How to create an online business
New technologies have a clear role in our society. Its impact not only changes the way we interact each other, but has revolutionized the world of business. Ecommerce relates to the buying and selling of products and services by people and/or businesses via computer networks and its growing at an astonishing pace.
According to the latest data from the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (National Commission of Markets and Competition), ecommerce generated in our country more than 30,000 million Euros in 2017, 25,7% more than the previous financial year.
What is an online business?
This new socioeconomic pillar means that many people are now looking towards entrepreneurship as a way to make a living, while influenced by new technological models with the goal of launching an online business faster than ever. Online shops have a huge advantage: they are able to reach a much wider public than traditional ones. However, this as well has some limitations as it is more difficult to attract and retain customers due to fierce competition.
Launching an ebusiness step by step is easier than it might seem. A good example is that of Barrabés. In 1988, Carlos Barrabés, native of Benasque, a small municipality located in the Pyrenees mountains in Aragón, launched with a brother, an ebusiness for selling mountain and ski equipment. His enterprise was so successful that they now net two million euros annually, just in the United States.
Another example, at a larger scale, is that of American company Amazon. In 1995 Jeffrey Bezos founded an online bookseller. A month later, he was distributing books in 45 different countries. A year later and with 2,000 daily visits to his platform, Bezos had become the king of ecommerce, increasing the diversity of products available. Today, his online store is the world’s largest.
How to launch an online business
Before anything, it is good idea to gather information on possible financiers, like those that might have access to entrepreneurs or online training courses like those offered by businesses such as Santander Bank that show you how to launch an online business step by step.
Among them, it’s worth mentioning a course on E-commerce and digital enterprise, with five experts from the world of business that act as guides to show you all the opportunities the digital world has to offer to your business. In it all the possible mediums for online sales are explained, as well as the use of networks and social business.
Banco Santander also offers other training programs on digital transformation in business which explain fields of conduct, while presenting at the same time guidelines for successfully overcoming this challenge. On this page we can also find conferences of experts explaining these new digital paradigms. Among them: Javier Cuesta, President of Correos, Susana Voces, General Director of eBay in Spain, or Vicent Rosso, cofounder of BlaBlaCar España.
To create a successful online business, we should offer a quality product, know the product, and believe in it. However we don’t mean only that the product be “quality”. We must also understand the potential market for the product, i.e., potential buyers and possible competitors. There are a lot of free tools that we can use to stay up to date on the market, such as Google Trends, which gives us information on “popular” words used by users who search and buy a specific product, reffered to as key words. A simple search is more important than what it might seem. Carrying out a large search is key to positioning our ebusiness at the top of the search and vital in attracting customers to pages where products are offered.
It is important that the sales strategy includes a social project that makes us more competitive, and which serves as our marketing strategy as well. For example, we’re selling food and accessories for pets. Aside from being a business competing with others, you will also face the competition of veterinary clinics and superstores. People are becoming increasingly worried about the hygiene and health of their pets and, so if we give advice or advertise services on a blog, like that of a pet day care or hairdresser, the online shop might look more interesting and compelling. It should be noted that Google, the principal search engine, awards the creation of useful and relevant content to customers when our website is positioned at the top. Keep in mind that only a select few users will actually check the next page of the search results!
It’s just as important to choose the product as it is the business model that will be implemented. We should have a clear idea when it comes to the public, its characteristics, requirements and preferences. Depending on the customer, we might find different kinds of ecommerce.
Business to Business (B2B): All of the participants are companies. According to INE (National Statistics Institute), during the first quarter of 2018, 32.1% of the enterprises of 10 or more employees made purchases online and 1 out of 5 sold a product or service this way.
Business to Consumer (B2C). Here, enterprises interact with customers and vice versa. It allows a direct relationship between provider and user.
Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C). B2B and the B2C are grouped here, i.e, commercial transactions between business, and between businesses and the final consumers. This widens the market and centralizes supply and demand.
Consumer to Business (C2B). Original business transactions are carried out by the final consumer, who establishes the selling conditions to the business.
Consumer to Consumer (C2C). Interactions between consumers. This is known as the collaborative economy. It’s a boom related to new apps, networks and social interaction aimed at cooperation.
Providers and marketing campaigns
The next step is to identify the best provider. Alibaba.com is a platform for communication between sellers and distributors categorized by sector. If you are a foreigner we must keep in mind possible problems, no matter how competitive the prices they offer are. Language, customs control, quality or health certificates requested in the areas where the online shop distributes can all serve as potential problems, even though some certificates might be unnecessary in the country where our product originates. A local provider will provide a guarantee of greater security and the possibility to more quickly check their reputation.
Now it’s time to release our product. Its design and initial release is the next challenge. As is the payment platform and everything related to protection of user data. There are companies engaged in these areas that offer these services so that all we have to worry about is selling our product.
If we’ve done good research on the key words, we will be able to design the website, menu, links, headings and any other elements of the pages in accordance with SEO criteria, together with technicians to optimize the position of the online shop on search engines
The financial risk of ecommerce is lower than in traditional business and, according to market change, trends indicate that any entrepreneur, sooner or later, should think about creating their businesses’ online presence.