This is where the online business venture begins.The ecommerce business plan is a plan of action, without which nothing of real value can ever be achieved. The ecommerce business plan will cover a number of features from the design of the web site to the fulfillment service methods; each of these features should be the best available with a heavy bias towards the customer. The product, around which the whole ecommerce business plan will revolve, will have to fulfill certain criteria in order to make the online venture a success. These are:
Homogeneity – the product, though obtained from different suppliers/sources will have to be of a homogenous quality and dimensions. Whether it is a mobile set or a book the item should be favorably comparable to the ones that are bought elsewhere.
Ability to ship the product – before you launch your online venture you should find out whether the product can be shipped easily. This is will a daunting task if the product is bulky or very fragile. If the customer cannot get the product quickly and in tact, you will loose repeat customers and word of mouth advertising.
Cost of delivery – in similar manner heavier items will cost more to deliver to the door step than lightweight items. The cost of delivery is an important factor that decides the customer uses when deciding whether or not to buy an item. Hence, keep this cost as low as possible.
Cost of the product – many customers are attracted to the online shopping because they get many of their favorite products at a much lower cost than in the real- shops. You need to keep the cost at least 10 percent less than what is available in the brick-and-mortar market.
Availability – do you plan to have a good stock of the product that you propose to sell or do you have a good tie-up with some supplier(s) which can provide you with the product on the spot. If the product is not available easily to the customer – after the payment is processed – you will have a very unhappy customer.
Target market – think whether you need to address the needs of a certain age group, geographical area, or it is to be available for all people, all over the world.
Payment options – what type of payment options you are offering will greatly influence the sale of your product.
All these and more will have to be taken care of right at the beginning; at the stage where the ecommerce business plan is completed.