How to Start an eCommerce Business in 7 Steps
The rise of the Internet brought many convenient alternatives to the status quo, particularly in the business sector.
Online shopping, which was then considered a luxury, has become a necessity due to the pandemic.
According to a Statista study, the number of online buyers will reach 290 million in 2025, making setting up an online store today a significant investment.
Aside from giving you a more extensive reach with potential customers, you’ll also enjoy fewer expenses depending on your chosen platform.
In these seven steps, we’ll teach you how you can easily start your eCommerce business.
1. Research About E-commerce Space and Find Your Niche
Research is the crucial first step in anything that requires money to start.
You’ll have to look at the products or services you’ll be offering, whether fully digital or physical. You also need to look at logistics, such as where to source your initial stock and which shipping options are the best.
Lastly, see how your potential competitors are doing and look at possible areas where you can do better. You’ll also have to find your niche, which can be the most challenging step in establishing a business.
You should know which products you’ll sell, your area of expertise, and overall consumer demands. In order to get an understanding of the market, you need to take your time to review the statistics about online shopping for 2021.
2. Source or Develop Your Products and Make a List
After determining your niche, you should now assess your products to be sold. Ask yourself whether you will rebrand ready-made products or create them on your own. Each will have its challenges.
Rebranding mass-produced products are more straightforward and take fewer steps. However, it lacks the customizability and originality that your created products may have. Conversely, your products’ uniqueness may raise their prices and take more time to make.
Making a list of your products and potential material suppliers will also benefit you. Try to compare your supplier’s prices with each other without sacrificing the quality of the materials, and assess which of them gives the best price-to-quality ratio.
If you’re selling services, simply describe what each service offers along with your credentials and list them on your website.
3. Choose an Ecommerce Platform
The next step is to choose the appropriate eCommerce platforms where you can sell your products.
Ultimately, you’ll have two choices: you can choose to sell it on your website or employ third-party online retail platforms such as eBay or Amazon.
Selling it on your website means you can keep all your profits, but this comes with expenses such as website maintenance, design, and domain fees. If you’re focused on building your brand (which you should be), this choice is the way since it offers high customizability through hosting platforms such as Shopify or Squarespace.
Alternatively, you could use third-party online retail platforms such as Amazon or eBay to sell your products. You’ll have to pay for listing and other service fees, but this could be an easier choice if you’re only starting. You’ll still get to show off your brand and logo on your seller’s profile, but brand-building won’t be that extensive.
4. Create Your Online Store
After choosing an e-commerce platform, you can now create your online store – another crucial step in starting your eCommerce business.
First, you’ll have to choose a domain name that matches your business name. Remember that this address will direct your customers toward you, so make it as remarkable as possible.
After choosing your domain name, you can now customize your website’s user interface. Try to follow basic user interface principles, such as focusing on ease of access while balancing the overall aesthetics.
5. Define Your Brand, Look & Feel of Your Website
An eye-catching website keeps your customers scrolling for your products, so you must take your time in defining your company’s branding and designing your online store.
To define your overall branding, you should first make your company’s logo. Your logo should be representative of your company’s services and products. Try choosing something that is clean-looking and easily remembered.
From your logo, source your website’s colour palette and other design elements to complement it, such as font name, shapes, and symbols.
Creating the actual website for your online store is challenging. Fortunately, some eCommerce platforms allow you to not only launch your online business but also help design your website.
Developing your overall branding also improves your business’ customer retention rate, ensuring sustainability in the highly saturated market.
6. Prepare the Necessary Legal Document
After establishing your initial business plans, you should now prepare and process the necessary legal documents to legitimize your business.
Start by choosing a unique and remarkable business name. You should select something that clearly says what your company does for the tagline. You should also ensure your business name is unique by checking in with your Secretary of State’s website and the Patent and Trademark Office.
Generally, online businesses do not require some of the business licenses and permits that physical stores need. However, you may be required to prepare for a general operating license, local operating license, sale tax permits, signage permits, professional and trade licenses (depending on the nature of your company), and health and environmental permits.
7. Set up Social Media Accounts
Setting up social media accounts makes your company’s reach even more expansive. After all, they’re basically free advertisements depending on the number of your engagements, your posted content, and the platform’s algorithm.
Maintain your online presence by posting regularly. You can also try piggybacking on occasions, social media trends, and challenges by giving discount codes. Just make sure that you keep your content consistent with your company branding.
If you’ve got enough funds, using these platforms for paid advertisements can give you even more traction.
Starting Your eCommerce Business the Easy Way
Buying and selling products are now more accessible thanks to technological advancements. The revolution that is eCommerce made businesses more easily managed and grown.
However, as with its physical counterpart, starting your online store is not without its challenges. Fortunately, these seven easy steps we’ve given you will help you set your own in no time.
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