In the online shopping world, November and December are some of the busiest months ever. According to Mark Elward, M.D of DKFulfilment, “…we are about to go into our peak period and it won’t calm down until January”.
NRF corroborates this fact in this report which says shoppers spent $658.3b in holiday shopping between November and December, 2016.
Thanks to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day, online shops and shoppers will be in a frenzy as marketing, sales and fulfillment activities peak. Smart ecommerce entrepreneurs are not left out; they’re on the lookout for holiday shopping season business ideas to try so they can earn more pesos.
If this description fits you, congratulations; you’re just one blog post from starting an ecommerce business. In this post we present two cool ecommerce business ideas to try this holiday season. But first
WHAT IS AN ECOMMERCE BUSINESS?
Ecommerce stands for electronic commerce, the exchange of goods or services electronically. Hence any business that falls within the ecommerce lifecycle is an ecommerce business.
Starting an ecommerce business is a great idea. Here are two good business ideas you can start immediately to tap into the sea of opportunities triggered by the holiday season.
ECOMMERCE BUSINESS IDEAS TO TRY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
1. DROP SHIPPING
Drop shipping is a growing business model which allows entrepreneurs operate online retail business without owning inventory or buying stock.
This ecommerce business requires little to no startup capital. The drop shipping triangle below throws more light:
Customers place orders with drop shipper, drop shipper passes orders to supplier, supplier delivers to customers.
HOW DROP SHIPPING WORKS
Here’s a brief summary of how drop shipping really works
- Drop shippers research products
- Seek, source Suppliers
- Manually list or automatically import products
- Write product descriptions; price rules
- Market, market, market
- Take orders
- Place orders with Suppliers
- Suppliers deliver straight to customers (handle returns in most cases)
- Rinse and repeat
Of course it’s easier on paper than in practice but this is a picture of how to do drop shipping like a pro. The good news: you don’t have to do these all by yourself. Apps like Oberlo can help you completely automate your drop shipping business.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE ABOUT DROP SHIPPING
- Drop shipping’s low entry barrier means there is stiff competition
- Differentiation and excellent customer service are key
- Drop shippers may not get products at wholesale prices, thus making
drop shipping prices comparatively higher
- Drop shippers can team up to buy wholesale and thus reduce prices
- Care must be taken when selecting suppliers. The Wholesale
Dropshippers Directory is a good place to check.
These will increase your chances of being listed among drop shipping successes.
A DROP SHIPPING SUCCESSES
Successful drop shippers come in all shapes and sizes. The following entrepreneurs have been successful with their drop shipping businesses.
- Irwin Dominguez
Irwin from San Diego started his first drop shipping business from scratch and made $1m in just 8 months. He said he would make the next $1m faster with drop shipping if he were to start all over.
There are several other successful drop shippers out there.
2. PRICE COMPARISON ENGINES
I call comparison shopping engines (CSE) the Google of online shopping pricing; and this is because online shoppers are always on the lookout for the best prices/offers, especially during this holiday shopping season.
In fact, the top 3 most influential factors for US online shoppers are respectively 87% Price, 80% Shipping Cost and 71% Discounts. Click here for more striking pricing facts that every e-commerce retailer should know.
Comparison shopping engines or price comparison sites help shoppers compare prices across different online stores. They also help store owners keep an eye on their competitor’s prices, but sometimes this can be a tedious process.
SOME POPULAR COMPARISON SHOPPING SITES
The following are popular comparison shopping sites you can look to for inspiration.
- Price Grabber
- Yahoo Shopping
- Google Product Search
- TheFind etc
HOW COMPARISON SHOPPING ENGINES WORK
- Submit product listings to CSE typically in .csv file format
- Product prices and descriptions are listed on CSE on a cost-per-click
- Top paying merchants usually rank higher
- Correct, frequent data feeds boost your chances of being found
OTHER KEY THINGS TO NOTE:
Because of high competition with other merchants selling similar products, you can increase your chances of conversion by:
- Using professional product photography
- Writing clear SEO ready product descriptions
- Including adequate CTAs
- Providing cheaper price
- Ensuring CSE has onsite shipping fee calculator
- Offering free or cheaper shipping
- Upselling customers
- Having higher store ranking
- Including relevant product/customer reviews
- Submitting data feeds in good time
- Showing up on top of search results
- Visitors to comparison shopping engines type in a particular product,
say iPhone 8
- CSEs crawl online stores to fetch real time pricing information
- Customers compare prices from different stores
- Customers can also read multiple customer reviews from different
- Customers calculate shipping fees if CSE allows
- Customers click on best price/offer and proceed to place orders on
selected ecommerce store.
Leads from CSEs show
- stronger buy signals
- are usually more qualified and
- further down the sales channel.
Their chances of converting are far higher since they’ve compared prices/offers and chosen yours as the best. By far one of the most influential buying factors is price; this is even more pronounced in online shopping.
Avoidable pricing mistakes can cost you business. For instance, if the price of iPhone 8 drops significantly during a major sale; and your store’s pricing does not adjust to reflect this, you will lose sales to more responsive competitors.
The holiday season presents several business opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs. Drop shipping and CSE’s are worth checking out.