Starting an online business is one of the most common ways to grow your income. Data shows there are over 2.14 billion digital buyers worldwide, and it’s only growing. That’s a serious opportunity to start your e-commerce business and take up space in the marketplace.
Of course, it comes with challenges as well. There’s a lot to learn when launching an ecommerce business. But with a solid action plan and the right tools, you can start your online business in no time.
Ecommerce and Its Benefits
Ecommerce refers to buying and selling goods and services on the internet. It’s a business model that’s growing rapidly every year, estimated to amount to 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026.
It can reach customers all over the globe, costs less than a physical store, grants direct consumer access, and is more convenient overall, which invites more people to shop online.
Some ecommerce stores sell exclusively online, but others also have physical stores together with their online stores for broader reach. Nonetheless, ecommerce is an excellent way for start-ups and small businesses to begin their business venture.
10 Steps to Starting a Small Business Website
Here are the ten steps to starting your online business venture:
1. Research a product to sell
For many aspiring entrepreneurs, the most challenging part of starting out is finding a product that will sell. Lucky for you, there are several ways to choose a profitable product to sell in your online store:
- Provide a solution to customer pain points
- Capitalize on trends
- Identify products people are passionate about
- Serve a niche market
- Consider your passion
2. Scope out your competitor
Ecommerce brings a lot of potential customers from all over the world. Unfortunately, that also means competition worldwide.
Analyze your competitors. Review their products or services, market pricing, business strategies, and marketing plan. This allows you to make more informed decisions about your own online strategy.
3. Write your business plan
Once you have a general idea of how to go about your business, you can start writing it down formally with a business plan.
Here’s what you can start doing:
- Iron out the details from your previous research.
- Write your goals and the action steps to reach them.
- Describe your business by highlighting what you’re selling and breaking down its structure. Then, you can create your vision and mission statement.
- Determine the details of your strategy and your starting finances. Calculate all the costs and ready the paperwork needed to start your business.
- If you’re having trouble creating a business plan, several customizable templates are available online to guide you.
4. Source your product
Find a reliable source for your products to keep a steady production flow. You can work with wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturers. Or you can secure your raw materials and equipment if it’s handmade. Also, ensure a backup supplier, just in case.
If you need suggestions, some of the most common options right now are:
- Maker’s Row
5. Determine your shipping strategy
Whether you run a small Etsy shop or a giant ecommerce business, you’ll need an efficient shipping strategy in place. Some foundational things to consider are:
- Shipping rates and methods – Consider whether you pass on the total shipping cost to your customers, offer free, or charge a flat-rate shipping for each order.
- Product weight and size – The weight and size of your product affect the total shipping costs. It’s essential to have that information to get accurate quotes from couriers.
- Preferred packaging – There’s an appropriate packaging for your products, and the type of packaging you choose can affect your shipping prices. Make sure to select the suitable packaging. You can avail of free ones from couriers or use branded packaging.
6. Secure your payment methods
Some advantages of online shopping are the easy payment method and the convenient overseas shopping experience.
As an ecommerce store, finding a convenient paying method is very crucial to your business. Common payment methods include:
- Cash on Delivery
- Bank transfers
- Credit and debit card
- Digital wallet
Furthermore, secure your website with an SSL certificate to protect customers’ information and assure them of your business’ credibility. Customers are more likely to shop on your website when they know it’s secure.
7. Choose a business name and logo
Naming your store is another challenging aspect of starting an online business. When choosing a business name, you want it to grab attention and express your business identity.
Once you’ve come up with your business name, secure it as a domain name. Your domain name serves as your website’s address on the internet to help people find you online.
After registering your domain name, it’s time to work on your business logo design. You can either create it yourself using an online logo maker or hire a professional designer to do it for you.
8. Build your website
An ecommerce site serves as a business’ digital storefront online. Since you’ve already secured and registered a domain name, it’s time to think about the more technical aspects of your business website.
Find a good hosting plan to store all your website’s files and data. You also have to think about your website’s aesthetics.
Make sure the interface looks friendly and easy to read, optimize your website for mobile use, and make all your CTAs eye-catching. Your site’s design adds to the professionalism, so it must look pleasing to your audience.
If you’re having trouble setting up, you can hire professionals to build your website.
9. Test and launch your business website
Before launching your website online, recheck everything for possible loose ends and add security measures.
Make sure it works on all major browsers, like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Safari. Ensure its accessibility on mobile devices as well. The responsiveness of your website is an important factor in improving user experience and earning Google’s favor.
Once your website is ready, it’s time to hit Publish and go live.
10. Market your business
You’ve officially started your business journey and launched your site. The next thing to do is to tell the world about your new business and start selling your products.
Get customers by marketing your brand online. Create a marketing strategy to bring more traffic to your website, including:
- Social media campaigns
- Influencer partnerships
- Email marketing
- SEO tools
- Business Listings
- Directory Services
Launch Into the New Year with a Successful Online Business
Ecommerce is a fast-growing venture. Its accessibility and broad reach make it a good place for start-ups and small businesses’ first forays into the enterprise.
With the tips above as a guide, you can build your business successfully from the ground up. Start your venture into ecommerce by launching a business website today.