While the Covid-19 outbreak may have increased the number of people working from home, there’s no doubt that the trend for remote and independent working began in earnest more than a decade ago.
In fact, the fall-out from the great recession created an entire generation of ‘accidental entrepreneurs’, after millions of people were displaced by the global financial crisis and compelled to forge their own professional destiny.
Unsurprisingly, this also coincided with the rapid growth of ecommerce, with global revenues in this market having increased more than three-fold since 2014 alone.
But how exactly do you run a successful ecommerce venture from home, and what are the key considerations?
Figure Out Your Fulfilment and Shipping
Let’s face facts; you cannot run any business from home until you’ve worked out the finer operational details, and in the case of ecommerce ventures this means developing a viable plan for fulfilment and shipping.
More specifically, you’ll need to determine whether you’re going to handle the order processing and fulfilment in-house, or funnel this through an online platform that automates time-consuming processes but requires an ongoing investment in the venture.
Of course, much depends on the size of your home venture and the nature of the products that you’re selling, as independent businesses selling smaller items often find greater value in sustaining in-house fulfilment.
However, if you sell larger or more complex items, you may need to leverage an integrated shipping and fulfilment solution that can be used with additional software and order processing software.
Find a Way of Tracking Your Deliveries
When partnering with establishment fulfilment and shipping platforms, you’ll be presented with various options in terms of cost, features and potential couriers.
These factors, when measured against the size and needs of your business, can help you to make an informed decision that reflects the true value proposition of your venture.
For larger home-based ventures with complex needs, platforms such as Linnworks are able to completely automate key aspects of your selling process and minimise the labour hours spent on order processing.
However, this platform can cost upwards of £150 per month to use, so you also need to drive a high volume or orders and sales to justify this expense.
Conversely, platforms like Easy Post offer far greater flexibility and control to users, while enabling them to cut operational costs by paying for delivery on a per-package basis.
This is ideal for small or startup ventures on a limited budget, as well as companies who ship a variety of different size parcels and want access to the best independent couriers.
The latter point is especially important, as it allows you to work with couriers that offer advanced parcel delivery tracking and communicate real-time updates on both domestic and international shipments.
Transform Your Customers into Brand Ambassadors
Unless you’re a seasoned marketer, it can be exceptionally difficult to create a structured and integrated promotional campaign that successfully raises brand awareness and optimises online conversions.
Even with such knowledge, successful marketing requires resources and demonstrable profits, with most ecommerce brands spending between 7% and 12% of their total revenue of advertising.
With this in mind, you may need to find creative and cost-effective ways of marketing your ecommerce business, such as establishing your loyal and most discerning customers as proactive brand ambassadors.
Let’s face facts; there’s nothing quite like an independent review or glowing testimonial to build your brand’s credibility and recognition, while adopting an organised approach to empowering consumers as ambassadors can drive sustained awareness over time.
The key is to collate and organise positive reviews over time, while leveraging platforms such as Trustpilot to showcase customer feedback and actively identify areas where your service can be improved.
This can ultimately transform satisfied customers in engaged and completely free marketing tools, which simultaneously help to humanise your brand and gain significant traction even in a competitive marketplace.