You can choose between two kinds of vendors: Consultants and Technology Vendors.
The video lists the important points for choosing a vendor wisely who can help you start your online e-commerce portal.
You learn why you need a technology vendor or consultant who knows about online marketplaces, knows how to list products for sale, and work out costs and pricing of products down to the last step of collecting payments. You need to sign up for a vendor who can provide you round-the-clock support.
You will learn how to choose the right vendor for your business. Vendors are of two types:
You will learn the difference between these two types of vendors:
An e-commerce consultant will do the following:
Handhold at every step
They execute the following six important functions:
How to use technology
Right product to start e-commerce journey
How to do product listing?
Website or list at the marketplace
Actual costing for business
Provides Own Platform: They will also help you in setting up your website and several other things such as setting up an e-commerce portal.
Helps in Logistics and Courier Aggregation: You may be working with several courier companies who deliver to different pin codes and you need technology to aggregate them.
E-commerce Business Operations
Technology is critical for your business growth, yet we are hesitant to use it.
Key Note #1: How to Choose the Right E-Commerce Consultant
- Shared Goals & Values: You and the consultant should have the same common goal, which is to grow your business.
- Understand your Business Type: Your consultant should understand your business and should have interest and experience in the same category. The vendor can give you assurances, but ultimately, he can take you far only if he is interested in and understands your business.
- Experience: The vendor should have experience in marketplace onboarding. You need a vendor to help you onboard on sites like Flipkart, Amazon, and nykaa.com. He will also help with product listing. The vendor should also have a deep relationship with marketplace companies.
That’s because rules and regulations change frequently in such companies and your vendor should be able to warn you when this happens to safeguard your interests. Speak to the vendor’s clients and ask them if there was growth in their business through this vendor.
- Consultant Fees: There are two types of consultancy that you can seek:
a. Basic Consultancy: This refers to the help the vendor renders to you to get onboarded.
The next step is to list your products on the marketplace.
The First Marketing Campaign goes Live. Ask the vendor to include that in his basic consultancy.
b. Success Fee: This is referred to as a sales-based success. As your sales increase, share some of the revenue with your consultant.
Key Note #2: How to Choose the Right Technology Platform?
Here are some steps you can follow:
- Clear some e-commerce goals.
- Focus on Customer’s Needs: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and show empathy towards customers. Also, be mindful of customer’s needs and experience. Don’t go in for something cheap. Look at what the customer would choose and then make your decision.
What is right for the customer is right for your business.
- List down E-commerce software requirements: Every technology platform is different, but here is a list of general requirements, which you do need.
Third-party integrations are necessary. Can you, for example, join a new CRM?
Technical Requirements: Information Technology and Hosting Capabilities come under this head. Security Compliance and Certifications or such safety measures to safeguard your business from hacks is very important.
Functional Requirements: What are the web store features that they are providing? What are their Customer Service Capabilities? Check their Marketing Tools.
- Administration: This is Operation Management.
- Platform Costs: What are the costs involved in this important investment? This might involve some costs such as the following:
Out of the box software costs
Additional Customisation Fees
Additional Hosting Partner Costs: These occur when your business becomes big and orders are too many. Then, you may need additional external partners and extra space on the cloud.
Service and Support Fees: Note down what is included in your package.
Add-on Costs: You also need a Payment Service Provider. You might be receiving international payments, so you can use PayPal or Stripe.
Fees for Design or Templates: What is your design? This is an added cost, although a service provider can also give it free.
These are the eight important costs, so keep these important points in mind when you are hunting for an e-commerce vendor.
Time is Money.
While implementing technology, we often just look at our bank statements. Let us not forget that time is money.
- Relevant Experience: Ask your vendor if he has experience with similar e-commerce merchants?
- Customer Support: You need to support your customers 24X7. Can you imagine what will happen if a company like Google breaks down even for a few minutes? But it happened some months ago. That is why you must take some form of written guarantee that you can count on the support for your portals 24X7.