Starting an eCommerce business from scratch: a step-by-step guide by experts

If you’re reading this, you probably have a great product or service in your mind, but you are clueless about how to start your eCommerce business from scratch. And we get it! Starting an online store can seem overwhelming if you’re new to the field, so we’re here to help.

Today, we share a simple guide built by the NetSuite eCommerce agency Tavano Team about the steps you need to follow to get your eCommerce business up and running.

1 – Define what you’re selling

This might seem obvious, but maybe you haven’t yet decided exactly what niche you want to cater to. The internet has anything you could think of, so choosing something that will stand out from the crowd and satisfy customers can be tough.

Do some research, find your niche, and check out the competition to get started!

2 – Build a business plan

Every business starts with a strategy. Even if your product is really good and you’re convinced it will sell itself, you still need to plan out how you’ll get people to notice it. From designing your website, to how you’ll show the product and how you’ll advertise it, there are a few things to keep in mind before making the jump if you really want to be able to grow from it. Here’s a 9-step guide on how to build a business plan you can use to get started.

3 – Choose your identity

Brand identity will be the heart of the company: from the font you choose, the colors, the patterns, and the tone you use, everything contributes to building an image of your brand. Think about what you want to say, how you want to say it, and how certain tones and graphic elements can help you transmit your message. And don’t forget you need to stay consistent with your image so that your audience recognizes you across the different platforms. 

Working with a designer is obviously the best way to do it, but if that’s not yet an option, you can still do it yourself with the help of accessible design tools like Canva.

4  Pick a platform and set up your store

Choosing your platform is quite a big deal! There are plenty of eCommerce platforms out there that simplify the website-building process by offering pre-made themes and templates that you can customize to your liking. 

If you’re just getting started, we strongly recommend working with a SaaS eCommerce platform that will allow you to keep growing without limits. Here’s a list of the ones we recommend:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • SuiteCommerce

5 – Build your ecosystem

We call an “eCommerce ecosystem” the totality of platforms, services, and tools you use to make your business work: from your business ERP to your chosen eCommerce platform, the shipping service you’ll use, planning tools, and more. Your ecosystem is what makes your business function smoothly. It might take some time for you to find the right tools that make your work easier, but that’s okay.

Once you’ve found the platforms and tools you want to use, the next step is to integrate them to make sure you’re getting the best out of them, and achieve better results.

6 – Shipping decisions

Shipping can easily become a headache if not planned correctly. Plus, fast and cheap shipping can be a huge factor when someone is deciding whether or not to make a purchase, so make sure you’re choosing the right option!

You can try platforms like Pacejet, a solution that connects your website to different shipping services and carriers, comparing their rates in real-time, so that you always get the best and cheapest option!

Also, here’s a great Shopify article about shipping strategy that will clarify any doubts.

7 – Analyze your way to success

Data is at the core of any business: don’t underestimate it! 

Business Intelligence experts can help you set up your Google Analytics account and also let you know which data you should be tracking to make sure you’re getting the best out of the information you recollect so that you can make data-based decisions to grow your business.

8 – Stay creative!

Creativity will get you far. From website design to SEO, UX, email marketing, and paid media, there’s always room for improvement and new ideas. Don’t be afraid to try new things and track the results of each experiment to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. 

So there it is! You can now start building the eCommerce business of your dreams. Of course, if you can afford some expert help, that ensures the process will be much smoother, but don’t be afraid to start small, since that means there’s a lot of room for growth and improvement. Enjoy!

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