Starting an e-commerce business can be a challenging venture, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll walk you through the 7 steps you need to take in order to launch your own e-commerce business. These will be the key concepts that will aid you as you build your start-up and help you set up your own shop sooner rather than later.

Before we get into the details, it’s important that you understand the ins and outs of launching an e-commerce business so that you don’t waste precious time and money. Read on to discover more about how starting an e-commerce business can help grow your brand, drive revenue, and create a steady income stream for your future.

What is an E-commerce Business?

E-commerce is the term for online shopping, similar to what you might find at a physical store. E-commerce businesses typically sell products or services and have a web page that can be found through search engines. These companies often enlist the help of a digital marketing agency in order to help them reach their target audience as efficiently as possible. If you’re wondering what it takes to start an e-commerce business, here are 7 key steps:

1) Understand Your Goals – First of all, it’s important that you understand your goals when starting an e-commerce business. Why do you want to start your own store? What is your target market? What are your main objectives? If you know these critical points before moving forward, you’ll be able to laser-focus your efforts on reaching those goals.

2) Research Your Target Audience – Once you know your goals, it’s time to research your target audience. You should also understand how they shop and what they like to buy so that you can create the perfect product for them. This will help maximize revenue and ensure that the most people see your product.

3) Create Product Ideas – Once you understand who would be interested in buying from your company, it’s time to figure out what kind of products would interest them the most and come up with product ideas based off of this information.

4) Plan Your Marketing Strategy – You need a plan if (note from Dan: the sentence ends here…?!)

How to Start an Ecommerce Business

Step 1: Create a business plan Before you launch your business, it’s important that you create a business plan. This will lay out all the key goals for your e-commerce business and what steps need to be taken in order to reach those goals. It’s also a great way to ensure that you are on the right track before spending any money or getting too far into the process.

Step 2: Develop a website Next, develop a website that is designed specifically for your e-commerce business. This will give your customers an idea of what they can expect when they shop with you. It’s important that this page is engaging and easy to use so that visitors stay on the site longer and purchase more products.

Step 3: Create social media accounts Social media is another key cog in online marketing for e-commerce businesses, but it is also one of the most difficult things to get started with. You need talented people who understand how to leverage these channels effectively if you want them to work for your company. Regardless of whether you hire someone or do it yourself, creating social media accounts will help you engage with potential customers on different platforms and build brand awareness in new ways.

Step 4: Set up shop on Shopify If you don’t have an established domain name, Shopify offers unlimited domains at no cost. With this service, setting up your start-up store won’t take much time at all! Plus (note from Dan: abruptly ends again!!!)

Step 1: Research and understand your market

The first step to starting an e-commerce business is doing your research. Find out what products and services are already in demand among your target audience. What’s the most popular item? What are their demographics? What are their tastes and preferences? Who are your competitors like? These questions help you get a better understanding of your market and which path you want to follow.

Next, figure out which other resources you need in order to launch your business. Do you need a website for your e-commerce store, or will you be using a platform such as Shopify or Bigcommerce? Do you need social media accounts, insurance, or storage space for products that will be sent from suppliers to buyers? For now, just focus on one step at a time without worrying about all the moving pieces.

Step 2: Build a solid foundation

Starting an e-commerce business is all about building a solid foundation. This includes setting up your website, coming up with a strong business name, and developing your brand identity. After you’ve figured out the basics, it’s time to start building your product line and getting the word out about your new venture. Keep in mind that at the beginning of your journey, you won’t make a lot of money. You’ll be investing quite a bit of time and effort into launching an e-commerce business before you see any return on investment (ROI). But remember: if you’re going to put in the work now, you could reap benefits down the road. It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself so that you can build momentum over time.

Step 3: Establish your brand voice and aesthetic

In order to stand out from the other e-commerce start-ups, you need to establish your brand voice and aesthetic. This means you have to be mindful of what people want, who your target audience is, and where they are located. If you are able to establish a strong brand message with a clear aesthetic, this will help increase revenue for your business. Your brand voice and aesthetic should also align with your brand values and mission statement so that there is no confusion in how you wish to portray yourself. If it doesn’t fit, then it won’t work!

Step 4: Design your site’s layout and platform

Designing your site’s layout and platform should be a top priority. You should think about how you want your store to look and function before beginning any coding or design work. For example, you might decide that you want your website to have a clean, minimalist aesthetic that uses white space and contrasting colours to draw the customer’s eye in, or you might want it to be bright and colourful with cartoon-like graphics.

You need to decide what kind of e-commerce experience you want your customers to have on your site. This will help determine the type of platform your site needs to use, such as an online store that lets customers browse products with a menu on one side and a checkout process on the other, or an e-commerce platform like Amazon where everything is on one screen.

After deciding what style you want for your website, create wireframes (or mockups) of how it will look when it’s finished. These mockups give designers a sense of what the final product will look like without having to build it from scratch. Once you have these approved by those in charge of designing your site, move into prototyping so that they can visualise the end product even better. Once you get all of this done, start building!

Step 5: Add products to your store

This is arguably the most important step in the process. It’s also the easiest. All you have to do is decide on a product, determine your price, and upload it to your store. Once that’s done, you can start driving traffic to your new e-commerce business. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking at items similar to what you want to sell and consider how they are priced.

You may be wondering how much money this will make for you when it comes to income. This all depends on how much time and effort you put into building your e-commerce business. But it’s safe to say that if you invest some time and energy into building up your website, social media presence, and learning about online marketing, then investing a little bit of money into creating products can be rewarding in the long run.

Step 6: Optimize your site for search and display ads

Next, you’ll have to decide what type of advertising campaigns you want to run on your website. You’ll need both search ads and display ads to generate revenue.

Display ads are banner advertisements, text links, or video advertisements that are shown on the web page. Because they are seen by customers who do not reach the site directly from a search engine result, they offer a high-quality CPC (cost-per-click) rate while providing a low CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) cost. These ads show up more often than search ads on the same webpage because they can be targeted to specific audiences.

Search ad campaigns are very similar in nature to display ad campaigns but with one major difference: they appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). Since these particular ads are always visible on the SERP, they command a higher CPM cost than display ads.

Step 7: Track performance and make adjustments

Understanding the performance of your e-commerce business is vital. You will be able to see how well your business is performing and make adjustments if necessary. In order to track your performance, you’ll need to be able to track traffic, sales, inventory, and more. To learn more about tracking these metrics in Google Analytics or another tool tool of your choosing, check out our blog post on how to use Google Analytics for e-commerce.

As you continue to grow your business, we recommend that you set up a plan with key milestones that establish objectives for each quarter. These milestones should be specific and measurable goals that will provide you with insight into what worked and what didn’t work, allowing you to make changes as needed.

Ready? Let’s get started! (Note from Dan: Engage CTA needed here?)

Before the pandemic, ecommerce was important to some of us, an extra channel to support retail stores to many of us, and an ever-growing necessity to all of us.

Now everything has changed.

If the first lockdowns of 2020 got us thinking about growing our ecommerce channels, then the second and third waves of Covid-19 in 2021 have all businesses rethinking the importance of digital and the abundant opportunities of ecommerce.

Forrester research predicts that digital customer service interactions will increase by a whopping 40%.

This increased reliance on online shopping, digital finance services and even health consultancy being delivered virtually isn’t going away.

Sure, we’ll flock to the malls and stores when we get the chance but as consumers, we’ve also realised that we don’t have to travel halfway across a city to have a bargain or an essential purchase land at our door.

We’re becoming more aware that the clothing or electronics or homeware item we need can we hunted out online, often with more choice, better pricing, and amazingly speedy deliver from around the world, let alone from across town.

Competitive websites and particularly ecommerce websites can’t endure a cold face of function and form – to maintain their market position, or push beyond, they need to evolve and interact with users – here are four insights to help improve in this new reality of ecommerce prominence and the customer experience.

Your business needs to be always on – because your customers are.

No matter the time of day or night, no matter how busy you are or under resourced you are, your customers are always on.

So, your ecommerce site or online business needs to be always ready to engage and provide the right information for your customers.

Of course, the digital environment lends itself to provide the right technology to provide the support and answers your customer’s demand.

Searchable and categorised knowledge bases and wikis provide information and assurances to customers literally instantaneously. They can be updated and added to quickly and are inexpensive to install even for the most modest of ecommerce stores.

Live chat can also provide customers instant access to answers. And when not manned by real people, bots step in to provide timely information to the most regular questions.

Pop ups and artificial intelligence can provide answers to customers exploring special product features or pricing pages.

Browse abandonment and cart abandonment automated workflows can re-engage with us long after we would have left the physical stores carpark.

Start small and put ideas to the test

Digital allows us to experiment at a relatively low cost.

We can identify a single pain point within our shoppers’ funnel and address that with conversational intelligence or a reworked workflow.

If results show promise, we update and test some more.

We can then introduce the change and scale at will – keeping an improved customer experience at the centre of our objectives.

Map and improve the Customer Journey

The customer journey consists of four key parts. These are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision-making
  4. Evaluation

By exploring the CX at each one of these stages, you can improve the overall customer experience with you. This begins with helping them find you.

Map and evaluate the customer journey to determine where customer needs might not coordinate with what you have to offer. Then you can plan for an even better experience by making the sales journey as smooth as possible.

Becoming empathetic and real

In the past, we’ve felt we’re more in control of the customer experience, when that experience was face to face, or at least person to person.

With a mechanical ecommerce relationship that empathy with customers is often lost.  

But data from all touchpoints can provide extraordinary insights into the customers’ requirements and feeling.

We just need to spend the time to understand what the data is telling us.

High bounce rates on certain product pages might indicate that we haven’t clearly delivered the benefits of that product over another.

Abandonment during checkout might indicate that our shipping costs are too high.

Not receiving a message to confirm delivery might leave customers anxious that the parcel has gone astray.

Sending a thank you note in the mail is likely to leave a customer highly impressed and they are bound to pass the positive experience on to friends.


Despite the digital process of ecommerce transactions and touch points, or because of them, many online businesses can dramatically improve the customer experience.

Indeed, improving CX is the ultimate objective of our online marketing activity.

If we outgun our competitors with Customer Experience there’s an absolute probability our brand will flourish.

Data analysis, conversion optimisation, marketing automation, artificial intelligence and more, have big parts to play in ensuring we improve and tune the customers’ experience. Just think to when you were most delighted from an online experience – can you emulate that in your business and the way you deliver ecommerce or any sort of website engagement and transaction.

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