With the exponential growth of the eCommerce industry, every retail business is looking to build a successful online store where they can sell their range of products and services. However, to build a successful eCommerce business, you need to start with the basics of understanding eCommerce as an industry.
We spoke with Daniel Kerr, CEO of OpenCart, an open Source online store management program about the concerns of eCommerce entrepreneurs and the latest trends in the industry.
1. What inspired you to start OpenCart? Tell us the story.
I was working as a software engineer in a battery company in 2007. It was then when I realized the lack of proper updated technology for eCommerce.
There were many businesses that didn’t have the updated technology to really thrive, so I decided to develop my own.
During the initial five years, I was working a full-time job and working on this project after work. It completely destroyed by health.
I was eating unhealthily and sleeping less. During that period, I wasn’t making any money from it, but I believed in my idea and the need for updated technology.
It was only in the last two years when things took a turn for the better. That’s when I quit my job and launched OpenCart.
2. What are some of the top concerns of first-time online sellers?
When it comes to building a successful business and understanding eCommerce, there are three things that all entrepreneurs want to get right.
First is the product. Online sellers want to determine if there is a need for the product in the market, what the competition is like. In addition to this, they want to know how to market and promote the product.
Second is the price of that product. A common concern among new sellers is figuring out how to price the product so that it has a competitive advantage over their competitors.
Thirdly, it’s about finding ways to build a profitable business. Another concern most new sellers have is finding ways to sell a great product that’s competitively priced and has enough marketing to promote maximum sales.
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3. What are some of the common mistakes first-time sellers often make?
Once entrepreneurs decide on a product, they are in such a hurry to launch that they do not check their website properly.
Often some of the pages aren’t responsive and the UI and UX need to be worked upon. It’s a good practice to test and then test again before launching your website to the world.
A large part of understanding eCommerce and building a successful eCommerce business depends on the efficiency and performance of your eCommerce website.
4. What are some of the most interesting observations you have made about the changing dynamics of the eCommerce industry in the last 3 years?
1. Cloud version: The Cloud is today’s modern way of hosting. Almost everything is now on the cloud from music, TV & movies to your personal photos.
2. Payment and shipping: With increasing competition in the eCommerce environment, businesses are increasingly improving their services by providing multiple payment gateway options and better shipping to retain their customers.
3. Advertising and marketing: Businesses are working hard to go out there and be seen by their potential customers. They’re engaging in various kinds of advertising and social media marketing tactics to get the word out there.
5. What are your future plans for OpenCart?
We’re working towards OpenCart Cloud. It is an eCommerce solution hosted on AWS servers and built for every type of business.
We’re very excited about it and can’t wait to see your business thrive like the other 450,000 businesses have since OpenCart started back in 2005.
Our priority is to allow merchants to focus on their business and leave the technical side of their online business to us.
It’s just the beginning, we have so much planned!
We’ve done our research in what we want to see develop in our cloud solution, we have a very loyal developer base and we’re excited to see the community of OpenCart benefit from this.