5 Tips to Launch an eCommerce Business in College
Many people have to work their way through college. They can become overwhelmed working menial, work-study jobs. One of my friends hated working at the school library for $8 an hour.
Fortunately, there are other ways to make a living in college. Running your own ecommerce business can be a great option. FastWeb published a post about a number of college students that took the entrepreneurial approach. This is a very lucrative career that you can have after college. Last year, ecommerce companies generated nearly $400 billion in sales.
However, you need to make sure you are well organized. If you want to launch the next Amazon from your dorm, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Use Studying Hacks to Save Time
At the college I attended, the average student had to spend about 70 hours a week between classes and studying. You probably won’t have to invest so much time where you study, but you are still going to have a hard time balancing running a business and studying.
You will need to start studying smarter. You can save a lot of time if you find a way to be more efficient.
Use a Drop Shipping Company
If you want to make any real money from your ecommerce company, you need to sell a fairly high volume of inventory. You don’t want to store that inventory in your dorm room. Do you really trust your roommates, their friends or other people on your floor with several thousand dollars’ worth of inventory?
You are in college. People steal things when they are running low on cash. They have parties and things get broken. It isn’t a risk that you want to take.
Of course, you probably don’t want to pay a couple hundred dollars a month for storage either. A better option is to use a drop shipping company, so you don’t have to deal with inventory at all.
Drop shipping companies also have great payment gateway solutions, such as Shopify POS.
Know Your Audience
Learning to empathize with your customers is crucial for ecommerce marketing. Every customer has their own pain points, which inspire them to make purchases.
Many ecommerce marketers fail, because they don’t understand the factors that motivate their customers. Here are some common motivating factors that influence different customers’ buying decisions:
- College men are often interested in meeting more women.
- Single mothers are concerned about saving money.
- Self-employed professionals are often looking for solutions that help them save time, so can invest more energy into other aspects of their business.
If you are marketing to a demographic other than your own, then you should do your research before launching campaigns.
Cut Your Personal Expenditures So You Can Save a Little Money
You are a college student on a tight budget. You have socials, parties and pledging fees to pay. Paying for advertising, inventory and hosting fees can be tough.
It is easy to get discouraged and want to give up when you can’t find a way. The reality is that you probably aren’t making enough sacrifices.
You may want to opt out of one of the parties you were co-hosting if you were expected to pay for it. You may want to stop going out for pizza every Friday with your buddies. Making little cuts here and there can help you come up with the money you need to get your company off the ground.
Use an Inbound Marketing Strategy
Promoting ecommerce products can be tough without the right traffic source. You can’t expect people to stumble on your website and start buying.
It is a good idea to use PPC marketing campaigns, because the users have intent and you can pre-qualify them. If you don’t have any experience in this area, you may want to contact reliable company like WordStream to analyze your strategy.
Running an Ecommerce Business in College is Completely Doable
Starting an ecommerce business is difficult, but it is far from impossible. You just need to plan carefully and make the right sacrifices.