As the access to the internet and the adoption of digitalization increases, we can’t overlook the fact that selling and purchasing goods and services online has become an all-important part of our everyday lives and the global retail landscape. As a result, the number of digital buyers is also increasing rapidly year on year. According […]
As a store owner, whether of a brick-and-mortar, online, or dropshipping store, you are surely not a fan of returns as they are time-consuming, can be a result of customer dissatisfaction, and are costly for your business. But unfortunately, this is not something you can avoid as a retailer. According to statistics, 30% of goods […]
Just the way before opening a brick-and-mortar store, when you are about to launch a webshop you need to know who you’ll be competing against so that you can succeed on the ever-growing online marketplace. Statistics show that there were over two billion people who made a purchase on the web and eCommerce stores made […]
Whether you are just now filling your dropshipping reserve or looking for any eCommerce marketing strategy to nurture your store, it is recommended to follow top forums so you can stay in you see, the loop about the most recently released trends. There are several types of dropshipping & online store content that you can […]
Customers can now connect to brands through countless offline and pretty online touchpoints even as never before. Moreover, buyers tend to use countless means simultaneously yet switch between them. This approach poses the need to offer a consistent and soft shopping experience while in the customer journey which one is becoming more and more challenging […]
New EU VAT rules 2021: what changes for dropshippers?If you work in eCommerce, and you sell to Europeans, you might have heard about the new EU VAT rules 2021, that will come into force on the 1st July 2021.The new rules have been developed to tackle the tax avoidance from eCommerce, that import products from abroad one at a time, and do not pay the relevant duties upon the entrance of the items on European soil.It sounds really scary we know, but don’t worry Yakkyofy got you covered! Continue to read this step-by-step guide to understand what is changing and what you need to do to continue selling with Yakkyofy without problems.What is the difference between OSS and IOSS?The new EU VAT rules 2021 differentiates between One-Stop-Shop (OSS) and IOSS (Import-One-Stop-Shop). What is OSS and how it worksThe Union One-Stop Shop (OSS) “is the electronic portal businesses can use to comply with their VAT obligations on e-commerce sales within the EU to consumers from 1 July 2021.The Union OSS is an electronic portal that simplifies up to 95% of VAT obligations for online sellers and electronic interfaces throughout the EU, as it allows them to:Register for VAT electronically in a single Member State for all intra-EU distance sales of goods and for business-to-consumer supplies of services;Declare and pay VAT due on all supplies of goods and services in a single electronic quarterly return;Work with the tax administration of their own Member State and in their own language, even if their sales are cross-border.”What is IOSS and how it worksIOSS (Import-One-Stop-Shop), “according to the VAT rules applicable up until 1 July 2021, no import VAT has to be paid for commercial goods of a value up to EUR 22.The new VAT e-commerce rules will abolish this provision as of 1 July 2021. Thus, from 1 July 2021, all commercial goods imported into the EU from a third country or third territory will be subject to VAT irrespective of their value.The IOSS facilitates the collection, declaration, and payment of VAT for sellers that are making distance sales of imported goods to buyers in the EU. The IOSS also makes the process easier for the buyer, who is only charged at the time of purchase, and therefore does not face any surprise fees when the goods are delivered. If the seller is not registered in the IOSS, the buyer has to pay the VAT and usually a customs clearance fee charged by the transporter.”What are the major changes? Importing Products to the EU (EUR 22 or less)Up until the 1st July 2021, products that have a declared value that is equal, or below, EUR 22, are not subject to EU import VAT. This will change under the new IOSS rules, and each and every product entering the European market will be required to pay VAT.N.B.: VAT payments are only applied to purchases made by buyers residing in the European Union, for items that cost less than EUR 150. The New VAT RulesThe EU will introduce a new import scheme that will regulate products (up to a value of EUR 150) imported from third country countries.With this new scheme, the VAT will be due to be paid at the Point of Sale (POS), rather than when it crosses the EU customs border. N.B.: You will have to start collecting VAT when you make sales through your eCommerce store, at the checkout. Timeline of the changesWe have summarized in the table below the changes that will be introduced with the new legislation: EU VAT POSITIONBefore 30/06/2021After 01/07/2021 EU Suppliers to EU customersVAT depends on several factors, registration in multiple countries might be required. Only one EU VAT registration needed, can fill OSS returns easily. Third Party Countries Suppliers to European CustomersAccording to the VAT rules applicable up until 1 July 2021, no import VAT has to be paid for commercial goods of a value up to EUR 22.VAT collected at POS, rate depends on the destination country. EU VAT Registration needed, together with submission of a third party country OSS return.New EU VAT rules 2021: Yakkyofy got you coveredWe know the above might sound overwhelming, but don’t worry, because as always, Yakkyofy has got your back! So let’s see together how it works if you choose to dropship with us! First things first, we will start to apply the new regulations on all the parcels paid on our system from the 24th of June, because, also if the new regulations of lOSS will start from 1st July, you need to consider the shipping time from China to the EU. So it is highly probable that all the parcels paid from the 24th will arrive in the EU after the 1st of July.Secondly, different rules will apply if you sell your products via an independent store platform or if you open a merchant account on marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon. Last but not least, these new regulations will impact only parcels to the EU, if you sell in the US, CA, NZ, AU, or Asia, nothing will change.Selling through a Marketplace (eBay, Amazon, etc)If you use Yakkyofy to sell items through an online marketplace such as eBay and Amazon, there will be no changes in the product prices you pay to us. This is because it is the marketplace itself that will handle the VAT collection from buyers located in the European Union and will provide us with their public IOSS that will pass over to forwarders. Independent Online Store Platform (Shopify, Woocommerce, etc..)If you sell with Yakkyofy on your own store built on a platform, such as CommerceHQ, Shopify, WooCommerce, or Storeden, you can have 2 options:You have an IOSS numberIf you already registered to the IOSS platform and you have a registration number you can upload it in the settings area inside your Yakkyofy Dashboard, in this way we will be able to pass it to the freight forwarder that will deliver your parcels in the EU without applying any additional cost.In this way, you are managing the VAT internally in your store so you can set up the correct rates for each country, 17% for Luxembourg and 22% for Italy.Insert your IOSS numberYou don’t have an IOSS numberIf you still do not have an IOSS identification number, you still can deliver products to the EU but you will need to pay an additional fee to the freight forwarders.This means that from the 24th of June if you do not send us your IOSS number, you will see an additional cost added to the product price of all orders inside of Yakkyofy directed to any EU country.Remember that you must add the correct VAT values inside your store settings, to cover the correct charge for each country as you see below, they go from 17% charged by Luxemburg up to 27% applied in Hungary:Austria 20%Belgium 21%Bulgaria 20%Croatia 25%Cyprus 19%Czech Republic 21%Denmark 25%Estonia 20%Finland 24%France 20%Germany 19%Greece 24%Hungary 27%Ireland 23%Italy 22%Lituania 21%Lettonia 21%Luxemburg 17%Malta 18%Netherlands 21%Poland 23%Portugal 23%Romania 19%Slovakia 20%Slovenia 22%Spain 21%Sweden 25%What changes for items shipped in bulk?The above rules only apply to drop shipping orders, where you ship items one by one, in one parcel. On the other hand, if you import products in bulk, nothing will change for you. All you need to do is just request a quotation to Yakkyofy and we will provide you a quote inclusive of all costs (shipping, customs, etc.). If you are interested to import wholesale products in your own country with Yakkyofy click here. June 22, 2021by I. De Virgiliis
Make it Easy, Make it Easy… Don’t let…
May 14th, 2021by
Every time I say ‘Make it Easy’, I always sing it to the tune of “Take It Easy” by the Eagles. Never Fails! Did I now plant it in your head? Good, now I’m not the only one!
Make it Easy, don’t let your website get diluted.
You have got to make it easy in your customers. You have less than a minute to impress them to get them to want to stay on your site. The easier you make it on your customer, the better chance they are to order.
So how do you do it?
Just Give Me a Kiss!
Keep It Simple, Silly. (I changed the last word, I dislike the original word) If you fuss up your site too much with music and dancing bears, this will make your site slower to load and simply distract your visitor or annoy them which would be even worse.
Tell it like it is up front. What your site is about and what you have to offer and how you can be contacted.
Make shopping super easy. The entire ordering process needs to be very simple and uncomplicated with just a few steps and accept multiple payment options.
Your customer needs to feel safe. So you need to stress the security and integrity of the site or provide payment options that they feel safe about; like PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay and etc.
Just make it as easy and you would want it to be. No fuss. Make it safe. Keep it simple.
Did you like this article? You might also like:Content is King: Read it hereBetter Website – Competing with Big Online Retailers; Read it here
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By the year 2040, experts estimate that approximately 95 percent of commerce transactions will take place online.With this information in mind, it’s clear that now is the perfect time for businesses of all kinds, both business-to-consumer (or B2C) and business-to-business (or B2B) to start selling products online. Whether they’re selling online in addition to or instead of in a traditional brick-and-mortar store, an internet platform is essential to businesses’ long-term survival.Not sure where to begin? Listed below are 13 of the best platforms you can use to sell your products online. Whether yours is a B2C or B2B company, there are plenty of options from which you can choose.B2C vs B2B Online Sales ChannelsBefore exploring specific marketplaces, it helps to have a clear understanding of the difference between B2C and B2B online sales channels.When most people think of selling products online, they think of B2C marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. What they don’t always realize, though, is that these popular platforms also have a B2B version for those who are marketing products to other business owners. There are also many B2B platforms that cater exclusively to those in the B2B world.In either case, there are some key differences between B2B and B2C sales channels. Both options connect buyers to multiple sellers and give buyers the option to compare products in one place. With B2B marketplaces, though, there are features that B2B companies are more likely to require, including the following:Bulk ordering optionsDiscounts for ordering in large quantitiesPurchase order editing optionsPricing by customerWith B2B marketplaces, it’s also easier to set up the ability to accept a variety of payment types (schedule payments, bank transfers, etc.).If you run a B2B company, there are advantages that come with choosing a B2B-specific marketplace. Like B2C channels, they help to lower the entry cost, they’re easy to set up, and they give you access to new audiences that you wouldn’t have reached otherwise. They’re also better-tailored to your needs, though, and allow you to get the most out of the platform.Top 13 B2C and B2B Sales PlatformsFor both B2C and B2B companies, there’s no shortage of sales platforms. Here are 13 of the best ones to consider: 1. WixPhoto credit: WixLiterally hundreds of millions of small business owners around the world use Wix as their preferred website builder. In fact, Wix has over 180M registered users worldwide, making it the largest and most popular website building platform in the world. Because of its ease of use and very user friendly drag and drop functionality, Wix is a very compelling option for most. This is especially true for the less tech-savvy entrepreneurs who want to build an attractive, high performing website without having to outsource the work to another party.Beyond websites, Wix also allows users to create their own online store. Their online store builder is one of the only platforms that allows you to customize every aspect of your site, giving you 500 templates to choose from and professional tools built in.Like the website-building functions, Wix ecommerce is simple and straightforward. You can drag and drop to create a store that aligns with your brand and is easy for online shoppers to navigate. It comes with hundreds of design features and tools and direct connections to dropshipping solutions such as Modalyst and Printful.Wix is arguably the most complete option for business owners looking to sell products online. With that in mind, you may find that its ecommerce features are most optimal for small and medium businesses. For those who are just getting started, it’s a very compelling option to consider.Wix eCommerce pricing starts at $23 per month, with options ranging all the way up to $500 per month.2. ShopifyPhoto credit: ShopifyShopify is another one of the most popular eCommerce platforms for business owners looking to start selling online. Like Wix, it’s very simple and easy to use, with lots of drag and drop options to help you create an online store that looks great and functions well.Shopify is one of the most frequently used B2C sales platforms, with more than 1,000,000 merchants. A basic plan provides you with everything you need to get started, including a website, blog, SSL certificates, and abandoned shopping cart recovery.One of the only complaints people have about Shopify is that it has limited customization options. What it does provide, though, is sufficient for most new online businesses.Shopify pricing starts at $29 per month.3. BonanzaPhoto credit: BonanzaBonanza is a Seattle-based company that’s much smaller than platforms like Wix and Shopify, with only about 50,000 sellers. It’s growing at a rapid rate, though, and already has over 35 million items listed for sale.Bonanza offers low selling fees that are based on the Final Offer Value (this is calculated based on the combined dollar value that the buyer paid added to any portion of the shipping fee that exceeds $10). If you sold an item for $30 and the shipping charge was $15, the Final Offer Value would be $35. The selling fee is 2.5 percent of the Final Offer Value, which would result in a fee of just $0.87.For businesses that want to avoid expensive listing and selling fees, Bonanza can be a viable option. You also only have to pay fees when you make a sale.Bonanza membership pricing starts at $40 per month.4. AmazonPhoto credit: AmazonOf course, it wouldn’t be a list of online sales platforms without mention of Amazon. Amazon is one of the most popular websites to sell stuff online and is definitely worth considering due to its large audience and trusted reputation.Amazon is more expensive than other selling options, though. To become a professional seller, you must fill out an application and pay a $39.99 per month fee. There are fees for each item you sell, too.For those who plan on selling less than 40 items per month, an individual seller account is available without a monthly fee. For most businesses, though, this won’t be sufficient.5. eBayPhoto credit: eBayeBay is the original online sales website and is still considered one of the best places to sell online. Having been around since 1995 and boasting over 25 million sellers, eBay is a viable option to consider. It features a straightforward selling process and lots of businesses prefer it over other platforms.A common complaint about eBay, though, is its selling fees. There is a non-refundable fee that you have to pay to list each item, as well as an additional fee if you list an item in multiple categories. You also have to pay a “final value fee” that’s calculated using a similar method to the one Final Offer Value Bonanza uses.Pricing to open an eBay store starts at just $7.95 per month.6. Ruby LanePhoto credit: Ruby LaneFor those who sell vintage goods or antiques, Ruby Lane is a good platform to check out. It receives more than one million unique visitors each month and is meant to bring antique enthusiasts together on one easy-to-use platform.Ruby Lane requires a one-time $100 fee to set up a shop. You’ll also have to pay a $69 per month fee if you sell less than 80 items in your shop. The shop fee will change from here based on the number of items you sell. 7. EtsyPhoto credit: EtsyIf you sell crafts or hand-made goods, Etsy is a great place to set up shop. It’s known for being easy to use and is a trusted option in the online buying and selling world. Customers may be more inclined to work with you if you use Etsy over a different platform since it’s so well-known.Etsy’s fees are relatively low and straightforward, too. You’re required to pay a listing fee of $0.20 cents for each item you sell. That item then stays in your shop for either four months or until it sells (whichever happens first). For items that sell, there’s a five percent transaction fee and a three percent plus $0.25 processing fee.If you’ve been wondering, “Where can I sell my stuff online for free?”, Etsy is a great option. It’s free to set up an Etsy shop and get your business off the ground.8. AlibabaPhoto credit: AlibabaIf you’re looking to dive into the world of B2B online commerce, you can’t go wrong with Alibaba. Alibaba is one of the world’s largest online retailers, with options for B2C, C2C, and, of course, B2B companies.It’s very easy to get started using Alibaba, and you’ll have access to a variety of other selling options, including online auction and mobile commerce.Alibaba is a more expensive option, with annual seller fees of up to $10,000 and a security deposit of up to $25,000 for Gold members.9. Wholesale CentralPhoto credit: Wholesale CentralWholesale Central has been around since 1996 and is a well-known online wholesale option for a lot of B2B companies. One of the best things about Wholesale Central is that it’s easy to navigate and free to use. There’s no need to pay expensive membership fees when you sign up.A potential downside to Wholesale Central is that the site looks a bit dated, though. It also doesn’t automate much of the sales process, nor does it integrate with other platforms. If you’re looking for a way to sell online for free, though, it’s worth considering.10. FairePhoto credit: FaireFaire is another popular wholesale option you might want to look into. Originally founded in San Francisco in 2017 under the name Indigo Fair, Faire has been steadily growing for the last few years.Faire does require an application and approval process. However, it’s free to join, and the platform provides you with the option to have your shop page set up for you if you’re not interested in doing any heavy lifting on that end.A potential downside to Faire is its fees. Faire takes a 25 percent commission from first-time store orders and a 15 percent commission from reorders.11. EWorldTradePhoto credit: EWorldTradeEWorldTrade is a rapidly expanding online B2B platform that offers tons of eCommerce services. It’s also known as one of the best platforms for lead generation as well as online sales.EWorldTrade encourages transparency and the sale of quality products. It’s a reliable trading platform and is considered a leader in the online B2B sales space.Pricing for this channel starts at $399 per year and ranges all the way up to $7,999 per year.12. Global SourcesPhoto credit: Global SourcesGlobal Sources is a China-based platform and another leader in the B2B online sales world. It serves millions of visitors per month, offers both export and import services, and offers trading to many of the world’s prime countries.Global Sources is known for having lots of different selling options. It even hosts online trade shows so sellers can show off their best products and attract more potential customers.The platform also has a free selling option that allows you to post up to 100 items on the site.13. Made-in-ChinaPhoto credit: Made-in-ChinaMade-in-China is a popular B2B platform that allows sellers from all over the world to connect with potential buyers. Built back in 1998, it’s been a favored option for a long time and is a good option for those who want to stay on the cusp of the latest B2B marketing strategies.Made-in-China is accessible in over 10 languages. It provides over 26 major selling categories and over 3,600 sub-categories. It’s the first eCommerce platform to perform comprehensive reviews on paid suppliers, too.Made-in-China is free to join as well, making it a good fit for B2B companies that are just getting started and are working with limited budgets.Start Selling Your Products Online TodayAs you can see, there are lots of different platforms you can use to sell online and get your products in front of more potential customers. Whether you run a B2B or B2C business, with so many choices out there today, it’s easy to find online selling sites that meet your needs and work with your budget.Keep the details of these different marketplaces in mind as you move forward. They’ll help you begin to narrow down your options and decide which one is the best platform to sell online for your business. View Comments (0)
Millions of potential customers, low overhead costs, and unlimited potential… eCommerce sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?However, before googling “how to start an eCommerce business,” it’s important to understand what eCommerce really is.In this article, we’re going to explain the most important aspects of eCommerce, show you how to start an eCommerce business, and analyze the current trends to understand the future of this increasingly profitable industry. Let’s take a look!What is eCommerce?The term eCommerce, short for electronic commerce, signifies buying and selling products and services over the internet. Traditional commerce would require you to have a store. With eCommerce, you have an online store. You don’t have to be in the same room as your customers. The majority of your sales promotion and activities are conducted over the internet.eCommerce comprises of different business models (for example, dropshipping), but in general, if it’s sold online, then it’s eCommerce.You’ve probably encountered the following terms which can be used for eCommerce: Online shoppingOnline retailOnline businesseTradeeBusinessIt’s precisely because of the first term – online shopping – that eCommerce rose to popularity. Back in the 1990s, people weren’t willing to buy products online. However, we’re currently in a situation where both small businesses and major chains like Ikea and Walmart sell their products online.But how did we get this far?What is the History of Online Shopping?While the idea of processing transactions over the internet started way back in the 1960s, and the first online shopper bought at an online Tesco store in 1981, online retail as we understand it today hasn’t gained traction until the 1990s.The first purchase recognized as an online purchase took place in 1994, when The New York Times described how a man used the internet to buy a CD. In 1995, both Amazon and eBay were launched. The world wide web was chaotic at that point. According to Money.com, no one really knew where to find products they wanted to buy.(Google it? Nope, Google didn’t appear until 1998.)It wasn’t until 1999, when PayPal launched, that online shopping really gained traction. People were afraid of sharing their sensitive financial information with virtual strangers, especially when hackers could intercept their connection at any point.When PayPal opened for business, things started looking up for eCommerce business owners.Amazon in 1995Source: Business InsiderAt the same time, the number of internet users rapidly grew. People finally understood how convenient it was to shop online. And with PayPal ensuring the financial transactions went off without a hitch, there was no longer anything to fear.In 2000, the Census Bureau reported that online sales hit over $5 billion in the fourth quarter of 1999 alone. Even though the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, online shopping became a regular occurrence. More and more companies started selling online, with very few small businesses dabbling in eCommerce. Price-compare sites started popping up, allowing consumers to find the best deals. When Facebook launched in 2004, it became pretty clear that there was no turning back. The number of internet users grew to almost a billion, with more and more joining the world wide web. iPhones started enabling customers to use the internet on the go, and the whole world started shopping online.By 2012, everyone was ready to swipe their cards or upload their products online, and eCommerce started becoming a viable business model, instead of simply a filler for brick and mortar stores.Reviewing the history of eCommerce, a few things become immediately clear:Consumers had to develop a habit of using the internet to get information and shop in order for eCommerce to gain traction.The most pressing obstacle to online shopping in the 90s and early 2000s was security. After PayPal introduced their safer alternative to payment processing, more and more people started shopping online. The more the eCommerce tech developed, the easier it was for everyone to start shopping and selling online. Small businesses could easily get started with eCommerce after 2009, when Shopify launched its app. And while the early beginnings were rough, 2020 is the prime eCommerce time.What is the state of the eCommerce Industry in 2020?In 2020, it’s laughably easy to start an eCommerce business.A potential eCommerce entrepreneur in 2020 doesn’t face the challenges entrepreneurs faced in 2005. Back then, you’d have to pay thousands of dollars for online storefronts.Today, you can simply pick from some of the readily available eCommerce platforms such as Shopify. The majority of plans won’t cost you more than $50/month in the beginning.In fact, if you decide to dropship, you don’t even have to store your products. In 2020, it’s completely possible to sell products without ever touching them yourself. There is an eCommerce service for every online shopping need.Platforms like AliBaba connect online retailers with manufacturers and wholesalers. Even if you don’t want to sell products from China, you’ll find a vast variety of wholesale platforms that can connect you to American and European suppliers. In 2020, there’s something for everyone in eCommerce.The eCommerce growth predictions of the early 2000s came true. In 2018, global eCommerce sales reached $2.93 trillion. It was predicted that they would grow to $3.46 trillion in 2019. That makes up for a significant portion of global retail sales, which surpassed $20 trillion in 2018. Plenty of that traffic came from Amazon; the platform was expected to account for over 37% of online sales in the United States in 2019. All in all, it seems we’re dealing with a thriving industry that shows incredible signs of growth. eCommerce is definitely not a passing fad, but a way of doing business in the 21st century.We’re also seeing a lot of advanced trends being applied to small and mid-size eCommerce businesses, namely:Artificial Intelligence and Automation for eCommerceContemporary tools allow eCommerce business owners to harness the power of artificial intelligence and automation for sales. Be that nurturing more potential customers through email marketing automation, or leveraging website chatbots that act as sales representatives, one thing is clear:Advanced technology has never been cheaper, and online retailers are taking notice.Social RetailSocial media started growing with Facebook, and it never stopped. It forms a whole technological bubble for certain customers. Platforms like Instagram are now allowing online retailers to process payments and transactions through their social network.In-app shopping experiences are all the rage today, fueled by the influencer marketing model which works perfectly for eCommerce.Source: Mobile Marketing MagazineSubscriptions2010s also brought us a rise of SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. Instead of licensing tech tools, companies are now offering them to customers for a monthly subscription fee. The reduced costs make it much easier to start a business with all the necessary tools. Smarter AdvertisingSince more and more consumers block traditional banner ads, online retailers are turning to inbound advertising. Consumers no longer randomly see ads; instead, every ad they see is hyper-personalized and caters to their interests, increasing conversion rates for retailers.Advertising in 2020 is all about matching the potential customer’s intent, and giving them what they need. And all of this is just the tip of the very profitable eCommerce iceberg.What Are the Different eCommerce Business Models?While eCommerce is an umbrella term for businesses operating online, there are a few specific business models:DropshippingDropshipping is generally considered to be one of the best ways to get started with eCommerce.One of the main advantages of dropshipping is cutting overhead costs. Traditional eCommerce requires you to store your products in a warehouse. But with dropshipping, you’re just selling them. The actual supplier takes care of handling and shipping. All you do is market products, process orders and take your cut.Source: Hacker NoonIf you’re running a dropshipping eCommerce business, your main costs will be marketing and sales. You don’t have to pay the supplier/manufacturer for a single product until someone buys it through your site, and the money is deposited in your account.So if you want to test the waters of eCommerce, dropshipping is a great starting point.Private Labeling eCommerce Business ModelWhere dropshipping focuses on reselling products that already exist, private labeling is the perfect eCommerce business model for entrepreneurs that have a great idea, but limited resources.If you’re private labeling, you’ll be outsourcing product creation to manufacturers. Typically, those are overseas manufacturers in China. This is a bit more complicated but again, you’re still cutting costs as you won’t have to manufacture your products yourself.In some cases, you can even have the manufacturer ship the products directly to your customers.Source: EbanxThe other version of private labeling can be buying products from manufacturers, and adding your twist to them. For example, a tooth brush comes as a generic product. Then you ask the manufacturer to customize it (for example, change the color, add other features), and add your branding to the product. One of the main advantages of private labeling is certainly the ability to customize the product to your liking and branding.All in all, private labeling is a sector with a huge potential. Its growth is predicted to quadruple in the next five years. White LabelingWhile you can modify product specifications if you’re private labeling, you’ll make do with a generic product if you’re white labeling.In that respect, white labeling is pretty similar to dropshipping. You can customize your packaging, but you can’t customize anything about the product.To put it simply: it’s take it or leave it.When it comes to white labeling, your niche matters. You’ll face a lot of competition, so it’s important to conduct extensive research prior to selecting the products you’ll offer in your online store. eCommerce entrepreneurs that focus on white labeling typically differentiate their products either through pricing (being cheaper than competitors), or by adding value with useful content and branding.Print-on-DemandThis eCommerce business model is a great fit for artists and creatives.Print-on-demand is exactly what it says on the tin: the printing company takes their cut from customers when they order your products. Normally, you don’t have to pay anything in advance to print books, canvases, T-shirts, mugs, and other products. There are no overhead costs per se; you don’t need a warehouse. You just need a great website and a steady stream of customers. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a great example of a print-on-demand service for books, while Printful gives you the opportunity to sell anything from mugs to hoodies. However, if you’re interested in this business model, you’ll have to put your best marketing foot forward. Branding and customer service are crucial to your success with this eCommerce model.Subscription-Based eCommerce Business ModelsFinally, while eCommerce is online retail, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to offer subscription-based services.You can create a subscription business like the Dollar Shave Club, who send regular shipments of shaving products to their subscribers. Source: Dollar Shave ClubYou can also create a membership website with courses and learning materials.Not even the sky is the limit; you can sell just about anything online!The main advantage of subscription-based eCommerce businesses is the fact that you’re getting recurring revenue. However, in order to retain customers, you’ll have to focus on product quality and customer service. Traditional eCommerceFinally, there is also the option of doing everything yourself while operating an online storefront. This is the so-called traditional eCommerce business model, also known as warehousing and wholesaling. It’s your run-of-the-mill Walmart eCommerce. The only difference between traditional retail and online retail is the fact that you’re selling products online, and not (just) in a brick and mortar store. Everything else stays the same; from inventory management, to handling and shipping. Additionally, if you’re in the B2B sector, you can also offer discounts for customers who order in large quantities. This is the wholesaling part of the model. Ikea’s webshop is a great example of traditional eCommerce with wholesaling and warehousingIf you already run a profitable business but you haven’t created an online storefront yet, then it pays to consider this eCommerce model. What are the pros of e-Commerce?You Can Sell Wherever You Want to SellWith traditional commerce, you’re either limited to your geographical area, or you have to worry about logistics and additional costs to deliver your products to customers not in your immediate vicinity. eCommerce overcomes this barrier. Regardless of your business model, there are services you can use to handle and ship products across the world. Talk about increasing your revenue!Low CostseCommerce significantly reduces overhead costs. Even if we just start from the fact that you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars for rent, it becomes pretty clear that eCommerce generates a better return on investment.Yes, you’ll need to pay for a website and subscriptions to eCommerce platforms, but you still won’t have to shell out thousands of dollars – a standard requirement when managing traditional stores. 24/7 SalesOne of the best things eCommerce store owners get to experience is waking up to find out that you’ve earned a lot of money overnight. Unlike regular stores, your online store stays open 24/7. And with automation tech, you can run advertising, order processing, and shipping on autopilot.PersonalizationPersonalization works great for marketing, but it also works great for customer experience. Your automation tools will know exactly what (potential) customers want to buy, allowing you to up-sell and cross-sell easier than ever before.ScalabilityIt’s really, really easy to scale an eCommerce business. You don’t even have to hire more employees. All you have to do is improve your marketing game, and customers will come pouring in.Entrepreneurs who start out with a few dozen customers often end up with thousands as soon as they invest into strategic marketing, advertising, and re-targeting. What are the cons of e-Commerce?Where there are advantages, there are disadvantages. Fortunately, eCommerce doesn’t have plenty:Consumer BehaviorOften, people want to try products before they buy them. Unfortunately, for the majority of B2C eCommerce businesses, this just isn’t a possibility. You can mitigate this by offering size charts for clothing, and implementing similar strategies.Reliance on TechnologyWhen you run an online store, you rely on the technology powering it; from website hosting, to automation tools connecting your storefront with your suppliers’ inventory. Normally, this isn’t a problem at all. However, if your website crashes, your customers won’t be able to access it, so it pays to invest in reliable hosting.eCommerce Is Highly CompetitiveeCommerce has a low barrier to entry because of the reduced start-up costs. Unfortunately, if anyone can start a business, then it’s bound to be more competitive.The key is in differentiating your product and your brand. A good marketing strategy and high-quality products will go a long way towards increasing your market share.Can anyone do eCommerce?Not exactly.Some products and services are simply not a good fit for eCommerce. For example, you can’t really imagine a plumber selling their services online, whereas for a marketer, that’s completely normal.=However, eCommerce works really well for products and services that don’t require you to be in the immediate physical vicinity of your customers.Similarly, eCommerce might not be a good fit if your target customers are older than 70. While the times are changing, older generations may still be wary of technology – especially if your products come with a hefty price tag. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, so make sure you conduct your own research.Finally, it’s important to understand that eCommerce is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time and strategy to successfully run an online store. If you’re not very tech savvy, you should invest in courses and education.However, eCommerce’s main advantage is flexibility. So even if it looks like you couldn’t use it on paper, make sure you do your own research, and make the best decision for your unique business.The 10 Most Popular eCommerce Platforms to Start Your Online BusinessShopifyAt this point, Shopify is the go-to solution for eCommerce sites. In fact, it’s widely considered to be the best eCommerce platform, with a Capterra rating of 4.5/5. It comes with an eCommerce website builder, as well as hundreds (if not thousands) of additional integrations to attract new customers, and improve their experience. Shopify also offers shipping discounts if you ship with their partners, and other perks such as point-of-sale apps and Shopify Payments gateway. Shopify plans start from $29/month.WooCommerceIf you want to run your eCommerce website on WordPress, WooCommerce is a great solution.Not only does it integrate with WordPress, but WooCommerce is also an open-source platform. If you want additional features, you can have a developer customize your website. This is usually not the case with other platforms.Just like Shopify, WooCommerce also has plenty of integrations to pick from.WooCommerce is actually a free eCommerce platform. However, you’ll need to pay for WordPress domain and hosting. SquareSpaceSquareSpace was originally designed as a visual, drag & drop website builder, but they do offer eCommerce features. It’s a good choice for everyone who needs an aesthetically appealing website to sell their products.SquareSpace plans for eCommerce start from $18/month.BigCommerceSimilarly to Shopify, BigCommerce is considered to be one of the best eCommerce platforms today. It’s rich with features and eager to please eCommerce business owners. One notable difference between BigCommerce and competitors like Shopify is that their platform was made for wholesalers and B2B businesses, as well.BigCommerce pricing plans start from $30/month. MagentoMagento is a great, open-source eCommerce platform. It’s a great choice if you want to supercharge your business from the very first day.In addition to providing standard eCommerce features, Magento Commerce also offers business intelligence, merchandising, and other tools. It’s a great choice if you’re already running a profitable business and want to expand.BigCartelIf you’re an artist or a creator looking to sell your products online, BigCartel is a sound choice. BigCartel plans start at less than $10 per month, and they depend on your product quantity. This is what makes it a great fit for creators with just a few products.Wix.comOriginally known as a website builder, Wix has recently branched into eCommerce. Wix is more than just an eCommerce website builder. They recently partnered with Modalyst, a supplier platform, so it’s even easier to find products you love and display them in your online store.Pricing starts from $17/month, with 25GB of storage and $75 ad vouchers. You can also create a free eCommerce website before paying for any plans. 3D Cart3D Cart is one of the smaller eCommerce software players, but they still offer the functionality you need to get your online business up and running.They’ve also been named as the best eCommerce platform for SEO by PCMag. If you plan on making SEO a vital part of your marketing strategy, 3D Cart is a solid choice.3D Cart pricing starts from $19/month, with no transaction fees. PrestaShopIf you like open-source platforms that allow you to customize everything about your eCommerce sites, you’ll love PrestaShop.While the platform itself is free, add-ons and integrations can be between $50 and $150. WeeblyAnother website builder has joined eCommerce ranks: Weebly.Weebly has joined the race relatively late, but they’re still used by thousands of eCommerce business owners. It’s not surprising, since their plans start from $12/month – perfect for testing the waters of eCommerce! Can smaller eCommerce Websites compete with Amazon and eBay?No, but you shouldn’t want to compete anyway.Amazon and eBay’s main strength is in their search engines. They’re the go-to resource for millions of shoppers every day. It’d be pointless to compete with that. However, a good online store that’s renowned for its products and beloved by its customers can go much further. No, dreams of making it as big as Amazon are nearly impossible. But it is possible to run a profitable and successful business by using both your website, and big sites like Amazon. You can list your products on both, while keeping your branding on point.This way, you always have an online storefront to sell through, even if Amazon and eBay change their rules and algorithms (and it happens more often than you think). At the same time, you’ll be getting traffic and sales from them.It’s a win-win! Just make sure you check the rules, especially if you’re dropshipping. Amazon and eBay require you to control products for quality before shipping them to customers. This is especially true for eBay, which states that you shouldn’t list products you don’t have in your possession. What Is the future of eCommerce?The future of eCommerce is exciting!If you want to stay ahead of the game, the most important eCommerce news to keep an eye on are:Private labeling. Big players like Walmart cut their costs by private labeling products. Private labeling is a great way to scale your business without billions of dollars in funding. Automation and personalization. Consumers prefer personalization. Fortunately, today it’s not hard to set up your marketing engine so that it only shows customers products they are interested in.Mobile retail matters. Your website has to be as functional and engaging on mobile as it is on desktop. By 2021, 59% of sales will take place on mobile devices, so make sure you’ve future-proofed your online business.New markets. eCommerce is growing all over the world, not just in the US. And as more people from different regions get used to the idea of online shopping, you’ll be getting access to new markets. Omnichannel experiences. Don’t forget about the power of social retail. Your customers want to engage with your brand on social media, in pop-up stores, and through email. Back in the day, we used to say that content was king.But when it comes to the future of eCommerce, experience is king. Additional Resources to Learn about eCommerceeCommerce classes and courses: Platform blogs and tutorials: eCommerce news: View Comments (0)