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    eCommerce Business Models for Retail

    Ecommerce Business Plan Strategy

    An e-commerce business can leverage tools and technologies in the digital age and the modern marketplace. Worldwide, e-commerce sales are pegged to grow by USD 4 trillion in 2020 alone, according to e-Marketer. For emerging economies like China and Asia, e-commerce retail has the potential for phenomenal growth.

    The concept of e-commerce came about as retailers seek new ways to expand sales globally. It is estimated 2.14 billion international buyers will be digital in 2021.

     

    Benefits of E-commerce brand

    An E-commerce brand can benefit retail businesses in multiple ways.

    #1 No Limits or Boundaries

    Physical stores are limited by the geographical areas they service. An e-commerce website, on the other hand, ensures the global audience can be targeted. With the advent of smartphone-friendly stores, the whole world of opportunities is available for even the smallest of retailers. Technologies and online marketplace models are the ultimate game-changers for creating a level playing field.

    #2 Cost Efficiency

    One of the most tangible benefits of e-commerce for retail business is cost-efficiency. The cost can be passed onto customers in the form of discounted prices.

    Organic search engine traffic, social media traffic, and PPC are some channels that can be affordable. The process of billing, checkout, payments, inventory management besides other operational processes reduce the number of employees required to run an e-commerce establishment.

    #3 Easy Accessibility

    E-commerce merchants can thrive through feature-rich, future-proof fully functional virtual storefronts and e-commerce development strategies.

    E-commerce sites and retail outlets offer intuitive navigation and prompt sales. Customers can even filter preferences or repeat orders as sites remember customer shopping lists and requirements.

    #4 Value for Money Shopping

    Virtual stores can easily be accessed and e-commerce facilitates comparison shopping. This generates value for the customer.

    Deals, bargains, coupons and group purchases offer tremendous value. Online shopping has made it convenient to avail deep discounts through the click of a mouse or a swipe of a smartphone.

    #5 24/7 Availability

    For e-commerce retailers targeting customer, niches are far easier with an online presence. The website also serves as a 24/7 marketing tool 365 days of the year. Physical retail stores pay for the location, store signage, design, sales equipment, and purchase inventory. E-commerce stores only pay hosting fees.

    #6 Retail Strategy Personalization

    Website personalization remains one of the biggest online business advantages for enhancing the shopping experience. Customers can also be retargeted and upsells can be personalized for raising average order values.

    #7 Retargeting Effectively Through Data-Driven Approach

    Retargeting or remarketing to customers makes online marketplaces a profitable option. Through lead magnets or pop-ups, a business can collect email addresses and continue marketing to customers once the sale has been made. Learning about sales promotions is less invasive for customers. But e-commerce businesses can also gain access to customer data easily.

    The best advantage of e-commerce sites is that businesses can access vital information for tailoring brand-building and marketing strategies. As businesses grow, employees can be hired to help with order processing.

    #8 Easily Scalable Businesses

    A benefit of e-commerce is that businesses can be quickly scaled. The ad campaign can be easily extended or store portals expanded to reflect the growing reach of the business. With e-commerce, organic traffic and sales can really grow. A brick-and-mortar retailer cannot optimize store design to drive traffic or sales so cost-efficiently. Generating value for the customer, e-commerce stores help customers to avail products quickly and easily.

    #9 Less Investment, More ROI, Organic Growth

    E-commerce operations cut down the cost of running your retail business by as much as 60%. E-commerce marketing is also extremely cost-efficient. E-commerce storefronts offer flexibility and services that are available 24/7. Online marketplaces excel at services like sales support, chat support, recommendations and is a platform available for customers globally and 24/7.

    E-commerce retail incurs less investment and offers huge returns. E-commerce businesses can cut down on rent, infrastructure, services, workforce and maintenance costs. Webstores are extremely affordable making it agile & easy to achieve fast organic growth.

    #10 Convenience

    Customers can access online stores any time, anywhere. An e-commerce outlet also reduces hiring and training costs for human capital and resources. E-businesses and e-tailers can reach more customers, moving past references and relationship building to get unique visitors for specific products or services online.

    #11 Real-Time Feedback

    E-commerce stores also provide platforms for real-time feedback and interactions. Testimonials are equally essential for building positive reviews and creating strong brand value, as well.

     

    Future of E-Commerce

    Since it was introduced in the 90s, the e-commerce business has only grown. The e-commerce industry shows customer expectations and evolving technologies lead to retail innovations across the board from retail giants to emerging online brands.

    #1 Smart Devices Lead the Future

    Devices are at the center of the shopping revolution. As smartphones and other smart devices become the domain of the smart shopper, the retail experience is geared towards personalization and tailor-made experiences.

    An estimated 45 percent of all e-commerce purchases will be on smartphones by 2021. This will generate USD 284 billion in revenue. Further, a massive majority of buyers use mobile devices to research products.

    #2 End to end Shopping Experience

    Buyers in the e-commerce sphere look for the complete, end-to-end shopping experience on different devices. This ensures a seamless shopping experience.

    While emerging markets like India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa are poised to play a major role in the future of e-commerce, China is an Asian powerhouse surging ahead. With Alibaba and Tencent, its e-commerce titans match international players like Amazon and eBay.

    #3 Growing Access of Emerging Markets

    It’s also estimated close to 3 billion potential buyers from such emerging markets will access e-commerce stores by 2022.

    There are many opportunities for new e-commerce brands looking to cater to emerging markets and audiences in such marketplaces.

    #4 Growth of Ecommerce Model

    The growth of online shopping is outpacing other conventional or traditional retail models. As e-commerce businesses tap new marketing media, the quintessential online retail experience will focus on revolutionizing the connection between the brand and its target audience.

    #5 Trends and Technologies

    For success in a competitive and overcrowded marketplace, e-commerce companies have to hone shopping experiences for customers. New algorithms are showing the way for machine learning to understand the e-commerce customer better.

    Along with the technologies and trends, e-commerce businesses need to optimize their operational strategies. An integral part of the e-commerce business is building a direct relationship between the customer and the brand.

    As digitally native, vertically integrated brands take over, online brands are all about selling products and services through their own portals and virtual storefronts.

    #6 Rapid Growth

    E-commerce brands are growing three times faster than average brick-and-click e-tailers. Digital brands are developing a connection with the customer through communication via email or on social.

    As new technologies like AI and AR integrate into the e-commerce experience, the focus is on more personal omnichannel experiences that surprise and delight customers shopping online.

    E-commerce is not eliminating the need for brick-and mortar-retail. The symbiotic existence of both models heralds a new age in retail businesses where the focus is on reaching and personalizing the shopping experience for the customer.

    Why YRC?

    Through retail consultancy Your Retail Coach’s detailed e-commerce strategies, your online retail brand can evolve to assist the customer’s personalized experiences and learn from customer conversations.

    As e-commerce customers become discerning and increasingly tech-savvy, they expect a seamless digital retail experience. To win customers, e-commerce brands have to move past best prices and deep discounts. This is why retail strategies from specialists at Your Retail Coach (YRC) can help your e-commerce business to thrive and flourish.

    While immediacy and quick turnaround are at the heart of e-commerce, other expectations customers have must be met. Anytime, anywhere shopping, proactive client support and no disconnect from your customer or client are absolutely essential.

    If you are a B2B or B2C brand looking to join the online selling bandwagon or build a booming e-commerce business from scratch, start by talking with Your Retail Coach Expert to gain viable e-commerce strategies for business growth and the best customer experience. As an e-commerce business service provider, YRC is an e-commerce consultant your business can rely on.

     

     

    About E-Commerce

    Worldwide, the entire population is 7.7 billion. This means e-commerce retail is the choice of 28% of all the shoppers across the globe. If your retail business is thinking of going online, now is the best time to start.

    Clearly, e-commerce business models are taking over the retail market. This will make up 17.5% of retail sales globally by 2021.

    E-commerce is expanding in every direction. It has become an integral part of the consumer experience internationally.

    One of the prime reasons shoppers prefer online retailers is the 24/7 availability of goods. Ability to compare prices and get lower prices or save time are other reasons why the importance of e-commerce in business is growing.

    Without the costs of maintaining physical stores or massive inventories, e-commerce businesses can keep overheads low and offer solid ROI and profits that multiply.

    Online e-commerce retailers are building trust and credibility among shoppers by working on security, confidentiality, convenience, and easy accessibility.

    Mobile e-commerce is projected to reach 72.9% by 2021.

    While different customer segments interact with online e-commerce stores differently, what sets successful e-commerce players apart is a clearly defined market or target audience.

    Online shopping is projected to accelerate at a quick pace, with 56% of Gen-X and 67% of millennial buyers are likelier to shop online. Mobile commerce registered a growth of 300% over the past years, with e-commerce revenue models pegged at USD 700 billion in developed markets like the US alone.

    With online sales projected to hit USD 4878 billion in recent years, even brick-and-mortar brands are transitioning to the e-commerce model. If your retail outlet seeks to go global, the e-commerce model allows new ways to expand the business.

    With cost-efficiency and global reach, an online presence is a high-value investment. It works for businesses seeking to grow their online visibility and market reach.

    Digital marketing and selling models that deploy e-commerce gather, use and synthesize customer data and information more easily than conventional channels. E-commerce stores can track buying habits and target customers with precision and accuracy. This offers greater chances to personalize promotions.

    There are many opportunities to personalize promotions and other offerings about customers integrated automatically to the system. Segmenting and personalizing based on locations, spending habits or cart abandonment rates is important. Cross-selling and upselling also become easier as market intelligence is fine-tuned to customer requirements.

    Scaling an e-commerce business is the key to seeing a customer-base expand and grow. When offerings are seasonal, marketing and inventory needs can be adjusted in accordance with this as well.

    For tech-savvy, digital natives, modern shopping is all about convenience. An e-commerce business that understands this will be a formidable brand in the competitive marketplace.

    CASE STUDIES

    If your looking to Start E-commerce Business refer following links: Setup E-commerce Business, Setup Dark Store

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    We work only for Visionaries.

    PROCESS AUTOMATION

    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

    VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

    IT INTEGRATION

    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

    WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

     

    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

    UI & UX DESIGNING

    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

    SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

    PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

    BRANDING

    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

    ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

    CRITICAL PATHWAY

    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

    BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

    MARKET RESEARCH

    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.