Side Hustle 3min Checklist: The E-Commerce Store
Maybe you have a groundbreaking idea for the next big product, maybe you just want to earn a bit of extra pocket change on the side or maybe you have thought about it all your life and now is the right time to pursue your passions to sell collectable stamps.
Regardless of why you are thinking about setting up an e-commerce store, there are a few basic things you will need to think through before you get everything set up.
- If setting up an e-commerce store to sell cameras has been a lifetime dream, you are halfway there. After you have decided on what products you want to sell, you will need to start thinking about your manufacturers and/ or suppliers.
- Where will they be based? Do you plan to work on a drop shipping model with goods produced from somewhere outside the country? Will the finished product require heavy customization? Is it more cost effective to order thousands in bulk?
- This makes a huge impact on the quality of the product and the time lag a customer has to wait before receiving the product.
- Branding starts here but fret not, that’s more or less all you have to worry about because it is relatively easy nowadays to simply purchase a domain name online and get set up with that.
Website Set Up
- You only get to make a first impression once so make it count with a beautiful website. If you are a developer you should be able to put together something in a couple of days but if you aren’t as tech-savvy, there are tons of tools out there that you can use to help you with this.
- Before going all out to create the webpage, think through how you want your customers to feel when they interact with it. Were they led here through a blog about shoes or was it through an Instagram advertisement that they clicked
You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
If are not investing resources into simple business intelligence tools, you will eventually find yourself wasting days scrapping through history record to try to figure out what has happened
The next few things to get in place include-
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software: Shopper
- In-store Sensors (Offline): In-store Traffic and Behavior
- Inventory Management System: Product
- Google Analytics (Online): Website Traffic and Behavior
- The Objective: If we define marketing in this context as reach out to potential/ existing customers, the logical first question to answer is “Why are we doing this?”
- The Target: Think about the objective and this should flow through. If possible, try to get as specific as possible. Who are you hoping to reach?
- The Message: The goal is to convey the intended message in a memorable manner. This can be done in the form of pictures or videos to ensure that the core message is etched into memory.
- The Outreach: Now that you have the groundwork set up, you can start thinking about the outreach method. How is the final audience going to receive the message? Should it be an online channel like Google, Snap, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Should it an offline channel like flyers, in-store posters or perhaps through the loud-hailer.
If you are just starting out, it would be better to fulfill some of the deliveries on your own. It gives you time to get a gauge of your monthly volume and saves you some extra cash.
Once you operations settle down, you can decide between using a third party provider or having an internal fleet of delivery trucks.
More boring stuff you will also need to set-up
Depending on where you are based, this shouldn’t take too much of your time. Just get the boring paperwork done and get down to business.
There are probably tons of sites that help you compare the pros and cons. Just pick the pros that really matter to you and go with it. Don’t sweat it, you can just open up another bank account later if you really want to.
You will need a payment gateway provider. There are tons of them out there. Do some research based on your location and the currency you wish to use to collect payments.
If you used an e-commerce website builder, most already have a few options for you to pick from.
Good to have in place at the start, but you can ease into this decision later. No rush to file anything when you are just starting out.