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Finding online business success is not easy.
From choosing a product to sell to growing your online presence, there’s a lot to consider.
Add in an overwhelming amount of ecommerce options – from platforms to API integrations – and your head may be spinning.
At BigCommerce, we understand the dedication, hard work, and diligence it takes to create, manage, and scale a successful online business.
We go beyond the basics of ecommerce software and aim to help merchants, around the world, find success in the ecommerce space. That includes how to find a product to sell to abiding by business laws to getting creative with digital marketing strategies.
BigCommerce powers tens of thousands of online stores making billions in online revenue.
Most of these stores didn’t exist a decade ago, many still not even five years ago.
It won’t be easy. It comes with costs. It will take know-how and strategy. It will take dedicated design from day one. But do it right, and your business will bypass those one-hit-wonder brands to become something much more than a dream, a side gig or even a small business.
That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to walk you through, step-by-step, the components of selling online and how to create an actionable strategy for each stage.
Who is this guide for?
- Are you are an entrepreneur who plans on starting a brand new ecommerce business in 2020?
- Are you looking to expand your business to an independent webstore from an online marketplace (such as Amazon or eBay) or a brick-and-mortar?
- Are you planning to take your B2B business directly to consumers with a B2C site? (If you’re still on the fence, we’ve debunked B2B selling myths and provided a marketing guide here.)
Buckle up. You’re about to go on a deep planning dive to prepare your business for long-term success.
It is possible to build a legacy brand beginning right now.
It’s go big or go home, and it starts right here, by learning how to start an online ecommerce business — no more procrastinating.
14 Steps to Launching an Online Business
The following guide breaks down the process of starting an online business into manageable chunks.
We will discuss all of the following points throughout every chapter in this guide; at its conclusion, you’ll know how to start and run your own ecommerce store.
Here is an overview of the 14 steps for building and starting a successful online business:
1. Find a niche.
Before you start selling, you need to find the right product with the potential for serious profitability. You’ll learn how to research different niches and even examine your own life to find problems that can be solved.
2. Evaluate market viability.
Now that you have a business idea, it’s time to dig deeper into product viability. Think about the kind of details that can make or break your business, like number of SKUs and shipping weight.
3. Conduct market research.
Validate your product using tactics such as keyword research and evaluating trending products.
4. Conduct competitive analysis.
Find out what’s working — and what can be improved upon — from your biggest competitors. This will tell you more about how to define your branding and positioning in the market.
5. Learn online business laws.
Shipping restrictions, zoning laws, and trademark considerations. These can all make or break your business. With this list, you can avoid the ecommerce landmines that derail your business before it gets off the ground.
6. Analyze your target market.
This is where you dig even deeper to understand your ideal shopper. Who are they? What do they like? How can you tailor both your product and your website experience to appeal to your perfect shopper?
7. Source your product.
You know you have the right product, who your customer is, and how to set up your business. It’s time to get the physical product. We’ll walk you through different ways to source your product and how to avoid common pitfalls.
8. Choose the right ecommerce platform.
None of the above matters if you don’t have an ecommerce store that sells your product, provides an intuitive shopping experience, and makes customers want to return. We’ll show you how to go from zero to beautiful online store in a matter of minutes using powerful ecommerce software (spoiler alert – we have a recommendation).
9. Launch your store.
You’ve got the right platform and product. Who’s ready to start getting your product in front of customers? Before you do, learn all the steps you need to take to make sure you’re prepared.
10. Drive online traffic.
Once you’ve got your store up and running, learn the leading organic traffic driving tactics to get more visitors to your store.
11. Master small business shipping.
Shipping is a big topic for brands and customers alike. Learn the reality of small business shipping as it is today and the best approach your business can take to please your customers.
12. Measuring online success.
Success is nothing without analytics to prove it. We’re here to walk you through all of the key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to pay close attention to and to best leverage your data insights.
13. Scaling your business.
At BigCommerce, we enable our business to make it big. In this chapter, we’ll walk you through how to begin planning for the next stage of growth.
14. Insights directly from the industry’s top experts.
The difference between operational and successful is in mastering man’s greatest nemesis — time. Get firsthand accounts from successful entrepreneurs who have grown their home based business into online behemoths.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get started.
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