Starting an ecommerce business is hard work with many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time. To help, we have put together a comprehensive resource list, compiled from Shopify's most popular blog posts. These posts have been placed into a logical order based on how you would research, build, launch and grow a profitable ecommerce business.
Let's dive in.
Choosing a Product
Finding A Product To Sell
The first step to building an ecommerce business is to know what products you want to sell. This is often the most challenging part of starting a new online business. In this section, we will highlight the strategies you can use to find product opportunities, explore the ten best places to look for product ideas, and finally, we will reveal ten trending products that we came up.
- 8 Strategies for Finding Your First Product
- 10 Places To Look For Products To Sell Online
- 10 Interesting Product Ideas Trending Right Now
Once you have a product idea in mind, how do you know if it’s a good idea or not? In this section, we will go through two exhaustive evaluations methods, evaluating both the product itself, as well as the market for your product choice.
Obtaining Your Product
Having found your product idea and evaluating them in the previous section, you must now figure out where and how you’re going to obtain your products. The next two posts will cover the various methods for acquiring your products, along with the pros and cons of each model.
- Make, Manufacture, Wholesale or Dropship: The Pros and Cons of Each Model
- How To Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea
Research & Prepare
Research Your Competition
You’ve found your product, evaluated the potential and sourced your supplier. It’s time to write your business plan, but before you get into that, you'll need to research your competition thoroughly so you know exactly what you’re up against.
Writing Your Business Plan
With your competitive research complete, it's now the perfect time to write your business plan. A business plan will be your road map that helps bring your ideas and thoughts together. A business plan is vital so that you can determine how to best move forward and most effectively compete.
- Why Your Ecommerce Store Needs a Business Plan (and How to Write One)
- The Ultimate Guide To Business Plans
Registering Your Business
With a business plan in hand, now is a good time to consider your options for registering your business.
Setting Up Your Business
Naming Your Business
Aside from finding an actual product to sell online, another difficult decision is determining your business name and choosing an appropriate and available domain name. These blog posts will help you tackle these important tasks.
- What You Need to Know About Ecommerce Trademarks
- What Should I Name My Online Store?
- 5 Rules For Choosing A Memorable Domain Name
Creating A Logo
Once you have solidified your name and registered your domain, it’s time to craft a logo. In this post, we will show you several options for creating a great logo for your new business.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You’re almost ready to begin building your online store. However, before you jump into it, you should understand the basics of search engine optimization so that you can optimize your site for Google and other search engines.
Building Your Store
With a better understanding of search engine optimization (SEO), it’s time to build out your store. There are many critical elements. Below we have included a list of our best blog posts to help you write captivating product descriptions, shoot beautiful product photography, and a list of some of the best tools to help you optimize those photos.
- Write Product Descriptions that Sell
- The Ultimate DIY Guide to Beautiful Product Photography
- 18 Free and Paid Online Photo Editor Tools for Gorgeous DIY Product Photography
- 40 Tools and Resources For Creating Beautiful DIY Product Photography
- 10 Must Know Image Optimization Tips
Don’t forget, if you run into any problems getting your store set up, you can always hire help from Shopify Experts.
Preparing To Launch
As you prepare for the launch of your new business, there are several essential elements you need to prepare for. In this section, we have curated some of the most comprehensive posts on helping you determine your shipping strategy.
- How to Choose a Shipping Strategy for Your Online Store
- The Beginner's Guide to Ecommerce Shipping and Fulfillment
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to define your key performance indicators upfront so once you launch, you know what to measure of success to track.
Finally, before your launch, you’ll want to run your newly built storefront through the Shopify ecommerce store grader. This online application will show you errors on your site and SEO so that you can correct any issues before launch.
As a final checklist, this post covers the ten essential things you need to do before launch.
Now that you’ve launched, the hard work begins. Our 50 point guide to getting your first sale is a great start point and overview of a variety of marketing tactics that will help you in your first months.
Marketing Your Store
You’re well on your way and now likely have some sales under your belt. It’s time to get serious and focused. The following posts will help you zero in on some top marketing tactics for driving traffic and converting that traffic to sales.
- How to Write An Effective Welcome Email
- 13 Amazing Abandoned Cart Emails (And What You Can Learn From Them)
- Divide and Profit: How to Segment Your Mailing List for Better Engagement
- How to Build an Email List that Builds Your Ecommerce Business
- Why Every Ecommerce Business Needs a Blog (And 9 Ideas to Get You Started)
- How to Land Your Business in the Press: 6 Tactics and 5 Tools
- How to Build an Audience and Drive Sales With Persuasive Video Marketing
- How To Build A Massive Following On Instagram
- How to Use Polyvore to Drive Traffic and Sales for Your Online Store
- 6 Practical and Proven Ways to Drive Traffic to Your New Online Store
- The Beginner's Guide to Simple A/B Testing
- 5 Ecommerce Pricing Experiments that Will Make You Want to Run an A/B Test Today
- How to Generate Powerful Testimonials for Your Ecommerce Business
Building your own ecommerce business is no easy task. From choosing a product, evaluating viability and sourcing, to building, launching and growing sales. There's a lot of puzzle pieces to put together. However, following this resource roundup should provide you with a clear roadmap to help you build a profitable ecommerce business.
About The Author
Richard Lazazzera is a an ecommerce entrepreneur and Content Strategist at Shopify. Get more from Richard on Twitter.