How To Start An Ecommerce Business 2021: A Step-by-Step Guide

Business Guides How To Start An Ecommerce Business 2021: A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Start An Ecommerce Business 2021: A Step-by-Step Guide

The eCommerce business is a huge part of the market. Over the five years, online shopping did extensive growth and the popularity boosted across the world. 

According to the U.S Census Bureau, The report says that in the third quarter of 2019, e-commerce sales in the US did sales around %154.5 billion which means 11.2% of all retail sales in the country.

E-commerce top players like Amazon and Etsy, there is every kind of business in different sizes approaching millions of buyers around the globe. 

Starting your own eCommerce business in 2021 does sound profitable and a smart move but similar to any other business, it’s not simple.

Before you start, you are going to need to learn the process step by step. And to make sure, you cover all the important points, here is what you need to understand. 

step by step start ecommerce business

Steps To Start Your Ecommerce Business In 2021

Ecommerce business means, transmitting services and goods as well as funds with the help of the internet. It can be anything in any size and scope. 

To become a successful owner of eCommerce, you are going to set up your goals, launch, and maintain the eCommerce site. On which creators,  entrepreneurs, and designers require to sell what they want other people to buy.

things know before starting ecommerce business

Starting an eCommerce business also eliminates the need for brick and mortar locations. You get the affordable and flexibility to start your business right away. 

tips starting ecommerce business

But to make sure that you are not missing the great opportunity by missing out on some important points, here are the steps you should follow to set your eCommerce business. 

Step 1: Research The Business Models For You

Even though starting a brick and mortar business and an eCommerce business has notable differences. But both share some similarities as well.

Like any other business,  research is an important and critical first step. Operating your business basis on a hunch is not recommended. 

Growing any business requires a lot of things and it’s a huge investment. 

Different business structures work based on what you want to choose. For example, choosing service-based software.  Physical; products and digital product sales are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Businesses must understand which model is available and how it will suit them. 

For example,  starting a business where you want to make a profit but don’t want to invest too much in the beginning. You can choose dropshipping and print on demand like options. 

Step 2: Find Your Niche In Ecommerce Space 

Starting your business without understanding what’s your niche is not just painful for business but you also fail to gather the audience. 

However, you can be like Amazon or Best Buy but for that, you are going to need a lot of investment. 

Image source: theverge

Choosing the niche is important, it helps in identifying how much your business can be successful based on the space. 

Pro Tip: When looking for areas, go with a competitive one. If you have a decent amount of competitors, it means the niche is profitable. 

You can also pick the niche based on categories such as : 

  • Demographic: Includes age, income, education, gender, etc. 
  • Psychographic: Based on attitude, interest,  principles, lifestyles, etc. 
  • Geographic:  Based on the location of the ideal customers. 
  • Pricing:  Based on the premium to affordable, depending on income level.

To start your niche business, you can also look for the profitable niches that are going on. For example, in 2021, the most profitable niches are like : 

  • Men’s grooming products 
  • Books based on politics 
  • Exercise equipment for home
  • Feminine natural care products 
  • Pet care 
  • Disinfected products 
  • Everyday product but in eco-friendly versions
  • Smart speakers.

Step 3: Choose Your Products & Validate The Target Market 

Once you identify the niche and type of model you want for the eCommerce business. Next, is to choose the ideas for what you will offer and to whom?

Don’t jump on direct selling. It’s important to think about ideas and personas. 

People are not going to purchase if they don’t understand what you are selling and for whom.

Start with answering basic questions like – 

  • Who are you?
  • What is your store all about?
  • What type of customer is ideal for you?
  • What’s your targeted market?

These questions help in forming a brand image from the very beginning. 

The next includes, choose the product that you want to sell directly to customers.  It’s a challenging but important part. 

Once you have an idea of what you want to sell,  you now need to research where you will find the customers. 

Image source: SOCi

Thankfully, Facebook is a helpful platform to understand the market and audience you can target.  You can use the demographic and numbers to get a deeper insight into it. 

Pro Tip: Make sure your store persons match with what your customer expects from your product. 

Step 4: Write Down Your Plan For Ecommerce 

After you get a niche, business models, products, market, and targeted audience. It’s perfect for writing down the business plan

Also, make sure that you run a competitive analysis to make sure how much competition you are going to face. It’s important to be prepared and it will help in making the next process easier. 

When you are done, write about the eCommerce plan you have. This plan will help you in guiding like a roadmap to make sure that your ideas and plan are coming together. 

With the business plan,  you can determine what things are important for your business and increase your reach for the customers effectively. 

Pro Tip: Having a business plan will help you in growing your eCommerce business faster and make it more achievable. 

Step 5: Registration Of Business & Name Of Brand 

After solidifying your plan, The next step includes finding the name of your brand.  Choose the name that fits what you are selling and persona. 

Also here you will need to register your company including the name and logo.  That’s why make sure you pay special attention to creating a name before you officially register it. 

There will be legal procedures along with steps that you should follow without skipping them. As a business, you need legal protection and also get tax benefits for incorporation. 

With that, there are few more things you need to get permission for, it includes: 

Business Licenses 

To register your business and have the legal licenses to run the business, you can get help from the Small Business Association.  

Here you will get resources that include the mentor-protege network as well as courses to cover. 

Look for the mentors and consider using their advice as it can help you in guiding a lot. It includes acquiring licenses for the business.

Get EIN 

EIN or Employee Identification Number is a bank account for the business purpose.  It’s for filing the taxes regarding business in April. 

If you are not planning to have any employees for your business EIN is going to work as a social security number for the eCommerce business.

With this unique number, your business will have its identity and you can get your paperwork done much easily. 

Find Vendors 

When you start the business, it’s important to look for the vendors beforehand. It will give you much more time to understand the quality and choose the best price for the products you want to sell. 

The eCommerce market has a lot of competition, finding a vendor that sticks with you from the start will help you in getting ease for the long term. 

Also, it makes your business software ‘ shopping cart’’ much better. 

Apply For Permits & License 

Operating your business does not mean that you don’t need the permits and licenses.  

To know what kind of permits and licenses you will need,  check the place where you live including your city, state, and country. 

Every country has its rules and regulations when it comes to eCommerce business. 

Also depending on the state, the business requires to have a sales tax license or home business license. 

There are different type of license you require spending on business such as : 

  • Signage permits
  • Professional and trade licenses ( base on which industry you belong to)
  • Building and construction permits 
  • Health, environment, and safety permits 
  • Sales tax permits 

Before you start the business, make sure you have all your paperwork done. 

Step 6: Set Up Your Ecommerce Business 

By now, you know exactly what your business will look and it’s a perfect time for setting up the plan for the action. 

elements of ecommerce websites

The first point to remember is making sure that the brand connects with the person you carry. When you understand your persona, you can make the e-commerce brand much easier. 

To set up your eCommerce business, here are a few  points to cover : 

Understand The SEO 

Understanding Search Engine Optimization will help you in understanding how to build your online store. 

why seo is beneficial for ecommerce website

Start with the basics to understand how you can promote your business and have it best from google and other search engines. 

This will help you in structuring your site much better and effectively. It keeps your pages and site easy to reach and target your audience much better. 

Build The Store 

When you have an understanding of SEO, you can use the guidelines and ideas to create your business store. 

There are a lot of things you are going to do from creating pages for your products, descriptions,  beautiful photos and color palette, etc. 

Image source: disruptiveadvertising 

Create a site that is easy to access and also shows what you represent through your product. 

Focus On Visuals 

There are more than 85% of people who do their shopping based on colors. According to color psychology,  when you use cool colors it produces the feel of stability, trust, and loyalty. Where using red shows the feeling of love, excitement, and passion. 

The color you choose for visuals represent what your brand is about.

Image source: marketingweek

For example, you can take Coca Cola. they have white and red colors which are an instant reminder of the company. 

Pro Tip: Avoid designs that are on-trend such as large cookie alerts,  hover menus, and auto-playing videos. 

Logo & Tagline 

You have your registered logo and now you need to create a tagline for the business.  Use the niches you are working on and play it with words to come up with creating taglines

A tagline helps you in highlighting the business and your brand. You can make your business stand out from the crowd. 

Chose Sales  Channels  

The best way to choose the channel is to start with where people are buying already. There are lots of eCommerce platforms from where you start your business. But they also offer customization of your online store, managing inventory, shipping orders,  payments, etc. 

There are some popular names that you can consider : 

  • Woocommerce 
  • Shopify 
  • Magento 
  • Squarespace 

Step 7: Launch Your Ecommerce Business 

After completing your store designs, creating a website, and done with all processes. Add everything along with the product to make it visuals that catch the eyes. 

When you are done with this, you are all set to launch the store. 

But when you do, make sure to follow these points as well.

Connect With Google Analytics 

Make sure your site is connected with your google analytics. A platform is a helpful tool that can record who is visiting the store, time spent, and which pages have the most visits.

Using all this information can help you in making your future plans, strategies, and marketing campaigns too. 

Google analytic gives you an overall view so you understand how your store is getting a response. 

Submit To Google Search Console 

To understand how your business is doing, you are going to need this one. Submit the website of your store to the google search console.

Image source: googledevelopers 

This is an effective tool for understanding which keywords are driving most of your traffic on site. Including, how many times your site is visible when someone searches for the same things or keywords as well as several times people clicked the site to visit etc. 

Get SSL Certification 

To create a feeling of safety and security, your site needs to get an SSL certificate.  

Also, the customers prefer doing business with sites where they get the assurance of their information safe. When you have an SSL certificate, the customer knows that you are safe for doing business. 

When you get SSL certification, your URL turns from HTTP to HTTPS. Here ‘ s’ shows the secure encryption. 

When you purchase the certification, the customers get safe and continue to do the shopping. 

Step 8: Prepare For Post Launch 

After you launch your business Successful and you now need to focus on marketing and creating brand awareness. 

There are lots of businesses or a new store that prefer to sell physical products in person and rest for digital selling. 

Image source: pinterest 

Focus on getting traffic to your site and driving customers that you want for the store. 

Here you need to market your store so you get sales and profits to properly start with the business.  Keep your focus on marketing and cover all the sites that drive your traffic. 

Start with the following points – 

  • Star building the email list 
  • Boost the organic presence 
  • Otizme your website for SEO
  • Add useful and interesting content 
  • Try Google ads 
  • Use social media for advertisement 

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

What are the types of eCommerce business?


Four types of eCommerce include Business to consumers ( B2C), Business to business ( B2B), Consumers to business ( C2B), and Consumer to consumer ( C2C). However, there is one more Business to government ( B2G) But that gets lumped with Business to business or B2B often. 

What are three reasons that make eCommerce successful?


Three basic factors include lower consumer acquisition cost, a high rate in repurchase, and healthy margins. 

How much do I need to start my business in eCommerce?


The average cost for starting the e-commerce business includes a website that costs around $5000 to $10,000, a domain around $2 to $20 per year, and hosting that costs $300 per month.  This is the average example of the cost excluding the resources, equipment, and inventory. 

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