What you really need to start a successful e-commerce
As CTO of uDroppy, my role is to make life easier for the hundreds of e-commerce owners who are our customers by automating their most common tasks. And the most common question we address, from newcomers, is the following:
What do I need to start my own e-commerce?
If you are moving your first steps into the digital world you could be wondering if you need tech skills to build an e-commerce, or graphics skills to create an amazing UI.
Well, if we were still in the early days of internet and e-commerce that would have been true. But in these day, where it is very likely that there is a SaaS for almost everything you need, you do not need developers or graphics designers to run a successful e-commerce.
You can literally have your store up and running in less than 1 hour with Shopify (or some other popular CMS like WooCommerce or Magento). In this articles I am going to talk about Shopify but the same logics can be applied to almost all the other popular CMS.
If this is your first approach to e-commerce you might be confused, therefore let’s take a close look at some of the most common tasks you have to do while creating your first online store.
1. Build the website
The first thing you will need is to have a website where to upload the products , physical or virtual, you want to sell to your to-be customers.
You will need a “backend” dashboard, accessible only to you, where you can add products, process orders, make refunds and so on. You will need a “frontend” website that will be served to your customers where they can see your products, add them to a cart, leave their details for the shipment and make the payment.
Let alone an individual developer, this would take ages to be done even by a highly experienced team.
Or you can signup to Shopify and have your store up and running in the same time you would need to create a Facebook profile.
2. Create an outstanding UI/UX
Your e-commerce must be intuitive, easy to use even for someone who is not used to buy online.
Obviously when it comes to UI/UX it is very easy to say “yes it should be user-friendly”, but creating a good UI and amazing UX is way more difficult than it could seem at first. To keep it short you would have to study the UI that reflects your brand values, but at the same time keeping it simple for your customers.
To be honest I don’t believe there’s a short-hand formula to create a good UX. You have to track your users engagement with your e-commerce, get feedback, run A/B tests and so on. It takes time.
Your customers will look for a “in-shop” experience while surfing your shop, just like you would love to have a search bar when you enter a physical shop from time to time.
They could be thinking “It would be nice to have a shop assistant to get some help” and that’s why a good bot can be a winning idea.
Of course each time you need to make a change, you will have to pay a developer to do it.
On the other hand with Shopify as soon as you are signed in you will have access to hundreds of themes on the store available for free, or for fraction of the price you would pay by developing the theme by yourself hiring a freelancer. You can also customize each theme thanks to the visual builder provided by Shopify, just drag and drop elements (headers, buttons) where you want them to be.
3. Sourcing products, handling orders, re-funds
You might think that the hardest part of running an e-commerce is to sell your products, which is of course not that easy, but it is not.
Just think about the following scenario: you are running a successful store with dozens of orders per day.
For each of them you will have to (simplified list):
- Get the product from your warehouse
- Create the package
- Send it
- Send the tracking code to your customer
Just imagine doing these steps for each order you get every day. You lose most of your time managing orders rather than focus on your e-commerce and bring it to the next level. Unless you start to hire dedicated resource, but it can be very expensive at the beginning.
Luckily you can automatize this process as well with uDroppy, a platform that automatize all the commons tasks that you would need as an e-commerce owners.
Just login in your uDroppy Dashboard, connect your store with 3 clicks, find the right product for your store and import it with 1 click.
uDroppy will take care of the rest, your orders will be automatically processed and shipped by uDroppy. You don’t even have to comunicate the shipping tracking code to your customers, uDroppy will do it for you.
With all the time you save you can then focus on your e-commerce and grow it to the next level, and if you are not sure how to do it you can ask to a e-commerce manager that uDroppy will assign when you first sign up!