eCommerce sales are growing every single year. In fact, U.S. e-commerce sales grew 16% in 2017.
So if you're looking to start a business, an eCommerce business is a great way to make it happen. However, it can be hard to know how to start an eCommerce business.
That's why we put this guide together to help guide you as you start your company. Check it out below.
1. Find a Product to Sell
The first thing you should do is find what you're going to sell. This can often be the toughest part of the process because you're going up against a lot of competition!
But to be successful in eCommerce, you need to have a high-quality product that people want to purchase.
The key to success is finding a niche. So think about the industry you want to focus on, and then narrow it even more. What segment do you want to focus on?
From there, you can find a product that fulfills a need in that niche. This will give you your greatest chance of success.
2. Source Your Product
Next, it's time to source your product. You need to have a solid way to get your product that you can rely on.
Shop around until you find a supplier that you're super happy with. You want to find the cheapest price possible while still maintaining optimal product quality. When you've done this, you know you'll be successful.
Whether you want to manufacture, wholesale, or dropship, there are tons of options out there. The key is to find the right fit for your company.
3. Research the Competition and Your Target Market
Okay. You've found your niche, decided on your product, and coordinated with a supplier.
Your next step is to research the competition. This will help you learn what brands in your space are doing and how you can stand out from the crowd.
The last thing you want to do is be super similar to your competitors. The best thing you can do is differentiate yourself.
You also want to research your target market. That way, you'll know how to position yourself.
This will give you increased clarity on how to market your company and what features to include. To dive deeper into customer behavior, read more here.
4. Create a Business Plan
Now it's time to put these ideas to paper, creating a business plan for your company. This will be the roadmap that you can follow as you move forward.
Here, you'll cover information about all areas of your business, including sales, marketing, accounting, finances, and growth.
It will be something you can refer back to as you have questions and as outside vendors want to learn more about your company.
5. Name Your Business
Next, focus on naming your business. You want to choose a catchy, engaging, and memorable name that stands out from the crowd.
You want something that's relevant to your industry but not cliche. Brainstorming a business name can be a difficult process, but stick with it and you'll come up with something great.
Once you've come up with a few options, check to see if they're available via a corporate name search. That way, you're not trying to use a name that's already taken.
6. Register Your Company
Once you have your business name chosen, you should register your company. You can choose one of the following structures:
- Sole Proprietor
There are pros and cons of each option, and these vary depending on your situation.
However, if you choose to register as an LLC or corporation, your business and personal assets will be kept separate. This is good if you run into any money issues.
7. Get Your Domain and Build Your Website
It's time to set up your eCommerce presence! Now that you have your business name, you should secure your domain. This is another word for your URL.
For example, if you sell dog treats and choose the business name DoggieLove, the best scenario would be that you can get the domain doggielove.com.
But if you can't, get something that's similar like doggielovetreats.com. However, still try to keep it as short as possible.
Next, get started building your website. If you know to code, great! If you don't, that's okay.
There are lots of software programs out there that can help you build a great looking site without any coding.
8. Make an eCommerce Business Logo
Your logo is the visual representation of your brand. When people see your logo, you want them to instantly recognize your company!
There are lots of online logo builders out there. But the best logos often come from professional designers. If you don't have design experience and can fit it in your budget, this is the best route to take.
9. Start Marketing
To have the best chance of success, you should start marketing your business early on. Even if you aren't ready to sell products yet, start doing the following:
- Write content for your website pages and blog
- Take product images and write product descriptions
- Create social media profiles on all the major platforms
This way, when you're ready to start selling, your marketing plan will be established already!
Now that you've read through this guide to starting your eCommerce business, it's time to get started. Evaluate where you are and then figure out what step comes next!
If you have questions or would like to learn more, get in touch with our team today.