How to Do eCommerce Business in 2021

E-commerce, otherwise known as the Internet commerce is described as a business pattern that promotes swift buying and selling of products and services on the internet, and the circulation of data and currency needed to carry out these activities.

As the name implies, E-commerce represent any transaction performed on the internet. It’s no surprise that the e-commerce platform is popular among business owners, hence the need for e- commerce store. Industry experts describe e-commerce as a powerful initiative poised to transform the means by which we market our products and represents our brand.

E-commerce has 6 categories:

1. Consumer to Administration (C2A)

Consumer to Administration is quite similar to Business to Administration (B2A). In customer to administration, a consumer offers a solution to the government which could be applying for a new government ID or making payment for parking ticket.

2. Business to Administration(B2A)

Business to administration connects the data of businesses as well as their goods and services to government. For example, government taxes. Third parties are put in place to transfer these taxes to the government and they include social security, goods and services that explains legal documents, and several others.

3. Consumer to Business (C2B)

In consumer to business, consumers are able to sell their goods and services to businesses. For this e-commerce business model to work, there are some websites that allow customers display their goods. When the goods and services are displayed, businesses can now bid for the opportunity to transact with the customer. This e-commerce model avail customers the opportunity to set their price offerings and have businesses compete to meet their demands. Affiliate marketing is also considered C2B.

4. Business-to-consumer (B2C)

Business to consumer model is described as the most effective e- commerce solution as it allows consumers to connect to your business. For example – when you purchase goods from an online store, you have done business to consumer transaction.

5. Business to Business (B2B)

This model of e-commerce improves business transactions between two businesses. An example of business to business transaction is transactions between businesses who designs a feature on their websites to offer products to small and large businesses.

6. Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

This model of e-commerce goes way back and it is described as one of the reliable models considering that it protects business transactions between consumers. For example – consumers operating on amazon eBay.

In other to fully grasp the subject of e-commerce, there is a need for us to divert briefly into the evolution and it’s impression in the business world.

A brief history – E-commerce was launched about 40 years ago, and it has since driven business expansion thanks to its existing and new technologies.

Back in the year 1980, Compuserve brought the attention of the market to one of the earliest forms of email and internet connectivity, which dominated the e-commerce space throughout the mid-1990s. Fast forward to 1995, Jeff Bezoz launched Amazon designed as an e-commerce platform to keep books. And in 1998, PayPal was introduced to provide secure payment solution on the e-commerce platform.

This brings us to the big question – what are the ways to promote e-commerce?

Since it’s launch, the e-commerce industry has been thriving and expanding. Thanks to its expansion, you only need Internet and website access for your business to thrive. Having an e-commerce website improve your transactions as it makes shopping at your virtual store easy for customers regardless of which part of the world they are shopping from.

There are some basic things you must do before you consider promoting your e-commerce website. For one, you need to list your products with catchy descriptions and high quality images. Secondly, you need to set up a reliable payment gateway, enter your shipping information and more importantly ensure that your website is mobile friendly.

Today, major sales are transacted on a mobile device, and experts predict that mobile commerce will grow 2.58 times more than total e-commerce sales. So you have to ensure that your e-commerce store is mobile friendly for consumers to browse through your products and make payments on their tablets and smartphones.

Perhaps you are looking for strategies to adopt in other to enhance your e-commerce site and stay on top of the competition. Consider personalization, as it could be the solution and should be on top of your list.

Having put the right things in place, you can now proceed to promote your e-commerce website to get some sales for your business. Although an online store allows you reach more customers and give you full control over their transactions, there is a need for you to promote your e-commerce business. If you don’t promote your online store, customers will not find it (it’s as simple as that). Create your store, put the necessary things in place and start promoting your website.

Promoting Your E-commerce Store

1. Optimize your site for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO covers several things. Search engine optimisation will make it easy for search engines such as Bing and Google to find your website. But for it to work, you need to use keywords that are relevant to your niche all over your website to draw search engines to the site. Use relevant keywords in on-page content; in images, and product descriptions. The idea here is to use natural keywords that customers at likely to use when searching for your products. Say for instance you are selling second-hand phones. You should use phrases and keywords such as “UK/US used phones” or “buy used phones.” Do not overuse Java script or Flash as too much can make it difficult for search engines to see your content.

Also, consider meta tags and title tags. Make sure to give each page of your website unique title tag. Title tags are like headlines which search engines use to deduce what each page is about. Meta tags on the other hand are short synopsis of each page. This is how it works – when a customer searches for a keyword and your site comes up, the customer will see you title tag and meta tag before any other thing.

2. Check out Ads on Google

Check out Google ads; one advantage of using ads for search engine is it avails you the opportunity to obtain keywords that will make you show up on the first page of search engine results pages. Since showing at the first page is what search engine optimisation delivers, Google ads will give you a heads up – you will always show on consumer’s screen.

Search engine marketing is one of the leading ways to advertise your e-commerce website. For one, it doesn’t demand any special design and it helps to drive traffic real quick. You can use your results to modify your campaign strategies if need be.

3. Create and Maintain a Blog to Support your E-commerce Website

Say for instance, you want to sell women’s clothing on your website, create a blog to publish articles about women’s clothing. Write useful and engaging interest that will pique the interest of customers in your brand. Include a link to your e-commerce website on your blog for readers who loves your content to visit your website.

4. Search For Forums that Relates to Your E-commerce website and Participate in Online Events

If you are given permission, activate your site’s URL as a forum. Participate in forum meetings. Search for other participants and share your website with them.

5. Take Advantage of Social Media Platforms Such As Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Connect with customers online and share your e-commerce website. Who are your target customers? On which platform do your customers spend the most of their time online? Is it Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? And what time of the day are most of your customers online? When you have answered these questions, you can then focus your attention on the platform where your customers spend their time. Perhaps it’s Facebook, create a Facebook page for your e-commerce site and encourage users to become your fans. If majority of your fans are on twitter, open a twitter account and tweet about your products and special offers.

6. Look for other websites related to your e-commerce site

Search for other websites that are related to your website. Then ask the site owners about the possibility of including a link to your website on their websites. Should they agree, return the favor by also doing the same. In other words, creating partnerships with other website owners or brands will help to promote your e-commerce store.

7. Buy Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads

Pay per click ads show in search results. Though effective, these targeted ads are quite expensive. When a customer clicks your ad, they are directed to your website and you pay a certain amount.

8. Design fliers and business cards with your e-commerce URL printed on them

Hand out as many as you can whenever appropriate.

9. Encourage returning customers to share your website with their friends

Encourage your existing customers to share your website with their friends by offering them a discount on the next purchase.

10. Boost your organic social presence

If you are running an online business, you want to use every chance you get to improve your digital engagement. And one of the effective ways to do that is to engage your customers through your social media channels. Stock your Facebook, Instagram and twitter account with engaging videos and cool images.

Perhaps you already have a solid following on your social media channels. Don’t relent, continue building on that. Post more engaging videos, short rich visual content and images. In other words, up your posting frequency. As you boost engagement with your audience, you are also increasing your brand awareness with their followers. Maybe you don’t have much followers or your social media channels are dry. Now is the time to have a solid presence on your social media platforms. While you don’t have to be everywhere, make sure to have a solid presence on the social media platform where the bulk of your target customer spends their time.

11. Consider using influencer marketing

Who are influencers? Influencers are online users who have a large following and are able to influence the purchasing habit of their followers. Using the right influencer to promote your e-commerce website can increase your brand awareness thus putting your products and services in front of potential customers. To get the best of influencer marketing, ensure that the value of the influencer you want to employ aligns with your brand. More importantly, make sure their followers are your target audience.

Some of the tactics that influencers use to increase brand awareness includes writing an article or a blog post about products, recommending products at an event, demonstrating products or reviewing products.

12. Build your email list

When it comes to e-commerce website promotion, it’s important to develop an effective email marketing strategy. Save as many email addresses as possible, from your prospective customers, customers and even people who have picked interest in your events. Even if you haven’t launched your event, you can send an email to your list before the launching date.

You should also consider offering the customers on your email list promotion or a discount to encourage them to refer their friends and loved ones. In the e-commerce industry, Email is considered one of the most surest marketing tools. So collect as much email addresses as you can. Another way to build your email list is to use a pop-up box on your website to prompt customers to fill their email addresses in exchange for a discount or promotion, say free shipping, a free gift or 20% off their first purchase.

More importantly, keep the communication steady with your contacts. Don’t just build email list, write to them. Have a regular email consistency to send new content, promotions, newsletters, product launches, and other news that can push them to checkout your website.

Though selling online as a newbie can seen somewhat confusing, it is doable provided you take it a step at a time. Be patient, show up everyday but don’t do too much at once. Follow some of the marketing and promotion tactics discussed above and your business will reap great rewards. Feel free to tweak and modify your tactics as you begin to see results.

Is There a Relationship Between E-commerce and Drop Shipping?

Again, e-commerce which is otherwise known as Internet commerce or Electronic commerce is a business structure that promotes swift buying and selling of products and services on the internet, and the circulation of data and currency needed to carry out these activities. Dropshipping on the other hand is an online business that works by connecting a seller or supplier of a profit to a potential buyer.

How Dropshipping works:

  • A customer place an order for products from your business 
  • You send the order information to your drop shipper
  • Once the drop shipper receives the order, they charge a price for the product, which covers the whole sale price plus drop shipping fee. Then they pack the products and send them to the customer. Usually, the products are sent directly to your customer through a vendor or third party supplier so there’s no need for you to store the goods at a physical shop.

How E-commerce Works:

  • You order products from a manufacturer to maintain your stock. Usually, you will order minimum order quantities at wholesale price.
  • You store the products in a physical store until a customer places an order.
  • Then you process the order, package the goods and send them to the customer yourself.

While drop shipping and e-commerce are related in the context of both performing buying and selling transaction online, they are significantly different.

The Useful Tools to Perform a Good Market Research in 2021

If you are considering dropshipping business, you need to know whether the goods you want to sell are good for the business. There are specific tools that you can use to uncover details about the products before your launching date. In addition to helping you uncover details about products, market research software or tools provide support for your business, from the beginning of product

discovery to the final stage. Using market research tools for your dropshipping business will open you to the current trend in the market and also help you understand how your customers think. What’s more? Market research tools help to collect data for you to know the products the consumers find satisfying.

Today, every business including the dropshipping business is using the software to carry out market research. Shortly, you will find the list of top market research tools for your dropshipping business.

List of Best Market Research Software/Tools

1. Dropship Spy

Dropship Spy is a useful and reliable software that tracks the performance of various products across multiple online stores and social media platforms. With Dropship Spy, e-commerce store owners do need to do much work researching products and getting their analytics. This tool is great for store owners who are new to dropshipping. Dropship Spy will show you winning products, promising products, product information and analytics, and engagement rating.

2. Intelligynce

Intelligynce is not just one but a bundle of software and tools that helps dropshippers perform an in-depth research and analysis, and then identify the most profitable products. Intelligynce has spying access to millions of products across over 500,000 stores. Also, it allows you search for profitable products on eBay and Amazon market places.

3. AdSpy

AdSpy is a tracking tool that business owners can use to gather information on competitor’s keyword strategies. This tool offers valuable insights on who’s dominating your keywords. It helps you compare how your ad ranks against your competitors.

4. Niche Scraper

Niche Scraper is a useful market research software that helps dropshippers research the thriving products to sell on their website. Imagine you have access to a tool that allows you find out the best selling and trending products in both AliExpress and Shopify stores. How great would it be if you are able to check the essential information on the products? Like the sales trends and sales difficulty level? That’s what Niche Scraper offers.

5. AliShark

AliShark is a spy tool for dropshippers; it gathers information on AliExpress and informs the products that you should trade. AliShark is a useful and advanced tool as it provides you with data needed to find the right products for dropshipping. The features of AliShark includes live chat, product information, product trend, and advanced filters.

6. SurveyGizmo

SurveyGizmo is an enterprise survey tool for reliable and effective market research. SurveyGizmo provides data insights that business owners can use to make smart business decisions. With the filtering benefit of the software and segmentation, business owners can make selected products successful in the market. Thanks to the exclusive prediction of market trends provided by SurveyGizmo, business owners can stay ahead of the competition. With the SurveyGizmo tool, business owners can analyse data about products, including the positive and negative feedback of products. The features of SurveyGizmo market research tools include Statistical Analysis, Benchmarking, Survey Management, Compensation Management, Paper-Based, Data Management, Phone-Based, Sample Management, Face to Face, Panel Management, and Email/Online.

7. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey is an effective market research tool that business owners can use to perform market research tools. With the software, business owners can reach a specific audience easily. SurveyMonkey allow users to measure brand awareness, research and analyse a target market, and get insights intb future market trends. SurveyMonkey is also a useful market research tool that business owners can use for market segmentation and to measure how their strategies stand against their competitors. The features of SurveyMonkey market research tool includes Survey Management, Statistical Analysis, Paper-Based, Email/Online and Data Management.

8. Qualaroo

With this market research tool, it is easier for business owners to analyse the market, target the right audience and collect feedback. The tool has unique templates that serves everyone, from educational technology companies to e-commerce. The surveys can be used to perform market research, check CX and UX metrics, check NPS, prototyping and many more on apps and websites with the feature of advanced targeting.

The features of Qualaroo includes A/B Testing, Exit Intent Surveys, Nudge for Prototypes, Confirmation Page Surveys, Mobile iOS & Android, Survey Templates, AI Sentiment Analysis, and Question Branching.

9. SurveyLegend

SurveyLegend is an effective mobile friendly free online market research tool that users can use to perform reliable market research for future products. Users can create surveys on their computer or tablet without hitch. SurveyLand offer different themes for brands to use according to their requirements. SurveyLegend makes it easy to do a survey – the tool offers emojis and pictures that makes the survey beautiful and encourage the audience to participate. It also works well! It is easy to use and should you encounter any problem, there is a support system available to help.

This tool allows you to share your survey to other channels such as blogs, twitter, Facebook, and emails to help you reach your audience. Also, this marker research tool provides real-time data analytics for users to have access to real-time insights.

The market research features of SurveyLegend includes Survey Management, Phone-Based, Email/Online, Data Management, Face to face, Sample Management, Panel Management, and Statistical Analysis.

10. Typeform

Typeform is a data collection tool that allows user to transform data collection into an amazing experience. The market research tool offers unique ways for business owners to ask questions and get answers. Using the conversational feature of the market research tool, business owners can gather data. With the user-friendly interface, business owners have access to templates that can aid their market research.

The market research features of Typeform includes Survey Management, Email/Online, and Data Management.

11. QuestionPro

QuestionPro is a web-based online market research tool for business owners to perform easy market research. The tool is free to use and fully automated thus giving users access to real-time insights. Business owners can use QuestionPro as a market research tool to create online surveys, create questionnaires to perform market trend research and gather responses of the audience. The tool also allow users to analyse research results easily.

The market research features of QuestionPro includes Survey Management, Sample Management, Panel Management, Data Management, and Benchmarking.

12. ProProfs Survey Maker

ProProfs Survey Maker is a leading online survey creator which allow users to gather employee/customer feedback to improve their product offerings for better future experiences. ProProfs survey maker creates NPS, scored surveys, on-app surveys, sidebar and other forms that simplifies the feedback collection process. The market research tool has more than 1,000,000 survey questions and 100+ beautiful survey templates to help business owners create a beautiful survey for their brand. What’s more? ProProfs survey maker is the best for conducting market research. Thanks to it’s instant reporting and analytics, business owners have access to detailed insights on their target audience.

The market research features of ProProfs survey maker includes Survey Management, Statistical Analysis, Sample Management, Email/Online, Data Management and Benchmarking.

13. Latana

Latana is an advanced brand tracking tool for fast growing business owners who are looking to make informed marketing decisions. Unfortunately, even though they spend millions of dollars on marketing and advertising, some companies today still base their sales campaigns on gut feeling rather than real facts. The reason is they do not understand that their marketing and advertising campaigns have a massive impact on their target audience.

The market research features of Latana includes Survey Management, Statistical Analysis, Sample Management, Panel Management, Email/Online, Data Management and Benchmarking.

14. SurveySparrow

SurveySparrow is a free online market research software that convert surveys into real conversations. SurveySparrow helps business a owners to create engaging and useful surveys for their brands. With this tool, business owners can get access to all the answers that they need to grow their business. The tool offers different templates for users to design the survey according to their brand requirements. SurveySparrow also offers rich analytics, customization, live preview and audience management.

The market research features of SurveySparrow includes Survey Management, Statistical Analysis, Sample Management, Panel Management, Email/Online and Data Management.

15. SurveyLab

SurveyLab is an effective and reliable survey tool. The software is easy to use and offers data analysis and reach reporting benefits. SurveyLab can be integrated with several tools such as LiveChat, Slack, Zendesk, Sales force and many more. SurveyLab can be accessed from anywhere regardless of your location and it supports different devices. SurveyLand boasts of a dedicated customer support and has different themes which businesses can customise according to their needs. Also, the software detect browser language settings and supports multi-language surveys.

The market research features of SurveyLab includes Survey Management, Statistical Analysis, Panel Management, Compensation Management, Data Management, Paper-Based and Email/Online.

16. Survicate

Survicate is a market research survey tool for researching customer experience and collecting actionable feedback from all digital channels. With this tool, business owners can collect valuable insights to improve their business, grow their business and more importantly increase customer satisfaction. The software offers user-friendly interface and a diverse survey library with different survey examples that business owners can use to perform research, and gather website visitors and leads faster. The software integrates with some marketing automation platforms such as Marketo, Intercom, HubSpot, Pardot, Salesforce and many more.

The market research features of Survicate includes Survey Management, Email/Online and Data Management.

17. QuickTapSurvey

QuickTapSurvey is an offline survey tool that allow users to gather data from anywhere using mobile forms and surveys. With this tool, business owners can easily create mobile forms to perform market research. Through customer feedback surveys, business owners can collect customer feedback to better improve their business. Also, business owners can use this tool to gather leads for their business.

The market research features of Quick TapSurvey includes Panel Management, Survey Management, Statistical Analysis, Paper-Based, Face to Face, Email/Online, Data Management, Benchmarking, Phone-Based and Sample Management.

18. Dub InterViewer

Dub InterViewer is a data collection software that uses a platform to provide business owners with Internet, telephone and face to face market research. Dub InterViewer is an online Cati/Capi/Wapi system that merges distribution of surveys and centralized management. Also, the tool allows users deliver surveys to their devices through a browser or the Nabu native apps for Android and iOs. Dub InterViewer offers users the most flexible and reliable robust data collection in the market. When you choose to use Nebu Dub InterViewer, it means you are choosing to benefit from Nebu’s 25 years of experience in developing and implementing reliable solutions for market research companies.

The market research features of Dub InterViewer includes Survey Management, Statistical Analysis, Sample Management, Phone- Based, Panel Management, Face to face, Email/Online, Data Management, Compensation Management and Benchmarking.

19. Voxco Survey Software

Voxco Survey Software is not only reliable but also flexible. It is a multichannel survey software for data collection which can be used at any time and from any location. With this software, users can easily perform market research and gather public and social opinion research. Also with this software, users can manage phone based interview, emails, face to face interviews, Panel Management and many more with the Voxco Survey Software. Likewise, Voxco survey tool also allows statistical analysis.

The market research features of Voxco survey software includes Survey Management, Statistical Analysis, Sample Management, Phone-Based, Panel Management, Face to face, Email/Online, Data Management, Compensation Management and Benchmarking.

20. MediaRadar

MediaRadar is a sales enablement tool with customized solution for ad tech, agencies and media to close more deals. Considering that it is a Saas software, MediaRadar provides users with real-time advertising insights. More importantly, this software helps users to know who makes the buying decision and close more sales. With this software, users can access relevant data, insight, and advice to grow their business. The crucial features of MediaRadar are Statistical Analysis, Data Management and Benchmarking.

The market research features of MediaRadar includes Statistical Analysis, Face to Face, Benchmarking, Email/Online and Data Management.

Recommendation: The Best eCommerce Course

There are many eCommerce courses teaching dropshipping such as eCom Elites. But if you don’t like dropshipping and want to build a sustainable eCommerce brand, I have a recommendation for you. It’s called Start and Scale Your Online Store by Foundr.

Foundr cooperates with Gretta Van Riel to create the Start and Scale course. The course has more than 100,000 students right now, which is the most popular eCommerce course in the world.

In contrast to other eCommerce courses, this course teaches you how to create a sustainable brand from scratch. You will, therefore, be able to generate passive income from your online store for many years to come.

The other eCommerce courses usually inform students how to set up a drop-shipping store and sell low-quality products. These stores or stores are short-lived because of poor customer reviews and bad products.

However, the Start and Scale course is different. The course teaches you how to brand yourself and market it. The business model is more sustainable because long-term assets are built. Another benefit of trademarking your brand is that other people cannot copy it and steal your business.

To learn more about the course, you can read my detailed Start and Scale review here.

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