If you want to start an eCommerce business, you should know that it’s not easy but will be very worth it. With the current pandemic, eCommerce stores are all the rage right now. Shopping online is no longer a luxury but a norm.
Here are the steps you can follow to start an e-commerce business:
Step 1: Do your research
Research the eCommerce space and figure out the type of business model you would want for your business. Figure out if you want to start a business or offer a service. Are you going to sell your products in the digital space or physically? What model will you adopt? How will you deliver your products or services? Do you know any suppliers of the product you want to offer? Can you afford the start-up costs? How familiar are you with the legal regulations around your product or service? Before you start any business make sure you love what you’re doing. Because you’ll be doing it for a long time if you’re successful.
Step 2: Niche Research
Choosing your niche is very important when you want to start an eCommerce business. You can’t sell everything under the sun unless you have a huge advertising budget. You have to narrow it down to a specific niche. Before choosing a niche it’s important to consider if that’s what you’re really passionate about, how competitive it is, the reliability of your supplier, and if there’s demand for your product.
Step 3: Business name and structure
After researching the eCommerce market and your niche, you have to figure out a name for your business. You have to choose a unique name and aim to make it a household name. You can register your new business as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited company. This will depend on the type of structure you decide for your business. You also want to get the domain name for your company in case you want to open a website as well.
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Step 4: Obtain business permits and licenses
If you plan on starting an eCommerce business you might want to research the various licenses and permits you would need for a fully functional business. If you’re going to be operating online, chances are you will not need any business permits as you will not have a physical store. You might want a KRA pin after the recently introduced digital tax.
Step 5: Decide on your products/services
You need to do product research and decide on your product list. After which you will want to source inventory for your products before you launch. When developing a business plan you will have already identified your suppliers. You now need to do market research before investing in your inventory.
If you’re selling products, as you might imagine, this step will be more complex, as you’ll need to consider the inventory you want to start out, as well as what these startup costs will look like. You’ll also want to make sure that you take the time to list your inventory on your online store—thinking about the customer experience, SEO, and the way the process will work from when a customer purchases a product to when they actually receive that product.
Step 6: Choose your eCommerce platform
After making a list of your products you will need to evaluate which platform you want to sell your products on. Some of the most common are Shopify and Woocommerce. When you’re setting up a website choose a name that will easily have people identify with your shop. Depending on your budget you can even sell on social media. Instagram and Facebook now have stores where you can sell your stuff.
Once you decide which platform you’re going to use, you will need to customize the user journey you want your clients to have. How will you deliver your product to your consumers and will there be an extra charge for shipping. Consider everything before you choose your eCommerce platform.
Step 7: Marketing
Now that you have done everything there is to do before you start an eCommerce business. You will want to do intensive marketing for your products and your store. You should advertise your business online because that is where it’s located. You can use google ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and SEO. Once you start receiving orders you will need to define your customer journey. You will want your clients to have the best customer support as this can also act as a way of remarketing.
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