What it Takes to Operate an E-Commerce Website

Looking at the active daily user (ADU) data of some of the biggest e-commerce platforms like Alibaba and Amazon might have you wondering if it’s not perhaps worth at least a punt getting into e-commerce yourself. You’re absolutely right; it could turn out to be extremely lucrative for you, but it’s not as easy as it looks to get into e-commerce.

There’s a lot more to starting up your own e-commerce platform and even more to running one, especially if it’s to break even, let alone start turning a profit.

What about turn-key e-commerce solutions?

This is often the first trap people fall into after they’ve been licking their lips for a bit at the prospect of starting up their own e-commerce sites. It’s perhaps a necessary learning curve to have to endure and for the most part it’s not too expensive in any case. However, purchasing a turn-key e-commerce solution isn’t the beginning and the end of the journey to mega-profits. In fact, it probably isn’t even the beginning proper, but more like that phase during which you get your education and a good dose of reality.

I hate to come across as a skeptic, but think of it this way; why aren’t there any billionaire e-commerce moguls who simply bought a WordPress e-commerce template (fully equipped with CMS functionalities, mind you) and went live with their newly-minted e-commerce storefronts? It’s because it’s simply not that easy.

Getting into e-commerce

At the risk of sounding like I’m contradicting myself, I’m going to go ahead and say that that is indeed where you should probably start. Get yourself a web hosting plan – one which goes for around $10 per month should do, a good domain name, e.g. www.yoursite.com (this will cost you around $9-13), and one of the higher-end CMS e-commerce solutions (one which runs on WordPress will do just fine).

Naturally this would be done with a range of products or/and services you want to sell and it’s absolutely fine to aim very broadly like the likes of Amazon do. You should be looking to spend in the region of $100 max for the turn-key CMS e-commerce solution, but some can go for around $50-$75. The important thing is that it offers you full functionality, i.e. you should be in control of every aspect of the site’s operation. You shouldn’t have to rely on some administrator somewhere half across the world to help you with basic tasks like adding and tracking inventory, etc. This would otherwise incur extra charges which you’d have no choice but to honor as all of this forms part of the core functionality of your business.

Immerse yourself in the day-to-day running of your e-commerce platforms and then start isolating those products and services which not only sell, but leave you cash-positive – products and services that bring in a profit.

The final step is to create another e-commerce site, this time focusing solely on those products and services which you’ve had a success in selling at a profit.