used messaging to speak clearly to its audience, and that was paramount to success. If you’re stuck on finding your target audience or not sure where to start, there are some great resources online, including Hubspot.

The world of ecommerce can provide sustainable and long-term success, if done correctly. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and looking to use ecommerce as your vehicle to success, make sure to consider and do these three things before you get started. 

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