Getting started in eCommerce as an Architect – Part 1
eCommerce business has grown from 4% to 11% of total retail sales in the United States over the past ten years according to U.S. Census Bureau. The market is up to about $575 billion per year. Five years ago the technology for individuals was just getting its feet on the ground. It was fairly difficult for an individual to start an eCommerce business due to payment systems and procurement of product issues. Fortunately, in the past couple years companies have improved software required to sell things online allowing more people to jump into the ecommerce world. eCommerce for architects is a strategy or endeavor all should consider.
the competition increases…does it benefit architects?
Recently, competition has been growing in eCommerce because more people are trying to get into the game. One of the areas of increased competition is in the creative space. Many of the systems for selling things online are well established, but it is difficult for individuals and companies to create content to creatively keep selling their products. Architects are in a uniquely competitive position because architects have both design skills as well as technical abilities.
eCommerce for architects, should we jump into the game…yes, but carefully
The creativity architects bring to a newly launched or existing brand in eCommerce can be very valuable. Most people launching brands on the internet do not have design skills and hire these tasks out by someone else. By doing this work it can be a tremendous cost savings and also very rewarding. Doing design work for an eCommerce brand could allow architects to flex their design muscles without having to wait for the next client project.
test your ideas and test the market
If eCommerce is something that you are interested in getting into there is some things you should consider before you fully commit to an idea or business. It is easy to think you have the best idea and it will take off right when it hits the internet. But, you really need to be critical of your own ideas first, the internet will show you fast if your idea is good or not. You don’t want to spend countless hours developing a product just to have it flop. Try some things first to see if the idea has some legs.
- Ask your friends and family if the product is something they would buy.
- Take some photos of a sample product or sketch and show some random people. Are they interested?
- Try keeping your ideas focused on a select group of people. In other words, focus on a niche.
- Search the internet for similar products. If there are other products out there that are in the same category you know there is a market.
- What is the competition doing? How many people are doing the same thing you are? Analyze the competition and see if there is room in the market for you, maybe you are a trailblazer and create your own market.
Ok, so you have an idea that you have tested and think will sell online. Now, what is next? One of the most important steps that almost all Youtubers don’t talk about is following business laws where ever you live. This website can’t give out professional business advice, but make sure you are complying with all local laws. In the United States, it is fairly simple to obtain an appropriate business license to start your company. Also, keep in mind if you are selling things online you will need to comply with local sales tax laws as well as international tariffs etc. for shipping things between countries. If you are intimidated by these things there are many professionals out there that can help you through these steps.
In this article, we have covered some very basic aspects of getting into eCommerce. Keep your eye out as we will be posting more specific content and resources about how to set up and run an ecommerce business. We will also look at specific examples and show specific examples of ideas that work well and some to avoid.
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