Learn the proven strategies and expert tips to find a profitable niche for your dropshipping business. This guide will help you identify lucrative product categories, conduct market research, and select a niche with high-profit potential, setting you on the path towards dropshipping success.
How To Start An eCommerce Business: A Complete Guide
Should you start an eCommerce business in 2022?
Before you dive into any business venture, it's always a good idea to take some time to consider it.
Every industry has its pros and cons.
It's up to you to analyze whether or not the positives outweigh the negatives.
Your product, target audience and knowledge of the eCommerce field may affect your choice.
So let's take a look at the pros and cons of running an eCommerce business.
1. Starting an eCommerce business is much cheaper than opening a physical store. You don't have to worry about renting out suitable premises, hiring staff or purchasing equipment such as shelves, security cameras and computers. In some cases, you can almost start an eCommerce business with no money, but those are rare.
2. Selling through eCommerce lets you read a much wider customer base. You can sell internationally and ship to customers all over the world.
3. Acquiring staff and virtual assistants is much easier. Not only do you have a wider talent pool to choose from, but you can also hire employees from countries where the cost of living is affordable and the minimum wage is lower than that of first-world countries.
4. The selling process in eCom stores is much faster, allowing you to sell more products and giving your customers a smooth experience. Gone are the days of standing in queues and jostling to get a look at a specific item on crowded days.
1. The market is saturated. There are thousands of eCommerce stores opening up all over the globe and the competition is fierce. Unless you have a super effective marketing strategy, you're going to have a tough time standing out.
2. The effectiveness of an eCommerce business depends dangerously on the functionality of your website. If your website does happen to crash, you can lose thousands of dollars in sales.
3. Texture and material is important when it comes to products like clothes, shoes and bags. Customers may be reluctant to buy if they cannot test out the physical properties of the product.
4. Shipping times can make customers impatient. While you can control this to a certain extent, unexpected delays in shipping and delivery can cause friction with your audience.
How to start an eCommerce business in 8 simple steps
Here are 8 steps you need to take to start your own eCom business:
1. Find your niche
A niche is a well-defined segment of the market where there is a gap to accommodate your product. It is important to identify your niche before you get into any type of business because this helps you solidify the mission and purpose of your product.
Marketing to everyone and anyone is always a bad idea. No single product can help everyone, so don't try to. Most people have the false impression that the more diverse their audience is, the greater the chances of selling. Here's the thing, if you try to speak to everyone, you will end up connecting with no one.
Identifying a very specific niche helps you to solve one or more problems that are common to the people in this niche. Knowing their pain points is important to provide a solution to these issues. Once you have firmly established your niche, it's time to get started on the more serious steps.
2. Conduct research
This helps you prepare for the challenges of running a business and avoids unpleasant surprises. First of all, know your market. Do some research on what products are in demand and what areas are saturated. Avoid niches that are dominated by global brands. This will make it extremely difficult to get your brand recognized. However, do not go for niches where there is absolutely no competition. This usually means there is little to no demand in this space.
Look into your competitors next. Find out what they are currently doing, how they started and what challenges they faced. These competitors will be following trends, so observing them will give you a good idea of what these trends are.
You also need to conduct research to find out what potential problems you may run into. Can you get started with what you have at the moment? Will you be required to use software with paid subscriptions? Do you need to invest in advertisements? Ask yourself these questions before you proceed.
3. Decide on a unique product
This is one of the most important steps in the process. If you don't pay enough attention to your product, all other steps may be in vain.
Like we said before, the eCommerce industry is saturated. There are hundreds of other products similar to yours on the market. If your product has nothing unique about it, your brand will certainly get overshadowed.
Find a gap in the market where there is little to no competition. Think of a product that solves the pain points of your target audience and brings them value. This will definitely keep them coming back for may and will even bring in a steady stream of new customers.
4. Register your business and brand name
Choosing a brand name can be fun and challenging. You need to make sure that the name is catchy, unique and matches your product. It should also resonate with your target audience. For example, Funskool is a great name for a toy company, but it wouldn't work well in a more sophisticated market like that of perfumes and watches.
Once you’ve chosen your brand name, the next step is to register your business with the state. It's best to work with a lawyer to understand the legal factors behind opening an eCommerce business.
You should also sign up for an EIN to get any necessary permits for your eCommerce platform. In case you aren’t sure where to start, look into your state’s Department of Revenue website or federal level business resources.
5. Finalize your business plan
You won't be able to get any business off the ground if you don't have a concrete business plan.
This plan should include both short term and long term goals along with detailed steps on how you are going to achieve them.
You can also draw up a roadmap to give yourself a clear idea of business goals and targets according to a timeline.
How you will market your products, distribute them, are you planning some kind of eCommerce financing for your products or activities?
All these questions needs to be included within your business plan so you can follow the roadmap along the way.
There are several different tools such as the Orbit Strategic Plan and the Business Model Canvas, which you can use to organize your business plan.
These tools will help you map out your plan and make it more comprehensive.
6. Choose an eCommerce platform
If you are starting an online business, you will not be stuck for choices when it comes to eCommerce platforms.
From Shopify and Amazon to BigCommerce and Etsy, each platform has its ups and downs. It's up to you to do your research and find out which platform best suits your business and requirements.
For example, Shopify is extremely easy to use and will be a good choice if you are not too tech-savvy. However, the SEO aspect of Shopify is easy and can make organic marketing difficult.
7. Create a website
A website is the testimony of the quality and value of any brand. If designing a website is not up your alley, you may want to hire a professional to do it for you. It will be totally worth it if you are presented a website that is both aesthetic and effective.
Make sure your website has a simple UI to maximize customer experience. It also pays off to invest time in understanding more about SEO to help optimize your website.
Search engines like Google tend to prioritize high-quality content in their search results. Therefore, your goal should be to increase the value of your web pages and boost them to reach the the top of the results page.
8. Market your product
Now on to the final step. It's quite obvious that there can be no sales without a bit of promotion. Invest time in the creation stage and plan your eCommerce business promotions.
Social media channels are a great way to market your product and spread the word of your brand. Don't focus on multiple channels at one time. Start off small with just a few social media channels that you think will work well for your product. You can always expand to other platforms once your business picks up traction.
Plan and create attractive marketing assets that make your ads stand out and draw attention to your brand. Using third party tools and apps such as Glorify can seriously increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing assets.
Starting an eCommerce store can be a great idea if you know the market. However, there are many things you need to put together in order to run the business smoothly.
You need to first establish a strong and recognizable brand identity. Next, you have to create effective marketing assets such as banners, advertisements, email templates and more. This can be overwhelming if you're starting solo, especially if you have no design experience. This is where Glorify comes in.
Glorify is an easy-to-use, eCommerce focused design tool that is ideal for both designers and non-designers alike. With simple tools for beginners and advanced tools for professionals, Glorify allows anyone and everyone to create captivating designs, regardless of prior design experience.
When starting your own eCommerce business, Glorify is the only tool you will need to help you. With the Infinite Canvas, you can ideate, design, create and analyze all your big ideas. You can center all your marketing assets in one place and use the Zoom to Content feature to locate specific files.
Glorify also offers other features that can be super useful in the creation, organization and design of your brand assets and marketing visuals. These features include an instant background remover, a logo maker, Brand Kits, mockups, millions of icons and stock images, Smart Shapes, an advanced pen tool and a whole lot more!
You can browse through thousands of niche-based, thematic templates that have been designed by professionals. These templates are 100% customizable which allows you to customize them to suit your branding and message.
Overall, Glorify makes your eCommerce journey a whole lot easier. If you're ready to launch or scale your eCommerce business, get started with Glorify today!
1. What are the 4 main types of eCommerce?
2. Is it hard to start an eCommerce store?
Starting an eCommerce business is much easier than opening up a physical store. It requires much less capital and can even be done solo if you know the right steps to take.
3. What are the disadvantages of eCommerce?
Depends on the effectiveness and functionality of your website.
The industry is saturated and the competition is fierce.
Delays in shipping and delivery can make customers impatient.
Customers cannot try on products such as clothes and shoes before purchase.