6 Steps to start an ecommerce business – Start your online store and run it successfully

setup ecommerce store online

Ecommerce businesses are booming and yet showing no signs of slowing down in the near future.

If you are also among those who always wanted to start their own eCommerce business but never did because of insufficient information or funds, this blog post is for you.

setup ecommerce store online

If you don’t have huge funds to invest in your eCommerce business, it’s ok. You can still start your eCommerce website and start selling online.

All you need to have is:

1. A passion to sell online.

2. Willingness to learn how to start an eCommerce store.

3. Willingness to put some of your time regularly to promote your online shop.

Note: It would be an added advantage if you have some money to advertise on Google and Facebook to get quicker results.

Steps to start an ecommerce store & run it successfully?

 #1 THINK ABOUT THE PRODUCTS TO SELL ON YOUR ECOMMERCE STORE

When you think of starting an eCommerce business, the very first thing you need to consider is choosing the product niche which you will be selling on your online store.

There are 2 ways to choose your product niche:

a. Follow your passion

This is perhaps the most ideal way to choose a product niche to sell on your eCommerce website. If you see the data of successful eCommerce entrepreneurs, you will find that most of them chose the products which they were passionate about.

No matter if you are fond of fashion accessories like jewelry, watches, etc. or you love electronic items and gadgets, you can make money selling them smartly on your online shop.

b. Follow the trend

The second way to choose a product niche for your eCommerce website is by observing the market trends.

If you think people in your city or community are crazy about buying online gadgets, you can also start selling gadgets on your eCommerce website.

You can also list down some of the startup yet successful online stores and start analyzing their hot-selling products. If you think you can easily arrange those products and sell them online, why not.

You don’t really need to think out of the box or reinvent the wheel.

 #2 THINK ABOUT THE BUSINESS NAME & DOMAIN NAME FOR YOUR ECOMMERCE STORE

Once you’ve decided on the product that you will be selling online, the next step is to decide on a business name and incorporate your company as per the government rules & regulations.
You must also think about an appropriate domain name for your eCommerce store. At the same time, you will need to choose the appropriate TLD (top-level domain). It may sound a bit technical to you but believe me, it has nothing to do with technicalities.

TLD is nothing else but choosing an extension for your domain name for eg. .com, .com.sg or .sg.

Practically speaking you can go with any of the above extensions but here are a few things you may like to know:

a. The ‘.com’ domains are ideal for those businesses who want to go global. For eg. www.yourbusiness.com

b. The ‘.com.sg’ or ‘.sg’ domains are ideal for companies who want to deal with the local market only. For eg. www.yourbusiness.com.sg or www.yourbusiness.sg

c. Businesses who are unsure about their expansion may go for both ‘.com.sg’ and ‘.com’.

#3 DETERMINE A BUDGET FOR YOUR ECOMMERCE WEB DESIGN

Ok, now you know what you will sell online and under which brand name and domain name, the next step is to decide upon a budget for your eCommerce website development.

If you are also among those who believe that having an eCommerce website is an expensive affair and it will cost you a fortune to build, let me demystify your thinking in the next 3 minutes.

How much does an eCommerce website cost?

Although I have written a long blog post on knowing the eCommerce website cost, I will give you a brief on it.

The cost of an eCommerce website development depends, to an extent, upon the eCommerce platform that you choose, the web developer whom you hire, and the features that you choose for your eCommerce store.

Let’s take a few instances to understand eCommerce website pricing in a better way.

Case 1: Basic eCommerce website

A basic WordPress eCommerce website can cost you close to $3000.

What will be the features of a basic eCommerce website?

  • A nice eCommerce template design.
  • The ability for your to manage products & product categories.
  • The ability for you to accept payments online through PayPal.
  • The ability for you to create discount codes.
  • The ability for you to define flat charges for shipping and taxes.
  • The ability for you to capture emails of your buyers and email them for upselling.

Case 2: Advanced eCommerce website

An advanced WordPress eCommerce website may cost you around $6000

What will be the features of an advance eCommerce store?

  • A custom web design for your online store
  • The ability for you to accept payments online through PayPal, eNets & other payment gateways.
  • The ability for you to define discount codes & reward points.
  • The ability for you to define flexible charges (based on order value, delivery location, etc.) for shipping and taxes.
  • The ability for you to capture emails of your buyers and email them for upselling.
  • The ability for you to manage products & product categories
  • The ability for you to up-sell & cross-sell your products to get more sales.

#4 HIRE A WEB DEVELOPER FOR YOUR ECOMMERCE WEB DESIGN

After you decide on the appropriate eCommerce platform that you will be using for your online shop, the next step is to hire a web developer who can help you to develop your dream store.

What you must consider before hiring a web developer for your eCommerce store:

a. The portfolio

Before you hire any web developer to build your eCommerce website, you must check out his recent works. If you think that his portfolio matches your expectations, you must consider hiring him. But wait, there are a few more things to consider.

b. The charges

Now that you know the rough estimate of your eCommerce website cost as explained above, it will be easier for you to justify the quotations that you will be receiving from several web developers.

Be reasonable and expected reasonable.

c. The understanding

Now, this is a very important factor that you must consider before hiring an eCommerce developer. Even if you’ve got a reasonable quote from your web developer but he hasn’t understood your requirements completely, you must refrain from hiring this web developer.

d. The support

Is your web developer good in support? How promptly does he/she respond to your email? Before hiring a web developer, you must check the level of support your web developer provides.

#5 MAINTAIN YOUR ECOMMERCE WEBSITE

Let’s assume that you already have an eCommerce store running now. But what about its maintenance?

Maintenance of eCommerce websites is as important as their existence in the very first place.

Why you must maintain your eCommerce website regularly?

a. To ensure that your users always see updated information.

b. To ensure that you always have up-to-date plugins & modules.

c. To ensure that your eCommerce website doesn’t have any broken links.

d. To ensure that your website loads quickly.

Do you need a web developer to maintain your website or can you do it yourself?

Fortunately, if your eCommerce store has been built using open-source CMS like WordPress or Magento, you can easily learn to maintain your website at your end. 

Yes, maintaining a WordPress eCommerce website is really not difficult at all. All you need is an hour or 2 hours of training and you are all set to take charge of your website.

Why you must maintain your eCommerce website yourself?

a. You save money

When you do the maintenance on your eCommerce store yourself, you save money which you may need to pay, otherwise to a web developer.

b. You save time

Doing website maintenance yourself also enhances the whole process. Instead of sending the updates to your web developer and waiting for him/her to take action, you can make those changes yourself in a few minutes or hours. 

#6 OPTIMIZE YOUR ECOMMERCE WEBSITE FOR SEARCH ENGINES (SEO)

Why SEO is important for eCommerce businesses?

The purpose of every eCommerce business is to get more sales. And this can happen only when there is a good flow of targeted traffic on the eCommerce store. SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the best mediums to get targeted traffic on any website.

Having an eCommerce store is one thing and getting business out of it is another thing. So the next step after you launch your eCommerce store is to optimize your online store for search engines like Google.

SEO is no more a hidden secret. All you need to do is take care of your website optimization and do some regular activities like blog writing, promoting your website through influential marketing, and building quality backlinks for your website.

When you do these activities regularly over a course of a few months, you start getting quality traffic on your website.

If you don’t have time to perform SEO activities on your website or you don’t want to get into this stuff and just want to focus on the core areas of your business, then hiring an SEO agency or SEO expert would be a great option for you.

No matter what the case is, you must ensure that you do optimize your store for search engines.

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