As an aspiring entrepreneur, starting an online business is a lucrative idea. However, a lot of effort goes into starting an online business from scratch. Starting an ecommerce startup takes a lot of planning and micromanaging. Although starting an online e-commerce platform is technologically aided, it still needs base knowledge and planning.
If you are going to start investing in eCommerce solutions, it is better to start with a base knowledge and plan that guarantees success. You need basic knowledge in handling a computer and processes involved in eCommerce startups. Once your operations are solid, your online shopping and ordering business is ready for takeoff.
If there is any time to start an online shopping and ordering business, it is today because the eCommerce sector is thriving like never before. The requirements for starting an online business are very simple but need expertise in execution. The three basic things that you have to start with as an online entrepreneur are-
- A domain name, one that will indicate your business’ official name
- A hosting web account that operates your ecommerce website online
- Some time and patience as you set the initial framework
You can set up your online shop within 30 to 40 minutes if you have done your research. It is very easy to set up an online shop with proper research and clear intention from where people order your orders.
A step by step plan to start an online business
In this guiding article, we will cover the different aspects of starting an e-commerce business. This article talks about setting an eCommerce website up. However, once you set an eCommerce website up, it can evolve into an ecommerce mobile app. Read on this step-by-step guide for more clarity on the topic.
Step 1- invest in a good online store platform
At first, you need to choose the right online platform for your ecommerce website to go live on. For example, many platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce support commercial online sites that create retail business. Among the hosted ecommerce solutions, Shopify is very popular due to the ease of setting shop. On this platform, sellers can just log in and start selling. Similarly, WooCommerce is also a good hosting solution as it offers flexibility. Even though setting shop on WooCommerce is a little time-consuming, it works very well once it's set.
Buy a domain name that suits your business and get an SSL certificate to make payments easier and diverse. With an SSL certificate, you ensure that your website’s security layer is strong. After an SSL certificate, you can accept credit as well as debit card payments on your ecommerce website.
Step 2- Set up the store according to your business
Once you have signed up with a web hosting solution and a web domain, your online store builder like WooCommerce or Shopify will launch its set up settings. The settings are important for customizing your business for its purposes. In almost all online shopping platforms, you have to provide basic information like country, address, and region. You can also customize your store according to the industry in which the business operates.
After this, you can choose the physical products you will be selling and enlist them in the store. Most of the online store builders provide an option for both physical and virtual products too. Thus, you can choose the right product according to the ecommerce startup you have. On the building platform, you can experiment with different themes for your store too.
Step 3- Set up your payment solutions
Payment methods are very important for your ecommerce business. It is a step that is important both from the business side and from the client side. Through Shopify or WooCommerce, you can easily set up online payment methods. You can go to the settings page and explore the different payment gateways that the site offers you.
You can choose the different payment gateways you want to integrate into your store. It is best to keep more than one kind of payment gateway so that your customers pay easily in the future. You can choose from online payments, or cash on delivery options, or debit cards too. You can activate these payment gateways very easily, one by one.
Step 4- Add specific products
Once your store's look and back-end operations are final, you can focus on adding the products you sell. Earlier, while you choose the type of product you sell on the products page, you can easily add specific products and their short description to your products page. For this, you can go to the products page and click on add new option. There you provide the title of the product and then add the description too. You can also add the product category so that similar products stay under one category. This organizes your product inventory too.
Step 5- Join hands with a good shipping service
When you start an online store open for orders, understand that there will be orders coming in. These orders will not come in just from near places. You will get multiple orders from different regions. To supply your products to these places, you need to partner with a good shipping company that operates around the world. Choose a shipping service that is reliable and efficient.
Step 6- Do market research
Of course, you do market research before closing in on a certain niche of starting an online business. The initial market research helps you in choosing the right segment to operate in. However, market research is a continuous process that helps in bot online sales and marketing. Market research is necessary to understand evolving market trends and also your key competitors. These aspects are very dynamic; therefore, before you market your products after setting an online store, conduct market research.
Step 7- Get feedback
Once you finish setting up your online store or an ecommerce mobile app, it is important to operate it. Moreover, once the platform is operational for some days, you need to gather market experts’ and customers’ feedback. From their feedback, you will understand how viable and effective your business idea is. According to the feedback, you can tweak your store features, product listings, or business strategy. Feedback from time to time is necessary to stay relevant in the market.
These are some of the steps to start an online ordering business and make it highly operational for a long time.