Practical Tips for Starting an eCommerce Business from Scratch

Starting an ecommerce business is an exciting venture. And today, more than ever before, is the perfect time to get your feet wet and launch your own business.

As of August 2020, online sales were up 45% and are still gaining momentum. And you know what that means — now is an ideal time to launch an eCommerce business!

To make things easier, here are some practical tips that’ll help you set up an online shop. After all, you deserve to make your ecommerce vision come to life!

1. Research Your Niche – eCommerce Business

Even if you know what you’re going to sell, it’s still a good idea to research yours. Take a look at other shops and see how they’ve set up their shop.

You should narrow down your niche as much as possible. That way, you won’t have too many products listed in your shop. Focusing on a single niche also will result in you having less competition.

For example, if your niche is eco-friendly apparel, don’t sell everything all at once. Focus on selling tee-shirts for men and women only, and then branch out depending on how many sales you make.

2. Decide How to Showcase Your Products – eCommerce Business

Before setting up your site, first, you should have a layout in mind. Make it a priority to display your products using a well-thought-out design. It should be easy for potential buyers to browse your website and find what they’re looking for.

Here are a few things to work out before designing your site:

  • Decide how long the descriptions for each product should be.
  • Figure out what type of design is best for your products.
  • Ask yourself if you’d like customer reviews to show up on each product page.
  • Decide where to display the price of each product on a page.

3. Take the Right Kind of Photos

The visual quality of photos should also be on the top of your priority list.

Your photos should accurately represent what you’re selling. If they don’t, a customer may want to return what they purchased. Or, they may not make a purchase in the first place.

To take the right type of photos, you should have:

  • A general picture of how the product looks
  • A picture that they can zoom in on and see important features
  • Clear photos that are bright and clear

Keep in mind that the photos should also look excellent on mobile. It should be simple for shoppers to look and zoom in to see features the same as they would on a desktop computer.

4. Look Into Adding Different Apps and Extensions

You may go with WooCommerce, Shopify, or another hosting site. No matter which shop platform you select, there are many extensions and apps to consider. And they all can make selling and featuring products a lot easier! The sky’s the limit when it comes to adding new features.

Not all apps and extensions cost money, either, so do your research to find out which ones might work for you!

Here are a few ideas on what time of extensions and apps to consider:

  • Set up pop-ups that’ll promote your products
  • The ability for customers to create wishlists
  • Offer various shipping options
  • Improve your website’s SEO
  • Loyalty programs
  • Integrate Facebook Messenger
  • Integrate email marketing
  • Have product add-ons
  • Enable other payment gateways

As you can see, there are all sorts of apps and plugins to integrate on an ecommerce website.

Say you have a Shopify website. If you’re not sure where to start, consult with an expert and ask them to recommend some to you.

Or, if you’re setting up your site on your own, read up and try a few out. There are so many that can improve customers’ experience on your site!

5. Promote Your Business

After setting up your website and listing your products, now’s the time to promote your shop!

If you haven’t done so already, set up some social media sites so that you can promote your business online.

A few to focus on are Facebook and Instagram. Work at creating relationships while promoting your products. Over time, you’ll establish yourself on the web.

After setting up your sites, keep your audience apprised of new product launches. And regularly post about non-product related topics as well so you won’t lose their attention.

On your social media profiles, you can also do giveaways and partner with influencers. Both are smart ways to retain your audience and, in the process, gain new customers.

Also, consider advertising if budget isn’t an issue. Otherwise, organically building your audience is still useful. It just may take more time.

Bonus: Apply for an EIN and Look Into Getting a License and Permits

Besides what we discussed above, one of the most important steps is to apply for an EIN. It would help if you also looked into obtaining a business license and permits.

If your business is home-based, you shouldn’t have to worry about a business license as much. But to make sure, check out your local government website.


Starting an ecommerce business from scratch may seem like a huge undertaking. Remember, though; it’s nothing you can’t handle.

Apply these tips, and you’ll also find that you’ll learn a lot as you go. Taking the right steps will set you up for success. And your hard work will no doubt result in you creating an eCommerce business you’re proud of!

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