• Last Updated:
  • Feb 16th, 2020 8:16 am
[OP]
Member
Sep 16, 2019
234 posts
287 upvotes

Starting E-Commerce Store

I'm starting an e-commerce store, after many months (if not years) of pondering which niche I felt comfortable relentlessly pursuing. I believe I've found it. I am trying to find resources on this forum that provide insight or tips regarding this matter. I have not been able to see any, so I am making this thread to see if you can point me in the right direction, or to start a thread regarding this topic.

I am seeking advice in general things, such as which Shopify apps I must consider to automate different aspects of my business, tips for negotiating with and acquiring suppliers, SEO and online marketing insight.

Some general questions I have:

What's worth outsourcing and what is not? Video/Picture editing, SEO optimization, Website Builders, Markering, Product Sourcing?

Dropshipping- anyone been able to enter a contract where the manufacturer produces things specifically for you (as in your design/product exclusively) and dropships it? Or is this only possible to do with the products that manufacturers are already producing?

How much have you automated your e-commerce, which specific processes, using which apps/software?

I have many questions. I am actively researching all of this and have an idea on the questions that I am asking, but only from my perspective. I figure if I can get the perspective of more experienced people, it can only benefit. You don't know unless you ask.

Open to all suggestions, opinions, leads, etc..

Thank you.
6 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2004
4304 posts
1874 upvotes
Calgary
My honest opinion, you are still well in the idea development phase.

Just speaking generally here as I don't know your product or niche, but these are questions you need to get answers to (and more important). Use these for brainstorming or a different point of view that you may not have thought.

Do you have a starting budget? How much money are you willing to lose and to get started before you break even (if you ever do)? What is your expected growth rate? What is your expected profit margin and volume of product? Have you researched cost of your product? Are you selling one product, multiple products? What is your competition? What is your market? Is your item one that is easily sourced or one that has to be manufactured to spec? How much product research have you done to identify that the niche you want to sell is viable? Where will you keep your inventory (manufacturers generally sell in bulk unless you are talking things like print shops)? Where will you be sourcing your product? What is the shipping method from your manufacturer or supplier? Will you be fulfilling the order yourself, or paying someone to do so (fulfillment company)? If manufactured out of country, have you considered duties?

Realize also that everyone in the supply chain is out to make money from you. A product that can be manufactured for 50 cents via a manufacturer through Alibaba, and sold for 15$ on Amazon, may seem like a great product but could actually have a negative profit margin after all costs are accounted for.

Don't even think about the website until you have a better idea of the feasibility and profitability of your product and have ironed down all details including how customers will get the product. You can put as little or as much money as you want towards the website, marketing, etc as you grow...this is where a business plan is key.

Shopify is just a platform. If your goal is to make 40-50$ here and there, it's fairly easy to open a store with Shopify, sell from your house, word of mouth and Facebook, but for anything bigger you need a plan. The Shopify part is the easy part. Worry about the feasibility of your products first and plan.
Newbie
Nov 13, 2019
61 posts
30 upvotes
I'm in the same boat. Ive been spending my evenings researching e-commerce business models for the last few weeks. I'm also worried that I've created a site whose niche is too broad. Anyway I think its' better to check your idea first to avoid the risks. I found info how to do it here https://spdload.com/blog/idea-validation/. it helped me a lot.
Last edited by denn69 on Nov 28th, 2019 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2006
2333 posts
772 upvotes
I suggest looking into Shopify or Wordpress (Wocommerce)
You can use coupon code to give discount, Sync with Mailchimp (FREE) to send automatica adandoned cart email with coupon...etc.
I have clients doing few hundreds upto few million a year so and they all use Woocommerce so it's not what system you use...it's what you are selling and how you are marketing it.
If you marketing requires certain feature (app or plugin), I am sure someone has thought about it already and have created it.
Banned
Feb 10, 2020
1 posts
Toronto
Hello all, nice topic.

I learn a lot from all your posts but I got thinking. How about I start a store where I can test some niches with drop shipping? Can I create a store as cheap as possible?
Well I decided to give it a try and implement an online store myself using Amazon AWS Free Tier (12 months free of charge) and for drop shipping China brands or CJ Dropshipping.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 2, 2010
15194 posts
4833 upvotes
Here 'n There
What is 'worth' outsourcing and what is not is highly personal. What is your time worth? How much control and flexibility do you want. What is your budget?

I went with Wordpress & Woocommerce for some of my websites because I wanted more control, more flexibility and lower cost that Shopify allows. However, I had to invest more time than I would have had to with Shopify. Same with SEO, Adwords, etc and the list goes on and on and on. Sure you can get others to do anything for you quicker than you could yourself but it costs. What is worth it for you may not be for someone else. We don't know your budget, profit margins or even what product you are selling or whether you have the time to devote to certain aspects of your business.
Newbie
Nov 13, 2019
61 posts
30 upvotes
eonibm wrote: I went with Wordpress & Woocommerce for some of my websites because I wanted more control, more flexibility and lower cost that Shopify allows.
Agree, I use Wordpress & Woocommerce for my online store right now, that's convy and it doesn't cost much. Anyway I don't have any regrets. Not so long ago I have found info about woocommerce product table for online store. With its help user can add a caption, sorting, searching, pagination and other features to the product table in one click. That's really convy.

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