Updated on: May 27th, 2021
7 min read
E-commerce business is growing day by day. Many people have shifted from going to physical shops to shopping online since it is convenient. As a result of a rise in online shopping, there is an increase in e-commerce sales.
Many people have taken an interest in starting an e-commerce business. Starting an e-commerce business involves many steps and hard work. Several decisions have to be made to build an e-commerce business. Below are the steps involved in starting an e-commerce business/website.
Research is the first step in building and establishing your e-commerce business. There are many business structures, and you need to research and choose the business model which suits your e-commerce business. Some of the business structures are:
You can also choose if you want to make software, service-based business, physical products or digital product sales. You can go to popular online markets and research on the specific products you want to sell. You also will need to do a thorough research of your competitors so you know how to differentiate your business from a competitor. Examine the type of products your competitor is selling and their best selling products.
You need to do research on your niche. A business niche is a particular or focused area of a broader market through which the businesses differentiate themselves from the competitors. Choosing your niche is essential for doing online business. It is better not to select an overly crowded niche.
You can choose your niche by looking at companies already working on a similar one. You can search more about your chosen niche on Google with the keywords relevant to it. You can go to Amazon and do research related to your niche and see which products sell well.
After thoroughly researching your e-commerce business structure and selecting your niche, you need to select which products you need to sell. You can start by choosing 50-100 products and keep adding products to the list gradually.
You need to ensure that the products are available for shipping to the locations of your target audience. It is better to keep the shipping price low. You will also have to figure out how and where you will obtain these products for your e-commerce business/website.
You need to choose a domain name and brand/logo for your e-commerce business/website. Choosing your domain name is not difficult. Select a domain name that is easy to pronounce, remember and available as a domain name. The domain name will have a lot of significance in the future and the ability to market your business effectively. Keep 2-3 names ready so that you can choose the others if one domain name is not available.
Choosing a brand is essential as people will identify your business with the brand. You need to come up with a design for your e-commerce business/website logo. The brand that represents your business needs to have a connection with your persona and customers. However, make sure your name and brand is not similar to an existing business or used by another business in your niche.
Once the domain name and brand is decided, you can start your business/website by registering it. The registration of your business depends on the type of your business establishment. If it is a one-person company, private company, public limited company or Limited Liability Partnership, it has to be registered with the Registrar of Companies and obtain the Certificate of Incorporation. If it is a Sole Proprietorship, it must be registered under the respective states Shop and Establishment Act.
You need to obtain Goods and Service Tax (GST) certification if your business turnover exceeds Rs.20 lakh in one financial year. You need to open a bank account for your business. You need to apply for opening a Provident Fund (PF) with the respective Provident Fund Organization and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation for medical insurance for your employees. The other local licenses and permits, if any, required for running an online business in your respective state are also required to be obtained.
Setting up a payment mode is essential for an online business/website to accept your customers’ payments. You can set up the payment mode through a payment gateway. The payment gateway allows processing debit cards, credits cards, cash card transactions and net banking. The popular payment gateways are PayPal, RazorPay and PayU.
The payment gateways provide payment services for your e-commerce business/website through which you can set up the payment mode. Each payment gateway has its own setup procedure for obtaining its service. The setup procedure of payment gateways primarily consists of signing up, creating an account with them, and verifying your details. Once the payment gateway is set up for your e-commerce business/website, the customers can start buying your products.
Marketing is necessary for building your business. Since many online sites exist, you need to fix the best price and sell the best quality products. There are different ways to market your business. You can start by marketing your website on your social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram or Youtube.
You can research the marking mode of your competitors and adopt the same. You can note down the type of messages your competitor’s post or how they promote their products and follow similar ways to promote your products on social media.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a good marketing strategy. SEO helps grab the attention of potential customers and put your business on the search engine map. SEO is effective to promote any website. You need to optimise your website so that it’s discoverable by Google.
Starting an e-commerce business or website is a great idea. However, you may face certain hurdles while setting it up. You will need to research each step of setting up your business. It will take time, effort and hard work. But, once it’s set up, you can expand it and earn from the business just like in any traditional business.
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I am an advocate by profession and have a keen interest in writing. I write articles in various categories, from legal, business, personal finance, and investments to government schemes. I put words in a simplified manner and write easy-to-understand articles. Read more
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