The future of eCommerce is remarkably bright. But, starting a successful eCommerce business is a piece of hard work where you need streamlined processes and the right decisions at the right time.
Online shopping is one of the areas that have seen extensive growth over the past five years.
According to a report from US Census Bureau, the eCommerce sales in the second quarter of 2021 amounted to approximately USD 222.5 billion, accounting for 12.5 percent of the total sales in the US alone.
Start an eCommerce business according to your goals. Unlike traditional B2B businesses, eCommerce business offers more opportunity, flexibility, and affordability. So, what are the exact steps that you need to take to start an online eCommerce business? Don’t worry! We have got you covered.
We have created a comprehensive blueprint to start a successful eCommerce business so that you are equipped with all the information of running an online business in no time.
How to Start a Successful eCommerce Business
You may notice significant differences in building a B2B eCommerce business compared to a brick-and-mortar business. However, there are a lot of similarities as well. Some of the steps require similar planning and legal steps, as required in any other business.
Now, let’s have a look at all the steps that are required to start an eCommerce business:
Research the eCommerce MarketSpace
The first step involves finding your top competitors in the market. It also includes conducting research on their history and business models and generating successful eCommerce business ideas.
You should look for the things that you can emulate in your business. You should also figure out what the customers need and how you can provide in your special way.
You need to research if there are any barriers to entry, market gaps, setup costs, and much more. After conducting thorough research of the market and identifying what value you will provide to your customers, it’s time to perform a SWOT analysis. It will help you to find out the potential obstacles and plan for the future of your eCommerce business.
Find Your Niche
Proceeding further, you need to find the appropriate niche for your B2B eCommerce business. This step requires you to know the type of your business.
To find your niche, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of products do you want to sell? Is it physical or digital?
- How are you going to source or develop the product?
- Who will look at the production of your business?
- What will be the eCommerce model of your business? Is it subscription-based or order-based?
Getting answers to all the above questions will help you determine the niche for your business. Draft an eCommerce business plan to help you proceed further in building your online B2B business.
Choose Your Business Name And Legal Structure
After solidifying your eCommerce business plan, the next step is to choose a business name. Look for a name that is unique and denotes what your business is all about.
Check for the availability of the domain name. If you find that the domain name is already in use, you may consider a different name or a different structure.
Choosing the legal structure is also significant to start a B2B business online. Whatever type of business you pick, it will have crucial legal and financial implications on the operations of your business. It is advisable to consult an attorney or legal representative for advice.
Apply for an EIN and Acquire Business Permits and Licenses
Next, you are required to apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN). Though it is not required by every business, it can help you keep your personal and business finances separate.
After applying for the EIN successfully, you need to acquire business permits and licenses to operate in your state. If your business is entirely based on home, you can get your bases covered.
Check the website of your local government to understand the licenses or permits required to operate in your state. It may include sales tax permits, signage permits, professional and trade licenses, and health, safety, and environmental permits.
Select an eCommerce Platform
At this point, you have conducted all the necessary paperwork and are ready to start your B2B business legally. The next significant decision you need to take is the selection of an eCommerce platform.
It is the base to start an eCommerce business. There are a plethora of platforms available in the market like WorksLeader, etc.
These eCommerce platforms help you to manage every element and customize your website. Don’t forget to consider the features, costs, and usability of the platform.
Create Your Website
Now, it’s time to put your successful eCommerce business ideas into reality and build an online store. The selection of the right eCommerce platform will help you to set up the store effortlessly.
While building your online eCommerce business website, select a theme that is in alignment with your target audience and prices. The logo should resemble the mission and vision of the business. It should be vibrant and creative so that people can relate to it.
After building your website, take a test run so that there are no broken pathways.
Source Or Develop Products
If you have reached this step, you have nearly come to the end of the process to start an eCommerce store. You should now decide the products that you need to source to sell to the end-users.
You can either make your products, source them from distributors, or list your services on your business website.
The eCommerce business that sells products will have to go through a complex procedure of considering the inventory and startup costs. Along with the time taken to list all the products on your website, you should also think about the SEO, customer behavior, and the sales funnel.
Market your eCommerce Business
Once everything is set up, it’s time to tell the world about your new business and start selling your products and services. You need to incorporate various marketing strategies to promote your business.
You can think of using word of mouth, Google ads, social media ads, and many more.
Fundamentally, you will want to optimize your B2B eCommerce website for SEO and take all the benefits of online marketing tools that are integrated with your eCommerce platform.
Once your business is all set up and you start receiving orders, you should keep a track of the marketing tactics that are working and which are not working. With time, you can adjust these changes as and when required.
The journey of starting an eCommerce store is both exciting and challenging. You will learn plenty of things, from choosing a product to marketing and selling to a new customer. A lot of things will make you scratch your head. But, at the end of the day, it will be worth it.
Therefore, you should remember the points while you start an eCommerce business. Every B2B online business should ensure that they are following all the necessary steps to make their business an emerging online success story.
Creating a successful eCommerce store is not the only important factor to consider. Every time they visit your online store, you should build an experience that the customers would want to engage in.