Published on December 1, 2022
In the fast-moving world buying and selling online is the most convenient and time-saving method for merchants and customers alike. This online selling is known as an e-commerce business. Examples may include Sapphire, Limelight, Daraz, Etsy, and Amazon where sellers put their products for sale and customers can purchase it with ease. The good thing is the parcel reaches right to your door. All the wandering here and there in the market for finding the desired product is now pretty handy. By just using your fingers you can search, review, and purchase products through your devices like smartphones, laptops, or tablets.
In the past few years, e-commerce businesses have experienced a drastic boom. As in the year of the pandemic, when physical interaction was restricted to ensure safety, people made huge online purchases. Even groceries were ordered online which is still in practice. Moreover, people can keep in touch with new trends running worldwide in no time which makes e-commerce an opportune selling mode.
Newbies must understand the core function of e-commerce. E-commerce businesses can be categorized into four types. Understanding these models helps construct a business on solid grounds.
Business to customer (B2C)
It is when businesses sell directly to the customer like Amazon is an e-commerce business that sells directly to customers.
Business to business (B2B)
Selling of goods between two businesses like a wholesaler selling products to a company that stocks them and sells them to customers.
Customer to business (C2B)
When a customer sells its services or product to a business it falls into this category. Bloggers or influencers who are hired by a brand to promote them are a good example of this model.
Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
Online selling of products through sites that allow people to sell their products or services directly to others e.g. Facebook marketplace and eBay. Such businesses come under this banner.
E-commerce business is an amazing opportunity for merchants in Pakistan because of the following reasons.
Cost-effective method of selling
Setting up an e-commerce store is relatively cheaper than having a physical store for which a merchant usually has to pay rent. Apart from this in physical stores, additional expenses like putting up a signboard, improving shop aesthetics with fixtures or other props, electricity bills, and rent. Merchant has to take out these expenses from monthly earnings. On the other hand, an e-commerce business requires little effort, minimal money spending, and a creative mind.
Operate 24 hours
The good thing about an e-commerce store is that it remains open to serve 24 hours a day. Customers can make a purchase any time of the day or night. No time limits apply which doubles the business revenue. The store operates even when merchants are not monitoring, data is updated automatically to be viewed later by the business owners.
Can touch wide-range of audience
E-commerce businesses let you touch a wide range of buyers nationally and internationally. Whereas physical stores can cater to a certain area and the customers that walk in. Thus e-commerce is the best way to reach a massive audience and expand the market for your business.
Provide additional marketing opportunities
Through the internet, you can get an opportunity to market the products in various ways. You can reach the target audience who are willing to purchase your product. Marketing through social media like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. and SEO let you connect with customers looking for the products you offer.
By overviewing the major advantages e-commerce businesses bring in, it is an intelligent move to get your businesses online as well. Pakistan businessmen whether beginner or experienced must work on selling their high-quality products to local as well as worldwide markets.
Step 1: Make a product selection
So many options are available to choose from which often confuses retailers. To make this difficult decision you need to have a market survey regarding product popularity and which one is in demand and high sales percentage. A merchant selling trending products online has to soon face the outburst of competitors. Other vendors begin to imitate the same business lines and thus you can see many stores offering similar products making business survival a hardship. However, this runs no longer than a year so come up with an innovative and creative idea. Produce something that cannot be replaced or is tough to replicate. The thing that is your identity is what you know from the core.
The best example is clothing brands, they keep on producing new and creative designs with exotic patterns to keep engaging the interest of customers. All top brands are working along the same lines for survival in the pool of competitors. So it is essential to think something out of the box and offer something unique.
Step 2: What is in trend
Ignore irrelevant information and stick to knowledge related to a business you want to pursue. Good revenue can be generated if merchants have a complete know-how of the customers’ likes and dislikes. If your target market is Pakistan then clothing, fashion accessories, cell phones, etc. are trending products. Some people follow the fashion statement of celebrities while others try to adopt them in their own way. After knowing your target customers try to evaluate the things they like to purchase most frequently then jolt down the list of products and ponder how to innovate them to bring in unique flair.
Step 3: Product sourcing
Product sourcing is a significant step where you need to know the source to get the product and sell it. It is essential to purchase and stock the product in the warehouse so the product is available when a customer places an order. If you are producing your product then make sure the smooth running of raw material supplies. This may require a good investment in the beginning. For starters who don’t possess enough capital can go with drop shipping. It’s a method where the retailer doesn’t need to stock the products. Instead, fulfill the order by purchasing from a third party or manufacturer and delivering it to the customer. For drop shipping no machinery or labor is required for manufacturing thus business begins without any investment. Only an agreement is made with the manufacturers for the direct shipment of the product on your behalf from their warehouse to the customer’s door.
Step 4: Find possible and reliable marketing opportunities
In Pakistan, all sorts of businesses exist whether small or large scale. Beginners may choose social media marketing ways (such as Facebook, Instagram, or a marketplace like Daraz) to promote the product and commence online selling. However, these are quicker ways and don’t require much money but are not reliable as your business may get banned or removed from the platform for certain actions.
Building your e-commerce business website is the ultimate resolution. Web development companies could be of great help in this matter. They create an interesting and interactive website with all the necessary features to run an ecommerce business. All you need is a trustworthy service provider to host the website. They make an interesting interface to attract customers.
Step 5: Build a team to manage the website
Build a proficient team to launch the e-commerce website. The team will test the website features and pages to guarantee smooth working after it is launched. Testing should comprise various stages like checking for feature errors and the addition of inventive options. Get a maintenance plan from the company as you may require immediate fixes for a short time after it goes live.
Step 6: Build a good marketing strategy
The most important step is to run a marketing campaign for product promotion. Professionals in the field like digital media marketers, ecommerce expert or an agency dedicated to such workings would be appropriate for the goal. The product can be promoted through social media and social networks. Paid promotions through reputed search engines can also be made and traditional methods are always open to market the product. E-commerce business is well-promoted through electronic media but traditional methods (promotion through newspaper, television, or radio) are imperative to touch those customers who don’t use the internet.
E-commerce provides equal opportunity to beginners and professionals. Anyone can run a successful e-commerce business in Pakistan with wisely planned strategies to avoid any inconvenience in the future. It is the most observed way of selling now in Pakistan as people can make online purchases with ease. They don’t need to specifically spare time for shopping in physical stores. So youngsters are encouraged to dedicatedly work in the e-commerce business as it requires less investment and good returns.
CEO & Co-Founder