How to Start an Ecommerce Business?

A good, unique idea can change your life forever. Maybe you are thinking about the startup. Yeah, obviously startup could be difficult.

But hard work, patience, right decision can make it easy.

If you are sinking in Ocean thinking about where to start then my suggestion will be-become an entrepreneur and start an online business. This is one of the best choice for startup.

Take inspiration from those people who already become successful in this way.

And if you need pros and cons about “How to start an online business” then, I am here to make your way smooth to smoothest.

Table of Content
  • What is ecommerce business?
  • Types of e-commerce business model.
  • Difference between traditional and e-commerce business.
  • Things you need before setting up an e-commerce business.
  • How ecommerce business works?
  • How to start ecommerce business step-by-step complete guide?
  • FAQs
What is ecommerce business?
"Ecommerce business"that basically an electronic business system. Where buying and selling of goods and services and also the transfer of money and data completed via the internet.

An example could make the concept clear-

Most of the people less or more known about these popular online store like-Amazon, Shopify, Myntra. Each of these is an example for e-commerce business.

Types of e-commerce business model (Choose Your Ecommerce Business Model from Here)
You already know about ecommerce business.Transaction of money, funds and data known as e-commerce.

Basically, these business transactions are of four traditional types-

  • Business to Business (B2B).
  • Business to Consumer (B2C).
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C).
  • Consumer to Business (C2B).
  • Drop shipping.
But ecommerce frequently ask a question-

Are there anything more than these five ecommerce types?
Yes, There is also another type of business which is Business to Government (B2G). But it often mixup with B2B business model.

Let’s have a look on each particular type to make all understandable-

1. B2B (Business to Business)
It refers just it sounds like. Here one business company sell products or services to another business company. Types of products could be anything according to another company’s demand. Sometimes the buyer company could be the end user whereas sometimes the buyer company resell the product to the next door.

An example can make it more clear-
Think about a software company like Salesforce, HubSpot. All of its products produced for the benefit of another business.

2. B2C (Business to Consumer)
In this business model business occurs just to the end user. Here your customers are general people. Products might be either physical or computer software, smart phone apps.

Here the stakes are not so high, so it is short-sales cycle. In B2C Business average order value is low but a greater number of order place.

Let’s see example:
Anything that you buy from an online store as a customer like-table, any household chores, services-is done under B2C transaction.

3. C2C (Consumer to consumer)
Here consumer connects with another consumers by charging subscriber fees, listing fees or transaction fees.

A C2C business also named as an online marketplace.More definitely -C2C business connects customers to exchange goods and services and thus make money by charging transaction fees.

Example to make it clear-
Online business like Craigslist and eBay promote this type model in the early days of internet.

4. C2B (Consumer to business)
C2B business offers individuals to sell goods and services to the companies. Its concept is a bit fuzzy but it’s an authentic business model.

Observe an example-
You can see this C2B Business model on freelancing sites where a site allows customers to post the projects that they want to be completed. Affiliate marketing services would also be considered C2B.

Drop shipping:
Maybe it sounds a bit weird after those four types. But it’s still and powerful business model As well as the fastest growing method.

In this process at first you have to create a online shop and find out some supplies. Customers will visit your shop and choose product. You will take customers order with their address and payment. Your selected suppliers will deliver the ordered product on behalf of you.

You don’t need to invest in product inventory or stock management in this process.

You just need to do the following two things-

  • Find out the supplier: The best market for finding a supplier is AliExpress.
  • Online shop set up: You can create merchant account on Amazon, eBay or you can set up your own online e-commerce website.
Difference between traditional and e-commerce business:
That we understand by traditional business is- the customer will go to the market, verify the products, choose their desired one then buy them and finally pay money.

Whereas, the modern techniques of buying and selling goods and services through e-commerce where the customer purchase and sale goods via Internet.

Let’s understand by knowing it’s differences-

  • Traditional business formation is hard to establish whereas ecommerce business formation is so easy.
  • Customer presence is required in traditional business but it’s not necessary in ecommerce business, they can buy anything from online.
  • A traditional business set up cost is high but you can easily set an ecommerce business without any setup cost just excluding ecommerce website.
  • It’s too costly to operate a traditional business on the other hand in ecommerce business system you can operate with zero of cost.
  • You need lots of investment for a traditional business-Such as security money, product collection, shop decoration etc. On the contrary, you can avoid this kind of investment here.
  • Nature of contact with suppliers and customers is a long process in traditional system but you can make contact very easily in ecommerce business.
  • In traditional business, the market size depends on where is your shop and showroom and also its local area. In ecommerce system the whole world is in your hand and you can sell anything to anyone from anywhere.
  • The amount of customer size is limited but in ecommerce there are no limitations.
  • You need to appoint employees to maintain your traditional business but in ecommerce business you can do it by yourself.
  • 1It’s very hard as well as costly to establish your company brand name in traditional business. But in ecommerce it’s easy and also capable to increase sales here.
It’s quite simple to have merits and demerits in everything. We just have to compare and choose the best one. So take your decision from when you are going to start your own online business and stay with us to get advanced level information.

Things you need before setting up an ecommerce business:
It’s mandatory to see at a glance- the things you need and have knowledge before setting up your online business-

  • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Internet connection
  • Domain and hosting
  • E-commerce website
  • Products
  • Market knowledge
  • Shipping knowledge

How ecommerce business works:
Let’s see it with a picture:

How to start ecommerce business step-by-step complete guide:
So, finally we enter the most desirable part of this content-“How to start your business via Internet”

I’m going to share below a complete guide step by step. So, to get advanced level information read all with concentration.
  • Target the best and profitable niche market.
  • Choose a domain name and web hosting solution.
  • Build your ecommerce site./li>
  • Ecommerce Payment gateway solution.
  • ECommerce shipping solution.
  • Guide to investment in ecommerce business.
  • Product selection for E store.
  • Design your marketing plan to brand promotion.
  • Start Selling.
  • Contact with clients for Feedback.
  • Send the Latest Product Notification

1. Target the best and profitable niche market:
At first most important step for your ecommerce business is-To know what specific products or services actually you are going to sell online, wholesale or direct to consumer. Often this become the challenging part among all but nothing to worry about. If you follow some strategies you can easily get an idea. Instead of thinking about a great innovation just think about-

  • What customer want.
  • Consider what you can offer them.
Well, here the following tips can assist you to find the best and profitable niche market-

Find your passion: You are probably going to pay your whole attention into your new business. So it is very necessary to have enough interest about the product or service that you are going to sell. Otherwise, you will feel botheration about that.

Suppose you are passionate about painting so you obviously love to know and try to keep yourself updated about this. So you would know what type of painting color or brush people like most. And what type of content will tempt the painter to buy something online.

By following your passion you also know the groups where these topics are practiced and thus you can get the chance to offer your product at the right time.

Compare the niche market value: Wait, think and observe before jumping into any niche market. You must need to have a clear idea about your choosing niche’s market value. Your inspection will help in your decision-making process.

You can make a list of five products idea for which you are crazy about. That means you pick your five passion.

After that compared them according to their market value and then select. Search for the commission details which pay much. Thus , you can make more money with same effort.

Catch the trend train: Always keep eyes on past and current trends before jump into any niche.

The process is quite simple: Go to https://trends.google.com/trends and just type your niche. And you will get the result.

Research your competitors:

When you are going to choose the best, profitable niche market, you should research the niche with your competitors. And must select the weaker one. You can get help from Google keyword search tool named Google Adwords. You will find there are lots of keywords suggestions.

Pick those keywords which contain 2000 to 5000 research volume.

Caution! Don’t pick the higher one because it might be hard for you to compete with them.

2. Choose a domain name and web hosting solution:
Once you have chosen your niche market, the next thing that you have to do is- to choose a name for your business.

What is domain name for e-commerce business?
Online business procedure is something like the traditional business process. In traditional business you need to select a unique business name which doesn’t match with others. For online business you also need to find a name which is unique.

For this You should consult your local secretary of state’s website and also US patent and Trademark Office to get confirmation that your chosen name does not match with any other existing company’s name.

Here should mention, you can also buy a premium Domain name.

What is premium domain name?
There are at least 1.8 billion websites are existing in the online world. Among this total amount it’s not like that all the names are currently using. You can also want to purchase a domain name that is already owned and has been judged. Price for this type names could be high, but they tend to be more brandable.

Tips for choosing the best Domain name:
  • For your domain name search use keywords.
  • Try to go with.com
  • Choose a name that can easily pronounce and spell.
  • For selecting a domain name avoid using hyphens and doubled letters.
  • Leave room to expand.
  • Select short domain name.
Hosting:
Web hosting service allows you to publish your web application on the Internet. Indeed, when you go for a web hosting, it’s something like you rent a space on a physical server. There you can store all of your files and data required for your website.

You can choose from these five major types of web hosting-

  • Manage hosting for WordPress
  • Shared hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Dedicated server
  • VPS (Virtual private server)
Choose the best one considering your speed, reliability, features etc. You must choose the best web hosting service and updated software.

Think on your specific needs before choose a website hosting:

  • What type of website you are going to create.
  • Based on the technical requirement or web hosting service that you want for e-commerce website.
  • How much traffic do you want to reach website hosting.
  • Your budget for eCommerce business.

3. Build your ecommerce site:
As your website is everything to run your online business. Your site should be lucrative as well as very clear to the people that why should they buy from here.

Make sure your website design suits with your branding.

If you don't have any previous experience. Don't worry, a drag-and-drop website builder option you will get from HostGator. Which ensure you a tension free website building process.

If you want more control of what you can do behind the scenes of your content management system, then you can go with WordPress.

WordPress website:
In present time WordPress website get most popularity because of its easy use. You can customize your website with free as well as premium templates with wordpress and manage easily.

Why you will use WordPress?
  • WordPress is a free software.
  • It is SEO friendly.
  • You can easily 100% customize your website with themes and plugins which works on all device.
  • In term of safety and security.
  • Add unlimited products on your WordPress ecommerce website.
  • No need of HTML editing to set up.
  • You can go for premium option as well.
  • This platform gets the popularity among all.
Again you can use ecommerce builder instead of WordPress to make it more easily. For example- Shopify, Ecwid, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and so on.

If you are thinking you will run big then use ecommerce CMS instead of WordPress and Ecommerce builder both. For example- Magento, Prestashop, OpenCart, BigCommerce, ZenCart.

4. Ecommerce Payment gateway solution:
What is payment gateway solution?
Payment gateway acts as a middleman between business and client. Again, it ensures the data security for your client. The gateway supplies your business company a fast payment delivery. It also provides so many useful functionalities.

How a payment gateway works just in 2 second:

  • Suppose, a customer decides to buy a product and submit an order.
  • The transactional information is relayed to the payment gateway.
  • The payment gateway will forward the information to your bank's payment processor.
  • The payment processor send the information to the card used belongs to e.g., Mastercard or visa
  • The credit or debit card's bank receives the request and send an answer to the processor with a special code. It will give a signal that whether the transaction passed or failed depends on the sufficient funds available in the bank account.
  • Finally, the payment process sends this message to the payment gateway.
  • After getting the message the payment gateway forwards it to your website and send this information back to the card holder including the merchant.
10 payment gateway options:

  • Amazon Payment
  • Stripe
  • Paypal
  • Intuit
  • Worldpay
  • Authorize.net
  • Dwolla
  • WePay
  • 2Checkout
  • Merchant E-Solution
Fees:

You will find two types of charges when you choose your preferred gateway-

  • Transaction fees.
  • Sign up or service fees.
Sometimes a small percentage on every transaction could be required which is upfront fees or a monthly apartment fee for using.

5. ECommerce shipping solution:
Though it's a very complicated topic but here I will try to make it as simple as possible. I will show you how to package and ship your order for a safely delivery on time with saving as money as possible.

Packaging options:

  • Offering your customer a free shipping. But it's just to show. In fact, shipping is never free. In this case you can increase your products price to cover the shipping cost. So, this basically mean your customer will pay the cost.
  • You can pay the shipping cost out of your own margins. That means you will pay.
  • You can choose a third way by distributing the price between you and the customer by slightly increasing the products value to cover the partial cost of shipping.
  • You can setup real-time carry rates on your Shopify store so that the customer can choose what service they want to pay for.
  • You also can personally drop off items. You can customize your delivery area and rate using a zip code radius. Customers whose are within your selected area will be able to get this service.

How to choose the right carrier?
You can get hundreds of options for carriers. Among all, the followings are popular-

  • FedEx
  • DHL
  • UPS
  • USPS
  • Canada post
It's difficult to know for you what is the right option. You can see the reviews of different carriers and make sure that your product is supported. Some carriers charge high amount for fragile item. Be careful about that.

Before choose a carrier, you should notice some matter-

  • About its cost
  • Ensure ships to customers location.
  • What tracking services they offer.
  • How much time it will take.
  • Insurance policy (If it's important. Double check it).
Insurance and tracking:
Depending on the value of your product, shipping insurance and tracking ensure security. It provides you a recovery if your item gets lost or damaged. Most of the carriers demand a very high amount on this purpose.

Customs and declaration:
If you are shipping outside from your country, you will need to include the paper of customs documentation. These are available on online through Shopify or at the post office. This paper possesses some specific information.

Leveling your packages:
Many new ecommerce entrepreneurs start by writing the ship to and return addresses on the package by hand. This is a great idea to start but once you start getting hundreds of orders which of course you will feel it too monotonous and time-consuming matter. Here you can take help from Shopify. You can print and pay for multiple shipping levels directly in Shopify.

Shopify shipping:
Shopify shipping works directly with various carriers. Each of them offers multiple classes to make the process smooth as possible. So, you can deliver products into your customer’s hand quickly and inexpensive.

6. Guide to investment in ecommerce business:
If you are going to start an ecommerce business at first you must have to think ecommerce business plan to establish new brand. You must need an initial investment to start the business. A step-by-step investment will need to make and transaction ecommerce site. But of course, your investment amount depends on your financial ability and requirement. Either you can start with low, medium or high budget. Here I am going to discuss how to invest in e-commerce business.

Ecommerce investment process:

Laptop or desktop computer with internet connection:
The first most important investment that you have to do before starting ecommerce business is- you need to have your own computer with internet connection. If you have this already then skip it.

Transactional ECommerce site:
You need to make transactional ecommerce site. You can make it low, medium or high budget. If you want more option investing less money than WordPress is the best way to build an ecommerce website.

Products:
You have to collect or manage products from different buyers before start selling products online. To show your ecommerce website in front of customer at first you have to do this.

Office maintenance:
You can start your ecommerce business with physical address or with virtual address. Invest here according to your choice and demand.

Marketing skill and manpower:
To have enough marketing skill and man power both are very important to build a successful brand or establish a new brand in ecommerce business.

Product delivery:
Here you should follow two ways to provide fast delivery support. You can keep a delivery boy or you can use courier service. Here also you need a little investment.

After sell invest:
You should give your customer an after-sell support. Though its one kind of business strategy but it has a very effective impact to build a very good relation between the seller and customer. So, you should invest here.

7. Product selection for E store:
You must want to choose the best product for your store and it’s truly very important.

Here you get some tips on this issue-

  • Observe customer review for any existing product from your competitors online shopping site.
  • You should choose trendy products that have a higher profit margin.
  • Your Professional experience can help you to select products for online shop.
  • Find the best-selling products from online shopping site.
  • Look towards a specific and most popular brand in local market.
  • Find products opportunities in keywords.
  • Choose products that solve the customer Spain point.
  • You can go with your personal passion for selecting a product for your store.
  • Browse what is trending on online marketplace.
  • Appeal to enthusiastic hobbyists.


8. Design your marketing plan to brand promotion:
As marketing plan is the key of success for any business so you should apply the best online marketing strategies for brand promotion.

Some effective marketing strategies you will get here-

Content marketing:

You should keep a blog option in your website. Content marketing is a very effective and proven method to increase cell.

You can discuss in your blog about your products or even the experience that you gather by starting your business.

SEO:

After creating your website, the first thing that you need to do you have to manually Introduce your website with the search engine.
For example-Google, Yahoo, Bing. So that when a person searches your website on Google, he gets it. SEO is one of the best ways to gather more organic traffic for your business.

Social media marketing:

Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter-all are very popular social media marketing platform you can use these platforms to spade out your services and products.

Email marketing:

By creating email template, you can introduce your product or services to your target client and group of people within a very short time.

Pay-Per-Click advertising:

To get a quick result use pay-per-click online advertising method. Where the advertiser pay for each click on their online add to the user.

9. Start Selling:
Congratulations! You are just one step back to get profit. Now start selling your selected, collected products from your online shop.

Starting may be a little bit slow but if you follow all the steps properly it won’t so far to reach your destination.

10. Contact with clients for Feedback:
Complete selling then get money and finally deliver the product to the address-don't think your duty is completed here.

You should make sure whether your customers are satisfied with your product/service or not. This is one kind of business policy. This is how you can build a strong relationship with your client and you must plan a best after sales support.

11. Send the Latest Product Notification:
Send the latest product notification to the customer who already placed an order from your shop it could be helpful policy to increase your sell.

Send Notification by: Email Newsletter, Push Notification, SMS and social media reply

In fine, take your decision by your own considering all the facts. Your success will depend on what you do for everyday that comes after. Take preparation to work heart, learn more and give a great customer service. Your right step will give you a great reward.

FAQs:

Is ecommerce business profitable?
E-Commerce business and drop shipping is undoubtedly profitable. And now you have enough knowledge and tools which you need to reach your goal. You can surely start earning.

How much does it cost to start an ecommerce business?
Including professional-build ecommerce website and domain name the average cost will be-for website $5,000 to $10,000 and for domain-name $2 to $20 per year.

Can you start an ecommerce business with no money?
You can see many running online businesses with no money. This all because so many free services facilities you can get online.

Is it worth getting into ecommerce?
You will get huge competition when you enter in online business. You have to learn many things about promotion, product marketing, email marketing and ads. But after all, yes, it is worth to open your online shop.

Which product is best for ecommerce?
Here I can mention 8 ecommerce business ideas that you can try-
  • Sell second hand products.
  • Online education courses.
  • Sell eBooks.
  • Smart watches.
  • Health and beauty products.
  • Home products.
  • Kids games and toys.
  • Content writing.