How To Start an Ecommerce Business in 2020 – 6 Step Guide

Here's a foolproof guide to making high volume sales in your ecommerce startup

Selling products online has never been so popular and rewarding. Ecommerce business is booming.

The stats analyzed by eMarketer predict that by 2021, the global ecommerce revenue is expected to reach $5 trillion.

This is a by far, a descriptive indicator that suggests the existence of a steady momentum even for the looming ecommerce businesses.

While there’s untapped potential that covers a wide scope in so many product niches, starting an ecommerce business can be a little overwhelming especially for a beginner.

There's so much workflow to take action on.

But before we dive any further, we need a clear answer to what ecommerce means.

What is Ecommerce

Ecommerce is an acronym for ‘electronic commerce' which easily refers to online business transactions. If you sell or buy a product on the internet, then that in itself is ecommerce.

An ecommerce transaction extends to services that are sold online.

So let's clear the air and settle the facts; ‘E-commerce‘ or ‘Ecommerce‘- which is the right term? It's time to bring the variations out of the closet.

Well, Google Trends suggests that the term ecommerce is used on the search engine a lot more.

But whichever way you want to spell it, both terms are accurate. The definition still stands.

Launching an online retail business requires you to bind all steps and priorities into a single yet intently drafted blueprint.

Most starters often hang loose on the assumption that a high-yielding ecommerce business masterplan only needs to have these basics:

  • A responsive selling channel
  • Well analyzed product listings
  • Marketing techniques (working with influences, affiliate marketers)
  • A solid customer engagement

That’s pretty accurate. Your business model should capture such attributes to cash in on the customers’ confidence.

But that alone isn’t enough.

What about processing payments, beating the competition, and so forth?

Needless to mention that there’s more work input to make your online store’s brand have a conforming authority in the market.

And that includes:

  • Niche hunting.
  • Social selling strategies
  • Using data insights to make decisions
  • Setting competitive profit margins
  • Working with realistic sales projections

Before you settle on setting up an ecommerce business, there are some of the key steps to first research on.

In this guide, we’ll teach beginners how to invest in the ecommerce movement without falling off the edge.

Types of Ecommerce Merchants

Ecommerce exists in so many dimensions.

Most ecommerce websites are classified according to the kind of products or services they sell to online customers.

Defining the kind of audience you want to sell your products to allows you to adjust your ecommerce business plan to the right pitch.

The basic assumption most beginners are set to believe is that products are only sold to consumers. That's isn't necessarily the case.

So let's go beyond the basics.

Ecommerce Businesses: What they sell.

To thrive in ecommerce, you need to sell a product, service, or both. So here's a breakdown of merchants according to what they sell online.

  • Those that sell tangible products

These are the mainstream sellers on the internet. They run online stores where products are listed together with their descriptions, images, and pricing.

Products range from apparel, home decor, electronics, office equipment, and so on. There are so many other categories and physical niche products that are sold on the internet.

The seller ships an ordered product once the buyer makes a purchase. Other priorities an ecommerce merchant has to deal with include inventory handling, taxes, shipping fees, and much more.

  • Those that sell digital products/ services

It's pretty accurate to say that ecommerce is built on digital infrastructure.

In comparison to physical goods, digital products are much easier to create and distribute.  But this might set you thinking– what kind of digital products can I sell online?

Well, the most popular digital products include:

  1. eBooks
  2. Software
  3. Photography
  4. Video & audio tutorials
  5. Online courses
  6. Contracts & policy templates
  7. Case studies
  8. Fiction/ Non-fiction books
  9. Scripts

What's not to like about selling digital products anyway?

You can use shopping cart channels to automate the selling process and earn a steady passive income.

Unlike physical products, you don't need a warehouse to keep your inventory. This allows the merchant to maintain lower overhead costs.

It turns out, there are killer marketplaces that help merchants sell their digital products online. You can work as a freelancer and sell your services at mediums such as Upwork, FreeUp, Fiverr, and iWriter.

if you want to trade your skills online, you can start off at Teachable. The platform is designed to allow users to build courses and sell them for a decent chunk of profit. Udemy also uses the same model.

You need to take into account the driving factors to set your pricing. The valuable pricing signals to look at include; your target audience, niche market, competition, and the value of the product.

Ecommerce businesses: Who the products are sold to.

Most starters seem to ignore this part.

In contrast, it's formal to classify the parties involved in an ecommerce transaction.

Below is a list of parties that ecommerce businesses transact with:

B2C: The acronym stands for Business-to-Consumer. As the name implies, this refers to transactions between businesses and consumers.

The B2C model is simply the process of selling products and services directly to the end consumer. Back then, B2C used to refer to in-store purchases, movie ticket sales, and restaurant treats.

But with the rise of ecommerce, that dark notion is long gone.

B2B: This stands for Business-to-Business. It needs no deeper explanation.  A B2B transaction happens between two businesses. One company is usually the seller while the other is the customer.

A PayPal merchant account, for instance, allows businesses to send invoices, receive payments, and schedule their recurring payments.

Saas products such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and other shopping cart solutions also fall under this category.

B2G: Business-to-Government is where the incumbent administration of a country enters into a contract with a business for the supply and delivery of goods and services.

A government can practically purchase software from a company to run its routine operations like collecting fines and taxes.

G2B: Government-to-Business is the exact reverse of the above definition(B2G). Such transactions occur where a private entity procures services, buys goods, or pays fees such as taxes to the government.

C2B: Consumer-to-Business is a model where the end consumer makes a product or service which is then sold to a business entity.

The C2B approach is popular on setups like blogs, social networks, and podcasts. Such products are sold to businesses so that they can add value to their brand's authority.

C2C: It simply means Consumer-to-Consumer. And you can take a wild guess of what this transaction entails.

A real-life scenario is where an individual sells a used product to another on a marketplace such as eBay.

Now that we know various models that are open of beginners, it's time to understand how to make your e-commerce business go live and thrive under immense competition.

And to help us do that, these are some of the cues to consider in your ecommerce blueprint:

How to start an Ecommerce Business: Step 1 – Do a Conclusive Ecommerce Research

You don’t need to come up with a thesis statement to build your business structure.

It’s nothing too overwhelming.

But most importantly, it's critical to conduct deep business research. This is to be certain on the kind of framework you want for your business.

There are all kinds of practical setups to look at.

From the traditional ones such as B2Cs (business-to-consumer), B2Bs (business-to-business), C2Bs (consumer-to-business), C2Cs (consumer to consumer), to the forefront models like drop-shipping, subscription services, Saas setups, white labels, and so much more.

If gets a whole lot easier if you can identify a suitable business model way sooner. Such an approach gives you pointers on how to break-even at a proximate interval.

Conduct a competition analysis

As part of the thought process, you need to identify who your competitors are. Since they all have online stores, it’s way easier to narrow down to their product pages, categories, and their target audience.

Your competitors are integral in the sense that you can use their online stores' setting to assess the overall barrier to entry. This gives you a spot-on approach while settling on what to sell and how to do it better.

A small business startup also requires some level of inspiration from already existing setups.

Research allows you to single out the selling points and strategies that work out for your competitors. As a result, you’re able to identify these signals:

  • The pricing formula that seems to work best for your competitors
  • Do their stores rank organically or do they invest in ad campaigns?
  • What are their best selling products?
  • How responsive are their product pages?

At the end of conducting a competition analysis, you can measure your growth projection realistically. This is one unique strategy to help you be a little frugal and not invest heavily in less effective stuff while starting out.

Identify a niche product to sell

This part tends to be more of a trial and error phase for beginners. It also confronts them with a number of imminent challenges. But you don’t want to waste so much time trying out low selling products.

To lower the risk of wasting time and resources, this section covers all the areas and techniques to help you find products to sell.

So let’s explore further to find out.

Selling dropshipping products

Dropshipping is pretty popular due to its staggeringly low overheads. It also comes with a lower barrier to entry if we compare it to other business models.

The drop shipper doesn’t need to hold any inventory. Instead, the supplier ships the product once the customer places an order from their online store.

It’s that simple.

And the better part is that there’s a whole stream of niches to choose from. Ecommerce store owners can drop-ship products from suppliers found in marketplaces such as;

  1. AliExpress
  2. Spocket
  3. SaleHoo (review)
  4. Doba (read review)
  5. Wholesale 2B
  6. MegaGoods
  7. Wholesale Central

We have extra information to hook you up with up to the minute dropshipping techniques:

The marketplaces listed above are just some of the in-demand sites where sellers source their dropshipping products.  We’ll give this part a conclusive recap later in this guide.

For drop shippers looking to sell products using Shopify as their long-run ecommerce platform, the Oberlo app is a digital marketplace that's pretty much worth trying out. This extension could serve your product hunting needs much better especially if you want to source products from AliExpress suppliers.

Below is a list of extra resourceful information that gets along with the quest to find niche products to sell:

To make sure that you don’t hang on an overwhelmingly saturated niche, you might want to add these pointers in your checklist:

Solve a consumer problem

Sorting out an existing problem is key to creating your own customer base. There are tons of product ideas out there. But replicating crowded products to your online store isn’t anything close to being practical.

Yet, on the other hand, you need to reaffirm that the product is laying on competitive grounds. If not, then that’s an indicator that the product doesn’t have a stable market.

Once you attempt to resolve a problem through a product, this creates an unwavering connection with your customers.

Build a unique persona

It’s pretty significant to recognize the products’ attributes that customers can closely relate to. That works in a broadloom to help your target audience identify what your brand is all about.

In other words, the brand name needs to give a salient depiction of what your store represents in the market.

If it’s a physical product, you have to identify the kind of audience that’s possibly going to show unique interest.

You still need to consider the knock-on effect that repeat customers are likely to have on your estimated revenues.

Bank on the fast-moving trends

Times are changing. And so are the consumer trends.

Brands are always pushed by the demand to bring in new concepts in the market. If a new product proves to be viable, it’s important to assess its demand curve as early as possible.

This helps the ecommerce business owner to set a workable pricing formula and know the exact demographics to focus on. Trends often fulfill a consumer need by far.

On the dark side, the demand for some products might dominate in the market for a little while. Despite that, building consumer demand for trendy products is also not much of a burden.

Roughly, all selling channels come with SEO tools to help you surge up a stream of marketing strategies. In effect, you get to build traffic that converts hold onto the demand for long.

How to Start an Ecommerce Business: Step 2- Build your Ecommerce Business’s Brand

Brick and mortar stores have a brand that’s recognized by shoppers. The same goes for ecommerce businesses.

Your brand's persona, in this context, really matters.

It needs to connect logically with the target market. There’s no doubt that most online sellers happen to run sustainable businesses by virtue of building a unique brand in a niche market.

Your business plan ought to capture this objective first hand. So before you begin setting up your online store, these are the basic steps you need to aim at:

Business registration

From a legal perspective, your ecommerce business must conform to all applicable laws.

Most starters find this part to be a little scary. If you just want a basic online store to sell some print-on-demand products, there’s so little required from your end.

But all the same, we can’t leave this part unattended to. Depending on your jurisdiction, you might need to make clarifications on what the copyright laws dictate, the tax rates, incorporating your business, and so on.

The ripple effect of not being compliant with the laws is unbearable. You risk paying fines or getting your store closed indefinitely.

Get an employer identification number

An Employer Identification Number(EIN) is mostly needed for tax reasons. Since an ecommerce store happens to generate revenue as other business entities, the owner has to file taxes.

This unique number is used to identify the taxpayer’s personal information and the state in which the business is registered.

You’ll need to use your EIN while opening a bank account for your ecommerce business and future paperwork filing.

Choose your ecommerce store’s name

The profitability index of your future business’s transactions firmly relies on your store’s name. It needs to be catchy and supplement your brand’s authority in a market.

But if this feels like rocket science, there are automated tools designed to help you come up with a suitable name.

These name generators run a search of all related topics, keywords, and modifiers in your niche area. In the end, they give you suggestions for creative business names you can use on your business.

Some of these tools include:

  1. Shopify’s business name generator
  2. Oberlo’s business name generator
  3. Namelix
  4. Wordoid
  5. Name station

You need to pick a name that seamlessly fits your niche. But if you’ve already figured out what the business name will be, the next step is to focus on your store’s domain name hosting service.

There are fully hosted online store builders. In fact, most of them are. A Shopify store, for instance, has in-built hosting services.

It has sufficient capacity to hold your store’s product uploads and comes with unlimited bandwidth.

Create a logo

As soon as you’re done with registering your domain name, you need to come up with a logo that’s in a class by itself.

It must be distinctive. You don’t need any design experience to craft your ecommerce store’s logo.

For Shopify users, there’s an app to help you with all the graphical designs. It’s called Hatchful. This tool has hundreds of responsive and professionally built templates to work with.

It’s free to use and can adapt to all sorts of customizations to fit your own ecommerce brand.

Its directory of logo designs works best for industries such as food, beauty, home decor, health, clothing, sports, furniture, travel, and so much more.

Other easy to use logo makers that help you face off the competition include:

  1. Canva
  2. Logojoy
  3. GraphicSprings Logo Creator
  4. Logoshi

In essence, your logo should be simple and easy to be recognized casually by the target market.

 How to Start an Ecommerce Business: Step 3 – Create an Online Store

The number of options available should give you an open window to weigh the wins and downsides of each selling platform.

Keep in mind the fact that any design you want to go for needs to be mobile responsive. Many shoppers seem to make purchases at the convenience of their mobile phones.

According to recent infographics, the numbers indicate that 82% of internet users in the US alone have used their mobile devices to make online purchases.

So, as far as website optimization is concerned, you need to build a store that's mobile-friendly to bank on more visits and conversions.

And with the escalating number of ecommerce shopping cart platforms, it’s hard to choose the most compatible solution.

At this point, there are a bunch of factors that you need to evaluate in a concise and decisive manner.

And here's a brief disclaimer:

This is not a moment to vouch for any particular ecommerce platform.

Rather, we recommend that you first lay down your pressing needs in order of priority. There are two in-demand mediums to set up an ecommerce business at.

You can choose to sell your products using store builders such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, 3dcart, Squarespace, or Magneto.

To catch more insights on these selling channels, you can check out the reviews below:

The alternative to this is to do product listings on marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.

Listing your products on 3rd party ecommerce platforms

While choosing a selling channel, these are some of the prime factors to consider:

  • What’s the page loading speed? Evaluate the up-time.
  • Does the platform's marketplace have niche-tuned themes?
  • Integrations with popular payment gateways(PayPal, Square, Stripe, Skrill)
  • How are the SEO features like?
  • Is the solution beginner friendly?
  • Are there apps on its marketplace that make headway for customizations?

You need to gather all these checkpoints together and look out for honest reviews on each ecommerce platform. This shouldn’t take so much of your time and energy.

Features to look at in a 3rd party selling channel

To zero in on all strategies that are centric to driving more revenue, these are some of the tools you should be looking for in an ecommerce selling platform:

Storefront builder

The storefront has to be mobile responsive and be wide open for customizations. Selling channels like WooCommerce and Shopify hold sway over most professional themes.

A marketplace such as Themeforest hosts quite a number of WordPress ecommerce themes that give your WooCommerce store a stunning look.

You can make changes to make a template align to your brand via built-in settings on your storefront’s dashboard.

While hunting for a selling channel, it’s all-compelling to look at the ease of backend editing.

If you can have complete access to your store’s HTML and CSS, for instance, it's so easy to work with an expert.

Shopify gives you a platform to source renowned professionals to help you build your business. Right from the Shopify Experts website, you can work with gurus to help you launch these tasks with ease:

  1. Store building and redesigning
  2. Logo and visual branding
  3. Bulk product imports( product descriptions, images, meta tags)
  4. Custom domain configurations
  5. Social selling channels setup
  6. Google analytics setup
  7. App integration
  8. Custom code

The WordPress community is equally a hub for developers with savvy skills yo help you build your ecommerce business from scratch.

As a marketing strategy to make your store increase its appeal in the market, you can run a blog with a chock-full of features using WordPress.

As we know it, WordPress has its own fair share of dominance in the blogging space. Since WooCommerce runs as an extension, it’s easier to build an audience right from a single endpoint.

Other storefront builders like Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, PrestaShop, and Weebly also give you features to help you run a blog.

Shopping cart optimization

You can’t do away with this part.

It’s the most pertinent feature that helps you bank on more sales and higher conversions.

It’s been proven that the typical cart abandonment rate is roughly anywhere around 69.57% on average. That number is soaring due to a couple of actions that might happen in your online store.

As a beginner, you don’t want to head towards this direction. In most instances, card abandonment is as a result of :

  • High hidden fees(shipping rates, taxes)
  • The overly complicated checkout process
  • Customers don’t trust your store with their credit card information
  • Your store has a bad history of longer shipping times
  • Vague return policies

Most of these issues can be resolved by making modifications to the checkout process. On your blueprint, you need to factor in whether a store builder comes with an SSL certificate.

In other terms, your online business needs to be a secure haven for all your customers.

The customers' payment information needs to be encrypted and far from security breaches. Or to put it simply, their credit card credentials must be protected.

To accept payments, you’ll need to look for a channel that works with major card chips like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.

For international payments, it’s much easier and more practical to go with payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe.

A PayPal merchant account steps up as a credible solution to protect sellers in situations where buyers claim for chargebacks or reversals.

In that same context, buyers seem to trust this payment gateway while making online purchases. The buyer protection policy covers any eligible reimbursement claims made by online customers.

This suggests that running your store on a platform that integrates with major merchant account services is essential especially for a cashless economy like the ecommerce industry.

Other ‘buzzword’ payment gateways to try out in your ecommerce business are Skrill, 2Checkout, and Authorize.net.

Additional Information:

Shopify, to be particular, integrates with over 100 payment gateways around the world. Business owners can also run transactions using Shopify Payments which looks like a simpler bypass for starters.

With Shopify Payments, you don’t need to connect your store with third-party merchant account services.

To set shipping rates which most of your potential customers are familiar with, make sure your store’s checkout page lets you work with different pricing formulas.

Shipping costs are often assessed on fixed pricing, location-based pricing, or weight-based rates.

These options are common on most selling channels. So you won’t face so much trouble while figuring this out.

Mainstream store builders like, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Squarespace, and Shopify have open databases to help users sort any upfront costs on purchases and calculate taxes automatically.

Here’s a quick tip on taxes:

You’d be one step ahead if your automate your tax tacking process. All countries and states have different sales taxes. Not to mention the multiple languages across regions where your customers reside.

The bottom line is you need to work with a selling channel whose checkout page is fully automated. It’s therefore so easy to be compliant with sales tax guidelines from different locations.

Mobile App

Most of these ecommerce solutions are cloud-based. This means the business owner can work with real-time updates of transactions and all visits to their online store.

A mobile app is in essence, a tool to help you monitor all the operational data. You can, therefore, make insightful decisions based on the trends that are happening in your business wherever you are.

Most of your daily priorities will often revolve around order fulfillment, sending shipping notifications, and accepting payments.

An intuitive mobile app is one that’s designed to help the ecommerce store owner complete these actions:

  • Sync all orders, product, inventory and customers’ information with the online store
  • Process orders in just a few clicks
  • View at a glance, all the conversion reports
  • Upload product images and set their pricing
  • Purchase and print shipping labels
  • Issue refunds
  • See the visitor traffic in real-time

While monitoring your ecommerce website, you need to get ahead of your high-level KPIs. A mobile app lets you manage your online store on-the-go.

Product upload and inventory management formula

Your e-commerce site needs a sleek inventory management strategy. Keeping track of your stock counts should be a top tier priority.

While you’re at it, you want to make sure that the process gives you space scale your ecommerce business.

And that basically means that you need real-time automation on all your stock level updates. Running your inventory count and fulfilling orders manually can prove to be an overwhelming task.

It restricts you from scaling and selling products to other ecommerce mediums such as Amazon, eBay or Alibaba or Aliexpress.

I tested Shopify and WooCommerce out to see how their product management database works.

Both of these storefront builders have automated features that help you stop selling items anytime your inventory is out of stock.

That’s a problem-solving technique to help you keep from overselling and predict the future demand of your products using the previous sales trends.

But if you’re dropshipping your products, then you need to worry less about running out of inventory since you don’t need any of it at hand.

Just to digress:

If you want to make a ton of profit on a niche product without sinking money into any inventory, then you better try dropshipping out.

There’s no minimum viable stock needed to keep up with the consumer demand.

After all, most ecommerce platforms don't limit you on the number of products you wish to sell on your online store.

Customer support

Just in case you run into any sort of hold-up, you’d need to seek assistance from your platform's support team.

There’s nothing confusing about reviewing a channel’s support service.

First of all, you want to check whether there’s a dedicated support team that is 24/7 available. A team that can be accessed via email, chat, and phone.

A community forum would also be a sufficient pointer to look at. WordPress has an amazing support forum that’s diverse in all aspects of running an ecommerce business.

There are endless discussions from experts with all-inclusive skills to help you launch your business on the WooCommerce extension.

As mentioned earlier on, the Shopify Experts forum is also an approved platform where beginners can source full support.

Listing your products on marketplaces

If you need to scale your ecommerce business to the next preferred level, selling on a marketplace is seemingly a successful option to consider.

Online sellers use the product listing model to increase their retail sales. Essentially, a marketplace allows resellers to upload products from different suppliers and pay a small fraction per sale.

The leading marketplaces in the ecommerce industry are Amazon, eBay, Walmart, AliExpress, Etsy, and Google Express.

Selling on a surpassing retailer such as Amazon is key to laying a firm ground for a larger customer base.

These marketplaces record close to 500 million active visitors each month. As the audience keeps growing, so is the level of technology used in the entire logistics process.

And we can take the Amazon FBA as our case in point.

The company has multiple warehouses to help ecommerce merchants grow their businesses exponentially.

Fulfillment by Amazon is the most uncomplicated method online sellers can use to reach their customers way quicker.

To put it simply, this model allows sellers to automate the fulfillment process in the sense that Amazon picks, packs, and ships all orders on your behalf.

Another factor to consider is its reliable customer service that has a scalable capacity to deal with returns from customers.

Aside from setting up a seller account, an ecommerce investor can alternatively integrate their selling channel with a marketplace.

The Shopify-Amazon integration, for instance, is a roadmap to global brand visibility.

Creating product listings right from your online store’s dashboard is an easy step-by-step process.

All you need is an Amazon Seller Central Account. This allows online retailers to sync product details, track inventory, fulfill products right from the 3rd party channel, and so on.

How to Start an Ecommerce Business: Step 4 – Optimize your Ecommerce Store for Better Ranking on the SERPs

Search engine optimization is basically an organic strategy to help you grow your business without having to set a huge budget on it.

If you hold onto such an effective way to speed up your traffic, be certain that you’ll to bag a decent ROI, eventually.

Most beginners always overlook the need to optimize their ecommerce websites.

What might be imprecise to starters is the fact that once fix any leaks in your conversion funnels and your store ranks on the search engine, you no longer need to set a budget for recurring expenses as it’s the case with paid ads.

High-converting traffic mostly entails keyword research. And there are tools for that.

Research tools such as Ahrefs, Google Keyword planner, and Moz give you cues on untapped keywords that have low competition.

On the other side of the wall, you need to look out for the keywords which your customers are searching on Google.

This will help you immensely while putting your On-Page SEO in order. That includes optimizing your meta tags, snippets, and content.

While people often search on Amazon with the intention of making a purchase, you can check for keyword suggestions using the Amazon Keyword tool. That could help your store rank better.

You can also find suitable keywords by spying on your competitors by checking their categories and product pages.

To make SEO seem like a logical approach, you’d need to invest a little more time on content marketing.

This will in effect, create a load of opportunity for link building and funneling the authority from the content to your store’s product pages.

Simple, right?

It’s pretty easy to outrank your competitors. All you need is the basic knowledge to kick start your SEO priorities.

Quick takeaways:

How to Start an Online Store –  11 Step Guide

Best SEO Tools for Ecommerce: SemRush vs. Ahrefs vs. SpyFu vs. Majestic vs. Moz. 

How to Start an Ecommerce Business: Step 5 – Find the Right Suppliers for your Products

Earlier on, we talked more about niche hunting and a couple of tips to fast-track the whole process.

Working with the right team of suppliers the only way to make certain that your customer base doesn’t get frustrated.

You need to keep the demand flowing in and maintain your customer retention gameplan.

Whether you’re looking to drop-ship products or sell your branded stuff online, you might need to picture in suppliers at some point.

While this depends on the niche product you want to list in your store, it's important to find wholesale suppliers.

And by doing so, the online seller gets to max out on the profit margins.

The advent of marketplaces gives ecommerce merchants an easy time while choosing the high performing and trusted suppliers.

Suppliers for dropshipping products

Most starters looking to venture in the ecommerce business often opt for the drop-shipping model due to its low startup costs and a fragile barrier to entry.

So it’s important for us to define where exactly you can begin to search for suppliers. For Shopify users, we highly recommend the Oberlo marketplace for quite a number of appealing reasons.

And to get a round-up of what it’s all about, we need to go straight to its mode of operation.

The Oberlo marketplace – Quick Overview

Oberlo is primarily an extension that works best on Shopify.

It’s mainly used to import products from AliExpress. The process only takes minutes. On AliExpress, you can find tons of niche products to sell on your online store.

Since you need no inventory to start dropshipping, we can easily say that Oberlo helps to significantly downsize the risk. This solution is not only limited to your selling channel.

You can also source products from this end and list them on your store’s social media platforms.

Oberlo is the practical idea of jumping in the dropshipping business model without any hard efforts. The best thing about it is that users get updates on best-selling products.

It’s a much easier route for a beginner since this marketplace allows users to import product details such as images, descriptions, and prices at the click of a button.

You can edit these pieces of data right from your Shopify store’s dashboard to make the product listings fit your brand’s persona.

Whichever pricing rule you want to work with, in your dropshipping business, Oberlo allows you to capture price adjustments on your store’s inventory.

So this gives you the freedom to set a markup on the wholesale price you get from your supplier. We hope that soon enough, Oberlo will support other ecommerce platforms besides Shopify.

Please don't miss to have look at our Oberlo review.

Spocket dropshipping marketplace

If you plan to set up your store on WooCommerce, then Spocket is perhaps the best plug for dropshipping suppliers across the US and the EU. The dropshipping app also integrates with Shopify.

You can order samples from this free solution to test the quality and delivery process. If most of your customers are based in Europe, then rest assured that your business will be hanging on faster shipping times.

Spocket is a seemly solution for beginners who don't want anything to do with upfront costs. You can stretch your brand’s identity to your customer base using its mobile dashboard that allows you to even edit the packing slips and receipts.

The best part that Spocket offers discounts on its high-quality products and leaves room for negotiations on high volume purchases.

Here's an exhaustive Spocket Review.

AliDropship

AliDropship is the most productive plugin for ecommerce merchants looking to drop ship products from AliExpress.

Its interface conveniently designed with WooCommerce users in mind.

It only takes a few seconds to import products as well as their descriptions to your WooCommerce dropshipping store.

This saves you a whole bunch of time and resources while sending orders to AliExpress’s suppliers.

Alongside its order automation feature, AliDropship auto-updates any latest data from AliExpress which includes pricing and shipping options.

So you don’t need to do any manual editing on your product uploads.

For a conclusive update on this drop shipping app, please check the AliDropship review.

How ta Start an Ecommerce Business: Step 6 – Promote your products online

Setting up your online store and making it go live isn’t just enough.

Your brand needs to garner gleaming attention from the overall target audience.

As a starter, there are a couple of actionable marketing essentials to help you churn more sales. Digital marketing for ecommerce businesses is all about increasing traffic and conversions.

The promotional tactics should be well aligned with your business ideas and have a capacity for customer retention.

These are some of the proven methods to market your products for more online sales:

Instagram integration

Selling products on Instagram is a whole lot easier.

Not to mention its over 800 million active users. Instagram shoppable posts gang up as a seamless feature to engage your store’s brand with consumers.

You can drive traffic from Instagram using posts and stories that showcase your products to potential shoppers.

An integration lets customers have a smooth checkout experience while making a purchase. You can elevate your brand's authority by working with Instagram influences.

The same action gives you the possibility to sync the inventory on all selling mediums; your online store, social media, and other marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay.

Extra info:

Manage abandoned carts

Why would you end up losing sales to cart abandonment?

The bitter fact is you might have to deal with it while starting out. But it’s never too late to mend the loose ends.

Aside from the apparent reasons why shoppers quit at the checkout page, buyers tend to be repulsive where there are no incentives to hang on.

To counter cart abandonment, you can re-engage your customers through discounts, loyalty programs and free shipping offers on all purchases.

If you don't know how to build a loyalty program, just read this guide to understand how best you can incorporate a rewards system in your ecommerce business.

From a technical standpoint, you want to make sure that the checkout process is fast and that customers get live assistance on anything that’s ill-defined.

It’s also worth setting up an email recovery campaign that acts as a reminder to all your visitors.

Upsell and cross-sell products

These two terms tend to baffle most beginners.

It’s no secret that upselling is an approach that blissfully works for online sellers listing products on Amazon.

The sales technique is used to persuade a customer into buying a product of a higher value or premium package of the initial purchase

With cross-selling, you can recommend a product that’s related to the original item a customer intends to purchase. The product has to realistically correspond to what the customer needs.

Create email campaigns

Email marketing is an easy, effective and dirt-cheap way to generate revenue from your ecommerce business.

Every single day, your subscribers get an email list full of promotional junk.

A functional email campaign needs to be catchy enough to make your audience consider opening and reading the content. Even further, you want to make them click on the call-to-action.

Your store's email campaign needs to be graphical and capture the context in simple and easy to understand words.

You’ll also need to work on the mobile device optimization aspect while crafting your email campaigns.

In all practical aspects, it's needful to have a responsive layout. This helps the store owner share the relevant content to mobile users.

You can sneak in promo codes and gifts on welcome emails to drive readers into making a purchase.

And most importantly, email marketing is an exceptional strategy to introduce call-to-actions in your content.

To hang on the right email campaign solution, here's a guide worth reading:

Create a Facebook store

Facebook has a wide-reaching marketplace for ecommerce businesses looking to list their inventory through its visual merchandising platform.

There are two ways in which users can sell their products on Facebook:

First, you can set up an online shop right from Facebook, list your products, integrate with payment gateways, and set up all the checkout options to optimize the shopping experience.

Second, which seems like an easier way out, is to create an online store using an ecommerce website builder.

And once you’re logged in the dashboard, you can connect to your Facebook store page and automatically list products.

Facebook works with listing partners such as BigCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CommerceHub, Feedonomics, Quipt, ShipStation, Shopify, Zentail, and more.

Live chat engagement

A live chat tool allows the store owner to respond promptly to customers’ inquiries.

It’s worth noting that live customer support fuels your sales because you can literary guide a customer who is stuck at checkout.

To build an effective customer engagement space, the store owner has to give customers quick assistance whenever they need it.

This boosts your store’s credibility, yet on a greater scale, it cuts down the cart abandonment rate.

Zendesk and LiveChat are top-notch solutions for ecommerce stores. In fact, 30% of customers expect an online business to have live chat support.

Start a blog

You not only need a blog page on your store but also draft SEO-rich content to rank regularly on Google.

Nearly each ecommerce website builder comes with an in-built blogging section to help you with content marketing.

Most B2B companies find it compelling to market their brands through content.

There’s so much traffic and leads to garner from a blog. If these metrics pass through the right funnels, high chances are, they’re set to yield into sales.

Blogging is one marketing strategy that all types of ecommerce businesses can use to engage their customers.

The products that you can sell on your blog aren’t limited to tangible items. So long as you have a merchant account to accept payments, you can sell other products such as Ebooks, printables, digital subscriptions, online courses, Saas products, as well as memberships.

How to Start an Ecommerce Business: Final Thoughts

Are you all set to jump straight in the ecommerce bandwagon?

In summary, you need to evaluate your ecommerce business plan to know where to sell your products.

It's so easy to launch an online store on a selling channel, marketplace, or both. All you need are the basics we just mentioned above to fuel up your business into massive revenues.

I hope this article was handy.

If so, please hit the share button and drop a comment if you have any questions.