Updated: Aug 4, 2022
Ready to be an Ecommerce Seller? Learn how to reach millions of shoppers, grow your ecommerce business, and stay profitable.
An [e-commerce business is a business model where buyers and sellers exchange goods and services with consumers over the Internet. Here's how to start an ecommerce business and reach millions of online shoppers.
What is an e-commerce business?
An e-commerce business is a business model where buyers and sellers exchange goods and services with consumers over the Internet. Two common types are business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. B2B sellers focus on selling products that other businesses may need, while B2C focuses on selling products to buyers (or end customers).
8 Key Steps to Starting an E-commerce Business
E-commerce business is booming. If you're starting from scratch, here are some key steps to address, plus we'll go into more detail below.
1. Research your business idea to come up with a product that meets customer needs.
2. Validate your product ideas by talking to potential customers.
3. Consider how to sell and ship products to online customers (11 tips for choosing the right product).
4. Source products by purchasing stock or making your own.
5. Choose an online sales channel, which may include Amazon, your own website, or both.
6. Build your online storefront and add products.
7. Prepare an e-commerce fulfillment strategy to deliver orders to customers.
8. Attract customers through e-commerce marketing and promotions and other ways to grow your business.
Starting an e-commerce business can feel overwhelming. It doesn't have to be.
Yes, there are many considerations, but you have this. As you will soon see, many online businesses start as small businesses that sell just one or two products online and grow from there.
If you're thinking of starting your own ecommerce store, or you're looking for tips and ideas to grow from a brick-and-mortar store to a digital store, this guide (and checklist) is for you.
Yes, there are a lot of considerations, but you’ve got this. As you’ll soon see, many online businesses started out small, selling just one or two products online and growing from there. If you’re thinking of starting your own ecommerce store, or you’re looking for tips and ideas to grow from brick-and-mortar to digital, this guide (and checklist) is for you.
How to Start an E-commerce Business from Scratch
Here's how to go from dreaming about your million dollar idea to running your own e-commerce store.
Step 1: Research your business idea
Before you start building your store, research your business plan to help make choices quickly and efficiently. Sellers can decide which products to sell or build in several ways. Here are some common decisions you need to make when trying to start an e-commerce business.
Find pain points or challenges worth addressing
Finding solutions for a specific audience is essential to a successful business. Some ideas - no matter how innovative - can fail without customer support.
What problem or challenge do you want to solve? Who can feel the pain the most? Who is most excited to tackle this challenge?
For example, do you want to manufacture high-quality kitchen appliances? Then someone who likes to cook might become a loyal customer. Do you sell thicker and more durable yoga mats? Then yoga practitioners and instructors may be your best supporters and fans.
Think about the challenges your product might face. Identify the users who really value what you're trying to create and prioritize them. This will guide your priorities.
Keen to spot great product ideas
You don't have to go far to find great product ideas. People often market to common groups because it's easier to spot problems and identify needs quickly. Consider your own interests to identify product opportunities for people with similar interests or hobbies.
Questions to ask yourself when looking for product ideas
The easiest place to start researching your business idea is within your environment. Find out the goals, aspirations or challenges of the people around you, then find products that can help them. By observing, you can come up with ideas for your business, which you can then research online.
- What pain point or problem do you want to solve?
- What weaknesses or complaints do you have with your current product?
- What trends in the world have you noticed that you can take advantage of?
- What comments have you heard from friends or family about the products they use?
- What activities do you like to do? Which products help improve this activity?
Use keyword research tools to spot trends and opportunities
When it comes to selling online, your enthusiasm doesn't necessarily translate to success. You need to think about whether the customer wants the product. Use online tools like Google Trends to research trending products, find issues customers may be facing and determine their current solutions.