When you decide to start an online business and set up an e-shop, you may want to take into consideration the following suggestions, no matter the field you are interested in. First of all, choose the product. If, at the beginning, you cannot afford buying data from specialized companies, it is recommended to browse the Internet in order to collect important information about the field you have selected, numbers and characteristics of the main competitors, the features and limits of their products (in terms of quality and price) and to find out new market niche as well. This research usually takes a few days on average but with no costs.
Secondly, build a successful team. To have a good business idea is not enough: different competences are necessary in order to carry on the market strategy you chose, such as experts on marketing, copywriting, web-designer… The question you should ask yourself is “Am I able to pursue my business idea?”.
Next, consider logistics. If the budget allows it, it is possible to rent a warehouse and keep the products in stock. Otherwise, you may think about drop shipping companies (you can easily find them surfing the Internet). In this way, you will just forward the order to the drop shipping company, which is in charge of supplying, storing and shipping the goods. This method does not imply additional expenses since you pay the drop shipping company when the goods are sold and the costs related to drop shipping are added to the final price. Negotiating with the supplier about service conditions and fares will take approximately a couple of days.
At this stage, you have to select which kind of technology you want to rely on. Since you have decided to open your own e-shop avoiding marketplace platforms like Amazon and Ebay, a wise choice would be to deploy an open source software (licensed at no cost) that can be used both for user interface and to manage the e-commerce activities. The help from a professional in the field is recommended in this phase, also to register the domain, and everything until now will cost around 2.600 $.
Now that the shop is ready, you should open a bank account and ask for credit card online payments authorization. This procedure, that includes expenses and deposit, will cost you about 600 $. As soon as you receive the authorization from the bank, you can ask business such as Paypal to accept online payments. Two days should be enough to get the permission and finally move to the last stage: marketing.
The most effective way to generate web traffic for e-commerce is online marketing, in particular Google Adwords, which allows you to make keyword advertising paying only when users click on ads and access to your website (Pay-Per-Click advertising model). In one or two days you can manage writing ads, planning the advertising campaign and open an account, spending approximately 3.200 $. An extra 1.000 $ can be invested on price comparison websites. Here the registration is free: you only have to open an account and send data concerning the prices of your products.