E-Commerce has bursted into popularity in the past decade as the way of doing business for a lot of goods and services. E-commerce in its basic definition is using the Internet to conduct your business transactions. Some people say it’s as easy as using the Internet for any other things you do online like blogging or social media – but how do you start?
Worry not, in support of all potential and existing business-minded entrepreneurs, we here at MatDespatch have prepared a guide to help you get started with your e-commerce business (or perhaps, how to run it better).
What to Sell and Where to Get Them
The e-commerce market is huge and it’s estimated to be a RM24 billion industry in Malaysia. The numbers are intimidating and the players more so, but that also means big opportunities for people who want to start their journey in the online business world. If you have done your research and your mind is already set on selling, determine where are you getting your products. Are you going to build it? Are you going to get the product in bulk? There are many ways to get what you need but it’s important to first figure out what you want to sell so you can appropriately plan where your goods will be coming from.
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A Platform That Fits
There are mainly 2 traditional ways to establish an online presence in the e-commerce field in Malaysia: website or marketplace. Both platforms have their own unique advantage. For example, if you build your own website you have total control over how you present your product but you have to build it from scratch, and there’s always a lot more work when you consider what tools are available in marketplaces. Marketplaces like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento work seamlessly with MatDespatch so you don’t have to worry about shipping your products.
Determine How to Market Your Product
This is where the knowledge of the market comes in. In determining how to market your product, it goes beyond knowing who is going to buy them. Of course, friends and family have expressed their interest in supporting your business but how do you convince the people on the street that they absolutely must have your product or services? According to business experts, the key is to stick to fundamentals: what are the problems you are trying to address? Keep the language of your marketing as simple and as direct as you can be towards solving this.
Show The World What You Got
It’s fairly easy nowadays to advertise your product without the immense cost that used to hinder marketing of startups and small businesses in the past. Advertising on popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is now easier than ever and the platforms themselves will help you through the process with comprehensive guides – it’s just a matter of choosing the right one.
Don’t limit yourself, though. Many traditional advertising avenues such as newspaper and radio, due to fierce competition, have lowered down their prices to make it more attractive for business owners. The important thing is doing your due diligence and research what should work for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for quotations and negotiate rates.
From Point A to Point B
To save cost, many new e-commerce businesses will undertake delivery themselves. It’s a pretty simple task provided you have all the accurate information and you know your way around your city and it truly connects you to your customers on another level. However, as time passes you have to consider that delivering your own goods will take away time to actually build the business. In the long run, consider engaging with a dependable shipping service or platform that can do the work for you so you can focus on what’s important for the growth of your business.
Supporting Those Who Support You
All good business owners know that a connection with a customer or client does not stop after a purchase. It’s important to build lasting connection with everyone that comes into contact with your business. After sales, a good understanding of customer grievances will save you a lot on market research and it will truly give you some focus and perspective when you plan improvements for your business in the long term. Your true values in regards to your business will truly show in how you handle your customers, and that speaks more than any taglines can.
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Establish what works for your business and come up with a plan to replicate these results in the future. The method is as simple as knowing what works, replicate it, and address issues that are prevalent or ones that takes a toll on your resources. Remember, you know your business best.
This article is an initiative by MatDespatch.com to help and guide businesses in Malaysia to ease their journey in the business world. If you have any suggestions or comments, kindly email [email protected]