Finding Ideas for Your E-commerce Site

E-commerce is everything today. As online retailers continue to rise, brick and mortar businesses continue to struggle. Large retailers rely on online sales. Websites are necessary for small businesses too. If you're unsure, below are ten reasons why.

It's not a question of if e-commerce is a good idea, but the question is how to get your own e-commerce site up and running. You'll need a good website, but not everyone is a software developer or a strong coder. Test out a site that specializes in user-friendly web templates like Squarespace or Shopify. These organizations will do the heavy coding work for you and let you focus on branding and your business.

But there's still something missing. You'll need a great product.

So how do you decide what to sell? Here are some great ideas gathered from smart people across the internet. Draw inspiration from these entrepreneurs, and then add your own spin. It's time to find ideas foryour E-commerce site.

Online Education

Who has time to go to class anymore--well, at least in person? When information is delivered at digital speeds, people go online for learning. Try offering online educational courses.

If you've heard of Udemy or Coursera, you'll be familiar with this concept. Both sites offer a mix of free and paid learning content that is accessible to remote learners. Carve out your own niche with a course such as specialty molecular gastronomy knowledge, or target specific learners by offering something like science courses for kids over the summer.

Payment Processing

When's the last time you wrote a physical check? Checks are used for about 19% of transactions, and that is declining. While still used for specific purposes, such as utilizing a cashier's check or personal check for a move-in deposit, most people prefer digitally processed payments, including card purchases and online transactions.

Perhaps using the most well-known online payment processor, PayPal, is now a favored method of pay both online and in stores. Square has allowed small retailers like farmer's markets and Etsy sellers to accept Mastercard and Visa. Other retailers have taken to the online payment processing idea too, using specific vendors to manage their purchases--a service rarely noticed by the consumer.

Providing new online payment processing is a developing niche for your e-commerce business. Look into online escrow services, mobile and one-click ordering and online wallets. Also, follow the discussion on Bluetooth payments.

Ask an Expert

It's easy to Google a query, but getting a specific and detailed answer can be much harder. Online expert services are becoming a go-to solution for detailed questions that provide customer specific knowledge.

Consider that you need an automotive expert, for example. Instead of paging through owner's manuals and how-to's, an e-commerce site can provide the opportunity to video chat with a foreign car mechanic and provide detailed diagnostics for that 1968 Triumph Spitfire.

Doctor on Demand has taken advantage of online consultations to help solve minor medical problems. Live video chat enables patients to ask a direct question and receive an answer based on their symptoms. Doctors are able to renew prescriptions and provide referrals without tedious office visits.

There are so many areas to be an expert in, that the market has plenty of room. Perhaps you'd like to assemble a team of lawyers, gardeners or master chefs?

Customer Relationship Management

Have you ever used online chat? What about working your way through FAQs and locating the direct phone and email information you need? The price of good customer service solutions goes easily unnoticed, but the cost of bad customer service can sink a brand or a business.

Creating and selling the software that works on the front lines of your customer experience can be a lucrative trade. Customer relationship management tools, often called CRMs, control the user experience at the bottom of the sales funnel--the transaction.

Add on additional tools to handle questions and complaints. Sell features to manage your ongoing engagement and loyalty, such as social media management and email marketing, and you now have a full customer service suite.

Some well-known names in the industry include Chime and Netsuite, but there are many different solution-based software providers. Customize your software based on industry, market segment or even location.

The world of e-commerce offers endless possibilities for the savvy entrepreneur. Choosing and capitalizing on your own niche is key, and a great way to do this is by reviewing good ideas that are already out there. Study the online marketplace to find smart solutions, and then create your own custom version to solve a problem or serve a select group. You can find ideas everywhere; you just need to start looking.

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