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Ecwid: How to Start Your Ecommerce Business and Sell Online for Free

11 min read

For all the drama and shenanigans of 2020, it sure cracked open the possibilities of starting an online business. From the digital transformation of the retail market to the shift of consumer preference from brick and mortar stores to online shopping. Apparently, the unprecedented interest in the ecommerce business has made it a boom.

Are you considering an easy way to start selling products online? Are you on the lookout for the right ecommerce platform to start selling whatever it is you sell online? Regardless of your niche in the value chain, the answer is obvious — you want a slice of the ecommerce pie. With this truth in mind, this guide will be valuable as you prepare to take a dive into the waters of ecommerce business.

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How Do You Start an Ecommerce Business?

While starting an ecommerce business has its peculiar challenges as with every other kind of business venture, there are basic elements that make it work. These include: engaging websites with a great user experience (UX), captivating product images of high quality, premium customer support with empathy, and good products with unique selling propositions. The right mix of these elements certainly yields impressive results in your online store as you make money online.

Without further ado, here are tested and proven steps to follow as you begin setting up for your online business:

Research ecommerce business models

The first and most critical step to take before you start selling online is to adopt a business model. For your sales to be successful online, you need to understand the variety of business models available by making proper market research. This knowledge helps you make an informed and calculated choice which is key in building and sustaining your business.

While there are five methods to sell your products in the ecommerce landscape: D2C (Direct-to-Consumer), white label and private label, wholesaling, dropshipping, and subscription service, there are four conventional types of ecommerce models, including B2C (Business-to-Consumer), B2B (Business-to-Business), C2B (Consumer-to-Business) and C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer).

For instance, if you want to turn a profit without making a heavy initial investment at lower risk, print on demand or drop shipping model is a shrewd choice. Also, if you are big on up-front investment (like running a warehouse with stocked products), then wholesaling or warehousing (retail) model is a good idea.

However, regardless of the model or delivery system, you choose to service your potential customers, as long as you can control the content marketing and branding on focused products and services, you can then focus the rest of your energy on driving sales by monetizing traffic.

Find and occupy a niche

After your research on the ecommerce business model, next, you need to find the right product with the potential for serious profitability. In choosing a niche, start by identifying successful companies already working in this space because an absence of competition usually indicates that there’s no market, either.

Also, it is important you avoid an overly congested niche or one dominated by major brands. In cases of massive competition, you can niche-down to work together with business owners in those niches to become an affiliate, cross-promote, and grow your customer base.

In addition, while figuring out where and how you’re going to obtain your products, it is important to find the right vendors — best quality and best prices. This will be in your best interest because selling online is competitive; hence, your product quality or price may just be the difference between your gain and your competitors’ loss.

Evaluate your target market and product ideas

Having identified a business model and niche, next you need to know how to validate your target market and evaluate your product viability. When selling online, you must have a target market — customers you cater to. You need to project a positive and consistent brand persona to your targetable audience — it has to match the expectation of your customers and the product you sell.

In addition, before investing in a product, carefully evaluate it. Irrespective of the model you want to run, you want to test it carefully and have a proper product assessment so you can identify any potential problems and prepare answers to frequently asked questions for customer support.

Relatedly, part of validating your idea is to determine the viability of it. Can your suppliers meet your pricing? What happens if your supplier falls through, is there a backup option? How much time will it take you to attain maximum sales?

Register your ecommerce business

With your target market validation and product viability complete, it’s time to register your business. To properly set up your ecommerce store, you have to do the following:

  • Choose a business name
  • Register your company
  • Create your brand logo
  • Register your domain name

Depending on your business location or requirement, other necessary registration may include:

  • Acquire business licenses
  • Acquire employer identification number
  • Apply for business licenses and permits.

Due to the peculiarity of most online marketplaces and businesses, the registration process may not be as demanding as that for offline stores, hence, one less to worry about.

Write your business plan

Now that your business is registered, it’s time to write your business plan. A business plan is a roadmap that helps bring your ideas and thoughts together.  It is vital in determining your key performance indicators (KPIs), how to effectively reach new customers, marketing strategy to adopt, and projections to make.

Also, the business planning stage is where you make calculative decisions regarding details like your product sourcing, logistics, marketing budget,  and workforce. It is important you understand all the financial resources available to you and how to fully maximize them.

Build Your Online Store

With your financials properly analyzed and put in the right, it’s time to build your online store. In creating your online store, apart from sourcing products to sell online, there are fundamental elements to consider. From building a high-converting product page, writing appealing product descriptions, to taking attractive product photography, and choosing your store color or theme, all these and much more enhance the optics of your store.

While there are hundreds of ecommerce shopping platforms begging your attention — Shopify, Magneto, Squarespace, Etsy, etc., choosing the right ecommerce software or platform is key to your success. Since most ecommerce platforms not only allow you to create and launch your online store, but also customize your design, add your domain name (or purchase one), manage inventory, take and ship orders, receive payment, and more — running your online business couldn’t be easier.

However, you need to carefully evaluate factors like the site loading speed, interactive features, customer experience, compatibility with different payment gateways, compatibility with your business structure, your web developer skills, search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly features, web hosting price, ease of checkout, code or no-code, ease of changing your inventory, etc.

Launch your online store

Your online store has been set up and it’s up and running, so what’s next? Now is the time to market your products and services– drive targeted traffic to your site. After acquiring new customers and having few sales under your belt, consolidation should set in. Concentrating on your top-performing marketing strategies or expanding into new ones will help you drive traffic as well as convert that traffic to sales.

You can drive traffic to your store via paid ads and social media marketing strategies across multiple channels. In addition, you can also optimize your website site for higher conversions through SEO and take advantage of any online marketing tools that are included within your ecommerce platform.

Final Thoughts

As challenging as starting your own ecommerce business can be, it comes with its own measure of excitement and reward. With Ecwid, your online business experience is guaranteed to be seamless and profitable because we are the premium online store that offers you a free ecommerce account with all the tools you need to build, manage, and grow your business.

While we offer other services like shipping, tax, payment, and advertising options, we make it super easy for you to create a website and sell from your social media platform: Facebook, Instagram, or online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy & more. With us, you can sell anywhere, everywhere for free — no credit card required. Won’t you rather join the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who trust Ecwid ecommerce to sell online today?

Do you want to learn more about building an ecommerce business?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

Ecommerce that has your back

So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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