How to Start Your Online Store, a Step by Step Guide with E-Commerce

By September 13, 2015eCommerce

When it comes to developing an ecommerce business, there are a lot of things that you have to carefully consider. Many people make the decision to create an online store because it seems like it would be easier to sell online than it does to go through all the hassle of paying for a brick and mortar store. The truth is, it is easier to start a business online, but it is by no means easy. You simply have to worry a little less when you are not paying for rent on a store, paying for business insurance and paying for all of the utility bills that go with it. If you really want to know how to sell online and be successful, we’ve put together a comprehensive overview on what you need to do.


1. Decide What to Sell

Maybe you already have an idea about what you want to sell. Maybe your mind is still an open book on this matter. Whichever category you fall into, you have to decide what you want to sell and you have to make sure that the idea is solid. Simply having an idea is one thing, but knowing that it is something that you can generate interest in when it comes to potential customers is another thing entirely. There is one way that you can tell what sells and what doesn’t, and that is by looking at the competition.

Check out Concept Store Designs


2. Look At the Competition

This is a great way to determine how well you think your idea can do. For example, if you want to sell candles, you need to look at all the competition that is selling candles online. See how much they are able to sell their product for, what their sales have been in the last year and anything else you can find out about them. The trick is to find some type of niche where you are doing something different that your competition isn’t doing. When you do that, you can count on getting more business.


3. Write Your Business Plan

Once you have decided what you want to sell and you know that it is a viable idea, it is time to sit down and write out a business plan. This is an idea that a lot of people seem to think that they can skip over. Doing so is essentially the same thing as trying to reach a destination when you are short on time and have no idea how to get there. A business plan will help you think everything through from beginning to end and it will help you find a lot of solutions to potential problems before they ever actually happen.


4. Buying or Creating Items for Sale

If you are into arts and crafts, you might decide to create your own items. There is certainly nothing wrong with this. In fact, a lot of people make the decision to do exactly that. However, if you are somewhat challenged by the idea, you can always purchase your items wholesale and then mark them up when you sell them.

Templates to Design Your Own Apparel (Starting at $4)

Hire a T-Shirt Designer (Starting at $50)


5. Decide On a Niche

You have to decide what you are going to call your business. This might seem like an easy idea, but many people have spent countless hours trying to decide what they are going to name their business. Try to make it something that is personal, yet catchy. You want it to be a name that people can easily pronounce and easily remember.


6. Registering the Business

You can choose to register your business with a number of local organizations and you may even want to copywrite the name. If you do, make sure that you register the name so that no one else can use it later on. This is also a good time to let the local chamber of commerce and any other pertinent organization known about your business so that they can become an asset to you while you are promoting the items that you are selling.

Register Your Domain Name (.com)


7. Design a Logo

If you really want to catch the attention a potential customers, design a logo that stands out, yet summarizes everything you and your business are all about. It might be hard to come up with ideas at first, but the more that you think about it, the easier it will become to find something that works well for you.

Customize Pre-made Logos

Hire a Logo Designer


8. Understanding Marketing

If you want to be successful as a business owner, you have to understand marketing. Most people do not view marketing as the most exciting aspect of their day, but it is a very necessary one. When you are running a business online, you can take advantage of virtually any social media platform out there to advertise your business. You can experience a great deal of success by doing things this way. The best part is that it doesn’t cost you anything at all in terms of monetary contributions. By the same token, you should start a blog and get familiar with SEO techniques. Tie everything you do into the website so that people see it whether they are reading your blog or looking at a post on facebook. If you really want to cover all of your bases, you can incorporate some other, more traditional forms of advertising such as handing out business cards, creating fliers and putting an ad in the newspaper. You can even take advantage of special events by getting a booth or sponsoring an event with the company name.


9. Setting Up and Launching Your Online Store

When you set up a shop, you can take advantage of the company that operates the online store that you are associated with. Your best course of action is to make sure that everything works the way it is supposed to before you launch the business. The last thing that you want to have happen is to experience some technical glitch when you are supposed to be opening for business.  We recommend using Shopify, for both online store and brick-and-mortar traditional retail stores.  Shopify has everything you need to create a store, including taking payments with point-of-sale systems whether in your store or with your iPad on the go.

Check out Shopify’s stunning theme designs

Extend Your Business & Marketing Tools with Shopify Apps


10. Tracking Your Success

Of course, you have to track your success so you can figure out where you are doing great and where you need to improve. You can use analytics to accomplish this and you can also keep a close watch over your daily profits. Understanding the way that your sales work is a key component in ensuring your continued success. Therefore, you have to understand how much you have coming in versus the amount of money that you are spending. You also need to understand when your sales are the strongest as opposed to the times when they are the slowest. Getting a good grip on the products that sell the best is another key factor in long-term success. Incorporating all of these things with successful marketing techniques like those mentioned above will help you ensure that you have continued success for years to come.



Starting a business is never any easy endeavor. However, when you are armed with the right knowledge, you can find success. All it takes is some solid research and the determination to succeed.

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