4 min read

March 10, 2021

How to Start an eCommerce Business from Scratch

The internet has given the freedom for people to start their business ventures such as eCommerce stores. Moreover, eCommerce businesses are growing popular as the trends of shopping are shifting online. In this digital realm, it has become easy to start an eCommerce business from scratch.

However, it is tough to know how to start a profitable eCommerce store that will do well. This guideline provides a list of tools and procedure on how to create an eCommerce store from scratch.

Start an eCommerce Business from Scratch

XanPay - How to Start an eCommerce Business from Scratch

An online store will help you sell products, set customized prices, and market the business. You can either consider manufacturing your products and selling them online. Alternatively, you can also function as a retailer. You could connect both the supplier/manufacturer with their customers.

Here are seven steps with helpful tools and procedures that will guide you to start your eCommerce business from scratch.

1. Niche Down: How to Choose a Business Idea

XanPay - choose a business idea

The first rule is to pick the niche that you want to cater for your business. Choose a niche of products that have substantial demand to procure profits. Blend your passions and perform a market research to understand the demand for your product.

You can consider using the following tools to select the niche for your eCommerce business. The trick is finding individual products in a given category and settling on less competitive search keywords. The following tools will come in handy when conducting keyword research:

  • Google Trends & Google's Search Console - Google search console will help you know what keywords people are searching for. At the same time, Google trends will determine whether a product line is on an upward or downward trend. However, Google trends is not a 100% accurate metric for determining search volume. Therefore cross-check what you get with a keyword tool such as ubersuggest, ahref, or keywords.io.

  • Ahrefs - A professional tool that website owners use for SEO and external link analysis. The software comprises a site, keyword, and content explorer. Metrics to track using Ahrefs include SEO, page ranking, domain comparison, and page content research.

  • Ubersuggest Keyword Tool - Understand the competitiveness of a keyword. Analyze the potential of your product by analyzing the search volume of the keyword. Ubersuggest keyword tool will help you analyse the competition for your keyword.

  • Shopify/Oberlo Order Volume Metric - Shopify and Oberlo list products based on their order volumes. Browse through such lists to understand what products are popular. You can also browse through popular sites within your niche. Check their category and borrow ideas from them on the products to list.

2. Competitor Analysis

XanPay - Competitor analysis

In this age, besides customers, competitors also follow your moves. Evaluate their copy, the design of their stores, and how they do things differently. Have an objective and recognize the things that work and those that don't work.

The first is to, however, map out who these competitors are. Include those businesses that directly and indirectly compete with your business. Take note of these businesses' plans and how their every decision would affect your online store. Consider these Important Steps to follow when conducting competitor analysis.

  • Understand their Products - Analyse the products your competitors offer. What are the features of these products, and who their target customers are. Examine what value your competitors bring to these customers and how they value their services/products.

  • Strengths and Weaknesses of these Businesses - What factors help these competitors towards growth. What makes their services/products tick? What are their shortfalls? How can you add more value? What innovations can you bring to your products or store? The research and your ideas will help you in drawing lessons and doing things differently.

  • Understand the Markets - Understanding your competitors' current market will ensure you know whether it's a stable market. Thorough market analysis will ensure you plan and prepare for uncertainties and your present/future decisions.

3. Design the Online Store

XanPay - Design the online store

The fourth step is finding an eCommerce platform. One of the options is to build your online store on website like Shopify. The platform allows you to an online store with simple drag and drop features. It has several components, tools, and resources that will ease running your business.

You can also create a website and build eCommerce store from scratch customising as per your requirements. You have to choose a domain that matches your brand identity and select your hosting plan. You can also consider using platforms like WordPress or Wix that facilitate you to create an eCommerce store using their easy plugins and themes.

4. Build a Marketing Strategy

XanPay - build a marketing strategy

After finding your niche and building a platform, the next step is to engage with your customers. Marketing your business will also help you win sales. A high conversion marketing strategy ensures that your brand reaches maximum engagement. Your in-store marketing strategy should consider the website's design and branding, product photography, Search engine optimized product descriptions, an email funnel for onboarding new and existing clients, a robust social media presence, and paid advertising.

The branding should reflect the message of your business. Remember to optimize the content to rank on search engines. The best way to lure traffic with product descriptions is by using specific long-tail keywords. People looking for a product will usually query-specific words while searching online.

5. Integrate a Well-Performing Checkout Page

XanPay - integrate a well-performing checkout page

If you are building your online store, it is necessary to integrate a well-performing checkout page to cater to global markets. Furthermore, a well-performing checkout page also ensures conversion of your customers into consumers.

You can consider integrating XanPay into your existing infrastructure. It offers easy integration with your platform through three different methods. Once integrated, it allows you to offer local payment options to your customers native and popular in their country. This facilitates you, as a merchant, to cater to an international audience without spending extensive time, money, and resources. Moreover, the entire process is fast and efficient for your consumers as well as for your store.

Learn how to get integrate XanPay into your infrastructure here.

6. Analyze and act on Feedback

XanPay - analyze and act on feedback

Think about what your customers think about your store. What they thought about a specific product and how they found the customer service. Do they have complaints? Dissatisfied customers might leave behind negative reviews, and this could chase away prospects.

Measure customer satisfaction rates and analyze these rates to figure out better performance. Also, engage with your customers and increase your business' level of conversation. Surveys could also be an excellent way to measure the value you provide. Check across social media as well to gauge what people are saying about the business.

Bottom Line

Starting an eCommerce business from scratch has become relatively easy due to the rise in demands and availability of necessary tools.

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