Dreams of earning money while you sleep is a perfectly valid reason to rush at the chance to build an e-commerce business.
The key to success is an e-commerce store that starts out with a well-laid plan. Take a look at this brief guide to setting up your first online store.
Step One: What’s Your Niche?
There are so many online shops in the world that it’s impossible to target everyone. If you don’t know the person who’s going to love your products, it’s time to do more market research.
Market research is the process of finding out who your market is and what they want. You can find this out by researching similar online stores and finding out more about their customers.
For example, if you’re looking for something very specific like anti-racist children’s books, you can visit a shop with proven success in this area. Choose a product or group of products you want to sell and find the top stores in your category. Use these stores as a reference for your brand positioning.
Step Two: Decide on a Name
The next thing you’ll need to do to get started with your online business is to establish a name. You’ll need to register with your local or state government before setting up your store.
There are usually two common options for an e-commerce store that wants to secure a unique business name.
The first option is forming a business entity through the Secretary of State Corporations Division. The second option is to register a business trade name through your county or local government. Call your county clerk or city government to learn about filing fees and deadlines.
You’re going to need different accounting solutions for your eCommerce store based on the type of business entity you create.
Step Three: Discover New Products
The inconvenient truth about e-commerce businesses is that they can quickly become overwhelming if you’re getting into too many fields at once. For example, if you have an idea for a new product, you’re starting a business in manufacturing, logistics, e-commerce, and fulfillment all at the same time.
Not everyone has this level of business savvy to keep all these separate ventures happening at once. It’s a good idea to consider drop shipping until you get the hang of what you want to do.
There’s no rush to push your own product design on the market. Take your time exploring new products that can be made available to customers without you having to reinvent the wheel.
Step Four: Where Will Your E-commerce Store Live?
The last step to opening up your e-commerce store is deciding on a hosting service. There are online store templates that take the guesswork out of things like shipping, fulfillment and designing your e-commerce store website.
Choose a service with monthly fees that make sense for your anticipated revenue.
Creating Your First Online Store
It’s intimidating to try and market your e-commerce store to everyone on the internet. Chances are, your site couldn’t handle the billions of people surfing the web each day.
Start with a niche and an online storefront that allows you to automate your daily business tasks. For more information and tips, visit our blog for updates.