The pandemic has taken its toll on many industries in the past couple of years, especially the hospitality and travel industries. However, others have received a welcome boost. The eCommerce industry is one of the latter. People under restrictions and lockdowns could not go out as much as they would like to go shopping. This has forced more people to buy what they need online.
The industry is now buzzing with more and more people starting up their own eCommerce stores to take advantage. However, while it is possible to become a big success in eCommerce, there is a lot of competition. So you have to know what you’re doing.
If this is an industry you think you might want to get involved with, you will first have to consider the eCommerce model that you’re going to use.
The Different eCommerce Business Revenue Models
If you’re seriously considering starting your own eCommerce business to take advantage of an industry that is booming, the first thing to consider is the eCommerce business revenue model that you will use. There is a selection for you to choose from and each carries its own pros and cons. The following are the four most commonly used, but you will find others, such as subscription models.
So what is dropshipping? Dropshipping is one of the most common forms of eCommerce. Essentially, you create an online store that allows customers to place orders and make payments. That is the only involvement that you have, as the rest is handled by the supplier you’re using. They hold the stock and will package and send the products to your customers. You do not even have to pay for bulk orders as an initial investment.
The benefits to you are obvious. You do not have to worry about storing products or shipping them out. As for the disadvantages, if your supplier is slow to ship, ships the wrong products, or does anything else poorly, it is your reputation affected and not theirs.
- Wholesaling and Warehousing
This is the more traditional form of eCommerce, but it involves substantial upfront costs. Your purchase stock directly from your supplier and have it delivered to your business address. You need to have enough space to store all of your stock and must manage your inventory. Your website then takes orders and payments from customers before you then have to ship out those orders.
The benefit of this model is that you have more control over what you sell. You can also offer cheaper pricing because you’ll usually buy in bulk from the supplier. Obviously, it is the upfront costs that could be seen as a negative. Plus, if you order stock that is not selling well, you’re stuck with it.
- Private Labelling and Manufacturing
If you have designed your own product and want to sell it, you might not have enough cash to source your own factory. However, you can hire other manufacturing companies to build your designs. The supplier will also send the products directly to your customers so that you do not have to worry about managing your inventory or storage space.
If you do plan on starting your own factory in the long run, this is a good way to test out your designs and to get an early idea of how well they will sell. Plus, if you dislike the quality of manufacturing used by your supplier, there are so many others you can check out. You can switch manufacturers easily until you find one that offers the best quality at the best prices.
- White Labelling
This is a form of eCommerce that sees your brand used in the packaging and labelling of a product that already exists. You place an order with a supplier and they will manufacture the product using your own branding. Your customers then place their orders via your online store and the supplier will ship them out.
The only problem is that many white-labelling suppliers will require a minimum construction limit. This means paying upfront and hoping your stock eventually sells. With that in mind, the most important aspect of this model is finding a product that you know will sell. You also need to consider the competition that you will have.
Right now, eCommerce is definitely an industry worth getting into. It continues to grow each year and will only continue to do so. However, you need to consider the model that suits your business the best, while you also have to set up a website, know which products you want to sell, and more. You could always test the water by using other platforms to make money, such as Amazon, but in the long run, you really need to consider using one of the above models.