Landscape of Demand for Electronics Products
Electronic devices and equipment like smartphones, laptops or electrical home appliances like microwaves and refrigerators are no longer the true reflectors of urbanisation. In today’s world, electronic products can be classified in the category of essentials. There may be some exceptions but a plethora of electronics products have become indispensable.
The demand for electronic products diverges from place to place and person to person. For instance, a working couple may not necessarily see IoT-based home lighting as a necessity but having a reliable internet router is essential to carry out a wide range of domestic, personal, and work-related activities.
Demographic factors also influence the demand for electronic products. As people age, elevate to higher education, start earning or earning more, get married, start a family, and so on, their requirements also tend to escalate. For example, basic smartphones are substituted with more advanced ones. Economic factors like job opportunities or the emergence of better financial support systems also contribute to the growth of demand for goods and services including electronic products.
These features make the demand for electronic products a promising avenue for trade and commerce. And the presence of eCommerce makes it more interesting. This partly explains why it is alluring to start an online electronics business.
But the presence of favourable external circumstances does not secure the survival and success of a business. This blog highlights seven elements for not just overcoming the default challenges in online electronics business but also for the survival and growth of business.
Starting an Online Electronics Store – Keep these 7 points
#1 Go Niche
Online electronics commerce has become a highly competitive space. Without a strong and sustainable niche, it is challenging for businesses to keep standing out in the crowd. It applies to both brand-exclusive retailing and multi-brand retailing. Although limited, there are various ways in which online electronic startups can achieve this. This is a part of business model development but niche and UVP identification can begin early when business ideas are being explored and brainstormed. Market research is also necessary to derive the required insights and information.
#2 Business Model Development
A business model is one of the early and foundational frameworks of business ideas put into a realisable format. This is where the business ideas are translated into a broad actionable plan comprising 9 major elements – UVPs, value chain and key activities, key partners, costing, revenue streams, customer segments, CRM, channel and distribution, and resource requirements.
#3 ECommerce Website and App
The website/app is the online storefront. Developing and maintaining it as per the required business objectives is a make-or-break factor. Many important considerations come into play when planning for website and app development at the level of both front end and back end. One such vital consideration is the eCommerce platform. It answers a very important question – should the website be developed and maintained internally or should the platform services be hired? Different eCommerce platforms have different pros and cons but SaaS is an ideal solution for small startups who want to launch their business at the earliest. Similarly, there are other host of other important considerations in planning the solutions for eCommerce websites and apps such as:
- Intended User Experience (Platform UX) features
- Cross-device and cross-OS compatibility
- Regional adjustments
- CX alignment
- Digital Safety and Security
- Budgets, etc.
#4 Digital Marketing
Any contemporary online business cannot survive without relevant digital marketing efforts. There is no need to repeat why digital marketing is important. So, the next question is how online electronics stores can use digital marketing. The previous point already covers website and app development and maintenance. Other key activities and considerations in digital marketing comprise:
- Search engine performance (SEO and SEM)
- Social media presence (SMM)
- Video advertising
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate marketing
Businesses need to be strategic and selective with their digital marketing efforts; otherwise, CAC can spiral out of control and lead to overspending. An important role of digital marketing is to also facilitate brand reputation management.
#5 Operations Planning
ECommerce is known for its speed and accuracy. Anything less than the prevailing standards gets rejected by customers. New businesses need to do better than the industry and competitive standards. Order fulfilment must stand a few notches higher.
The significance of sound operations planning is also heightened in the case of electronic goods because of quality and handling. Then there are internal reasons of achieving operational efficiency and effectiveness.
The way to robust operations is the use of SOPs and automation. SOPs work as operational blueprints for executing business processes and operations. SOPs also provide the base for introducing process automation and digitisation.
#6 Omnichannel Capabilities
Having omnichannel capabilities is something that online electronics startups should no longer consider as a preference that can be delayed. Omnichannel is the new face of retailing for both online and offline businesses. Omnichannel need not mean fully grown, dual-edged capabilities in both online and offline distribution and support networks. It only has to work in ways that are relevant to specific business interests.
For example, a multi-branded online electronics store can tie up with the service centres of electronic brands (and not completely leaving it to customers and brands to deal with each other) across multiple locations for providing availability and easy access to service and support to its customers.
#7 Business Plan Development
A business plan is the most important document that highlights the vision and details of a business idea in action. It is developed only in the penultimate stages because it requires finalised inputs from different areas of planning. Six such areas are discussed above. And one such area of business planning not discussed earlier is financial and commercial planning. It’s indispensable to develop a financial & commercial plan before starting a business project. It applies to online startup electronics stores as well. These financial and commercial assessments prevent overspending and keep related business decisions on track. Also, the investment required to start a retail electronics store (focusing on inventory) is considerable which in turn calls for careful budgeting. Another utility of business plans inclusive of financial and commercial assessments is that they can be used to develop startup pitches for investment purposes. If skills and resources are not available internally, there is no harm in availing the services of business planning experts.
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