Starting an E-Commerce Business: Step by Step

Launching an eCommerce business is a way to generate revenue by selling products, service, or even affiliate products online. With an eCommerce storefront, stock and sell products of your own, from manufacturers, or even from a large company in need of promotion. When you are thinking of building and launching your very own eCommerce storefront, there are a few steps to follow and keep in mind at all times. Use this guide to help create your next eCommerce business idea from start to finish.

Developing You ECommerce Idea and Business Plan

Business Plan
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Before building your website or ordering the inventory you intend to sell, it is important to develop your business idea and plan. Consider the type of eCommerce store you intend to launch and conduct research to verify that there is an audience in need available. Calculate the cost to start your eCommerce store and the finances necessary to build and host your eCommerce store. Determine who you want to target, how, and why with your online store.

Developing your eCommerce idea is imperative before moving forward with the build of your store and the sale of your goods and services.

Register Your Domain Name

Be sure to verify that the name you have in mind for your online store has not already been registered or that it is already in use. Register your preferred domain name and begin searching for a web host that is right for you.

Find a Web Host

Find a web host that is not only trustworthy and reputable, but one that specializes in eCommerce hosting. Web hosts that specialize in hosting eCommerce stores are prepared to handle high volumes of traffic and the security necessary to keep eCommerce shops up and running. In addition to seeking out a host that is prepared for eCommerce stores, it is also advisable to research verified testimonials and reviews from previous customers.

Select Your Preferred ECommerce Solution

Once you have purchased a domain name and chosen your web host, it is time to choose your preferred eCommerce solution. If you are interested in hosting your online store yourself, consider using a solution such as Magento. Magento is optimal for hosting your own products and services and also has an array of plugins and extensions available to fully customize the look, feel, and functionality of your eCommerce store once it is online.

Install Extensions and Plugins

Once you have chosen the eCommerce solution or CMS that is right for your storefront, install extensions and plugins that are right for your business and the type of customers you want to attract. CMS plugins and extensions are extremely beneficial to help attract, obtain, and retain customers with eCommerce shops.

If you are working with Magento, consider using a variety Magento extensions and plugin options to boost your storefront’s SEO, or search engine optimization, or to help better track and manage your store’s virtual inventory. Using a Magento extension is simple and does not require but a few minutes to install brand new functionality and features into your eCommerce shop’s current layout and design.

Create an Online Presence

Online Presence
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Creating an online presence for your eCommerce shop is a must once you have a basic website running. Building an online presence is possible with the use of a blog, an email newsletter, social media, and a digital marketing strategy.

When creating your social media accounts, do so with the same high-quality logo, color scheme, and name as your official domain name. Streamlining all names and attributes of each of your social media accounts with your domain name is a way to help users find your online while also establishing your business and brand as an authoritative and trusting source.

Launch a blog on your eCommerce store to share updates, news, and even exclusive promotions or deals with your visitors and loyal customers. Use your blog to keep visitors coming back for more information and details regarding your products and services. Build a sense of community with a blog by interacting and engaging with those who leave comments and responses.

Craft a Working Digital Marketing Strategy

Crafting a digital marketing strategy is one of the most important elements to implement when building a new brand, especially a new eCommerce store in a highly competitive industry. Digital marketing strategies can include PPC (pay-per-click), content marketing, social media marketing, or even video advertising solutions. The more involved you become with your digital marketing strategy, the easier it is to reach your intended audience.

Create a schedule for your store’s official blog as well as your social media accounts. Update your blog at least once a week and all of your eCommerce store’s social media accounts at least once daily. Remain active with your social media accounts to generate buzz and to drive traffic to your website. Use trendy and relevant hashtags to pique the interest of users and to incentivize them to learn more about your brand and business.

While launching an eCommerce store is not an overnight process and requires hard work, consistency, and an understanding of your customers, it is possible for just about anyone to launch an online storefront of their own. With the right eCommerce setup, CMS solution, plugins, and marketing solution, maximize your online reach and your ability to appeal to your target audience and demographics.

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