How to Start an E-Commerce Business

For some years now there has been an ongoing battle between high street and online shopping. With the Covid19 pandemic effectively shutting down the high street for many months, consumers have begun to rely heavily on internet shopping and e-commerce. Whether or not this is the final nail in the coffin for the high street remains to be seen, but many people are now realising the benefits of e-commerce and looking to set up their own e-commerce businesses.

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If you have an idea in mind and want to take your opportunity in the e-commerce world, then here are some things to boost your chance of success in the online world.

Plan Your Business Model

It’s important to understand the key sellable items in e-commerce. Generally these fall into four categories: physical products, digital products, services and subscriptions/memberships. Once you’ve identified which of these your product fits into, you have the foundation of your business model. Next you need to plan the logistics of how the business will operate – also known as the fulfilment model. This means working out how and to whom you will deliver your goods. It could include third-party businesses or suppliers.

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Pick a Niche

The key to successful e-commerce is to find a niche. An upcoming e-commerce site shouldn’t be overloaded with categories but should do one well. To do that you need to carry out market research into your chosen niche and explore the ways that other similar businesses are operating. You also need to understand your niche market – i.e. who is your typical customer and how can you operate in a way that will engage and entice them?

Build a Brand

A recognisable brand that clearly reflects your persona and objectives is key in business, especially an e-commerce business. This means a snappy company name which could ideally be built into your domain name, which you can get from, a great logo, website design and colours that will appeal to your target audience. At this point you’ll also need to consider the necessary legal requirements, such as registering your business and acquiring any of the relevant business licences.

Market Yourself

The quickest and cheapest way to do this is via social media. Spread the word and consider using techniques like giveaways to generate interest and shares. Keep your social media presence consistent and fun.

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