What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?

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What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?

 

 What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?

What is an online store?
E-commerce is a way of doing business in which goods and services are bought and sold over the internet. To make these online transactions happen, ecommerce businesses will send money and information digitally.
With online retail sales expected to reach nearly $5 trillion worldwide in 2021, there has never been a better time to start an online business.

 

 

 

What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?


If you're a skilled entrepreneur or craftsperson, you've probably dreamed of starting your own e-commerce store and building a business that gives you a sense of accomplishment and freedom. In this guide, you'll learn how to do each step.
We've made a complete plan for starting a business by putting together Shopify's most popular content. These blog posts, guides, and videos are organized by the most important tasks you'll need to do when researching, starting, and growing a profitable e-commerce store.
List of what's inside

Find out how to start an online store.
Find out how much it will cost to start an online business.
Consider the money, the audience, and the product.
How to start an online store

 

 


Find opportunities to sell things and decide what to sell.
Research your competitors carefully and write a business plan.
Choose a name and a logo for your online store and set it up.
Choose how you will ship your products and set sales and marketing goals.
Get your business going.

1. Look for opportunities to sell products and decide what to sell.
Trying to find something to sell
The first step in making an online store is deciding what products you want to sell directly to consumers. This is often the hardest part of getting a new online business up and running. In this section, we'll talk about ways to find product opportunities, the best places to look for product ideas, and popular e-commerce products you might want to think about.

What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?


Find out more:

What's the best platform for your business to sell things online? Here's how to figure out what your choices are.

Taking into account your idea
How do you know if a product idea you have will sell once you have it? In this section, we'll talk about a few ways that active entrepreneurs have tested their product ideas and the potential markets for them.

Free Guide: How to Find a Product to Sell Online That Will Make You Money
Want to start a business but don't know where to begin? This free, in-depth guide will show you how to find great products that are new and popular and have a lot of sales potential.




Find out How to Look for a Product to Sell Online: The PDF of The Definitive Guide will be sent to your inbox.
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What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?


Email address


We will also let you know when the Shopify newsletter has new learning guides and success stories. We don't like spam, so we'll keep your email safe.


Thank you for signing up. You'll soon start getting free tips and tools. In the meantime, you can use Shopify's free 14-day trial to start building your store.








Getting your item, What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?
When you have a good idea for a product, the next step is to figure out where and how you'll get it. In the next four blog posts, I'll talk about the different ways to get your products and the pros and cons of each.
Online stores can sell retail items.
Many small stores have a hard road ahead of them. If you move your brick-and-mortar business online, you can get cash flow, build a stronger business, and weather this storm. You'll need to find a good e-commerce platform, like Shopify, to build your store on.
2. Do a lot of research on your competitors and make a business plan.
Find out about your competitors.
You've found your product, thought about how successful it could be, and found a supplier. But before you do that, you'll need to learn a lot about your competitors so you know what you're up against and how to make your business stand out from theirs.

 

 

What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?


Planning a business
Now that you've looked at what your competitors are doing, it's time to write your business plan. A business plan is like a map that helps you organize your ideas and thoughts. It's important for figuring out what to focus on and how to reach potential customers. A business plan also talks about your company's mission statement, which shows investors and employees what your brand stands for.

How to Write the Best Business Plan in 9 Steps
The Business Plan Template is a useful guide for making your own business plan.

3. Make a logo for your online store and give it a name.
Pick a name for your business
In addition to finding a product to sell online, it can be hard to choose a name for your business or brand and a domain name that fits and is available. You can do these important tasks with the help of these blog posts.
Getting a logo made
Once you've chosen a name that stands out and registered a domain that goes with it, it's time to make a simple logo. We'll show you several ways to make a great logo for your new business in these resources.
Search engine optimization: what you need to know (SEO)
Your online store is almost ready to be built. But before you start, you should learn the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) so you can set up your site and pages so that Google and other search engines can find them easily.

SEO Checklist (Free Download)
Want to move up in the search results? Get a free copy of our search engine optimization check list.




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What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?



We will also let you know when the Shopify newsletter has new learning guides and success stories. We don't like spam, so we'll keep your email safe.


Thank you for signing up. You'll soon start getting free tips and tools. In the meantime, you can use Shopify's free 14-day trial to start building your store.








Putting up your shop
Now that you know more about search engines, it's time to use a website builder to set up your store. There are many important things to think about. Here are some of the most important things you should read to help you build high-converting product pages, write compelling product descriptions, take beautiful photos of your products, choose your ecommerce color palette, and do much more.
Don't forget that you can always hire help from Shopify Experts if you have trouble setting up your store.
Choosing where to sell your products
One of the best ways to find new customers is to sell through the same channels they already use. The right mix of sales channels will depend on your products and your target market, but there are a lot of great options that can help and support your self-hosted store.
What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?
How Three Makers Grew Their Businesses with Etsy and Shopify.

How one business balances growth, customer service, and life while selling on eBay.
How Shopify Helps a Jewelry Store Get 76.8% of Its Sales on Amazon
4. Decide how you will ship your products and set sales and marketing goals.
As the opening of your new business gets closer, there are a few shipping and fulfillment things you need to get ready for. In this section, we've put together a few shipping guides to help you figure out how to ship your items.
It's also a good idea to define your key performance indicators ahead of time, so that once your project is up and running, you know what to look for in terms of success.

 

What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?


This post lists the 13 most important things you need to do before launch as a final check list.
Get your business going.
Getting your first client.
Now that you've launched, you have to work hard to get people to buy your products. Many new store owners should think about selling their physical products in person, but the rest of digital marketing depends on doing one thing well: driving targeted traffic. Next, we'll talk about some different ways to market your business that will help you during the first few months.
Getting your store known
You're well on your way now, and you've probably already made a few sales. It's time to get serious about marketing your store and put some money into it. The posts below will help you focus on your best e-commerce marketing strategies or try new ones to bring in more traffic and turn that traffic into sales.
The basics of email marketing:

How to Grow Your Ecommerce Business with Email Marketing: A Free Book
This email marketing guide will give you tips and ideas to help your business grow, whether you're just starting out or planning your next big campaign.

We will also let you know when the Shopify newsletter has new learning guides and success stories. We don't like spam, so we'll keep your email safe.


Thank you for signing up. You'll soon start getting free tips and tools. In the meantime, you can use Shopify's free 14-day trial to start building your store.


What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?

More people coming from social media
Getting more traffic and sales from paid ads
Trying to get more people to buy
Using analytics to find out more
How much does it cost to get an online store up and running?
You can start an e-commerce business for as little as $100, which is enough to pay for a subscription and a theme for your store. Ecommerce businesses are cheaper than traditional stores because they don't need as many licenses and permits and you don't have to pay rent for a storefront.

 

What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?


For example, if you run a dropshipping business, it will probably cost less to get started because you won't have to pay for raw materials, inventory, or manual labor. You don't have to pay for things until a customer buys them. Whether you make your own products by hand or work with manufacturers, you'll need to pay for equipment, materials, and labor up front.
Many people who start an e-commerce business do so with very little money. We asked 150 entrepreneurs and 300 small business owners in the US about their up-front costs to find out more.
According to our research, new ecommerce store owners can expect their business costs to add up to $40,000 in the first year. This money is paid back to the owner through profit margins.
Expense categories include:

product: raw materials, inventory, suppliers, manufacturing, patents, and so on.
operating costs include legal and incorporation fees, extra software, business insurance, accounting, and so on.
Online store: website/platform subscription, hosting/domain, developer/designer on contract, etc.
Shipping: packaging, labels, etc.
Fees for a booth or table, rent, gas, etc.
team: salaries, perks, benefits, etc.
Marketing includes things like logos, brands, ads, printed materials, business cards, and more.


Now, this doesn't mean that you have to spend $40,000 to open your online store. The amount spent in the first year was very different depending on the industry, the type of e-commerce business, and whether or not it was a full-time job.
To start an e-commerce business, you also don't need to have $50,000 lying around. Many entrepreneurs (66%) use their own savings to fund their business. (Respondents could choose more than one source of funding.) They also get money from friends and family (23%) and take out personal loans (21%).
Tips on how to start an online store
It's exciting to start an e-commerce business. Whether it's your first one or your fifth, keep these tips in mind:

What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?


Forget about making money in the first year.
Know who you want to reach.
Sell something that people want.
Try out different marketing and advertising methods.
Spend money on outreach and building links

Forget about making money in the first year.
Starting a successful online business is more like a marathon than a sprint. Don't judge your business by how much money it makes in its first year. Give your business between 18 and 24 months to get off the ground. During the first year of your business, use the above budget guidelines to test, improve, and reinvest your sales back into your business.
Know who you want to reach.
Most of your time won't be spent making or finding products. Instead, you'll spend most of it getting customers' attention. The hard part? You want to get your products in front of the people who are most likely to buy them on your site. Understanding these people, also called your target audience, can help you reach them faster and make more sales.

What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?


Find out more about How to Define and Reach Your Target Audience and How to Find Your Ideal Customer.

Sell something that people want.
Make or sell a great product that people already want. If you look at the top stores like Allbirds, Tushy, and Bombas, you'll see that they all sell high-quality items. Eric Even Haim, CEO of the upsell and cross-sell app ReConvert, says, "Product quality is very important because a good product will sell itself." "Marketing is 10 times easier when you have a great product and a group of people who want it.""
Eric says that new products don't have to be the "next big thing." Instead, you just need to "look for growing trends and markets where customers are underserved." Then step in with a great product and give them what they want!
There are two places to look for market demand:

You can find out what people search for on Google Trends.
Trends.co looks at data to predict trends and business opportunities before they become popular.

When you have a great product and a group of people who want it, marketing is 10 times easier.
Try out different marketing and advertising methods.
After your business opens, it's important to let people know about it. You'll need to try out different marketing methods to find out where your audience hangs out and how they respond best to your content.
Try out different ways to market online, such as:
What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?
Partner marketing
Instagram ads
Pop-ups on websites
Check out cross-sells and upsells.
Search on your own
Content marketing
Reward programs

Stephen Light, CMO and co-owner of the mattress company Nolah, says that you need to be able to try out, test, and analyze your advertising and marketing plans to be successful. "The best way to avoid making assumptions about your audience that could hurt you instead of help you is to try different things."
Stephen says, "Especially when you're just starting out, be willing to be wrong about everything.
"Use the information you gather to make campaigns that bring in more traffic and make you more money. " Also, optimizing your advertising campaigns and collecting data on how your customers react to them can help you shape the features of your website. "
The best way to avoid making assumptions about your audience that could hurt you instead of help you is to try things out.
Spend money on outreach and building links
New online stores should also have a plan for reaching out and building links. These tips can help you move up in Google's SEO rankings.
James Taylor, an SEO consultant in the UK, says, "The sooner you have a plan for building links and bringing authority to your site, the sooner search engines will see your site as an authority in its niche.""
""Search engines see a link from a trusted source as a vote of confidence in your website, so the more links you have from trusted sites, the more search engines will see you as an authority.""
James says that new e-commerce store owners and marketers should spend money early on on digital PR and link-building campaigns. This sets the stage for long-term SEO success, so you can rank higher in Google, get more organic traffic, and make more sales.
Search engines will recognize your site as an authority in its niche as soon as you have a plan for building links and bringing authority to it.
Conclusion
It's both exciting and hard to start your own e-commerce business. You'll quickly learn a lot about picking a product, figuring out how to get it made, building an ecommerce website, marketing and selling it to new customers, and more. The process can make you feel like you're putting together a hard puzzle, but it's still rewarding.
We hope that if you use these resources, you'll have a better idea of what to do next. The best advice anyone can give is always to just get started and have fun along the way.


Find out what products you want to sell or can get to sell, choose a name for your business, register your business with the government, get permits and licenses, choose ecommerce software to build your website, add your products to the site, launch your business, and start advertising it.

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What do I need to know to start an eCommerce business?




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