Starting Successful eCommerce Business in 2021 – Complete Guide
An eCommerce business is a business that allow the businesses to sell the products, services, and funds online. The size of the eCommerce business varies from very small business run by n individual selling just one product or service to very big retail giants like Alibaba, Amazon or eBay etc.
How do eCommerce Businesses Make Money?
Before going deep into the functioning of an eCommerce business, I will start by explaining how eCommerce businesses/websites make money for the benefit of all newbies and then will further move on to show you how to start your own eCommerce business.
The profit model for any eCommerce site is very simple. You sell products or services on line and make money out of it.
In some cases, you are paid commissions for promoting others products as an affiliate marketer or by selling the others products that you do not own by dropshipping.
In Case you are not aware of Affiliate marketing and drop shipping, you can refer my article "Dropshipping VS Affiliate Marketing" to have idea about both.
You can make money online by :
There are many other ways you can be a part of this ever-growing eCommerce industry, I have mentioned just few to give you an idea.
The biggest advantage on online business is that it can be started even if you do not have lot of money and cannot afford have your own manufacturing units or cannot afford to purchase the products in bulk.
There are ways to run an eCommerce business without hassles of dealing with inventory, shipping, returns and after sales service.
There are platforms like Amazon, Click Bank , Jvzoo, and Aliexpress etc that are created for the people who do not have big budgets to start their online business.
You can select any one (or more) of the millions of products available on these platforms and start promoting. When you make a sale, you will be paid a commission as an affiliate which may go up to 50% of sales value.
In fact, affiliate marketing is the easiest and risk free option way to get started online in eCommerce domain and start making money.
Having said that, 95% of online affiliate marketer still fail to make even single dollar commission and main cause of failure is lack of knowledge, consistency and Hard work.
I make 6 figure income online and if you have visited my website for the first time, you may read about-me Page to know more about me.
Starting successful eCommerce business online :
Starting Successful eCommerce Business Online was not very easy even during initial days when competition was much lower.
The problems during those days were different. Though the completion was low but there was not much awareness and only few people have an idea about how it would work. Moreover, buyers did not have trust and were not ready to buy online.
With passage of time though the online business has become viable and attainable, there is lot of competition and buyers now have the many options to compare the products and buy the best product at most competitive price.
If you already own an existing offline businesses, it makes sense to launch the eCommerce by side of your existing business and increase your customer base.
And in case you are a newbie, you will have to decide about the business model depending upon your budget. If you are low on budget, please start with affiliate marketing or Drop shipping.
Naturally, the first thing you need to do is to decide what you want to sell or promote as an affiliate marketer.
Decide What to Sell Online to make money:
This is perhaps the most daunting task as it impacts many things especially your level of involvement, cost involved, skill levels required and ease of automation.
Just for example, if you opt for selling own digital products, the things you would need to deal with will be different from when you opt for a physical product. Whichever way you opt to proceed; you will have to look into any of the following 8 points:
1. Look For Opportunities to Create Unique Product:
Look for an opportunity gap In this case, you will be developing a business to solve a problem for something that is missing in the market.
2. Follow your passion:
If you develop a business based on your own passions e.g. teaching, photography, gadgets etc., you have more chance to succeed.
3. Exploit the trends:
Ride on the tends and make something which is high in demand. But trends do not last forever. While deciding on present trends, create a business plan for ling term as well.
4. Utilize your expertise:
In case you have some prior experience, you will be much better equipped to get started since you are already an authority just trying to establish online.
5. Identify and cater to broad range of consumer passions:
You can select a business to provide products that cater to the need of people pursuing different passions or habits e.g. sporting or camping gear.
6. Identify and solve various customer pain points:
An eCommerce business build around the idea of solving certain problems like fitness or alternate medicines that customers are actively looking for solutions to.
7. Build an appealing brand:
As a long term business Plan, you must build a brand by selling the quality products and focus on setting yourself apart from the competition.
8. Beat the competition with Long tail keywords:
To be successful online, you learn the art of search engine Optimization (SEO) and how long tails keywords can effectively beat the competition bring customers to your site. If you are not aware what Long terms keywords are, you may like to visit my article " How to search Long tail Keywords" .
Whatever product you choose, It must be catering to the needs of certain audience online and should belong to some specific niche.
In case you are still undecided about your product, you may like to read “How to select most Profitable Niche Online”.
It is always better to go niche down. I mean - Be more specific.
You may probably have an idea about which you are convinced that it will absolutely smash everything else, given how unique you know it to be.
Let me clarify that there are millions of persons looking to make a buck from the internet and regardless of how unique you may think your idea is, there are at least hundreds of other people with a similar unique idea looking to succeed off of it.
You need to niche down. For example, if you are planning to be into weight loss niche, you may think of weight loss supplements and further keto diet for weight loss to be more specific.
After selecting the product or Niche you want to be in, the next important step will be to decide how you will get it. You have either of the following options:
- Create your own Product
- Buy in Wholesale and sell
- Sell stuff created by others without stocking them and let the seller or manufacturer take care of fulfillment. All you need to do to sell the product on your website and send the order details to the supplier who will then ship it to the end customer under your brand. You may use Salehoo for finding best drop shippers.
- Join Amazon as an associate and promote the Products. Actual sale will take place at their website and you will get the commission. The sale will be recorded in your name by using browser’s cookies.
- As in step 5, you may promote the digital products being sold on Click Bank
Prepare A Business Plan:
No business can be successful without a business Plan. It is always better to put down everything in writing. A right business plan must include
- Market Research
- Competitors Analysis
- Product availability
- Market trends
- Product Demand
- Cost and Overheads
In case you are new to business, I will advise you to get the business plan prepared from some freelancer. You can find the freelance on a Platform like Fiverr.
I would again advise all the newbies to get started with affiliate marketing first before proceeding to any other business model. That will help you to avoid the hassles of avoiding almost all the above steps and you can straightaway select the product you want to promote.
For a step by step training, you can use the same resource that has helped me make $10000 or more every month consistently for last 5 years.
Test the business Idea before You Invest:
So you have an idea, a brilliant one that you think have the potential to change your world. If you follow your instinct , a lot of money may be required to actually develop the products and conceive your idea only to find later that the ones who liked the product are just few friends and family members
The idea will not just burn your pocket to great extent but experience may be potent enough to destroy your business spirit forever.
Therefore, before you rush into developing something like that, just test if your product or niche attracts interest and see if your offer converts.
You can test the product demand in the market by starting a blog and educating the people about the product. You can send all the traffic on your blog to a landing page and capture the leads.
You can send the emails to the potential customers by using an auto responder like Get Response and see how many people actually open your emails. This can easily be conjured in the auto responder.
You can also add a questionnaire on your website to ask about the people’s expectations and see if your final idea matches the end customer’s requirement.
You can run Google Ad to promote the idea and see how many inquiries you get? Once you feel that market is conductive to your idea, you can take further actions.
Many newcomers get attracted to Aliexpress for sourcing the products without actually knowing the Chinese sellers behavior and other problems they might face while dealing with them.
Aliexpress is known for the very competitive prices. cheap products. There are thousands of small companies or sellers selling products on aliexpress. You may find almost everything available on the platform bu there are several problems with sourcing from Chinese Suppliers.
If Language barrier is one of the major, then quality control is a real nightmare.
If you are serious on sourcing your products from china, you should find a trust worthy local agent whom you can trust and who understands the local language.
He must also be well versed with the working culture and be able to work closely with the factories regularly. This is to ensure that you are getting the exact product that you ordered.
Here’s the complete article on How to Find a reliable agent.
Selecting and then registering your business name:
You can select the business structure best suited to your needs and register your business name of your choice. You may run business as a sole proprietor, LLC or may even start a partnership firm or corporation.
You will have to purchase a domain name from the sites like namecheap , BlueHost or Hostgator. It is always better to choose a domain name that’s closely related to your niche or business name. You can learn more on how to choose a domain name here.
Creating Your Website or eCommerce Store:
Developing a website, now-a-days, is not as difficult as it used to be few years back.
Many eCommerce websites have created such systems that just by taking the membership, you can have your eCommerce store ready with click of few buttons. If you are planning to start own Amazon store, you may buy the best store builder by clicking here.
If you have decided to start a blogging website for affiliate marketing, the best option is to use a CMS like WordPress.
When I got started online, I did not know “How to create own website” but then I joined wealthy affiliate university, a complete affiliate marketing training program that has helped me in setting up my business for making 6 figure income online.
If you are sincerely looking forward to establish your own online business that cab be operated from the comforts of your home, I offer you seven days, no obligation free access to the complete training system. You can join it by clicking the button below and see if it works for the way it has worked for me.
Start writing the Content:
Once you have your website ready and publishes, next step would be start writing about the products, you want to promote.
Make sure that you are using high quality product images in your blogs as customer’s judge products by images and if they don’t like the product images, it is highly likely that they won’t buy the product.
If you are selling a branded product, you will have the access to the product images from their website. If you choose to promote any non-branded products, you may ask the supplier to provide you with images.
In case you are selling your own products, you either hire a professional product photographer to capture the products for you or do it yourself. In case you plan to do it yourself, here’s the complete guide for you.
It is good idea to have your own template for product review, the template would save a lot of time and the reviews will be more consistent.
The product description is one of the most critical part of affiliate marketing or blogging and if you have not described the product properly, you may have lot of product returns.
Always write the product Pros and cons transparently so that people would know the shortcomings beforehand.
You may compare the product with competitor’s product for the benefit of end users. Don’t try to oversell the products and help people decide themselves.
The best part of promoting products as affiliate marketer is that you can create the affiliate links for all competitor’s products being sold on Amazon and are not restricted to one brand or product.
Moreover, Amazon pays you the commission even for the products not being promoted by you, if customer visit their website through your affiliate link for any products.
You may also require a system for capturing the emails of your site visitors so that you can keep them engaged throughout Pre and Post purchase process. This can be done by installing a relevant plugin like Mail MailChimp , Awber or Getreponse.
Promoting Your eCommerce Website:
Once you get the experience, you will be able to find many new ways of promoting your website and finding new customers. Initially you can start with the most common ones as mentioned below:
Blogging is one of the most prominent way of increasing awareness about your own eCommerce tore or review website. You should keep on writing the content about various products being promoted on your website and then share these contents on the Social Media.
You should also use the plugins like AddtoAny so that people visiting your website can share the contents on their social media amazed at how people find it easy to buy products from someone they consider an authority or someone they trust.
Writing simple Blogs about anything won’t help. You must choose them most specific Long Tail Keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) and driving organic traffic.
A long tail keyword is a phrase made from three to five words. However specific your niche may be but there’s enough competition in every niche. So writing a blog on just a simple keyword won’t yield any result. To be on the first page of Google for some relevant searches, you must use a Long Tail Keyword. I use Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool for find the best low hanging fruit i.e a long tail keyword with least competition.
Social Media Marketing :
Social Media Marketing is a vast subject and cannot be covered here. To keep it simple for the purpose of this article, you can create a Page on Facebook and start sharing your blog content on that page. You may also post some fresh articles that are not too long.
You can share this page on your network and also join the groups (as your page) related to your niche. You may also run Facebook ads for promoting some of the Posts. Besides Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are also useful social media platforms and can be used effectively for promotion.
You can use the social bookmarking platforms like Reedit and Media.com. Creating YouTube Videos and Podcasting are very effective ways of building a brand.
For more detials you can read this article " How to get traffic for your website?
Creating Coupon and sharing on Coupon Sites :
Majority on online buyers search for coupon or promo codes before buying any item costly items online. There are many coupon websites like Coupons.com , Retailmenot and Redlum etc that provide the existing coupon codes for several sites.
Coupon sites are a great way to push the promotion that you’re running,
Bottom Line :
Running an eCommerce may not be an easy task but no business can sustain without online presence.
Passive income has become necessity particular post covid-19 Pandemic. People are losing their regular jobs and economy is in bad shape whereas online businesses, eCommerce and affiliate marketing in particular have grown substantial during this period.
It is therefore important to start something that can help in supporting your family from the comfort from your home.
Affiliate marketing is not very hard one to establish but you have to play the game in a smart manner. It is important to gain knowledge as much as possible along with building your business.
There’s lot of material available on YouTube but that won’t provide you a step by step training. To establish a sustainable business, you need a training platform and a mentor who can hold your hand.
I am biased towards wealthy affiliate and there are reasons to be. I am premium member of Wealthy Affiliate and training has helped me making $10000 or more every month for last many years.
You can join it as a free member without any credit card or obligation using the button below and have access to the training.
Inside the platform, you can interact with the live community of successful and like-minded people who would be ready to help you 24X7. Besides you will find me inside and I would be pleased to mentor you and help you in succeeding online.