Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to finally open your own online store, to regularly manage it, and to make a good living out of it? The allure of e-commerce holds sway for many entrepreneurs who are drawn to the independence and potentially high levels of efficiency afforded by an internet-based system.
However, once you set your heart and mind into creating and running a successful online store, such as NextDayLenses.com, then you need to examine the benefits and possible pitfalls of having one. That should play a critical part in your planning.
Here are the pros and cons of e-store management.
Your startup costs are relatively low. There are numerous e-commerce platforms that already serve as website hosts, so you do not have to spend anything on a specialized server. Monthly pricing plans can be less than $40.
As for products, you do not have to make them or provide for a warehouse to keep them. Although the profit margins are lower, you can opt for drop shipping. This e-commerce method allows the products to be shipped from the wholesale distributors to your buyers.
With an e-store, you are your own boss and you work at your own pace. This means you can trim your overhead costs by turning a tidy corner in your home into an office. You can then set out to work for, say, five full days a week manning your store and mapping out marketing strategies to rapidly grow it.
There is also the joy of turning a fledgling small business into a larger venture with a broader distribution chain, possibly branching out to having in-house brands and specializing in the future. Your robustly growing online business is something that you can be proud of.
The potential risks and challenges involved in managing an online store include the need to establish a customer support system. This is crucial, and you may have to attend to and quickly address customer complaints.
It also takes a while to see profits. Give it at least six months to a full year. An e-commerce site takes full and consistent dedication. It is also incredibly time-consuming. So always set achievable targets and aim for them. A clear-cut direction and strategic planning will help you minimize the impact of the underlying challenges of e-commerce.
In addition, running costs can be pretty high. You may need customized website design in order to make your e-store stand out. You also need to pay for a SEO service, which is more complicated for e-commerce sites than for traditional websites. The dynamics of search engine optimization for an e-commerce site is far more involved and may not be accomplished by DIY tweaking.
Advertising and marketing costs can also run high. It is difficult to grow your online store without the requisite advertising. You can try AdWords, which poses a learning curve for people who are not familiar with it. And the learning curve that you need to hurdle translates to money.
And lastly, forethought is essential in finding the products that will not lead to losses. Some of them you should consider stocking and not sell through drop shipping. Study the market, and do not plunge head-on into stocking products that will not yield decent profit margins over time.
Elizabeth Garvey has extensive experience in opening and maintaining online stores. She enjoys sharing her life-learned insights through blogging.