According to Oberlo.com, more than 1.9 billion people purchased online in 2019, and with so many marketplaces and free tools available at the moment, it’s easier than ever to start your own eCommerce business and join the online shopping market.
Running a successful eCommerce business, on the other hand, needs significantly more than just choosing a store name and jump right in to start selling things. If you’re looking for a place to learn how to start an eCommerce business, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we will be providing a detailed guide with a step-by-step guide from choosing your niche, business model to build your store, and how to sell them.
1. Choose your niche.
You might already know what you want to sell. Perhaps you could create one-of-a-kind hats and scarves and want to bring them to a wider audience through an Etsy shop.
Or maybe you’re not sure what the product is for your store. In that case, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Follow your passion
Begin by researching product ideas that are relevant to your hobbies. If you enjoy thrifting and antique clothing, consider reselling what you find suitable with your style, as Amy Yee of Maeven Vintage does. Or maybe you love animals and can make pet toys, just like Lynn Bahr of Dezi & Roo.
Starting an eCommerce business based on a favorite hobby or personal experience is a fantastic option since you already have a passion for the niche as well as a grasp of it, which may help you create a thriving business—and have fun doing it.
Follow the trends
Need suggestions? Look at what other people are searching for on Google, or see what’s trending on eBay and Walmart. You can also see what’s trending on Kickstarter, which products are moving to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list, and which products are often added to Amazon customers’ wish lists and registries. It’s a great idea to see what shoppers prefer so you can get a better understanding of your potential customer.
Focus on the pain point
Starting a business that makes a certain activity simpler for people is one of the most successful methods to produce an item that people desire. Casper, a bed-in-a-box company, for example, had only one product when it started in 2014. The company simplified the mattress-shopping process by limiting options and removing salespeople. As a result, the company has achieved many successes with this business model.
2. Choose a Business Model
When it comes to establishing an eCommerce business, determining which eCommerce business model is the best suit for you based on your resources and business idea is critical.
Dropshipping is a form of fulfillment in which you do not have your inventory. Instead, when an order is received, you send the order and shipping details to a third party, such as a manufacturer, wholesaler, or another retailer, who then distributes the product to the consumer. You just choose and advertise the items in your store, but you never handle the inventory.
Because you will have to acquire and handle inventory yourself, this eCommerce business strategy involves a larger investment. You must also store and maintain inventory, package and ship items, and track client orders; however, this process can be streamlined if you work with a fulfillment firm.
You’ve already had what to sell in mind but you need more resources to make it yourself? Locate a company that can make the product for you. When things are ready, the manufacturer can ship them to you, a third party such as Walmart or Amazon, or straight to the consumer.
In this eCommerce strategy, you choose an already-designed product supplied by another firm and then brand and sell it as your own.
Subscription-based businesses such as Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club, and Pampered Post give clients a package of selected items at random times.
Pampered Post, for example, delivers customers a range of self-care goods bought from Canadian businesses, such as those listed above.
3. Check Out the Competition
A little rivalry is beneficial since it motivates you to differentiate your online firm. However, if there is little to no competition, it may suggest that there isn’t a market for your product.
That’s why it’s so important to dig deeper with your research before launching.
Analyze who else is offering similar items or running a business similar to yours. Figure out what is their selling strategy and what potential product brings them the most sales at the moment.
4. Find Vendors
You need to get the product or items you want to sell now that you know what you’re selling, how you’re selling it, and what your competitor is doing.
This phase may be straightforward if you’re making your own products, but if you’re establishing a dropshipping business, for example, there will be numerous stages required.
For example, if you’re using Shopify for dropshipping, check out the Oberlo app, which is one of the most popular for dropshipping, and use it to choose goods to add to your store. Oberlo provides a range of goods to pick from, as seen below, and you can even personalize the products by renaming them, selecting pictures, and writing your item descriptions.
However, locating a supplier or manufacturer to develop unique items for your company might be a bit more difficult. If you plan on creating your products, Sourcify is an excellent resource.
5. Select Marketplaces
There are several options for you to choose from when it comes to selecting a marketplace for your store such as a shopping cart (Shopify, WooCommerce, Prestashop…), an online marketplace (Etsy, eBay, Amazon…).
The good news is that you don’t need to stick with one channel all the time. It’s possible to combine many channels into your store and manage them all at once. You can reach out for a multichannel selling tool, they will help you to monitor your store with ease.
6. Pick a Business Name
Because your brand identity begins with your brand name, it is critical that you carefully select your business name. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Maintain a straightforward approach: A distinctive, easy-to-pronounce business name should be short enough to fit on product packaging and header pictures for your website and social profiles.
- Be distinct: Your company name should be memorable, but it should also accurately describe the items you provide. It should also be distinct from the names of your immediate rivals, so look back to your study to come up with a name that is entirely unique to you.
- Domains and social media sites should be researched: Before settling on a name, make sure you can get social handles and a domain name that is appropriate for your business.
7. Write a Business Plan
There is a lot to think about when establishing a business, so make a road map to help you along the way. A solid business plan can assist you in developing a strategy, identifying barriers, and prioritizing activities in order to establish and grow a successful eCommerce business.
8. Do the Paperwork
While coming up with business names, picking items, and brainstorming marketing ideas for your new endeavor might be exciting, don’t forget about the details of beginning an eCommerce business. To make your firm official, you must first complete all of the necessary registrations, permits, and other documents.
Regulations differ by nation and state, but in general, you’ll need to register your business and apply for a business license. If you want to start an eCommerce firm in the United States, you’ll also need an employer identification number. It is also best to track business expenses separately from day 1 to avoid mixing personal and business spending.
9. Create a Logo
Now that your company has been named and registered, as well as a domain name, you must design a logo. This is a crucial part of your branding that will make your eCommerce stand out and appear more professional.
You could create a logo using free design tools such as Adobe, Wix, or Free Logo Design. Also, it’s not a bad idea to hire someone to make it for you, this way, your logo will be much more professional.
10. Build Your Store
It’s time to construct your business online appearance, whether you’re starting a self-hosted eCommerce website or an Etsy shop.
This might comprise different stages, depending on how and where you intend to sell, so check out these tips to establishing a presence on some of the most prominent eCommerce marketplaces and learning how to make the most of the platforms.
Here are some of the most popular eCommerce platforms and marketplaces for you to build your store on.
11. Market Your Ecommerce Business
Using different methods to market your online business will be your daily job. Bear in mind that just because you have a nice store and great products doesn’t mean customers will find you. That’s when your effort to promote your store comes to help.
Below are some key strategies for you to market your E-store.
Social media is transforming the way people purchase, and eCommerce companies who don’t capitalize on it will be left behind.
According to Curalate data, more than 80% of buyers say they discovered a product they were interested in on social media, up from 58 percent in 2017.
And customers aren’t only using social media for ideas and inspiration; they’re also using it to shop, particularly on Instagram, which introduced shoppable photographs in 2016.
Set up business accounts, establish a following, and engage with your audience regularly to take advantage of social media’s capacity to help you sell items. And you don’t have to be present on every social media network. Instead, concentrate on the ones that your consumers are using, which you can track using tools such as Google Analytics.
Influencer marketing is one of the most efficient methods of exposing people to your eCommerce company. Consumers seek product suggestions from influencers nearly as frequently as they do from friends, which is why influencer marketing has already become a $1.7 billion business on Instagram alone.
One of the benefits of collaborating with an influencer to market your items is that it does not have to be expensive. In fact, micro-influencers (those with 1,000 to 100,000 followers) are frequently the most effective in influencing purchasing decisions. 82% of consumers who receive a suggestion from a micro-influencer are very likely to act on that advice and make the purchase.
In addition to working with individual influencers, you may also collaborate with bloggers, companies, and other industry participants.
Collaborate with a complimentary social account to hold a contest, reach out to bloggers to see if they would review your items, or build awareness about your business by collaborating with other brands to perform joint marketing.
Develop an SEO Strategy
There is a lot of rivalry in the eCommerce industry, especially with online retail giants like Amazon that sell billions of goods, so improve your business for search engine optimization (SEO) so that customers can find it quickly.
Begin by identifying keywords using tools like Google or Ahrefs, and then include those keywords into the names and descriptions of your product listings.
In addition to enhancing your e-commerce site for Google, you may adjust your SEO approach to the marketplace where you sell. If you sell on Etsy, for example, you may take various initiatives to ensure your items stand out and show higher in search engines inside Etsy’s internal search…
Encourage Product Reviews
According to Vendasta’s reports, 92 percent of potential purchasers read reviews before making a purchasing decision, and 87 percent of customers trust product reviews and ratings just as much as they trust opinions from individuals they know.
Stay on top of this by not only making it simple for customers to view and post reviews but also by motivating them to do so. There are multiple ways to accomplish this, such as having reviews visible on product pages, providing a discount or gift in exchange for a review, or just working closely with consumers and seeking feedback.
Put Customers First
With all of the steps involved in opening an eCommerce store, it’s easy to lose track of the most essential part of your business: your consumers. However, because 80 percent of consumers quit doing business with a firm due to a poor customer experience, it is vital that you keep the client in mind at all times when you establish an eCommerce business.
So, while building your brand, keep the following questions in mind: How does your product meet a customer’s desire or need? How simple is it to navigate your eCommerce site, add goods to a shopping cart, and make a purchase? How do you provide amazing customer service, and how can it be improved?
Gaining a new client might cost five times as much as keeping an existing one, so concentrate on the consumer in order to maintain the success of your online businesses.
We’ve gone through everything you need to get your first eCommerce store up and running, from choosing your potential niche, create an online store to competition research and selling strategies. eCommerce is emerging and full of opportunities for you to make money online. Just remember to put customers in the center of your E-store, learn from your mistakes and get better day by day, you will get an amazing journey with your business.
If you intend to go multichannel selling and need a multichannel selling tool to manage every channel in just one place, check out LitCommerce – the easiest solution for store owners to list and sell their products on the world’s largest online marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, Ebay,…
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the support team for more information, they are always ready to support.
You can also join our community for more exciting eCommerce news and tips.
Good luck with your new online business!