The phrase side hustle has left many people looking for their opportunity and they found themselves asking what skills do you need for ecommerce? If you have a full time job and want to make money on the side or a stay at home parent who is looking to gain some income while caring for children, ecommerce seems like an attractive way to start your side hustle so let’s examine what skills you need to really be successful at ecommerce.
What skills do you need for ecommerce?
- Basic Business Knowledge – At the end of the day you when you run an ecommerce business it is still a business. You need to know how to track your sales, expenses, taxes and create the business entity to separate this operation from your personal budget. Additionally, you need to be able to setup relationships potentially with vendors or suppliers to offer their products for sale. You have to understand the full cost of doing an ecommerce business and understanding that when you list something for sale you need to pay potentially the marketplace fees, credit card transaction fees, listing fees and then do shipping and handling for the item. Additionally when you purchase products for sale you need to know what landed cost means which includes not only the price tag you paid for the product but the taxes and delivery costs you paid to get the product so that you are truly making a profit when you make the sale.
- Inventory Knowledge – While having a business sense about you seems obvious when you think about what skills do you need for ecommerce, what is less obvious is inventory management skills. At the end of the day most ecommerce is about selling a product. You need to ensure you have good mechanisms in place to track your products, your warehouse locations, when you need to restock and forecast out to ensure you maintain stock levels across the year. Additionally you need to know what products are not moving as fast and becoming stale so you can take action. When you work with ecommerce and you sell online, you need to remember at the end of the day it is all about your products and you as the owner need to know how to easily store, track and process your orders and find products to buy and ship out. Again, this seem obvious but as you may start out using a second bedroom for products they start to pile up and get harder to harder to track as your sales come in to quickly ship out your goods.
- Digital Marketing Knowledge – Ecommerce is selling online. Anytime you are doing anything online with a goal of driving someone to make a purchase you need to have a working understanding of digital marketing so your products are found online. This includes understanding search engine optimization so you are creating listings online that are easily searched and found in top positions on marketplaces or search engines. Each marketplace or search engine has different rules of the road on how they rank results so you need to know how to properly create your listing to increase the changes you are found online. You need to always remember that like you, many other people are asking themselves what skills do you need for ecommerce as they see an opportunity as well. So like you they are listing products and many will be competitors. To stand out and get in front of the competition you need to learn digital marketing and how to best design your listings to be easily found and ranked.
- Brand Management Knowledge – It is always good to think about your own buying habits when you think about what skills do you need for ecommerce. When you search for a product and find someone’s website, what makes you buy from that person or become scared away from the website. When you are on eBay or Amazon and find what you are looking for but do not make the purchase – ask yourself why not? The typical reason is that the seller of the product has a poor brand or product from a reviews or impression perspective. Do you buy a product on Amazon with all negative reviews or from an eBay seller with low seller rating? Do you buy from a brands website when you don’t recognize the brand and do not feel confident in the website? To be successful with ecommerce, you need to establish yourself and your brand so that buyers can trust you will deliver great products, quickly and securely. This means working hard to ensure your products ship quickly and that you are responsive to your customers questions. This means you need to have a secure website and credit card processing shopping cart.
As someone who is thinking about what skills do you need for ecommerce you really need to have the balance of business to ensure you are buying products at the right price to make a profit, knowing how to get your products listed so that you can be found and creating a brand so that the buyer has the confidence to the make the purchase. If you can do those things that getting into ecommerce is a great side hustle and over time an opportunity to become a full time living.