top of page

A Comprehensive Checklist For Starting Your Ecommerce Business Successfully

In 2021, retail e-commerce sales approximated 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. This figure is forecasted to grow by 56 percent over the next years, reaching about 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026 (Source)


The global ecommerce market is expected to total $6.3 trillion in 2023. (Source)



showing stats about the global ecommerce market that is expected to total $5.7 trillion in 2022


Revenue from retail e-commerce in the United States was estimated at roughly 905 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. The Statista Digital Market Outlook forecasts that by 2027, online shopping revenue in the U.S. will exceed 1.7 trillion dollars.


Revenue from retail e-commerce in the United States was estimated at roughly 905 billion U.S. dollars in 2022


Why Start Ecommerce Business?


There are a number of reasons why starting an Ecommerce business might be a good idea. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the potential for higher profits. Ecommerce businesses typically enjoy higher profit margins than traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.


This is because ecommerce businesses have lower overhead costs since they don’t need to lease or purchase physical space. Besides, ecommerce businesses can reach a much larger audience than traditional businesses, thanks to the internet.


Another reason for starting an Ecommerce business is that it can be run from anywhere in the world. As long as you have an internet connection, you can manage your business from anywhere. This allows entrepreneurs to take advantage of global opportunities and markets.



Don't know how to start your Ecommerce Business? Don't worry we've compiled an Ecommerce checklist to get you started!



1. Select Your Niche


Selecting your niche is one of the most important steps when starting your e-commerce business. Your niche will determine who your target market is, what products you'll sell, and how you'll position yourself against your competitors.


There are a few key things to keep in mind when selecting your niche:


  1. Know your strengths. What are you good at? What do you enjoy? Your niche should be something that you're passionate about and have some knowledge or expertise in. This will make it easier to build a successful business in this space.

  2. Consider your target market. Who do you want to sell to? What needs do they have that you can fulfill? When selecting your niche, be sure to consider who your target market is and what they're looking for.

  3. Do your research. Once you've narrowed down your options, it's important to do some research on each of the potential niches you're considering. What is the competition like? How saturated is the market? What are the growth prospects for this industry?


Doing your research will help you make a more informed decision about which niche is right for you and your e-commerce business.


2. Define Your Target Market


Starting an e-commerce business can be a great way to reach a larger audience with your products or services. But before you can start selling online, you need to define your target market.


This includes factors such as age, gender, location, and income level. Knowing your target market's demographics will help you determine where to sell your products or services, what type of advertising to use, and what pricing strategy to adopt.


Another important factor to consider is psychographics, which refers to the needs and wants of your target market.

  • What motivates them?

  • What are their interests?

  • What type of lifestyle do they lead?


Understanding your target market's psychographics will help you develop messaging and products that resonate with them.


3. Choose Your Product


When starting an ecommerce business, it is critical to choose the right product.


Google Trends

One method for conducting research is using Google Trends. This tool allows you to see how often certain terms are being searched for and can help you identify potential products.


Competitor Analysis

Another useful method is to look at what your competitors are selling. This will give you an idea of what is already popular in the market and what gaps you could fill.


Product Testing Landing Pages

Once you have a general idea of what product you would like to sell, it is important to then test the demand by creating a landing page or running ads. This will help you gauge whether people are actually interested in buying your product before investing too much time and money into developing it.


This way, you can increase your chances of choosing a successful product for your ecommerce business.




4. Pick A Business Name And Register The Domain


Choosing the right name for your business is a vital first step in setting up shop online. Not only will it be the first impression you make on potential customers, but it will also be the foundation upon which your brand is built.


Try to choose something that is memorable and easy to spell. Avoid using industry jargon or terms that could be easily confused with other businesses.


Once you have settled on a name, be sure to secure the corresponding domain name. This will help to ensure that no one else can use your business name online and will help customers find your website more easily.


You can find and register your domains through GoDaddy, HostGator, Namecheap, or any other service provider.


Source



5. Choosing An ECommerce Platform


Choosing an eCommerce platform for your business is no easy task. With so many different options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.


However, by taking the time to assess your needs and compare the features of each platform, you can make the best decision for your business.


Some of the most popular eCommerce platforms include Shopify, Magento, Wix, and WooCommerce.


best ecommerce shopping cart icons

Source

Shopify

Shopify is a fully-hosted eCommerce solution that offers everything you need to build and operate an online store. It includes a wide range of features, such as a customizable checkout process, inventory management tools, and integrations with popular payment processors.


Squarespace

Squarespace is one option that businesses of all sizes can consider. It offers a simple drag-and-drop interface, making it easy to create an online store even if you don't have any technical expertise. It offers built-in SEO tools and integrations with popular payment processors.


Wix

Wix is another user-friendly platform and offers a wide range of features, making it an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes. One of the key benefits of using Wix is that it offers a drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easy to create and customize a store. In addition, Wix provides a range of templates and designs to choose from.


WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a popular WordPress plugin that turns a WordPress site into a fully functioning eCommerce store. It includes all the features you need to run an online store, such as product listings, shopping cart functionality, and order management.


Magento

Magento is another popular choice for businesses that need a powerful and scalable eCommerce solution. Its flexible architecture enables businesses to customize their stores to meet their unique needs.


6. Design And Build Your Website


A website is a powerful tool for any business, but it is especially important for businesses that sell products or services online. A well-designed website helps you attract new customers and grow your business.


Here are a few things to keep in mind while planning your website design.


  1. Make sure the website design is easy to navigate and search engine friendly.

  2. It should be secure so that customers can feel confident about making purchases on your site.

  3. The website should provide an excellent user experience so that customers will want to return again and again.


General Pages:


Home

A website's home page is like its front door - it's the first thing that visitors see when they come to your site. That's why it's important to make a good impression with a well-designed home page that is clear, easy to navigate, and informative.


About

The about page is your opportunity to tell visitors who you are, what you do, and why they should trust you. This is also a great place to showcase your company's values and personality.


Contact

The contact page should be there with contact details so that visitors can easily get in touch with you.


FAQs

The FAQs page is a valuable resource for answering common questions and addressing potential concerns that visitors may have.


By including these essential pages on your website, you can create a user-friendly experience that will help build trust and confidence with your visitors.


Policy Pages


Return Policy

It outlines the process for returning items that are damaged, defective, or simply not to the customer's liking. A good return policy instills confidence in the customer and encourages them to shop with you.


Shipping Policy

It is another important consideration for online shoppers. A clear shipping policy helps to manage customer expectations and can prevent frustration down the line.


Terms & Conditions And Privacy Policy

These legal pages help to protect both the customer and the business and ensure that everyone understands their rights and responsibilities.


Design Ecommerce Pages


Listing Pages

They provide an overview of the products with different categories and filter options.


Product Pages

They should provide detailed information about a specific product, including high-quality photos, descriptions, and pricing information with call-to-action buttons.


Shopping Cart & Checkout

It should enable customers to add items to their purchases, and checkout pages provide a space for customers to finalize their orders and enter their payment details.


These pages are all important in their own right, but together they should provide a seamless and straightforward way for customers to buy products online.


7. Make It Mobile Responsive And Cross-browsers Supportive


Studies have found that over 60% of internet users worldwide access the internet exclusively through mobile devices. This trend is only going to continue to grow, which is why businesses with ecommerce websites need to make sure their site is mobile responsive.


A mobile responsive website automatically adjusts its layout to fit the screen size of the device it is being viewed on, making it easy for customers to navigate and make purchases no matter what type of device they are using.


In addition, make sure their site is cross-browser-supportive. This means that it should work equally well on all major browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.


man holding a mobile device and the mobile screen is showing ecommerce website

8. Integrate Payment Methods


When customers are ready to make a purchase on your ecommerce website, they expect the process to be easy and secure. If the payment process is complicated or takes too long, you risk losing the sale.


That's why it's important to integrate secure payment methods into your website. By offering a variety of options, you can make it easy for customers to pay how they want.


Some of the famous and secure payment methods include PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, Mastercard, etc. When customers know their information is secure, they're more likely to complete a purchase.


9. Work On Ecommerce SEO


EcoMmerce SEO is how you make your site visible to search engines, and it’s essential for getting found by potential customers. Without ecommerce SEO, your store will be buried on page 10 of the search results, where no one will ever find it.


Investing in ecommerce SEO will help you rank higher in the search results, making it more likely that people will see your store and click through to buy something. In addition, ecommerce SEO can help you get more traffic from social media and other website referrals.


10. Optimize Your Store For Conversions


There are several ways you can optimize your store for more conversions. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure your call-to-action buttons are visible and placed effectively to prompt action.


You should also display relevant products to the user throughout the buying journey to encourage more sales.


Promotional products or sales banners can also be a great way to increase conversions so make sure you are utilizing them well.


ecommerce website design for creating better conversion

Source



11. Set Up Email Marketing


Setting up email for an e-commerce store is important because it allows customers to communicate with the store and receive updates on their orders.


  1. Welcome emails are a key part of e-commerce businesses. They help to build relationships with customers and create a sense of loyalty.

  2. Abandoned cart emails remind customers of items they were interested in but didn't purchase, and can encourage them to complete their purchase.

  3. Order confirmation emails provide customers with reassurance that their order has been placed successfully.

  4. Shipping update emails keep customers informed about the status of their order and let them know when it will arrive.

  5. Cross-sell emails promote related products that may be of interest to customers.


All of these emails play an important role in the success of e-commerce businesses.


12. Integrate Sales Channels


Once your store is set up, it is important to connect with sales channels in order to reach the widest audience possible. There are a number of different sales channels available, and each has its own advantages.


Amazon

For example, Amazon is one of the most popular sales channels for online businesses. Not only does Amazon have a large customer base, but it also offers a wide range of features and services that can benefit e-commerce businesses.


eBay

Another popular sales channel is eBay. eBay offers a unique auction-style platform that can be used to sell products or services. In addition, eBay also has a large customer base and a wide range of features that can benefit e-commerce businesses. Finally, Craigslist is another popular sales channel.


Craigslist

Craigslist offers a local classifieds platform that can be used to sell products or services. While Craigslist does not have as large of a customer base as Amazon or eBay, it can be a great option for businesses that are targeting a local market.


Other Sales channels


  1. Instagram Shopping

  2. Facebook Shopping

  3. Facebook Messenger

  4. Pinterest

  5. TikTok

  6. Google Shopping


13. Set Up Analytics


Any eCommerce store that wants to be successful needs to set up analytics. There are a few key reasons for this.


  1. First, analytics can help you track your site's performance and identify areas that need improvement.

  2. Second, analytics can help you understand your customers' behavior and preferences. This information can be used to improve the customer experience on your site and increase conversions.

  3. Finally, analytics can help you track your ROI and optimize your marketing campaigns.


Without analytics, it would be very difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your eCommerce store and make necessary changes to improve its performance.


14. Test Before You Launch


It's no secret that launching a successful e-commerce store takes a lot of hard work. From developing a killer business plan to building an eye-catching website, there are a lot of moving parts involved. However, one step that is often overlooked is testing.


Before launch, it is essential to test everything from the checkout process to the shipping options to ensure that customers have a positive experience from start to finish.


Otherwise, you run the risk of losing sales and damaging your brand reputation. By testing all aspects of your e-commerce store, you can give yourself the best chance for success.


15. Develop A Winning Ecommerce Marketing Strategy


Any business, whether it's brick-and-mortar or online, needs a marketing strategy to succeed. It's even more important for online businesses to have a solid marketing strategy in place because they're competing against so many other businesses in the digital space.


Without a winning ecommerce marketing strategy, your business will quickly get lost in the shuffle. There are a few key components to any successful ecommerce marketing strategy.


  1. Identify your target market and figure out what marketing channels they are on.

  2. Then you need to set some goals for your marketing campaign. What do you hope to achieve? More website traffic? More sales? Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can develop a plan of action to make it happen.

  3. Finally, you need to track your results and analyze your data so you can fine-tune your approach as needed.


Developing a winning ecommerce marketing strategy may seem like a daunting task, but it's essential for the success of any online business.


Conclusion


If you're thinking about starting an ecommerce business, then this checklist should help get you started on the right track. Of course, there are many other factors to consider when starting a business, but these are some of the key points that you'll need to take into account.


If you have any questions or need more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We're always happy to help!

Latest Tips to Your Inbox

Get the latest info on small business marketing, design, sales tips, guides, and industry best practices. 

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page