How to start an e-commerce business? Starting an e-commerce business can seem like a huge undertaking. However, this does not have to be the case. In fact, you can start your own online shop in less than a day! Here are some tips for getting started:
Define your brand
Before you get started with your website, it’s important to define your brand. You can think of a brand as the personality that sets your company apart from others in the marketplace. Your brand gives people an idea of what you stand for and how they should relate to you.
When defining your brand, ask yourself these questions:
- What is my brand? Is it something I’d like to share with others? If so, why?
- What is my brand’s personality? How would I describe it in one word or phrase?
- What is the tone of my brand? Does my company have a serious or light-hearted vibe?
- What is the message of my brand? How do I want customers to feel when interacting with us online (eagerness to buy, enthusiasm about our products/services, and more)?
- What is the mission of my business (or website)? Why was this business created in the first place—what makes us stand out from other companies in our field (and why should anyone care)?
Choose a Business Structure
To choose a business structure, consider the following:
Formalize your company.
If you’re starting a new business, you can use one of the many available structures. The most common options are sole proprietorship and partnership; if there are multiple owners involved in your new enterprise, you might consider incorporating or forming an LLC (limited liability corporation).
Consider taxes and accounting.
A ‘C’ corporation offers more tax benefits than any other type of entity except for nonprofits and S corporations. However, it also requires more maintenance to file corporate taxes every year. S corps have fewer restrictions on who can be an owner. However, they require that all shareholders receive compensation from their companies via salary or dividends—you cannot take profits out as capital gains distributions as you can with a C corp or LLC taxed as a partnership or sole proprietorship. These entities do not pay federal income tax on earnings distributed to shareholders who do not work for them directly (however, they still owe self-employment taxes).
Choose your E-commerce Platform
Before you can begin selling your products online, you’ll need to choose an e-commerce platform to help get your store up and running. There are several different types of platforms to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. Some of the most popular platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, and Magento.
Shopify is one of the easiest platforms to learn how to use because it has many intuitive features for beginners
Its drag-and-drop is easy for designing pages; there are prebuilt templates that you can customize, and its search engine optimization tools are super simple. BigCommerce has similar functionality. However, it may take more time to get used to this platform if you’re new at designing websites or managing e-commerce stores in general. On top of being easy to use, Shopify also allows users access to over 200 themes (free), which gives them access to customization options without having any coding skill sets (or hiring developers).
Volusion is another great option for those who want something even simpler than Shopify but still want flexibility with their design options (e.g., colors).
Open Your Store
Now that you’ve created your e-commerce business plan, it’s time to open your online store.
In order to do so, you’ll need to register a domain name and purchase a web host. You can also choose which shopping cart software and e-commerce platform best fit your needs.
You should also decide whether you want an SSL certificate (also known as an HTTPS certificate). However, keep in mind that not all payment gateways support this feature yet.
With these tips, you can start your e-commerce business! – Now that you know the basics of starting an e-commerce business and what it takes to get started, let’s talk about some actionable steps.
Set goals for your store. What are your end goals? How much money do you want to make? When will this happen? Defining these things up front is incredibly helpful in keeping focused on what matters most: growing your business.
Learn more about digital marketing tactics and best practices by reading blogs like Shopify’s own blog, Humblebee Social (formerly called Growth Nation), and by becoming involved with communities such as Shopify’s Merchants Community on Facebook or Reddit’s e-commerce subreddit.
How to start an e-commerce business? Well, with these tips, you can start your e-commerce business! We hope that this article has helped you understand the process of starting an e-commerce business and that this will help you navigate it with ease. If you’re curious about what else we have to say about starting a business, check out our blog for more helpful tips on this topic!