What is ecommerce all about?
Your dictionary will tell you, more or less, that it means “doing business online”. But what kind of trade isn’t done online in some way these days? Even local businesses like plumbers have their own websites, and might find work through HomeAdviser or TrustATrader.
Ecommerce is certainly diverse, and means different things to different people. To some, it’s less about technology and more about people. To others, the element of trust – or the lack of it – is key. Yet others see it defined by entrepreneurship, and the freedom to do business without being in the same place as their customers, or even the same time zone.
So there’s no single defining characteristic that makes ecommerce what it is. There are many, and the one that’s most important to you depends on your individual knowledge and experience. I asked thirty people in the business “what defines ecommerce for you?” so I can share that diverse range of opinions. Here’s what they said.
In 2014 Will Tjernlund and his brother Andrew sold $6 million of products on Amazon.com. They also generated around $1 million of sales on eBay, and half a million on their own webstores.
The year before, 2013, they sold around $1.2 million on Amazon. That was also the year Will graduated from the University of Minnesota, doubling the business’s full-time headcount from one to two.
How can two people drive that kind of sales volume? Well, the Tjernlunds’ business model is to develop their own “private label” items – lower-cost versions of products that they sell under their own brand names. They buy from manufacturers in China, and send the inventory into Amazon’s FBA fulfillment service. That’s the last time they have to handle their own stock.
I spoke to Will Tjernlund about how he got into selling online, his product development process, the merits of FBA, and what’s next for the business. Here’s what he told me.
This post is by Shabbir Nooruddin, an ecommerce entrepreneur and blogger who has been working on online businesses and income streams for over four years.
Running an online store is a lot of work. To get online shoppers to convert and buy your products, you have to get more and more creative as every day goes by. You have to be one step ahead of the competition all the time.
Getting ahead of the competition is made a lot easier by some of the awesome apps and extensions available for your store. Shopify and Bigcommerce have incredibly robust and diverse app stores – each filled with little nuggets of gold.
There are a LOT of apps available, but some stand out a lot more than others. Here are some of the coolest apps around for both platforms.
This post is by Mark Faggiano, founder and CEO of TaxJar – a service built to make sales tax compliance easier for multi-channel ecommerce sellers. Even if you’re not based in the U.S., there are some international implications of sales tax you should be aware of!
When you started selling online, chances are you got into it for the thrill of selling your handmade product, making a profit on a thrift store find, or the joys of online arbitrage.
When lost in the thrill of the sale, it’s easy to overlook the nagging administrative details you’ll face. And one of the most vexing of those can be sales tax.
This in-depth guide will walk online sellers through the basics of sales tax, help you determine where, when and how much you’re liable for sales tax, and detail some common scenarios and problems.
Read on for more information. Or if you have a specific question, feel free to skip ahead.
This post is by Claire Taylor, CEO of SIMPLYVAT.com – a company which helps ecommerce businesses trade across borders in compliance with complex European VAT legislation.
If you sell online you need to understand which international tax laws will be relevant to your business. Just because your business is online, doesn’t mean it isn’t governed by the normal rules of taxation.
And if you sell to buyers in European countries, even if your business is based in another part of the world, you need to know about VAT.
So what do ecommerce businesses need to think about? What exactly are the different rules and regulations? What do you need to do to ensure you are compliant? And what happens if you don’t comply?