E-commerce is booming, so much so that Statista regards it as indispensable to the global retail framework. In 2019, in fact, e-retail sales worldwide soared to around $3.5 trillion thanks to an estimated 1.92 billion people who bought goods or services online. This e-commerce boom is predicted to continue, with online transactions getting easier and more convenient due to the widespread use of mobile devices worldwide and online marketplaces becoming more popular.
The king of the online marketplace, though, is Amazon. In June 2020 alone, the company registered over 5.2 billion unique visitors, further underscoring its status as the industry’s top online market. No wonder many people are setting up Amazon stores, which means gaining access to the company’s 100 million plus Prime members and to a market where 89% of customers buy from Amazon first. In 2019, in fact, 45% of all online spending globally occurred on Amazon, which is why newcomers have a 67% chance to earn a profit in their first year on the platform.
It’s Okay Not to Sell on Amazon
While Amazon is the king of the online marketplace, you have the option to start your own E-commerce store outside of Amazon. And it is an option you ought to seriously consider for the following reasons:
• You can build your brand better. Being on Amazon gives the impression that customers are buying from Amazon rather than from your store. Worse, you can’t really market your brand so it can forge its own identity. But with your own e-commerce site, you can be as aggressive and creative as you want when it comes to marketing so you can build up your brand.
• You have full control. With Amazon, you’ll have to play by its rules, and surrender some control on how you interact with customers, how you post your items for sale, and the payment and delivery options. Those limitations don’t apply when you have your own e-commerce site, which means you can customize everything the way you want it.
• You can create your own client base. The people who buy from you via Amazon aren’t exactly your customers; they’re Amazon’s. As such, you aren’t actually creating your own customer base. With your own e-commerce site, however, customers know that they’re buying from your store, and they’ll know where to go to in case they want to do business with you again.
• You can use data for customer personalization. Amazon store owners have no access to customer data, which is a disadvantage because that can be used to build your customer base and creat personalized shopping experiences for them.
Setting Up Your Own E-commerce Store
In case you want to establish your own E-commerce store outside of Amazon, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do so:
Create a Business Plan
A business plan serves as your roadmap towards attaining your goal of selling to make a profit. To do this, outline exactly what your online store is about, identify your target market, list down tax breaks and government assistance you can get, and enumerate the problems you are likely to encounter, along with possible solutions.
Come Up with a Name
Next, you must give your e-commerce store a catchy name that reflects your brand and is uniquely yours. To be sure, Google the name and consult your local secretary of state’s website and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to check whether or not that name is taken by another company. The last thing you’d want is to take an already registered business name, as that could potentially lead to legal issues.
File the Paperwork
The succeeding steps involve all the paperwork to legalize your online business, and they will be fairly easy to accomplish provided you have all pertinent documents ready. These documents include state-issued licenses and business permits, proofs of identification, and your business’ employer identification number from the IRS.
Set Up the Store
Once done with all that planning and paperwork, it’s time to get that e-commerce store up and running. An Inc article highlights how you don’t have to overcomplicate things because you can start small: Create a simple online storefront with one or two listings and then keep adding products and building your brand from there.
Make Improvements along the Way
The key is to just get started and then optimize things as you go along. A way to do so is by using Clickfunnels, which provides an effective, cost-efficient way to deliver your products and offers an affiliate program that pays you 40% commission for every sale.
Finally, make sure you keep at it! As with any business, success won’t come right away. In fact, there’s a chance that you’ll lose money first before you make any. Rather than get disheartened, strive to improve every facet of your operation, from website design to marketing and delivery. In this way, you’ll increase your chances of running a successful e-commerce store outside of Amazon.