The ecommerce industry has exploded in the past year. Due to pandemic restrictions, many physical retailers have closed temporarily—and maybe even permanently. Fortunately, ecommerce is there to fill the gap. What started as a convenience is now a necessity. With more and more consumers turning to ecommerce now instead of brick and mortar, there is a huge opportunity and market need for businesses to fill this gap.
How to Get Started with Ecommerce
Online business may be booming, but it is important to intentionally and strategically set up your ecommerce business before your business can start bringing in revenue via online sales. The following will help you set up your ecommerce store, market and sell your products, and protect your business.
Step 1: Research the ecommerce space and find your niche.
Research is a critical first step because there is not a single structure that works for all businesses. Check out what business models are available and what suits your business needs. Do you have a warehouse full of products? If so, a warehouse or wholesale model might work best for you. If you want minimal investment at the start, perhaps print on demand would be a good choice for you. There are many options, so research which makes the most sense for your business.
Be sure the niche market that your business fulfills is not too crowded or dominated by major brands. Remember, the more specific you are, the less competition you will face. Consider also how you might work with other business owners who work in niches similar to yours to cross-promote and grow your consumer base.
Step 2: Choose your business name and a legal structure.
When selecting your business name, remember that your company brand should connect with your name. Make sure to register your company as there are legal protections and tax benefits associated with this.
Step 3: Apply for an employer identification number.
Be sure to also register for your employer identification number, or EIN—even if you do not plan on hiring employees. Your EIN will help you file important paperwork and taxes.
Step 4: Obtain business permits and licenses.
Once you have selected your business name, register your company. After you register, be sure to get the proper business licenses. You can check with your city, county, and state to see which licenses are required.
Step 5: Choose your ecommerce platform and create your website.
Once you are ready to get your store online, register your domain name and redirect any relevant URLs. Be sure that your website design is compatible with ecommerce software. There are many ecommerce platforms to choose from, making it challenging to choose the right one for your business. Think about aspects such as features including your specific business structure, SEO features, and your web developer skills.
Step 6: Source or develop (and list) your products.
Add your products and content. Not only should you set up your store before your website goes live, but you should also be ready with email marketing and automation. This is a crucial part in driving conversions.
With the explosion of ecommerce and many people buying products online out of necessity, it is a great time to invest in an ecommerce store. Follow the steps above to get your business started!