How to Create an eCommerce Website with Little Budget
Ecommerce is growing faster than the speed of light. The whole industry doubled itself in a mere three years, meaning, people who invested in eCommerce got 200% return in just three years. But the most amazing thing is, if you are planning to be a part of this giant sea of money, you don’t need much money at all. You need to ask the right questions and select the right answers. That’s the only catch, which is quite harder than it sounds. Investment wise, you need some initial resources, but that’s pretty doable even for a school-going kid. In this article, we will try to understand how things can be done in the eCommerce industry with a low budget. We will cover the various aspects of an eCommerce website and explain the cheapest alternative so that you can find the answers to the golden questions. How do you create an eCommerce website with a little budget?
Research will be your most valuable ally in this industry. Without it, you can’t move an inch. So either be prepared to do lots of meaningful research or hire someone to do it for you. The second option is only viable when your platform is growing, but to start out, you need to do the backbreaking work yourself. You need to know about the market, your competitors, pricing strategy, attracting traffic, extra costs, tax policy, etc. Constantly try to collect info from almost everywhere, and you will get a clear picture of what the demand is and where and what you can sell. Only then go ahead.
Finding the right manufacturer
The second most crucial factor, apart from the website part, is the product itself. In this regard, you have to either create the product yourself or buy it from someplace else. In the first alternative you have a lot of control over everything, but getting it from a manufacturer is a different ballgame altogether. You can choose to buy from international markets, where products can be a lot cheaper. Alibaba is the best place to buy in bulk, whether you want footballs or food grains, they have everything.
A gateway is a connection with your bank account with that of the customer’s card. Many merchant bankers charge up to 5%, while some do it for as low as 1%. A Gateway typically consists of three charges, a Setup Fee, an Annual Maintenance Charge [AMC] and a Transaction Deduction Rate [TDR]. There are shady websites which offer tremendously low rates but are loaded with transaction fees, chargeback fees, gateway fees, cancellation fees, etc. Stay away from them. PayPal is a good start for beginners. Other than that you can use popular wallet services like Google Wallet, Leaders, Payza, etc.
Understand Web-Hosting Services
The lion’s share of your investment will go into hosting your website and maintaining it. Hosting services range from free ones like WordPress to sophisticated personal hosting plans from Hostgator, Bluehost, etc. WordPress is good for beginners, and it even has eCommerce themes and plugins. The rentals are pretty cheap, and the services are awesome. For the maintenance part, you can hire a freelancer from the internet, instead of going over to your neighborhood agency. If you hire someone from a lesser developed country, the pay you shell out will also be less. That’s outsourcing 101. The broader lesson to learn for the long term is to remember that services, unlike products, can always be outsourced cheaply. You can outsource your IT requirements, customer relations, paperwork, etc.
It’s an expensive area, but you can’t ignore it. From content creation to social media outreach, it’s a big industry in itself. But can you do it for free? The answer is yes, but as long as you understand some basics. If you can create content which has a high demand, platforms like Google will showcase your content to loads of traffic. Here you can play out your SEO skills, and back-linking capabilities. If you don’t have the time to write blogs yourself, you can always hire someone to do it.
You can browse through different websites that let you engage with a wide variety of bloggers, at a very minimal cost. Keep creating quality content that’s related to your products. Content is an excellent marketing base to grow your eCommerce business.
eCommerce can be a good growth engine for the coming decade. The possibilities are limitless, and you can always grow from a small-scale garage start-up to a multi-office business in no time. Take wise and calculative steps and avoid the classic mistake of investing blindly. Think of the future sustainability of your model and mold it accordingly. Invest more once some money starts pouring in. Blank confidence is good in war, not in business. Hence, always justify what you spend on possible returns and proper research.