Having your own ecommerce website is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things that you can do in your life. Knowing that you have the potential for unlimited income and that it all rests on how hard you work is very liberating and motivating. While having an online store is something that many people dream about, few actually follow through and build one, so you are in a unique class of individuals. Of course, creating a store has never been easier either, thanks to Shopify. In fact, setting up and launching an ecommerce website is as simple as painless as creating a WordPress or Blogger blog these days thanks to ecommerce platforms like Shopify.
What You Need to Start Your Own Ecommerce Website
There are some initial things that you should be bringing to the table if you plan to start your own ecommerce website, before you start configuring your store or even deciding what sort of products you are going to sell. You should ask yourself if you have or are willing to cultivate the items on the list below to give yourself the best chance possible of having success at selling online. Here are a few things to consider if you are thinking of getting into the business.
- Are you able to devote the time involved into making your store successful? That may include several hours per week that you spend setting up your ecommerce website while still having to work a full-time job or assume your regular responsibilities. Even if you are able to be successful and work your store full-time you will have to spend time each week on order fulfillment, shipping, updating your store, communicating with customers and following the industry of products that you are selling.
- Do you have the ability to invest in your store while still meeting your financial responsibilities and possibly compromising the lifestyle that you are used to in order to have money to spend on setting up your store? Even if you take out a loan to start your store you are still assuming financial risk and you need to make sure that you are prepared financially.
- Can you work on your store for a year or more without seeing any sort of profit? The Small Business Administration estimates that the average small business won’t see a profit until the second or third year in business.
- Will you be able to keep yourself motivated even if you feel as if you aren’t having any success at running your store? You may end up having to work for a long period of time before you see any sort of success and most people would give up before they reached the point where things turned around for them. Are you able to make yourself accomplish the work that needs to be done daily, as well as live your regular life, including working at another job, all with what seems like to reward at any time in the near future.
- Are you prepared to accept potential defeat? You might put in the work, live simply or take out a loan to have money to invest in your business, purchase a great deal of inventory and do countless other things to make your website a success only to realize that it is never going to work the way that you have it currently set up. The competition is fierce and it not only takes skill and perseverance to run a successful e-store, it also takes luck. It is possible that you’ll never be able to get your business off of the ground and you have to be willing to take that risk.
Why You Should Start an Ecommerce Website
Even though it might sound like starting an ecommerce website is best left to people with a great deal of time on their hands and plenty of money to invest, there are some great reasons to take on the challenge. Yes, it is a difficult job, but there are also benefits that make up for the difficulty of the process. Here are some of the more positive aspects and results of starting your own ecommerce store.
- You get to be your own boss. That means that you have no one telling you what to do, and that any successes (or failures) are yours and yours alone. Many people dream of being their own boss and dislike their current job or supervisor, but few actually get the opportunity to do so. You’ll definitely be accomplishing something that lots of people dream about.
- You can work from home. That’s right; you don’t have to go into the office. You don’t have to leave your house at all. You can skip the shower if you want. You can work barefoot, in your underwear or however else you choose (with the shades down of course). Besides the comfort factor, you also have the ability to work whatever hours you choose and take time off whenever you want. If you decide you want to work for ten days and then take five off, no one will stop you. Of course, if you are shipping merchandise yourself, you might be limited by the needs of your customers but you’ll still have a great deal of freedom.
- You have the potential to make an unlimited amount of money. You know that in your regular job, no matter how hard you work, the most that you can look forward to is a series of raises. Even if you had the best luck in the world and worked harder than anyone else, you aren’t going to get rich from your paychecks. But with an e-store, the harder you work and the luckier you get, the more money you’ll make. Becoming a millionaire is within the realm of possibility when you are business for yourself.
- You’ll be prepared for the future. The fact is: brick-and-mortar stores are on their way out. If the technology is created to ship something and have it arrive at the customer’s home or business within hours, such as with Amazon’s drone shipping program or through the use of 3-D printers, brick-and-mortar stores will have no advantages and many disadvantages. Right now, the only thing they have going for them is that you get the item when you buy it. In the future, it is likely that any benefits to shopping in person will be outweighed by the benefits of online shopping and you will be right there, already prepared to fulfill the online shopping in your niche.
- You get numerous advantages over starting a retail store. There are many advantages that ecommerce has over the brick-and-mortar retail store for business owners, perhaps even more benefits than for customers. For example: you get to stay open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Can you imagine how much it would cost to run a physical retail store 24 hours? Also, you don’t have to pay rent, you don’t have to pay utilities and start-up costs are massively reduced.
Why You Should Start a Shopify Store
While there are some enormous benefits to starting an ecommerce website, there may be even more benefits to doing it with the Shopify platform. In fact, many of the risks and the potential problems mentioned in this introduction that come with having your own e-store are minimized or eliminated thanks to the Shopify platform. Whether or not you start an ecommerce business is up to you, but if you decide you are going to, you definitely need to do it using the Shopify platform. Here are just a few reasons.
- Your store design costs normally would be thousands of dollars, for getting a website designer that not only has the skills to create a great looking website, but also to program all of the ecommerce functions you need including security. But with Shopify, there is no huge investment of thousands of dollars. You just pay one of four tiers of pricing and you get the perfect ecommerce website.
- You get the benefit of the entire Shopify team. You aren’t just getting a website template with Shopify, you are getting a ready-made store that has already had all of the bugs worked out and has been re-designed and re-worked so that it functions perfectly and has just about every feature that you could possibly want.
- The platform is so intuitive that you can start building your store right after logging in. You might have to look at the help pages to use some of the more advanced features but for adding products and customizing design as well as other basics, you can start doing it right away with almost no learning curve.
- You have some incredible security. By law, an ecommerce website has to take certain steps to protect a customer’s financial information, but you don’t just get sufficient security with Shopify, you get some of the most highly rated security features of any ecommerce platform on the market today. You don’t have to worry about programming security protocols or making sure that your site is protected on all sides from thieves who want your customer’s credit card numbers. Shopify does all the work for you.
- Shopify is designed to help you reach your SEO potential. If you were to pay a designer for a custom ecommerce site you would spend thousands of dollars or perhaps even tens of thousands of dollars and you wouldn’t get the features that you get with Shopify. One of those features is their search engine optimization. With Shopify, your e-store has the best chance possible to rank high in the search engines and bring you lots of organic traffic.
- You get analytics that tell you exactly what is going on. With Shopify, you can see exactly where your customers are coming from, what keywords they are using to reach your site and where they go once they get there, not to mention how long they stay. All of this information has one primary purpose – to allow you to tweak your Shopify site and your marketing and promotion efforts to get as many people coming to your site as possible and then getting them to stay there once they arrive. You still have to offer great products, but Shopify helps you market your site much more effectively and gets customers to show up, which is half the battle when it comes to ecommerce.
- Your site is already optimized for mobile and will continue to be optimized in the future. With Shopify, you get a responsive website that will work with any mobile device and as this quickly becomes the primary way that people shop, your ecommerce website is only going to get better, as the engineers behind the platform ensure that you always keep up with the technology.
- You get hosting with your site. Shopify has an advantage that many ecommerce platforms do not share – your site is hosted by them, and your payment gateway and other shopping cart features are already taken care of. Not only does this save you money since you don’t have to pay for hosting, you also will always have enough bandwidth to support your traffic and of course, you get security with the hosting that is unrivaled.
- Shopify is extremely reliable. Shopify didn’t get to their spot as the number one ecommerce platform by accident. They are so popular and so widely used because of how reliable the platform is. When your store begins to get more traffic, you will lose money for every second or minute that your site id own. Using Shopify minimizes the chances of this as much as possible.
- Shopify has numerous apps created for your use. The Shopify app store has some talented designers creating programs that you can use to make your ecommerce store even better. You can customize the appearance of your site and do a great deal with Shopify but with the app store you can create an unstoppable force in the world of ecommerce.