Starting a brick-and-mortar business involves a large investment of financial investment starting from buying or renting out a workspace, buying goods or raw material to start the retail store and extends to more areas such as hiring employees, taxes, shop going online, etc.
When you are in short of financial resources or are in a budget, setting up your business online is the best pocket-friendly method. But you might still have a question on what are points to consider while starting an online retail business with limited resources? Let us discuss this in this article.
- When starting a business proper planning is essential for creating good profits both online and offline. Find the key points to remember before starting off your online business.
- Create a sample working model of how your idea will work in the market.
- The trends in the online marketplace keep on changing every now and then hence it is important to conduct proper market research before launching your business.
- Plan your budget that you will be working on to avoid the eleventh hour extra expenses that can unexpectedly come by.
- Determine the target audience that will be required to be targeted while launching the website.
- Create a social media presence with promising quality products and services from your online retail store.
- Design a catchy “Coming Soon” page to engage the targeted audience.
- Create a quality online retail website to present your products in a user-friendly manner both on desktop and mobile device.
- Take time and buy a good domain after proper research and a short-time working of the website online.
- Establish your online company with proper legal documents that will ensure the more trustworthy experience for the customers.
- Installing secure online payment features including the most popular online wallets will also aid in creating a better shopping experience for the customers.
Now that we have discussed some key points on beginning an online store from scratch. Let’s have a deeper understanding of the types of online business ideas that you can opt for while working on a tight budget. As the saying goes, “Nothing is Impossible”, starting an online store or creating an online business with low or zero investment is no big a thing. The only factor that you must have to to know how and when to present your products and keep a close eye on the changing market trends regularly.
The Dropshipping Business Model
Dropshipping in the simplest form of retail fulfillment where you do not have the take the chores of neither storing the products or shipping them to the customers. Instead, the vendors will directly ship the products and you will only have to pay once the customer pays the amount in which you can include a margin of profit which will constitute your revenue.
The pros of dropshipping are as follows:
- No requirement of a warehouse to store products.
- No shipping hassles.
- Low financial investment.
- Easier source of revenue.
Just like every system works, dropshipping also has its own set of cons.
- Finding the right and reputable vendor is an important factor.
- Ensure the products delivered are of good quality and are delivered on time else there are chances that you can be blamed because of the vendor’s mistakes.
- As this is a competitive market there are chances of the vendor prices going higher that can affect your profit margins.
Use Ready-to-Use or Free Website Building Platforms
When it comes to building an online retail business you have two options to go for. The first one is to create a self-hosted website which in this case with low or zero investment is difficult. The second option is to use a ready-to-use online website building platforms such as Shopify, GoDaddy, and Etsy.
The pros of such online website building platforms are:
- No previous experience or website development knowledge is required.
- Free building templates and themes to enhance the appearance of the website.
- In-built features such as shopping cart, wishlist, and online payment gateways are also included.
The cons do not count much but still, let’s have a look at a few of them.
- There can be repetitive designs and themes that might have been used on other websites.
- Some features can only be availed with premium subscriptions or monthly charges.
Contact Social Media Influencers
As you must have seen in Youtube vloggers and Instagram influencers making sponsored videos and Instagram posts. Contacting such social media influencers and providing them with a discount or coupon code and providing them with affiliate fees for sales will help in bringing in direct sales. Of late, Instagram has been great in shopping pages for startup companies and brands.
Creating social media business pages for your brand can also help in creating brand awareness and bringing in referral sales from such social media websites. There are provisions to create a shopping cart or list out your products for sale on these pages once you reach a defined number of followers.
Setting Up a Niche Retail Online Space
Yes, you heard that right! Setting up a niche online space, like a custom product or service provider will cut down the costs to a large extent. For example, a fashion boutique. If you are a fashion designer and want to set up an online retail business, try setting up an online boutique that provides special occasion costumes like for brides, grooms, special events like pageants, red carpet events, etc.
Retail Arbitrage Options
Consider other options such as Amazon FBA, the Fulfillment by Amazon program. The Amazon FBA allows you to sell your products online without worrying about the housing inventory, packing, shipping, delivery or customer services. All this will be managed by Amazon. All you have to do is to focus on finding or providing the products to Amazon and to list the products on sale.
Apart from Amazon eBay also provides this process of retail arbitrage. To people new to this concept, it is a fairly simple one. You buy products on a bargain rate and resell them on a platform with a profile margin set for yourself. This is a time-consuming process that you can handle as a side business or a freelancing business from home. One cannot expect fast ROIs using such a system.
Such low or zero investment options can always be considered at the beginning phase of your business and once you begin to gain profit you will be able to upgrade the business to the next level.