How to start eCommerce business [A complete blueprint]

How to start eCommerce business [A complete blueprint]

Are you interested in starting an eCommerce business but don't have ideas and products? Yes, don't worry, we'll give you a complete blueprint of how to start an eCommerce business and grow fast.

Starting an online business from scratch requires too many things to do and nowadays it’s not challenging as it used to be earlier because of the lack of internet facilities. Everything from developing an online website to selling products online is much easier with a little bit of knowledge and resources in hand.

Now suppose you don’t have any products and not running any brick-mortar store. Just have a dream to start an eCommerce business. Stay here and read full blogs to get a complete idea.

A complete step by step guidance on how to start an online business from scratch

  1. Select a product

  2. Identify potential competitors

  3. Reduce the number of product options.

  4. Make a business plan.

  5. Build the brand and make it legal.

  6. Understand the basics of using digital media to advertise your business.

  7. Create your eCommerce store or hire a professional.

  8. Logistics and shipping

  9. Launching and Marketing of store

Let’s deep dive into all steps that are required to start an online business.

Let’s deep dive into all steps that are required to start an online business

 

1.) Think of products you want to sell

Choosing the products requires too much effort. Think about customer problems first and how you can solve them. This is the best way to choose products among soo many product ideas. You have to conduct research on buyers’ interests and related demands to finalize products.

How to do it?

  • Do some brainstorming and figure out what the customer's problems are and how you might fix them.

  • Deep dive to learn about consumer preferences so you can get a general picture of what they're looking for. You can collect customer insight from Trend hunter, Reddit, buzz sumo, Google Trends, etc.

  • Analyze all social media accounts to see what products influencers are promoting.

  • Analyze eCommerce marketplaces Ex: Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Etsy, etc. They are generally promoting trending products on their home page.

  • Choose products according to your expertise, hobby, and interest.

If you are new to the eCommerce business, we recommend you cross off the following products.

Products to avoid at beginner level

  • Products which too larger and heavy

  • Fragile products

  • Products that have excessive regulation

  • Perishable products

  • Products that are too easy to buy locally

2.) Identify potential competitors

Identify potential competitors

 

To identify market potential and to know the competitive landscape, you need to do competitor analysis just after deciding what product needs to sell. Once you identify competitors, you will get an idea about market demand, price tag, what market share they own, and what kind of unique things they offer. So that it can help you to move further with your next business plan.

How to do it?

  • Conduct a SWOT analysis of your competitor. Once you identify your competitor's weaknesses and fill those gaps, you can successfully enter and expand your business.

  • Do market research and talk to your sales team, industry experts, and customers to identify competitors.

  • Explore social media and online forums like Quora, Reddit, etc.

  • Do Keyword research. It will help you to find out which website is ranking on a particular keyword. Use some tool like Google keyword planner, Uber suggest, Ahref, Moz, etc

  • Go to google ads to find out which paid advertiser who buying space to show their paid ads on the search engine result page.

3.) Finalize your products and start testing in the market

Finalize your products and start testing in the market

 

Now it’s time to narrow down your products. Once you finalize you need to decide 4 things and implement one:

  1. Make product by own

  2. Find a manufacturer to make your products

  3. Find Wholeseller - buy products from them and sell them it

  4. Dropshipping - became drop shipper to sell products online

How to test in the market?

  • Create a great landing page for your product and use paid advertising to reach out to more people. You can ask for feedback once they use it.

  • Test via crowdfunding - Even before the real product/service launch, the crowdfunding concept gives you an idea of how many people are willing to pay for the solution you'll deliver.

  • Offer a sample to your known circle like your friends, relatives, office colleague, etc.

  • Reach out to people on social media and ask for product testing and get feedback

4.) Make a business plan

Make a business plan

 

An outline of your firm is included in a business plan. A business plan can help you clarify your strategy and determine what resources you'll need to grow. It's all over your company's blueprint. Be ready with the following things…

What includes in it?

  • Executive summary - high-level company overview

  • Mission, Vision, and objective

  • Full market analysis

  • Details of product and service offering

  • Customer segmentation

  • Marketing plan

  • Logistics and operation

  • Financial plan

5.) Build brand and make it legal

Build brand and make it legal

 

Once you are fully ready with a business plan, it’s time to build your own brand. It includes deciding the target audience, segmentation, positioning, name of your business, deciding slogan, choosing a brand color, and creating the logo. Brand helps you to stand out among competitors. A strong brand always influences the purchase decision of customers.

How to do it?

  • Brainstorm the business name with people

  • Use the name generator tool like Shopify name generator

  • Hire a designer to make a logo or use logo generator tools like Hatchful, Zyro, Canva Logo Maker, Ucraft, LogoMakr, etc.

  • Complete all legal formalities like registration, tax compliance, custom, and setting up business accounts to gain supplier and customer trust.

6.) Learn how to use digital media to advertise your business

Learn how to use digital media to advertise your business

 

The store owners need to have a basic idea about all digital channels which helps them to promote their eCommerce business. There is plenty of learning material available from paid to free resources. SEO is very important in your eCommerce business to get appear your products in the search engines whenever customers search for particular products. If you have sound knowledge of digital marketing you can market better.

Things to learn

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

  • Email marketing

  • Social media marketing

  • Blogging

  • Content marketing

7.) Create your eCommerce store or hire a professional.

Create your eCommerce store or hire a professional

 

At this stage, your eCommerce dream is starting to come to reality. You should have products, a business plan, and marketing knowledge with financial resources by now. It’s time for making an eCommerce website or application. Shopify is the best platform to create your eCommerce store. You can make a fast and secure store with ready-made templates.

Shopify makes it simple to start an online business without worrying about servers or development costs. It includes a variety of tools that cover all aspects of running an online store, including marketing, sales, customer engagement, shipping, payment, and more.

How to develop a store?

  • Create a basic store on your own by purchasing a Shopify subscription. You can read Shopify documentation on store development. Upload HD images and SEO-friendly product descriptions.

  • Hire a Shopify expert to build a fully customized and professional store. It will help you to attract more visitors and smoothly handle all transactions.

Do you want to develop a store that your customers will enjoy and that will generate traffic and revenue for you?

Contact TerraShop for the best professional eCommerce store development, design, marketing, migration, and training. We help you to sell globally.

8.) Shipping

Shipping


The eCommerce company relies heavily on shipping. You must decide who will pay for it. The most important aspect of shipping is calculating the cost. The cost varies depending on the product. Shipping includes order processing, packaging, logistic arrangement, and delivery of products. Logistics play a very critical role as store owners are facing challenges in choosing the best logistic partner who provides timely and secure delivery.

Factors affecting shipping cost

  • Package size and weight

  • Origin country and destination country distance

  • Carrier

  • Customs policies

  • Labeling and warehouse costing

How to calculate shipping cost

Most eCommerce store owners calculate based on three methods

Calculated shipping

Flat-rate shipping

Free shipping

Calculate based on product weight, size and delivery location.

Charging one rate for all products. Only rate change as per countries.

Free shipping is loved by customers most. No delivery charge on product shipping

9.) Launching and marketing of your store

Shipping

 

Finally, it's time to let the world know about your online store. Your product will be seen by a large number of people. You must ensure that your website loads quickly, with a smooth ordering, payment, and checkout process. To grow traffic and sales of your store, you need to implement all the digital marketing strategies that you learned.

How to do marketing?

  • Write SEO friendly product title and description or you can hire an eCommerce content writer

  • Advertise on Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc. to grow visitors to your store

  • Write a blog related to your products and explain how it benefits buyers with a clear CTA button

  • Get the list of customer emails through the website and start email marketing

  • Hire an influencer who can promote your products

  • Post regular content and upload HD images on social media

  • Hire an affiliate marketer to promote your product

  • Start sending the newsletter to your audience

  • Encourage your buyers to write reviews and give rating

 

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