How to Start an eCommerce Business

Updated On October 4, 2021 by Anca Iusan
eCommerce Guides

With the mandatory stay at home, we realized that our business needed to have an online presence, but the knowledge on how to start an eCommerce business was lacking, at least for many of us.

Like any business, starting is the hardest part, and eCommerce is no different. Whether you are starting from scratch or looking for an eCommerce business for sale, our guide will certainly help you through the processes. 

Today, it is easy to create an online store with countless selling platforms making setting up, launching and selling, and expanding your eCommerce business effortless.

The eCommerce business is worth 4.28 trillion dollars, and revenues are expected to reach 5.4 trillion dollars by 2022.

So in case you are thinking, is there a spot for me, my product, an idea, or service, the answer is a big YES. Online shopping is a luxury that everyone enjoys globally. Even better is that you do not need a physical store to start an eCommerce business making it affordable, flexible, and easy.

So how do you start an eCommerce business? We will gladly break it down into steps. Like every business, some eCommerce education is needed.

For more information, contact Ecomitize for all the support you need to get started. You have the idea, we bring the big guns.

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce, short for electronic commerce, is any business done over the internet without physical contact. This includes all transactions between businesses (B2B), between a business and a customer (B2C), between customers (C2C), or customer-to-business (C2B). The term eCommerce is meant to describe that it’s all happening online.

The online retail business is a profitable one, and if you know how to work the ropes, you should be on your way to success in no time. However, we still see many incredible ideas suffer immense loss over the internet. One is left to wonder if they did their research properly before diving into it.

The internet is a dungeon of opportunities, and only those with the right arsenal are successful. Ecomitize is a professional team of eCommerce specialists with years of experience, and we can help you gain traction on the internet.

We will not only support you with the necessary information to make you successful but have a credible team to create your own website, launch, manage and ensure all loopholes are covered.

Additionally, there are many eCommerce platforms to start from and grow your business.

Starting an eCommerce business is more than finding an eCommerce platform and choosing a store name. It involves much more, and we will list all the steps to ensure success is yours.

Making your business choices

Think business type

We have one piece of advice for people who want to start an eCommerce business, look around and offer a solution that people need. You need to resolve a problem with your products or services.

It’s even better to bring a solution to the people instead of them travelling outside the community for it. Do you want to start your own online store from scratch or buy an eCommerce business on sale? Think business type before anything else.

Regardless of what your sell or offer, you will find a buyer with the right strategy, but first thing first, think about the business model.

Your success depends on how much planning goes into the thought. When we say think business type, we mean to choose a product you can sell that will attract potential customers.

What can you sell online?

  • Digital goods are the most sellable items now. People want to know but also have the solutions with them. These include e-books, software, apps, music downloads, etc.
  • You can sell memberships, subscriptions, and educational course
  • Physical products that can be shipped
  • Services

If your business consists of two types, then eCommerce allows you to do just that. It also enables you to dropship.

Once you are done with the thinking part, you need to create an online presence.

Choose a sustainable business type & a niche

Regardless of the products or services you intend to sell, there is a market for it.

Your niche is finding who needs your products/services and is willing to pay for them. Imagine this scenario, you want to start a dog grooming centre, and there are a couple of dog owners in your community.

Now, presenting a dog grooming and napping centre will set you apart because busy people can leave their pets with you.

This is a business niche that is thinking outside the box.

Now imagine you found an untapped niche (which is highly unlikely) do not dive headfirst without a prior understanding of the market, potential customers, and if they will pay for what you have to offer.

While you struggle to create a sustainable business, your customers must require your products and services every once in a while.

You definitely do not need to worry too much about it. There are countless tools online to help you with your research.

Try the Google AdWords keyword planner to find the keywords related to your niches and how many searches come up under each.

The more searches, the likelihood of a viable market.

It is time to choose what sells

So we have covered the business type and choosing a niche, but that is not all.

It is time to decide what to sell. You have to streamline your niche and decide on the particular product or set of products.

For example, if you decide on household products, choose something specific, like kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, garden products, and so on.

In this step, we narrow it down to the bedroom and decide to sell bed sheets. You have to decide if you are selling to homeowners or the hospitality industry. While you decide which people need the sheets, understand their needs and what they want. Customers with kids or who host a lot would want beautiful, sustainable, and easy-to-clean sheets.

With countless app and tools to compare prices and product authenticity on the internet, try to find out exactly what you want to sell. Use the keywords that suit your niche, and they will lead you to the best product and what customers are looking for.

Pay attention to your competition

It is easy to be blindsided by an eCommerce business and miss the competition. This is something you want to pay attention to.

While you should be wary of the competition, knowing your competition validates a business and gives you an idea of the direction you should follow. Do your research right, look at their products, online presence, the target audience and see what makes them special for their customers.

Creating an online store

Once you have a niche, product, know the competition and customers, it is time to create an online persona.

Brand & business

Branding is crucial for online businesses, and a the image is part of starting an eCommerce business. For example, assuming you want to get into selling health products – build a brand persona around the idea of energy and health.

Choosing a business name

Your business name is your identity and should clearly narrate what your company is all about. Like any business name, your store name must be unique and clear.

For example, imagine you are selling premium dog food, but your name generalizes it as pet food. It does not tell your customers your unique selling point and will likely make you lose potential clients. While you should not take the process of choosing a name lightly, remember the following:

  • It should give an impression of your business
  • Avoid abstract names and choose names that relate to the people
  • Use a business name generator to find a suitable name for the business
  • Ask your friends and family for their opinion on the name
  • Let the name reflect the product you are selling

Trademark your eCommerce business

Millions of people start businesses and choose a name to match. When you think you have a winning name, it is time to trademark it.

Trademarking your business name ensures nobody else gets to use the name other than you. Before you trademark your business name, visit your local trademark office and check if the chosen name is available. Check also for an available domain name for your website.

Setting up your store

Choosing an eCommerce platform

You cannot have an eCommerce business without an online store. Today, we are lucky to have so many choices. Among the best eCommerce platforms are:

Shopify: This is the most popular eCommerce platform and one of the best for beginners, intermediate, and advanced sellers. Shopify is an amazing starting point for your e-business because it is easy, intuitive, and offers incredible admin support. It offers exceptional packages, including hosting, and a pricing plan with free 14 days trial.

Magento: is another excellent eCommerce platform and it’s a free-source software. You need to find hosting for a Magento website. You have access to incredible store designs and many more.

The only downside to Magento is a learning curve, but Ecomitize can help you through it. If you are looking to open an eCommerce store on Magento, we are here to help.

Other platforms are BigCommerce, Wix, Zyro, Square, and Ecwid, among others.

To host or self-host

Web hosting is one crucial aspect of operating an eCommerce business and depending on the eCommerce platform you choose, you can be hosted on an external server or have it hosted by the same company. If you are new to eCommerce and online selling, go for hosted platforms to enable you to focus on your store and selling your products or services. Shopify offers this service.

However, if the eCommerce platform of choice does not offer hosting options, you will need a hosting company to do that.

Choosing a store design

Shopify is one of the best eCommerce solutions for small businesses looking to start an eCommerce business. It has everything to enable them to start, including ‘how to open an online store step by step’ for first-timers. This guide allows beginners to understand the store with little stress. 

Tips on choosing the perfect store design

  • Go for custom homepages and do not overcrowd it
  • Choose themes that are visually elegant and simple
  • Use good images and videos
  • Remember, it is all about the people using the products and the product itself
  • Create categories and use SEO titles and description
  • Take a sneak peek at the competition, as their strategy might be valuable to you

Marketing for your eCommerce business

Now that you have everything in check, it is time to start selling. It is time to promote your products and drive customers to your site. You can use paid ads or free, but either way, you must put in the effort to make it work.

Tips

  • Use your social media page to promote your store and add a link to direct the customer to it
  • Start a blog or be a guest blogger on a popular site
  • Do not forget SEO
  • Take the opportunity of every advertising offer online and offline
  • Start an email list or offer giveaways

The eCommerce industry is worth trillions of dollars and is very profitable, but you can fail woefully without the right information. Remember, this is not a sprint; you must be diligent and put in the effort.

Need help skipping the stress? Contact Ecomitize today.


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