The Remote Entrepreneur: Starting an E-commerce Business at Home

Not everyone is built to excel in the corporate world or the academe. While these aren’t the only career options in existence, they are among the most common. And when people don’t fit into these categories, they explore another option available to almost everyone — entrepreneurship.

Most people have an entrepreneurial spirit within them that is only waiting to be awakened. And while not everyone can excel as an entrepreneur, many individuals find comfort in laying out their own paths and being their own boss. They are excited by the endless opportunities that entrepreneurship has in store.

Among the many industries that people can start a business in, many are attracted to the world of e-commerce because of its fast-paced and consumer-driven approach. If your business exists within the bounds of e-commerce, here are three aspects that you can focus on to grow it better:

Invest in Digital Marketing

There will always be some business that will be bigger and better than yours, but if you let that factor stop you from showing your true potential, you won’t succeed in this industry. To get rid of that fear, you have to make sure that your business can compete on a level playing field.

This means that you will have to adapt to the demands of your market, which exists mainly in the digital sphere. Fortunately, the world of digital marketing and all its complexities have your back. Traditional marketing strategies no longer have a place in this dimension, and that’s why you have to adapt.

For instance, while printed fliers distributed at the local farmer’s market and colorful posters taped to storefront windows have worked to some extent in the past, they are no longer effective in an online business. Instead of physical publicity materials, you will need to disseminate your posts and advertisements on social media sites.

You will also need to work on your business’s website and content and implement search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Once you have a firm grasp on digital marketing concepts, you can easily launch campaigns that will drive organic traffic, engage the audience, and generate sales.

Work on Customer Relationships

It can be difficult to establish good relationships with your customers in a digital setup compared to brick-and-mortar stores. This is because you can’t directly communicate with them face-to-face, so you settle with mediated interactions through social media or your website.

One way to make your customers feel like they are talking to an actual person instead of their screen is to include freebies in all your shipping boxes as a surprise to your patrons. The freebies don’t have to be expensive or significant to be appreciated; all they have to be are from the heart.

For instance, if you’re selling fragrant soaps, you can include body scrubs, useful, or even dried flowers as a design for your packaging. Consumers will prefer to buy from business owners who value their support instead of only seeing the quantifiable number they represent in a sales report.

Showing that you appreciate their support for your business will show your customers that you are thankful for their help, no matter how small. Seeking feedback on ways you can improve your products or service can also be a great way to hone relationships and build patronage.

Find Good Vendors

business woman

Once you’ve established a website that has piqued the interests of consumers and built patronage for your products, your next step is to work on your relationships with vendors. This can include the people who provide your raw materials, the distributors of your wholesale products, and the service that delivers your packages to customers.

You might think that a good working relationship isn’t important from one business to another, but you might also be surprised at the benefits you can get from doing so. This is because, just like you’re building patronage from your customers, your vendors are also building patronage from theirs.

In this case, you are the customer, while your vendors are the service providers. Establishing mutually beneficial relationships with your vendors can make it easier to build trust over time, leading to fruitful outcomes later on.

This is not to say that you can reap significant discounts or streamline lengthy processes in the future because that has no guarantee, but they aren’t completely out of the picture. Besides, there’s no harm in honing a relationship with a good vendor once you’ve found one, even if you don’t get benefits from doing so.

The e-commerce industry is a broad one. Many entrepreneurs like you are establishing their names in the same industry by selling more or less the same products you are trying to promote. This means that the challenge ultimately lies in how you market your brand and maintain the relationships you are building.

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