How to Start a Successful eCommerce Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

   By: Marketer Rakib
How to Start a Successful eCommerce Business From Scratch


Do You want to start a successful eCommerce Business from scratch in 2021? Ecommerce business is a wonderful revolution of this digital era. Also eCommerce is mostly known as electronic commerce or internet commerce. Buying and selling of goods and services are happening using the internet. Any kinds of commercial transactions through the internet are called eCommerce.


First History of an eCommerce Business in the World


There has a big history of the eCommerce business from beginning to now. But the first eCommerce sale started on August 11, 1994. A man sold a CD by the band sting to his friend using eCommerce through his website NetMarket. NetMarket is an American retail e-commerce platform. That was the first example of an online sale through an eCommerce website.

At that time eCommerce business was very hard. Because every people had no internet using devices like Smartphone, Laptop, Desktop, Tab, etc.

On the other hand, nowadays maximum people have a smartphone in their hands and everything has been becoming online-based.

So, this is an eCommerce business era. Nowadays, you can start an eCommerce business even from home. You can start an eCommerce business in multiple ways. Some Ecom entrepreneurs are becoming a failure in their businesses. Because they have no right guide and information about starting an eCommerce business with success.

So, I want to describe it step by step so that everyone can be a success in their business. Don’t worry, I'm going to teach you how to start a successful eCommerce business from scratch step by step.


Benefits of an Ecommerce Business


Benefits of Starting an eCommerce business

Nowadays, E-Commerce Business is one of the most trending businesses. Due to the pandemic of Covid-19, the e-commerce business success rate is going to high. Besides, people feel comfortable purchasing products online instead of going outside and the market.

You can also spread your e-commerce business beyond your country's border. So, every businessman starts moving to online business or e-commerce business.

Moreover, there are many benefits to start an e-commerce business. However, it’s difficult to explain every benefit in an article. Let’s check some major benefits of an e-commerce business.



Low Investment

There is a common theory from our ancestors. You need a lot of money or investment to start a new business. However, the e-commerce business has changed the theory.

To clarify, you can start an e-commerce business with low investment. Because it is an online platform.

Besides, the online maintenance cost and advertisement cost are very lower than an offline business. So, it is the best part and benefit of an e-commerce business.



Reach to maximum Audiences

An offline business can cover and reach a specific area and audience. However, the e-commerce business can reach beyond it.

In this online era, more than 59% of people use the internet and search engines. Therefore, you can rank your e-commerce business and products on search engines through unique and SEO optimized content.

After that, you can not only reach your area and audience. But you can also reach organic audiences through search engines. So, you have a golden opportunity to reach maximum audiences with an e-commerce business.

You can grow your e-commerce business internationally as well.



Easy to maintain

A regular offline based shop has more than a hundred products. Besides, you have to work hard and spend a lot of time to maintain the product’s showcase and inventory.

However, the e-commerce business is an online-based shop. Every single thing goes through a website. Besides, there are many advanced features to maintain the product’s showcase and inventory in a few seconds. So, the e-commerce business is much easier to maintain everything.



24X7 Online Shop Service

That is to say, an e-commerce shop runs online on a live server through a website. Therefore, it is 24X7 open to your customers. People can always visit and buy your products and services.

So, you don’t have to worry about the opening and closing of your shop. Besides, you can reach and get customers and order as well instead of being online.

Consistently, you can grow faster than an offline business through an e-commerce business.


Payments gateway

As you already know the e-commerce business is an online-based platform. Besides, it can be run internationally. Therefore, it may be quite difficult to transact worldwide.

However, there are several payment methods to transact internationally, for instance, PayPal, MasterCard, etc. If your country don't have PayPal available  then you can use alternatives PayPal for accepting money. So, you can have the payment gateway for the e-commerce business. 



How to start a Successful ecommerce Business from Scratch in 2021


If you are a newbie in this industry, then you must be educated about the eCommerce business before starting it. There are a lot of ways of learning about Ecom Business. You can watch YouTube Videos of successful Ecommerce businessman, learn from a great mentor. 

On the other hand, if you follow my guide properly, you will not need to buy any courses or hiring a mentor for teaching you.


6 Simple Steps to Start an eCommerce Business from Home


If you want to begin a successful eCommerce business you should follow my simple 6 steps. I think you don’t need more knowledge after following my step by step guides. Let’s start.


Step: 01. Research ecommerce Business Models and Find out Right One for You


eCommerce Business Models to start a successful eCommerce business

It is a very vital part of what do you want to do in the eCommerce industry. There are a lot of eCommerce business models available as a traditional business. But, 4 business models can indicate maximum transaction which happens between consumers and business.


1. Business to Business ( B2B)

When a business sells goods or services to other businesses. It is called B2B. For example, a business sells software as a service to other businesses. Also, a great example of an eCommerce site is Alibaba.com , CurBell Plastics , Gelighting , etc.  


2. Business to Consumer ( B2C)

When a business sells goods or services directly to consumers. It is called B2C. For example, a business sells sunglasses as services to an individual consumer. Also, a great example of an eCommerce site is Amazon.com , Rogaine , etc. 


3. Consumer to Consumer ( C2C )

When a consumer sells goods or services to another consumer. It is called C2C business. For example, when a consumer sells used furniture to another consumer on eBay. Also, a great example of eCommerce sites is eBayCraigslist , Etsy, etc. 


4. Consumer to Business ( C2B)

When a consumer sells goods or services to businesses. It's called C2B business. For example, an influencer offers to companies to explore their businesses to their influencer’s audiences. Or a photographer sells photos as licenses to businesses. Also, a great example of C2B eCommerce is Shutterstock. Fiverr, Upwork, ColourPop , etc.


Types of Ecommerce Businesses

Also, there are various types of eCommerce businesses available, depending on transaction styles. I am going to discuss something below.


Wholesale  

Simply when a supplier or wholesaler offers products at wholesale prices to consumers or businesses. The product sells at a bulk price to retailers, and then they will sell directly to consumers. Alibaba and Indiamart are an example of wholesale e-commerce business site.


Retail

A business sells directly to customers without any intermediate. Some retail eCommerce company sells goods or services to business customers. Some examples of retail commerce sites are Bliss, Amazon, Walmart, DressUp, TheHorse, etc.


Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a great eCommerce business model that can help you to start a successful eCommerce business from any part of the world from home without any own inventory. An e-commerce store sells a product using the Dropshipping method, it buys the product from a third party business and the business (third party inventory) has to ship the customer directly.

So, the dropshipping site owner doesn’t worry about making and shipping the product. Some example of successful dropshipping sites are

https://www.inspireuplift.com/

https://bluecrate.com/

https://www.meowingtons.com/

https://www.shopmooshesocks.com/

https://www.dogpawty.com/

https://treasurefan.com/


Physical Products

If you sell any products using the eCommerce platform which needs to ship to the customer's home. It is called the physical products eCommerce business. For example, you have sold a shoe to a customer online. But you need to ship it to the customer's home. Physical product selling will be completed when the customer gets the product successfully.


Digital Products

A digital product is any kind of product which don’t need to ship physically after selling and has no physical form. Digital products example is online courses, e-book, software, Audio & music, Photography, website development elements, tickets, and web-based applications, etc. Some digital products eCommerce sites example are Udemy, ClickFunnels, ClickBank, Digistore24, ThemeForest, Clickmagick, etc.


Services

When a person sells skills in exchange for compensation and the service provider time can be brought for a fee. It is called services based eCommerce business. Some example of services based eCommerce sites is Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, etc.


Subscriptions

When a business sells products or services on a recurring monthly or yearly basis. It's called subscriptions based eCommerce business.


CrowdFunding

Crowdfunding is a business system which helps you to share your business (product) idea in an online community for collecting fund for investing in the business.

Now, your time to find out your right business model and idea.


Step: 02. Niche and Products Selection


eCommerce Niche Selection

After selecting an e-commerce business model, you need to focus on a niche and the products of your store.


Your eCommerce business niche and product selection will impact your success.

Ecommerce niche is that narrow down products category. For example, health is a broad niche. But men's hair loss is a narrower niche. You can easily build a big target audience based on your niche’s qualities and the problems your products solve.

When you select a specific niche then your brand will surround it.
Though you are going to filter out some potential customers, you will make a huge demand on your targeted market.



When you choose a micro niche for your eCommerce business. You can easily rank your content for the niche relevant keywords. Also, you will have fewer competitors and more target audiences.


Actually, the Popularity of micro niche marketing is increasing day by day. Because it is very easier to market among big targeted audiences.


Why do you need an e-commerce niche?

Though a few e-commerce companies can sell everything in their store and get more success. They are different from general rules.

For example, Amazon is selling everything on their store and it has worldwide branches. But it may be very harder for you to compete with these types of companies.

Micro Niche Marketing

Image source : Kunzonpublishing


Because you need more money for investing and time for building branding among audiences.

On the other hand, if you have the narrowest niche then you can build your company branding with less effort than big companies.

Smaller business owners can get more success by beginning with one niche. You will add more niches and products in your store later if you get success.


So, I am highly recommended you start with one smaller niche.


If you focus on only products then it will very harder for success nowadays. Because if you don’t passionate about any eCommerce niche then you can’t provide more effect among your targeted audiences.

4 Important Reasons for Choosing a Niche for Your e-commerce Business


There are a lot of reasons for choosing a niche for your e-commerce business. But I want to share some important tips for choosing a profitable eCommerce niche. Please read, think, and figure out your niche.

01. Follow Your Passion

I always say that “JUST FOLLOW YOUR PASSION WHICH WILL OPEN YOUR MONEY DOORS”.

When you’re not passionate about what you’re selling, it may fail.
If you’re not passionate about your eCommerce niche, then your self-inspiration goes out of the border.

Entrepreneurship means proving dedicated time, energy, and resources to the business.

I’m a great example of a man who had started an online business without passion. My site name was heathinstall.com. It was a broad health niche. But I’m not passionate about health. I’m an online marketing guy.


So, I did not spread out mouth about my business among my targeted audiences. Because I had limited knowledge about it.
At the end of the day, I had to become failed in my business.

So, Passionate is what:

  • What you more like to do that
  • Have proper knowledge
  • If you’re facing a problem finding out your passionate about a niche, then you can brainstorm a list of things that you’re most passionate about and select the best one for your eCommerce business.

    2. Less Competition

    If you choose the narrowest niche for your eCommerce business then you will have fewer competitors. Unlike Dropshipping, which shows high completions, though it is very easy to get started.

    But finding a proper niche, which will limit your competitors that can generate more value among your targeted customers. So, if you choose a niche then you can have to compete with fewer competitors.

    3. Find an audience easier

    When you choose a specific niche for your e-commerce business, it will help you, potential customers, better understanding what it is your offers.

    In fact, customers are searching online for a product like yours that can solve their needs.

    Instead of trying to sell your products among big audiences, you can easily sell your products to a specific audience. This will help you to reduce more ad spent. And also, you can become an industry expert on what you sell.


    04. Limit Inventory and Store Costs

    To arrange storage space for a new eCommerce inventory needs money and time. So, if you have more products, then you will need more space. And it will carry more expensive costs.

    On the other hand, if you work for only one niche then you can manage the business within a short space.

    So your eCommerce inventory’s space cost will be very fewer at begging of the business.

    Step:03. Register Your eCommerce Business Name and Company


    A brand name plays a vital role to grow up the business. To clarify, the e-commerce business growth much depends on its brand name.

    Therefore, you have to choose and select a short and catchy brand name. Besides, the name must be unique and express the persona of your business. You couldn’t select the name that was already registered by another company. 

    Moreover, you have to check if the domain is available or not of your selected brand name. After that, select finally a brand name.

    However, after choosing the brand name, there is some legal procedure to register the business name for your company. So, let’s check them before starting an eCommerce business.



    Business Licenses

    Every company needs to register its business to the Govt. to start an eCommerce business. In other words, the Government has to authorize your eCommerce business. You must take the authorization or license from your Govt. before start operating your business.

    Therefore, you have to submit a DBA or Doing Business Application file to your local Government.

    After getting the license, you can start further eCommerce business tasks.


    Employer Identification Number

    After that, you may need to apply for nine digits of EIN or Employer Identification Number.

    Although it’s not compulsory for a new eCommerce business, it provides many benefits to your business. You can have a lot of financial support and separate your financial statements through the EIN.

    However, the EIN is totally free of cost to apply. Besides, you can apply for EIN online. That is to say, you can instantly get the Employer Identification Number just right after the application.


    Additional Business Licenses And Permits

    The maximum eCommerce businesses are home-based. That is to say, the home-based business doesn’t require as many business licenses and permits as others.

    However, you can check the required documents for the home-based eCommerce business of the specific area from the state or local Government website.

    This being said, most of the area requires a home occupation permit to start an eCommerce business.

    The home occupation permit means your eCommerce business won’t make any noise, disturbance, and problematic conditions to the area. 

    However, you may need some other additional business licenses and permits. Such as,

     

    • Professional trade license.
    • Sales income tax permit.
    • Medical, safety issues, and environmental permits.
    • Etc.

    After completing the steps, you will register your business name and company. Consistently, you will start a successful eCommerce Business now.


    Step:04. Ecommerce Products Sourcing


    eCommerce Business Products Sourcing

    Products sourcing is a very important part of your e-commerce business. Because if your products are not quality full and you don’t ship your products to your customers then your business will go down.

    You can multiple manage products for your eCommerce store. But I just want to tell you managing products for your e-commerce store in 3 ways.

  • Own Hand Made Products or Services ( DIY Products )
  • Work With a Wholesaler or Manufacturer
  • Hire a Drop shipper or Use Dropshipping Platform
  • Step:5. Website or eCommerce Store Development


    Set up an eCommerce store

    After niche selection and product selection, you’re ready to set up your eCommerce store. It is an online shop which is like an offline shop.

    Where customers can know about your products details, prices, and pay money.

    Nowadays, you can easily set up your eCommerce store personally. You don’t need any coding knowledge. I’m going to teach you some tips to set up an eCommerce store.


    Pick a Brand Name, Color, and Make a Logo

    The brand name is your company or website name. Your store’s name, brand color, and logo are very vital things for your business.

    Your brand name may not be beautiful if you don’t think deeply. So, you should focus on an easily rememberable name that has that.

    • Fits your brand personality
    • Memorable
    • Easy to type

    Above all, your store name should be indicate what services or products you’re offering.


    Excellent brand color is important for remembering your brand persona to your target audience. So, pick a brand color that goes with your niche or products.


    Also, the company logo is an essential thing for your business. They will carry your brand and niche personality perfectly. Your logo should be simple, light, airy colors.


    If you’re not a graphics designer pro, then it is not a problem. Because, in this digital era, there are a lot of professional logo designers who are waiting for you. You can easily outsource your jobs through a freelance marketplace. There are some great freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, Guru.

    But I’m highly recommended you to use Fiverr freelancer’s services for logo making or graphics tasks. Because here, you will get creative designers at a reasonable price.


    For instance, I’m going to buy a professional eCommerce logo design service from a graphics design pro on Fiverr.


    Hire Logo Designer from Fiverr

    A lot of gigs are available for you. So, you can order, submit your requirement, and get your logo for your eCommerce store.

    Some important things you should bear in mind, when you make a logo for your store.

    • Select good fonts
    • Use your brand color as the main color
    • Should reflect the nature of your business
    • Make it scalable
    • Also Make it simple

    eCommerce Store Development Platforms

    An ecommerce platform is where you build your store. It means domain name, hosting, theme, and payment gateways. There are a lot of eCommerce platforms available to setup up a store for starting a successful e-Commerce business.

    Those eCommerce platforms do not only allow you to create and publish a store but also, it will help you to add your domain, customize your design, manage inventory, take and ship orders, receives payment, etc.

    Though there are hundreds of these types of platforms available on the market. But you should take one which has more popularity for starting your eCommerce store.

     Below, I am going to share some details about the best eCommerce platforms.


    Shopify is well-known and the most popular eCommerce software. It is a fully hosted e-commerce solution. This means that you just need to create an account on Shopify and then set up your store by following the guidance in the Shopify interface.

    It offers an all-in-one eCommerce solution, a user-friendly solution with various kinds of add-ons. You can start a subscription to Shopify from their 4 exclusive plans. Even you can start Shopify Lite Plan for $9 per month, though it has no available all features. Also, Shopify offers 14 days free trial of their all plans.

    I think you can manage your eCommerce store on Shopify very easily. If you don’t do that, then you can hire a Shopify developer from Fiverr.


    Hire a Shopify Developer From Fiverr

    WooCommerce is another great software to setup a Successful eCommerce store. But it works only on WordPress based sites.

     If you have already started a WordPress site, then you just need to build your eCommerce store by installing this plugin. This is an open-source plugin (software), you can download it free, and have a range of eCommerce features. 

    WooCommerce is better for business owners who have some technical knowledge about using an open-source nature.


    For domain and hosting for setting up your WordPress website, I highly recommend you to buy from Bluehost or A2hosting. Because they provide faster hosting with more disk space at a reasonable price.


    Read: Bluehost Review
    Read: A2Hosting Review


    If you don’t have knowledge about using an open-source plugin and fail to build your store on the WooCommerce platform, you can hire a WooCommerce developer from Fiverr.

    Hire a WooCommerce Developer From Fiverr


    Step:6. Ecommerce Site Marketing


    eCommerce Site Marketing

    Marketing for an eCommerce store is very essential. If you aren’t able to do marketing for your brand properly, you could not generate any sales. Bear in mind, it’s the main part of your eCommerce business success.

    There are a lot of ways for promoting an eCommerce brand. Those are especially Facebook Marketing, SEO & Content Marketing, PPC Ad (Google, Bing ads, etc.), Influencer marketing, and Sponsored Ad.

    I’m going to discuss eCommerce store marketing to start a successful eCommerce business.


    Promote eCommerce Business through Facebook Marketing

    Facebook Marketing is a great way of promoting eCommerce store. You can do marketing multiple ways on Facebook. But I want to share the best tips.


    (1) Identify Your Target Audience

    If you’re a businessman, you should know who needs or wants your services or products. You have to determine their age, job, location, gender, and why your services or products are good for them.

    Also, Facebook’s Audience Insight tool helps you to get potential customers depending on information on age, gender, relationship status, education, location, language, Facebook usage, and past purchases.

    So, you must identify your target audience first.


    (2) Setup a Facebook Business Page

    It is very easy to create a Facebook business page and don’t need any cost. Because, it is mostly like creating a Facebook profile.

    For setting up a business page, you have to go to Facebook.com/pages  and select your business type.


    You should write business name as your eCommerce company, select perfect category, and also write something about your business (description). Also you should add profile photo (logo), a cover photo, and then click save. Now your business page almost ready.

    Then click Edit Page Info. You will see a lot of features option for your business page specially location, Email address, Contact phone number, Website Link, Business Hours, Privacy policy, Products, etc.


    (3)  Start Facebook Ads Boosting

    Facebook paid marketing or Facebook Boosting is a faster way of promoting an eCommerce store. You can promote multiple ways through paid marketing.

    Go to

    https://business.facebook.com   , select your page and click on the Create Ad button. You can easily set up your ad campaigns by following the Facebook interface guide.

    Create Facebook Ads


    If you don’t have good knowledge of setting up a business page and starting paid to boost properly, then you can hire a Facebook paid marketer from Fiverr who will set up everything for you.


    Hire a Facebook Ads From Fiverr

    SEO and Content Marketing

    SEO (Search Engines Optimization) is a crazy thing. It is one of the best ways of promoting an eCommerce site. If you start SEO for your website, you don’t need tension about buyers. Because it will help you to generate huge targeted traffic or customers for your products without spending any money on ads.

    SEO is kinds of two. One is paid SEO or Search Engines Marketing (SEM) and another is Organic SEO.

    Paid Results VS Organic SEO Results



    For example, [ Baby footwear ] this keyword has [ about 10,000+ monthly search volume ]. So, you will get [about 3,300] potential customers if you get the top ranking for organic results. Because about 33% of search traffics gets the first one result as SearchEngineWatch Case Study.


    You can rank multiple items of your site like the individual product, Categories, Shop page, Home page, Blog posts, etc. So, you’re going to generate a lot of potential buyers.

    By the way, I’m going to discuss organic SEO of eCommerce website shortly here step by step.

    Keywords Research

    Keyword research or market research is fundamental of eCommerce site SEO. If you can’t select the right keywords for your SEO campaigns, then you will fail to generate targeted traffic for your eCommerce store.


    There are a lot of free and paid keyword research tools available. So, you can easily research keywords using them. I suggest you select those keywords which have a low or medium competition rate and a good amount of search volume.

    Also, try to select buying keywords like “Buy+ product name “Best + product name” “Buy+ topic Location”. For example, buying keywords example is “Buy Baby shoe”, “Best Baby Shoe”, “Buy Baby Shoe Florida”


    I highly recommend you to research keywords using SEMrush. Because it will help you to find out profitable keywords for your business with just one click. Also, it is my number one recommended SEO Tool. You can use this tool for 7 days free.


    Onpage Optimization

    In fact, Onpage optimization means technical solution and content optimization of your site.


    You should solve technical problems especially mobile responsive issues, page loading issues, coding issues.
    There are a lot of on-page technical problems checking tools. But you can use Screaming Frog for checking technical SEO problems of your site.

    On the other hand, content optimization is an important part of on-page SEO. There are some special terms of one page SEO. Those Title optimization, Meta description optimization, Body content optimization, image optimization, and internal linking,


    Some Important Terms Of On-page SEO

    Title: You must use target keywords in the title and also you should keep your webpage title 55-65 characters long. Try to add the buying keyword format of your title.


    Meta Description: The meta description is the short description of your webpage content which will show in search results under URL. You should keep this between 150-165 characters. Also, you should add the focus keyword on the Meta description.  



    Body Content: Body content is the main content of your webpage. You need to add your focus keywords within both subheadings and product descriptions. Your focus keyword density should be 1%-3%. But don’t try to do keywords stuffing. Also, the description should be high readability, grammatical right, unique, informative.


    Images Optimization: Image Optimization is a great part of the eCommerce site SEO. You should write an image file name and Alter text around focus keywords. Also, the image should be clean and eye-catching.


    Internal Linking: Internal linking means that you should link one page to other high relevant pages. It will help to reduce your site bounce rate and also boost ranking.

    Backlinks-Off Page Optimization

    Backlinks or off-page optimization is another great ranking factor of SEO. Linkbuilding or backlinks means that you should get support from other relevant sites through a link. You can build multiple ways of high-quality backlinks for your eCommerce site.

    Those are Guest blogging, Blogs Outreach, Broken link building, Directory Submission, Press release, Profile backlinks, Forum Posting, web 2.0, etc.

    If you can’t manage your backlinks building project, then you buy backlinks through backlinks buying selling networks. Also, you can hire an SEO backlinks builder from Fiverr.


    Note: If you need consulting about your eCommerce Business (from eCommerce site-building to Marketing) you can feel free to contact me. My team will work with you at reasonable prices.

    Final Word

    Above all, I have already discussed most of the things to start a successful eCommerce business from scratch. You can make millions of dollars/per year from a single niche eCommerce site if you can maintain it properly. So, don’t waste your time for more thinking. You can start with a product that is most passionate about. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me by comment.


    Marketer Rakib

    Marketer Rakib is a full-time Blogger and Affiliate Marketer. Follow Rakib to learn how to scale up your online business for more Make Money. Before starting this blog, Rakib managed world's top digital marketing agencies. Now, He has been helping people to make money online through affiliate marketing. Read his story

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