Having an eCommerce business can be highly rewarding and we are not just talking about the financial rewards. It certainly has fewer barriers to entry compared to an offline business which needs premises and staff to name just two. An eCommerce business also enables you to run it from anywhere in the world as long as there is a reliable internet connection.
However, there is one aspect of starting an eCommerce store that lots of beginners seem to have missed or possibly have been misinformed about. As a result, they start their business on the wrong footing, and sadly it fails before it even got started.
The problem is the misconception that you do not need any money to start an eCommerce business. This is simply not true. What is true is you can start an eCommerce business for a fraction of what it would cost to start the same sort of business offline. Offline you have a multitude of start-up costs, which include renting premises, buying stock, shipping and warehouse costs, paying staff, utilities, legal and insurance fees, and all of this is before you even open the doors!
Whilst you don’t have the same costs in terms of what you need and the amount you must pay out, there are still things you must purchase prior to starting your eCommerce business.
First, you need an online presence, which for most start-ups is an eCommerce platform such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon or any of the others that you can use to trade with. Most have a free trial period, but if you are serious, once this expires you are going to have to pay the appropriate fees to use the service.
On each platform, you are going to need sales copy, and professional images which, if you want done properly, will cost. Each platform will have different ways in which you can present your products with some allowing for lots of images and some only allowing a few. Others give you lots of leeway in terms of the text you can write and others are more restricted. If you are going to sell your products across multiple platforms then you may need to employ several different freelancers to facilitate all this work.
Next, comes the cost of your products, which can be a considerable investment if you are creating a private label product to sell on Amazon. If you are going to be using the drop shipping model then this is not such an issue but you will still want to pay a VA to carry out product research for you.
Once you are ready to start selling, comes another cost, which is for paid advertising. This could be using Facebook ads, Google Adwords, or Amazon’s sponsored ads. Whether it these or another ad platform, they will all require money to test ads in the beginning and then to run those which are successful.
It is impossible to put a figure on all of this because there are so many variables that you might choose for your own business. Whichever route you choose to follow, be aware that you will need money to get started because, without it, you will struggle to get your eCommerce business off the ground.