How to start online e-commerce business?
I would like to start an online wallpaper e-commerce business. If you have experience with e-commerce or with starting a new company, could you please share your experience and any tips you have? What are some best practices I should follow, what steps do I have to take to get started? Thank you
Starting an ecommerce business is hard work and demands many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time.
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To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive blueprint for starting a business, compiled from Shopify's most popular content.
These blog posts, guides, and videos have been organized based on the most important tasks you’ll face when researching, launching, and growing a profitable ecommerce business.
I. Choosing a Product
Finding a product to sell
The first step to building an ecommerce business is to know what products you want to sell direct to consumer. This is often the most challenging part of starting a new online business. In this section, we’ll highlight strategies you can use to find product opportunities, explore the best places to look for product ideas, and finally, we’ll look at trending products to consider.
Find products to sell with Oberlo
12 Strategies for Finding Your First Product
17 Places to Look for Profitable Product Ideas
10 In-Demand Products That Are Trending Right Now
7 Online Business Ideas You Can Start from Home
Evaluating your idea
Once you have a product idea in mind, how do you know if it will sell? In this section, we’ll cover a few approaches that active entrepreneurs have used to validate their product ideas and the potential market.
How to Validate Your product Ideas
The 16-Step Checklist to Evaluating Your Product
Obtaining your product
After landing on a strong product idea, your next step is to figure out where and how you’re going to obtain your products. The next two posts will cover the various methods for acquiring your products, along with the pros and cons of each model.
Should You Make, Manufacture, Wholesale or Dropship?
How to Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea
II. Research and Prepare
Research your competition
You’ve found your product, evaluated the potential, and sourced your supplier. You’re now ready to write your business plan, but before you get into that, you'll need to thoroughly research your competition so you know what you’re up against and how you can differentiate your business.
How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis
Writing a business plan
With your competitive research complete, it's the perfect time to write your business plan. A business plan will be your roadmap that helps bring your ideas and thoughts together. A business plan is vital in determining what to prioritize and how to effectively reach new customers.
A Detailed Guide to Writing a Useful Business Plan
Business Plan Template: A Framework to Streamline Your Next Business Plan
III. Setting Up Your Business
Setting up your ecommerce business.
Naming your business
Aside from finding an actual product to sell online, another challenging decision is determining your business or brand name and choosing an appropriate and available domain name. These blog posts will help you tackle these important tasks.
What Should I Name My Online Store?
Choosing a Brand Name: 10 Tools & 5 Brainstorming Strategies
Creating a logo
Once you’ve selected a memorable name and registered a corresponding domain, it’s time to craft a simple logo. In these resources, we’ll show you several options for creating a great logo for your new business.
Hatchful: A simple logo maker by Shopify
5 Easy to Use Online Logo Makers to Design Your Brand
Understanding search engine optimization (SEO)
You’re almost ready to begin building your online store. However, before you jump into it, you should understand the basics of search engine optimization so that you can properly structure your site and pages for Google and other search engines.
The Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce SEO
What Can I Do to Help My Shopify Store Rank in Search Engines?
Keyword Research for Ecommerce from the Ground Up
Building your store
With a better understanding of search engines, it’s time to build out your store. There are many crucial elements to consider. Below we’ve listed our essential reads to help you build high-converting product pages, write captivating product descriptions, shoot beautiful product photography, choose your ecommerce color palette, and much more.
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This is a very open-ended question as starting an eCommerce business is very wide in itself. Though I am trying my best to cover all the important aspects here:
Find Your Niche: Before you start something selling online, you need to understand what do you want to offer. Try planning in such a way that you can further expand your business into different horizons and verticals. It would need a lot of research, hard work, and patience.
Define Your Target Market: After deciding what you want to offer, you should know who needs it the most and where. You need to define the persona of people you are going to target and the area (locations) you want to cover.
Choose The Business Model: When it comes to eCommerce, you can either go for Single-vendor or Multi-vendor eCommerce business. If you are naive in the eCommerce industry then I will suggest you first start with a single-vendor and then can further plan for multi-vendor.
Build An E-commerce Platform: This is the most important step if you are planning to start an eCommerce business. Find a solution that has all the necessary features.
Starting an eCommerce business in 2021 would be a great idea since the industry is booming since the Coronavirus outbreak. If you want to learn in detail about the different eCommerce Marketplace niches, then I suggest you read the E-commerce Marketplace Guide.
Presently there are around 400+ eCommerce platform builders globally. And that makes it very difficult to analyze each of them individually and choose the perfect fit for your business.
I suggest going for an eCommerce platform that is highly customizable so that you can get the platform build according to the kind of product/service you are offering. In my opinion Yo!Kart by FATbit Technologies is the best so far because of the following features,
Discount Coupon Management
Intuitive Buyer, Seller, & Admin areas
15 Payment Gateways
Product Catalog System
Separate Vendor Store-fronts
Abandoned cart recovery
Tax management APIs such as QuickBooks, TaxJar, Avalara
Advanced order management
15 Pre-Integrated Payment Gateways
Multilingual & Multi-currency
100% Custom and scalable solution
Building a full-fledged eCommerce website requires a complex approach. As I’m used to say, website development doesn’t really start with coding. It also involves preliminary research and drawing up a thorough business plan.
Here is a detailed guide on how to start an eCommerce business:
- Decide what product category you are going to offer your target audience.
- Pick a business model you are going to use.
- Select a domain name for your website.
- Find a proper content management system.
- Think about your web-design.
- Integrate a payment gateway.
- Choose your shipping partner.
Sure, there are many steps to follow. But you know, feel the fear and do it anyway. This article contains more details on each step and even more. Welcome!