Understanding how to start an eCommerce business is not always simple, just like learning how to start any other type of business. However, it is now easier than ever to set up, launch, and operate websites where business owners, designers, and other types of producers may sell their products.
Starting an eCommerce firm could make sense depending on your objectives. eCommerce companies, after all, give many entrepreneurs more freedom, affordability, and opportunity because they don't require a physical storefront. So how exactly do you launch a website? This manual is meant to assist. So that you have all the knowledge you need to quickly launch your online business, we'll break down how to establish an eCommerce firm into easy steps.
Step 1: Research the eCommerce space and find your niche
The first step in learning how to launch an online store is to conduct the required research. You should research the eCommerce market you're interested in and make some decisions about your unique business, just like you would if you were opening a restaurant and considering various locations, menu selections, and themes.
The eCommerce market is expanding, which is fantastic for individuals wishing to learn how to launch an eCommerce business but also means there will be more competition. You should conduct a competitive analysis and identify a market where you believe you can successfully build your brand and make sales of goods and services.
Step 2: Select your business name and choose a legal structure
The next step is to select a name for your eCommerce company after you've finalized your plan. Like any other business, you should pick a name that is distinctive while still making it abundantly obvious what your operation is about.
It will be worthwhile to check to see if your potential business domain name is accessible, even if you won't want to spend too much time online just now. Consider using an alternative business name or a different structure, such as "yourbusinessname.co" rather than "yourbusinessname.com," if your preferred domain name is already in use.
Next, decide on the legal makeup of your company. Your choice of company entity will have significant legal and financial ramifications for your eCommerce business. Typically, you'll decide whether to form a corporation, LLC, general partnership, or sole proprietorship.
You need to select the country (tax jurisdiction) and the type of company. It could be inc. or LLC in the US; Hong Kong, Singapore, or the UK. These countries are the most popular eCommerce jurisdictions due to the transparency of their legal systems and the possibility of low taxes for international eCommerce. When choosing, you need to consider your target market, taxes, and location.
Step 3: Complete the company and documents
We recommend convenient services for opening companies that will do everything for you from submitting documents to opening an account with a local bank:
Osome - for opening in Hong Kong (0% tax), Singapore and UK.
Firstbase - to open a company in the US. $499, Opening in 30 days, up to 7% tax
Step 4: Obtain business permits and licenses
As we mentioned above, unless you're filing a DBA to legally operate under a certain business name, you don't technically need to register your eCommerce firm with the state if you've already formed it as a sole proprietorship or general partnership. However, for the other sorts of business entities, you must register your company with your state and obtain a general operating license. You might also need to obtain a regional operating license, depending on where your company is located.
Step 5: Create store on Shopify
At this point, you've completed the paperwork required to register and legally start your eCommerce business. So far, the majority of our actions have been similar to founding a traditional brick-and-mortar business. Now, though, you'll begin building your website and online store rather than looking for a space and getting ready to put up your physical store.
Similar to a real storefront, this website will serve as the public face of your company. It is where visitors will first go to learn more about your offerings before making a purchase. Even though there are hundreds of these platforms on the market, you might think about Shopify.
Perhaps the most well-known and popular eCommerce software out there, Shopify offers an all-inclusive, user-friendly solution with a variety of add-ons. You can purchase a Shopify subscription in one of four plans, starting with Shopify Starter at $5 per month (this plan doesn't include a full online store). Learn more about Shopify.
Step 6: Source or develop (and list) products
You're practically done with the process once you've selected your eCommerce platform and launched your website. You now need to find the actual sources for the goods you'll be selling. When you conducted your research in step one, you need to have considered how you were going to approach this process. If you're selling your services, such as those provided as a consultant, you may only need to define and offer these services on your company website. Alternatively, you may manufacture your products or obtain them through wholesalers.
Step 7: Market your eCommerce business
You've now gained knowledge on how to launch an online store. You're set to begin providing customer support now that your goods or services are ready, listed on your online store, and your website is operational. Of course, you'll need to effectively market your eCommerce company to accomplish this.
You might choose to use a variety of marketing techniques, including word-of-mouth marketing, social media advertising, and Google AdWords. At the most fundamental level, you'll want to use any online marketing tools that are built into your eCommerce platform and optimize your company website for SEO.
Starting an online store instead of a brick-and-mortar one has several benefits, including lower startup costs, the ability to start small or huge, and the ability to serve clients from all over the nation (or the world, if you're prepared to ship that far) every day. You can always ask our team for assistance if you don't yet have enough experience. We help with eCommerce business setup including research, incorporation, and development.