1.1 Checklist of 10 key points before starting your e-commerce business
1. Start With Your Business Name
The first thing to do (after you decide what you want to sell, of course) is choose a fabulous, memorable business name that no one else is using.
2. Secure Your Domain Name and Website
Ideally, you’ll get your business name as your domain name, but if it’s not available, choose a URL that’s easy to say and spell, and relates to your business.
3. Select The Best Business Structure and Register Your Business
You’ve got several options when it comes to your business structure:
- Sole Proprietor
- Partnership (if you have a business partner)
4. Get Your Employer Identification Number
5. Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
Operating an eCommerce business does not exclude you from needing certain business licenses and permits.
6. Find the Right Vendors
You’ll have a lot of competition selling products online, so it’s in your best interest to find the best quality and best prices for the products you sell or materials you use to create your products. Shop around until you find a vendor you want to do business with long-term.
7. Start Marketing Early
Even if you’re not up and running, it’s a good idea to set up social media profiles and writing content for your blog now so that you’re not starting from scratch Day 1.
8. Get More Productive with the Right Software
Technology can make so much of your work easier, so before you start your eCommerce business, play around with customer relationship management, accounting, project management, and email marketing software that you can integrate into what you’re doing once you launch.
9. Stock Your Inventory
Whether you’ve got a warehouse full of products somewhere or your inventory lives in your garage, make sure you’ve got enough to launch.
10. Make Sure Your Business Stays Compliant
Once you launch your eCommerce business, things are going to move at the speed of light. Don’t overlook filing your annual report, if you incorporated or filed an LLC, nor those annual fees for business permits. If you need to, put these deadlines on your calendar so you stay on top of them.
In addition to :
– What are you going to sell (product
– Where are you going to sell it (location)
– Who are you going to sell it to (customers)
– Through what channels are you going to sell (online only? ecom store and marketplaces? online and offline?)
– How are you going to market the ecom store
– Who will you use for logistic support and payment gateway
*E-Commerce is simply opening a shop online. The only difference is that your shop would be virtual.
*: E-commerce marketing is the process of driving sales by raising awareness about an online store’s brand and product offerings. Digital marketing for e-commerce applies traditional marketing principles to a multichannel, data-driven environment.
call to action (CTA) – the part of a marketing message that attempts to persuade a person to perform a desired action.
PayPal – an online payment service that lets its users make purchases and receive payments via a user-defined email address.
shopping cart – software used to make a site’s product catalog available for online ordering, whereby visitors may select, view, add/delete, and purchase merchandise.
Business to Business (B2B)
The business model and process of one company selling to another.
Business to Consumer (B2C)
The business model and process of a company selling to direct consumers
Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C)
The business model of when B2B companies create digital strategies and go directly to a business where there is a known engagement with customers, or go directly to consumers themselves.
Bricks and Mortar
A business that has a physical store location (or multiple locations) where merchandise can be purchased.
A person or company that buys goods in large quantities from various vendors with the intention of selling them to resellers who then sell to direct to consumer. Distributors and wholesalers usually work together as channel partners.
A person or company that makes goods for sale.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) or Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV)
The prediction of future revenue, net profit and value that a customer will generate during the entire relationship with a merchant.
Only one metric in a series of other measures that asses the health of your eCommerce business. It is calculated by dividing the number of people who complete a particular action by the number of visitors to a particular page/process.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The process of improving the user experience of a website with the goal of increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into customers.
A holistic approach to eCommerce growth. It is about user centric design, technical implementation, applied statistics, web analytics, and most importantly a dedication to continuous improvement through a cycle of testing and learning. It requires a curiosity to constantly identify new opportunities for improvement, develop hypotheses, and test solutions.
Landing Page Optimization
The process of creating, monitoring and tweaking landing pages to maximize the conversion of traffic.
A research and data based, semi fictional representation of your ideal customer.
Targeting your most profitable customer and those with the highest profit potential. These can include frequent shoppers, high average order values, few returns, customers that provide reviews, responsive customers (ie. respond to special offers and promotions).
A/B Testing (aka Split Testing)
A/B testing splits traffic into two different variations of a site. This allows marketers to test how specific changes impact behaviour on a site, independent of things that can also impact behaviour like promotions etc.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
The term applied to a customer after they browse a site, add products into their shopping cart, and at checkout leave the merchant’s site without completing their purchase.
1. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
Running an effective PPC campaign involves strategic bidding on the keywords or phrases used in the ads you create. Your ads will appear above or below non-paid organic search results, with higher bids earning the #1 position. Search engines earn revenue on a per-click basis, while impressions are determined by user search query.
2. Search engine marketing (SEM).
Often used as a synonym for PPC, SEM refers to paid advertising campaigns. This multifaceted term is used by many marketers to describe all paid and organic efforts. It’s also used to describe efforts on Google’s AdWords platform and paid platforms on other search engines, such as Bing.
3. Search engine optimization (SEO).
Unlike the paid advertising methods described above, SEO traffic generates unpaid, “organic” results across search engines like Google and Yahoo. Successful SEO combines adherence to best practices on a product level in tandem with content creation, inbound links, social media engagement and many other factors taken into consideration by search engine algorithms.
4. Display advertising.
Display advertising refers to banners, sidebars and other predominantly-visual advertisements that appear on other websites. Display ads are facilitated by ad networks such as Google Display Network.
5. Affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing leverages product-focused referrals such as reviews, comparisons and testimonials, to drive traffic to an online retailer’s website. Receiving a set commission for referred sales, affiliate marketers typically have a loyal following or receive traffic from some of the above channels.
6. Email marketing.
Email marketing is used to target current, potential and past customers with newsletters, abandoned cart notifications and remarketing.