ecom business for sale

ecom business for sale

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E-commerce has established itself as a major player in the world of internet commerce. An e-commerce company is best described by comparing it to any other retail store you may typically find in a mall or shopping center. The sole distinction is that an ecommerce firm operates exclusively online and does not have a physical "walk-in" location.


There are numerous obvious advantages to this, including having significantly cheaper overhead than a conventional retail business, which we will discuss in a moment.

Dropshipping comes to mind when most people think of e-commerce. Although both models can be utilized in conjunction with the same firm, they are actually distinct from one another. The method used to source products is where dropshipping and e-commerce diverge. You purchase the item directly from a manufacturer and ship it to the warehouse where you store all of your inventory rather than finding a vendor who sends out a product each time you make a sale (dropshipping) (ecommerce).

You get money every time someone purchases something from your online store, and the item is transported from the fulfillment center (i.e. warehouse) that you've established.

Dropshipping and ecommerce are quite similar, even though dropshipping has a lot more moving pieces. The primary distinction is that with e-commerce, you source the item, maintain an inventory of it, and use your own fulfillment service to get it out.

Real-world eCommerce Store Examples

There are hundreds of online retailers, but these two are among the most well-known. Visit the links below to learn more about the layout, product offerings, and organizational principles of each of these online shops. Seek for ideas for your own store.

Reebok

http://global.reebok.com/

Most people are familiar with the Reebok brand. For those who are not, it is basically a clothing company focusing on fitness clothes, shoes, and apparel for a healthy and active lifestyle.

Soho Fixed

http://sohofixed.com/bikes/

This ecommerce store is focused specifically on single-speed bikes. It offers descriptions of their bikes, explains why they are awesome to a niche audience, and contains a blog discussing bike culture.

Types of Ecommerce Businesses

There are two different ways ecommerce companies can operate:

  • Business to customer
  • Business to business

The most typical kind of online shopping is B2C, or business-to-consumer shopping, in which you sell to customers directly. The other is business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce, in which your company sells to other businesses. Although the majority of internet sellers will use the B2C model, there may be some crossover if your products have several uses.

The Pros of an Ecommerce Business Model

Cost

The absence of traditional retail expenses is among the many great advantages of an e-commerce company.

These companies lower the cost of the real estate, which might wind up costing the business owner hundreds of dollars each month in rent. Additionally, since you don't require any cashiers or clerks on staff, your payroll expenses will also be greatly reduced or even eliminated. This is because many e-commerce companies are entirely owner-operated, meaning they don't have a single full-time employee.

Competitive Edge

Another advantage you have over most retail establishments is availability. Is there a retailer open every day of the year? You may conduct business with anyone in the globe at any time thanks to the internet.

Nothing prevents you from benefiting from the late-night consumer if someone wants your goods at 2 a.m.

At the top of this article, we talked about the differences between dropshipping and ecommerce and how it basically comes down to sourcing your own products. Sourcing will take a larger upfront investment, but it will also give you a much larger profit margin over dropshipping. Typically, an ecommerce business that is handling all of its own fulfillment is also going to have higher profit margins than an Amazon FBA business or a dropshipping business. This can give you a competitive edge when it comes to pricing your products and using strategies such as paid marketing, since you will have a greater margin of error to work with that dropshippers simply do not have, and Amazon FBA business owners to a lesser extent.

Diversification

There is a way you can combine the benefits of dropshipping with your ecommerce business, though. You can easily test out new product offerings on your website by simply adding some dropshipping listings alongside your normal ecommerce products.

If you sold coffee mugs, for instance, you could want to try selling coffee as well. There are literally tens of thousands of different varieties of coffee. Locate dropshipping options to advertise on your website rather than sourcing each of these items separately. Then, when you see a lucrative offer, you can either personally source that particular goods or just sit back and unwind, letting the dropship item take care of itself while you concentrate on your primary product offerings.

When coupled with your higher-margin products that you sourced yourself, this is a simple method to develop fresh options for your audience and it has the potential to be highly successful.

Brand Recognition

Finally, you get to create your own brand, which is one of the main advantages of e-commerce firms. The brand may develop into something that people really connect with. You have a significant advantage over dropshipping and Amazon FBA by choosing the e-commerce approach.

These two approaches allow for brand development, but doing so is more challenging than it is with e-commerce.

Building a brand around a product that so many other people are selling might be challenging because dropshipped goods aren't actually yours. You may create a brand on Amazon, but when your customers make purchases there, Amazon's brand would always take precedence.

With your own e-commerce website, you have total control over the entire process. You may create your own identity in the eyes of your clients and target market because you have your own platform.

Ensure that your storefront is constructed with a design that distinguishes it from others. Creating social media accounts should be a no-brainer because it helps your brand develop social proof. If you have their trust and they can see that others have made the same purchase, they are more likely to do so. You may also get in touch with bloggers who write about related topics to see if they'd be interested in featuring or reviewing your goods.

The Cons of an Ecommerce Model

Competition

Unless you are in a particularly strange niche, there will probably be some stiff competition when you open an online store.You must find a strategy to set yourself out from the competition. One method to achieve this is by developing a truly compelling brand and providing superior items to your rivals.

You will initially encounter trust concerns in addition to ferocious rivalry. It will take some time for people to get used to you and your store. This is undoubtedly a drawback, and it's one of the reasons why Amazon FBA is such a well-liked business model as those owners get to benefit from the notoriety of Amazon's brand alongside their own firm.

Both of these will be challenges when you first launch your e-commerce business, but they should eventually go away as your store gains notoriety, steady traffic, and positive customer reviews.

Tech

There can also be a ton of technical difficulties for you to resolve. This is especially true if you use software like Magento to construct your store on your own platform. Naturally, you could avoid this by choosing a platform like Shopify's, which is a fantastic option to developing your own. Just be aware that you will have less flexibility if you use someone else's platform.

Logistics

The bottom message is that managing a lot of moving pieces will be a skill you'll need for e-commerce. Operating an online store is quite similar to owning a physical store in that you have a lot of responsibilities.

Finding the correct freight shipping provider, establishing a strong contract, locating the makers of your goods, and finding a fulfillment warehouse solution to handle the logistics of actually getting the product to your clients are all necessary. You'll also need to have some sort of customer service support to handle complaints and inquiries from customers.

Marketing

Not to mention: you are the marketing arm for your store.

A very frustrating aspect of running a business is marketing. In fact, the marketing department alone has many hats to wear. To get the business up and running and, ideally, growing, you need to know your conversion rate, the lifetime value of your customers, where your consumers hang out, how to promote to that demography on the platform where they hang out, and handle an unending list of tasks.

Some people thrive when they have to wear several hats, but you will have to determine whether juggling all these various roles is the correct choice for you. Ultimately, the majority of these jobs can be outsourced or assigned to freelancers, but you should still

What Buyers Need to Know

If you are looking at buying an ecommerce business, there are a few things to take into consideration. Obviously, you want the basics out of the way. This will involve verifying the seller’s income and traffic by actually logging into their analytics. It is never advisable just to trust screenshots, as screenshots can easily be photoshopped.

Outside of those basics, there are a few growth questions you should ask before buying an ecommerce business.

First of all, can the business be expanded into new product territories? For instance, in our coffee mug example, there are plenty of products someone could expand their store into. These might include tea cups or actual bags of coffee and tea, etc. This differs from diversifying the channel in which you are selling, in that you actually have more things to sell and aren’t just exposing your one core product to a new audience. There is plenty of room for product growth.

Next, ask yourself if this business is a real brand or if it could become one. A business named BestCoffeeMugs2016.com is going to be a dubious brand to build on. Something like “Cool Mugs” has more brand potential, as it’s short and memorable. Look for a business that goes beyond just the niche play and can be expanded into dominating broader niches.

And lastly, what e-commerce system does the shop actually employ to manage itself? Self-hosted solutions like Magento, which some individuals choose, can cause a variety of technical problems if you are not familiar with the platform.

Some people even utilize WordPress, which has some limitations on what you can accomplish. Many people have excellent success using a more user-friendly, or "newb" friendly, platform like Shopify, and some people choose to use ready-made solutions like Shopify storefronts.

No concerns if you are comfortable with Magento. Ask the vendor for training on how to utilize the platform effectively or dive deep into tutorials on the platform if you're considering buying a website built on a platform like Magento but are unfamiliar with them.

After taking care of everything else, you should find out if they have exclusive rights with the manufacturer. Additionally, find out what sort of lead times they anticipate with each purchase to replenish their inventory (the period of time between placing an order and the product arriving in the warehouse). This is crucial for improving the management of your inventory.

Has the production process encountered any snags? Is there a maximum amount of product that the factory can produce? Exist any more factories that could help with the workload in the event that the primary manufacturer's capacity is reached?

Inquire about the company's customer assistance system as well. Many e-commerce companies are solely owner-operated, which means they handle all of the arising customer care difficulties. This could be just a few phone calls or emails a week, or it could be a full-fledged operation.

It is good to know what they have in place and even better to know what kind of options are open to you.

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What Sellers Need to Know

If you are looking to sell your ecommerce business, there are a few things you can do to boost your ability to sell the ecommerce business for the most money.

It goes without saying that you should pay attention to everything in the buyer section above. After all, your potential customers undoubtedly will be. The more organized and well-oiled your website and business operations are, the more appealing it will appear to potential buyers. Always consider how you can make it simpler for the new owner to take over the company, enabling them to "plug and play" and begin making money as soon as possible with their new investment.

Additionally, you want to strive for a true brand for your online store. Customers should feel loyal to and invested in a brand they can be passionate about. In the long run, having a brand identity will help you stay ahead of competitors who enter your area. Having a brand also makes it simpler to make money when you introduce new products.

While building a brand is not particularly challenging, the process can take a while. As you advertise your store, consider your brand identity from the beginning and frame your content around it.

While branding is vital, it's almost just as important to keep expanding your company in fresh methods that boost sales and expand your market share in the industry. Selling across several channels is one of the finest ways for an online store to achieve this.

One channel is your internet store. The greater your exposure to the entire specialty is, the more channels you have. Converting some of your best products into an Amazon FBA business on top of the e-commerce website is one extremely easy way to go about doing this.

At the end of the day, the more you can do to make your business a formidable opponent to any competitor encroachment while making the online store “plug and play” for the new owner, the higher the listing price you’ll be able to fetch for the business on the marketplace.

What Buyer Persona Best Fits an Ecommerce Business Model?

As with any business, certain buyer personalities will be attracted to an ecommerce business model over other models. You might find yourself identifying with one of these personalities and, if you do, it might be worth investing in an ecommerce business which is already making money. (You can find sites like these on our marketplace.)

Strategic Sally

For someone trying to corner a market, buying an ecommerce store might be a wise and highly beneficial investment.

Say, for illustration, that you had a fashion-related AdSense page. If you want to take things a step further, you can decide to buy a fully-sourced ecommerce store in the fashion niche that already has a brand and a following of customers who buy its products instead of a dropshipping company in the same market.

You can improve revenue and reach audiences who already have similar interests and beliefs by promoting both businesses on each other's websites.

DIY Dave

An e-commerce store, running on a self-hosted platform like Magento, would be a very alluring investment for someone who enjoys delving deeply into the technical facets of a business.


They can optimize the website's coding, make it load faster, add new plugins, or implement cart abandonment solutions to prevent visitors from leaving the page without making a purchase.

A DIY A brand-new, comprehensive marketing funnel that is methodically coupled with the actual e-commerce store could be modified or entirely created by Dave. Additionally, they can experiment with various manufacturers, delivery options, and other operational elements to significantly raise the profit margins for each sale.

Trader Ivan

An investor hoping to make a big splash online might consider an ecommerce store investment to be a fantastic opportunity. They are able to do things with an ecommerce business that they just can't do with other business models since they have control over the majority of the operations (i.e., there is no affiliate network that may prohibit you and retain your funds).

Even dropshipping and Amazon FBA don't provide you as much company control as a fully-sourced online store. It makes sense to bring in an investor for an ecommerce business because it requires funds to purchase existing products, design new ones, or place inventory orders. After all, an online store could become a formidable brand that attracts other top companies in its sector.

Flipper Fred

The fact that there are so many areas of the business that can be improved is one of the great things about ecommerce for someone trying to flip a business. With numerous adjustments, a buyer of an e-commerce website might significantly boost its profits. The value of an ecommerce business can be increased by doing anything from reducing cart abandonment to boosting website loading times, from adding more content to better copywriting, or even just switching payment processors to save a few cents on fees.

A flipper can sell the ecommerce company they purchased for a lot more money than it was originally listed for thanks to changes like these.

Growth Strategies

There are several routes someone could take to growing a small business into something much bigger.

Accessorize with Dropshipping

Your chances of making a sale increase when your business expands its product line since there are more opportunities to interest your target market. Add some dropshipping items that are connected to your main products as a simple method to accomplish this without having to invest a lot of money upfront on inventory (if at all possible, they should be accessories or something that requires your core product).

Addition of accessories is simple. They enhance your bottom line with no risk and give the search engines the opportunity to send you some additional organic traffic.

Of course, you should also be on the lookout for more products to source for your store. One way to choose what kind of products you source is to start off with a dropshipping offer. If that offer converts well enough on your store, look into how you can source that product yourself with your own branding.

Keyword Optimization

The next thing is to increase the organic traffic you are already getting by using a tool like SEMRush.

Find out what keywords you are ranking highly for then add more content to those pieces to help cement your dominance on page one of Google. For more information on how to do that, there is a post we recently wrote that is mainly meant for AdSense and Amazon sites. The same SEMRush strategy can be applied to an ecommerce business as well.

Considering that the aim of an online store should be to develop a strong brand as well as sell products, building an email list might prove to be a priceless resource. When you launch a new product, you will have an immediate audience of people who have raised their hands and indicated that they would like to hear more from you. You can drip feed high-value information relating to your products, and – more crucially — you will have this audience when you do so.

Multichannel selling has already been covered in the seller part, but it can significantly increase your revenue. Here are a few examples of the various online sales channels you can use:

  • Amazon FBA
  • Overstock.com
  • Buy.com
  • Shopping.com
  • Shopzilla.com
  • Froogle
  • Shopping comparison sites
  • Other public marketplaces (even places like eBay)

This of course does not include the potential of getting your product on the shelves of offline stores as well as the various online marketplaces.

Every sales channel you can get into and dominate is just another portion of the market you can have complete leverage over (and hence make a lot more money).

Affiliate Programs

Speaking of making more money, ecommerce is a perfect business to create an affiliate program.

Similar to an Amazon affiliate business, you can set up the affiliate program to pay out specific levels of compensation based on the quantity of goods sold. You could provide a 48-hour cookie or perhaps a longer one. Or, you can decide that, given the bigger profit margin, you only want to pay commission on the things you source yourself and skip paying it for the offers that involve drop-shipped goods.

With an affiliate program, the possibilities are truly endless. Especially if a fantastic affiliate starts pushing your products, it might be a significant win. If you treat your affiliates properly, it can become your top marketing channel, and the greatest thing is that you won't need to perform a lot of promotion.

Email Sequence

Once you start selling, another area for growth is the construction of an email list.

Automation after a purchase is what this is. It is essentially an email series that you can set up to send out over the course of a few days or even a few weeks after someone purchases a product from you. (You choose the length of the series; this is another thing to test and adjust.)

These emails are intended to cultivate new clients and entice them to learn more about your business. From this point on, you can start upselling current clients on similar deals.

You might set up a post-purchase automation email sequence for each of your key goods, depending on how many of them you have and what extras are offered, to significantly increase your overall lifetime value per client.

Resources to Learn More

Interested in learning all you can about ecommerce?

Here are two of the best resources around when it comes to taking a deep dive into how this specific business model works:

EcommerceFuel.com

Owners of more sophisticated online stores are catered to by this group. Having said that, it is still worthwhile to see, regardless of your level of experience. If you're looking for clever ways to expand your business, there is a ton of free information available in the shape of podcasts, blogs, and a few email opt-in inducements that might be worth checking out.

PracticalCommerce.com

As the name suggests, this website is packed full of useful tips, tricks, strategies, and general advice for anyone looking to dive into the world of ecommerce. It is a worthwhile place to check out and is loaded with free content that will help you grow your business.

Also make sure to check our guest post on the Shopify blog to learn even more selling/buying an ecommerce site.

Are you excited about ecommerce?

If you want to take the guesswork out of an ecommerce business so you can focus on tweaking the business to spit out bigger profits, then you might want to head to our marketplace to see our current ecommerce listings. It is typically easier to grow a business that is already making money versus starting one from scratch.

Or maybe you already have a profit-producing ecommerce store?

In that case, you might be looking to cash in on what you have created by selling your ecommerce business for a big payday. If that’s you, click here to learn about how to get your website listed on our marketplace and in front of 30,000+ hungry buyers.

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