How To Start An eCommerce Business: A Complete Guide
May 14, 2021 | 0 min read
It is rather true of how one dreams about indulging in the eCommerce market but is pushed away thinking of the overhead costs that were involved?
However, in present times, the eCommerce business has worked to alleviate most costs that were associated with running a business in the past. A great deal of share is the prevalent presence of an online store and how the market world has diverted its sales to the comfort of the buyers, to their doorstep.
With the high engagement rate that is present in the virtual world, the physical presence has taken a backseat, with the websites now acting as a storefront as compared to the brick-and-mortar store. Also, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the depleting market, it is only safe for most eCommerce businesses to get into the virtual marketing business.
Several eCommerce businesses have started in the founder’s basement or garage with only a few products in inventory. An eCommerce business also gives way to the entrepreneurs to test the waters and get valuable customer feedback before getting into the online platform wholeheartedly.
To begin an eCommerce business, all you require is a high-quality product, audience, and great customer experience via the customer reviews that form the base for future customers.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of An eCommerce Business/Online Store?
To help you decide better, it is important to indulge in the pros and cons of an eCommerce business:
- In addition to saving most overhead costs in the business, an eCommerce business can be set and up running in just a few days. In simple words, it is rather easy to set up an eCommerce business website than open a physical storefront.
- With an eCommerce business, an entrepreneur has full control over the final product. So, if your deal is to design a package for the customers in a certain way or wish to leave a handwritten note, it’s all up to you.
- Although online, from the time you start an eCommerce business, you’d experience the pleasure of knowing that you’d be providing your followers with a physical product to enhance their everyday lives.
- Unlike in a physical store where the customer would walk in, pick their product, and purchase it. An eCommerce business will require additional steps to delivering the product to your customer.
- Unlike when you start an eCommerce business, as and when you build up, you might face difficulty tackling the day-to-day tasks on your own.
- An eCommerce business requires multiple roles to keep the orders moving smoothly via the fulfillment process.
How To Start An eCommerce Business? – 3 Simple Steps
Even before you indulge in the eCommerce business, you need to determine if you have a passion for eCommerce. Does the idea of creating unique products, designing brands, and improving prototypes sound interesting? Can you work with a team?
If the answer is yes then starting an eCommerce business is your cup of tea/coffee.
Did you know that the best eCommerce shop owners are described as storytellers? This is because they are observed to be quite passionate about the customer service that they offer, tracking metrics, experiment with products, seek feedback, and creating value for their customers be it in a storefront or an online store.
To help you start an eCommerce business, here are a few steps that you’d need to take:
1) Choose Your eCommerce Shop Name
The idea is to choose an eCommerce business name that isn’t already on the market, or it could lead to division and confusion between the customers of both the eCommerce businesses. Choosing a unique and different name for your online store also ensures to protect your reputation and help the business to stand out from the competitors.
Pro Tip – In order to know if a name already exists, you should search the name in question on Google and social media platforms. In case it is and you do not wish to change it, you’ll have to buy your domain name with the help of sites, such as GoDaddy and Google Domains.
2) Register Your eCommerce Business
Once you’ve chosen an eCommerce business name, next is to register your business with the state. Also, make sure to work with a lawyer to understand the important laws for eCommerce business from scratch to know and be aware of things ahead of time.
Additionally, sign up for your EIN and get any necessary permits for your eCommerce platform, however, in case you aren’t sure of where to start with, look into your state’s Department of Revenue website or federal level business resources.
3) Choose An eCommerce Website For Your Online Business
To have a successful eCommerce business plan, the business owners need to be more creative with choosing the website platform as a part of the business ideas to promote and gain attraction in the target market, especially online.
A website becomes an interface between the business and the customers, putting across the business models and products to sell. Try and also invest time in understanding more about SEO to help optimize your website well for a good search ranking than simply uploading a website with no traffic and functionality.
Search engines like Google tend to prioritize the high-quality content to their result pages. Therefore, your goal now is to increase the value of your website pages and boost them to climb to the top of the results page.
Stages Of Building An eCommerce Business – From Creation To Consumer
Not that you’ve done checking the preliminary tasks on how to start an eCommerce store, it’s now time to bring the product to the delivery phase.
Here are the details on how each phase helps in making a successful eCommerce business:
- Through research – This is the initial step for any business to choose a niche for the eCommerce store. Instead of trying to sell anything and everything like Amazon, you must narrow the specific products that you wish to sell to the market on priority, which will also create the base of the business. For instance, a cooking tool, personalized notebooks, audio equipment, vintage clothing, etc. By doing so, one can also understand what sells and what you must sell to the market.
- Evaluation of the products – Next is to evaluate if the product you choose to sell is needed by the potential customers. To achieve it, try sending surveys, host focus groups, and interview your customer base that matches your target audience description.
- Create – Once the validation is done, the next part is to create! This is where you will want to decide if you wish to create the product yourself or sell the already curated products.
- Promotion – There is no sell without promotion, we all are aware of that. Invest time in the creation stage and plan your eCommerce promotions. To begin with, start testing different marketing channels and view what works best into the launch mode.
- Launching the product – This is the moment that you’ve been waiting for throughout, launching your online storefront! To reach here, it is important to have a plan that will help you understand how to fulfill orders, greet the customers and turn them into lifetime brand advocates.
- Delivery of the products – This last stage is the most crucial one as you can’t boost your brand name until there are happy customers you’ve delivered to. While being an important stage, it is also tedious, however, with the completion, you have assured a great experience for your customers.
To Conclude: Getting Ready to Start An eCommerce Business!
We hope that with the help of this article, you will get your shop up and running. So will you create your product or find products? Will you choose to utilize influencers or hit hard on your email marketing campaigns? Will you sell on Amazon? Or, will you try crowdfunding your next product?
For instance, if you want to sell digital products inside the store, you can set up your first digital product at ease with the help of the above-mentioned steps.
FAQs: Starting An Online Business: A Complete Guide
1) What does it cost to initiate an online store?
To initiate an online store, the average cost includes a professionally-built eCommerce website of around $5,000 to $10,000, a domain name of around $2 – $20 per year, and hosting at $300 per month.
2) What are the ways to start an online store?
- Decide on the niche of the business
- Choose between dropshipping and your products
- Brainstorm a unique business name
- Register the domain name
- Choose and create a listing
- Create a website
- Set up the business and get a sales tax ID
3) What kind of business starts with zero investment?
- Online seller
- Starting a recruitment firm
- Becoming a reseller
- Selling online services
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG