Understand what is eCommerce

Getting Started – eCommerce Business 101

When we first explore eCommerce for our retail business 10 years back, I can still remember many people around us are not ready or receptive to “online purchase” habits. They were afraid and they wonder “what’s going to happen to my money after clicking the “Buy Now” button” or “will the item I’ve purchase will eventually reach my doorstep one day…?”

And all these concern are drastically reduced in today’s world! What has changed?

Let’s explore…

Now if you wish to buy an item, do you start searching that item on Google?

If you do, what are you looking to find? And that’s what most people did. The first thing they would probably do is to start searching on Google, hoping for two distinct scenario:

First – To see if the item they wanted are selling online (they hope to get it without the needs to step out of the house door)

Second – To find if they can buy online at a cheaper price (with all the promotion, coupon deals etc)

I bet you’ve notice this eCommerce trend and that’s why you are here – looking for all the information to get started.

Starting an online business – may it be retail (dropshipping, Amazon), services (digital agency) or digital products (affiliate) require right ideas and the right step to start of.

And that’s the reason why I have compile and put together a collection of common questions to help get started on your eCommerce journey…


What exactly is eCommerce?

The term eCommerce has been widely used. You probably saw some people advertising this term as selling on Facebook, or opening a store at Shopify or selling a product on Amazon. All of these are eCommerce.

To make it simple, we share eCommerce as the exchange of goods or services – online. The main point here is online. Meaning to have your product or service presence to be found on the internet when someone search for it.

So the whole eCommerce idea is just another tool, another channel for any businesses out there.

And now you capture the basic understanding, next question will be how to actually start an eCommerce business.

Types of Ecommerce Business Models

In the past, I have known many people coming to us with the limited knowledge about ecommerce business and thought ecommerce only works with selling retail products online. In fact, the industry of ecommerce is way bigger than most people expected.

In fact, there’s no single fix business model for ecommerce. And from the past experience, we can see that there are two main factors that makes up your business model:

  • How you’re going to acquire the products you want to sell
  • Who you’re going to sell to

The four most common methods on acquiring you products and inventory are:

  • Dropshipping
  • Wholesaling and Warehousing
  • Private-labeling
  • Manufacturing

And the four market you can sell your products to:

  • B2B – Business to Business
  • B2C – Business to Consumer
  • C2C – Consumer to Consumer
  • C2B – Consumer to Business


Why eCommerce?

Starting an ecommerce business is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s has be a rewarding journey to start something from nothing and watch it grow rather than building other people dream .

And ecommerce is a booming business…

Fact: How big is ecommerce market?

I’ve seen many businesses invested into ecommerce because the cost to setup is much more lower than traditional focus business.

Buying a premises or renting a store in a mall is expensive. And you’ll still have to fit in the renovation expenses, equipment cost, staff wages, insuring the property itself and only then opening your doors to customers.

Ecommerce business will have all these cost minimize. However, there are still costs that you should know and consider, especially in the long run (which I will share during the planning phase) Without proper management, these cost can potentially turn into undesirable cost, reducing your overall profit margin.


What Kind of Ecommerce Business Can You Start?

Now you know the concept of ecommerce, you probably start wondering so what kind of ecommerce business can I start? As mentioned earlier, there is no fixed business model and you are flexible to explore what type of product and sell to who.

I can understand the eager to start yet with the additional lost feeling of not knowing how to start.

So to get you started, check out these post that gives you the idea on where you can start easily:

How to Start a T-Shirt Business
How to Start a Clothing Line
How to Start a Phone Case Business
31 Ecommerce Products You Can Make Yourself
How to Start 11 Different Types of Ecommerce Businesses


Have more questions? Reach out and ask!