Ecommerce Business Blueprint: How to Build, Launch, and Grow a Profitable Online Store

Ecommerce Business Blueprint: How to Build, Launch, and Grow a Profitable Online Store

How to start an ecommerce business.Starting an ecommerce business is hard work and demands many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time.

To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive blueprint for getting started, compiled from Shopify's most popular content. These blog posts, guides, and videos have been organized based on the most important tasks you’ll face when researching, launching, and growing a profitable ecommerce business.

I. 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’ll highlight strategies you can use to find product opportunities, explore the best places to look for product ideas, and finally, we’ll look at trending products to consider.

Evaluating your idea

Once you have a product idea in mind, how do you know if it will sell? In this section, we’ll cover a few approaches that active entrepreneurs have used to validate their product ideas and the potential market.

Obtaining your product

After landing on a strong product idea, your next step is to 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.

II. Research and Prepare

Research your competition

You’ve found your product, evaluated the potential, and sourced your supplier. You’re now ready to write your business plan, but before you get into that, you'll need to thoroughly research your competition so you know what you’re up against and how you can differentiate your business.

Writing a business plan

With your competitive research complete, it's the perfect time to write your business plan. A business plan will be your roadmap that helps bring your ideas and thoughts together. A business plan is vital in determining what to prioritize and how to effectively reach new customers.

III. Setting Up Your Business

Setting up your ecommerce business.

Naming your business

Aside from finding an actual product to sell online, another challenging decision is determining your business or brand name and choosing an appropriate and available domain name. These blog posts will help you tackle these important tasks.

Creating a logo

Once you’ve selected a memorable name and registered a corresponding domain, it’s time to craft a simple logo. In these resources, we’ll 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 properly structure your site and pages for Google and other search engines.

Building your store

With a better understanding of search engines, it’s time to build out your store. There are many crucial elements to consider. Below we’ve listed our essential reads to help you build high-converting product pages, write captivating product descriptions, shoot beautiful product photography, and much more.

Don’t forget, if you run into any problems getting your store set up, you can always hire help from Shopify Experts.

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How to get started on Shopify

Looking for a guided tour of Shopify? Merchant Success Manager and entrepreneur, Samantha Renée, shares steps to customizing your shop, adding a product and making your first sale.

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Choosing your sales channels

One of the best ways to reach new customers is to choose sales channels where they already shop. The right mix of sales channels will depend on your products and your target customers, but there are a number of great options that can complement and support your self-hosted store.

IV. Preparing to Launch

As you prepare for the launch of your new business, there are several shipping and fulfillment elements you need to prepare for. In this section, we’ve curated a few comprehensive guides on how to determine your shipping strategy.

It’s also a good idea to define your key performance indicators upfront so once you launch, you know what to measures of success to track.

As a final checklist, this post covers the ten essential things you need to do before launch.

V. Post Launch

After launching your ecommerce business.

Acquiring your first customer

Now that you’ve launched, the hard work of marketing your products begins. While many new store owners should consider selling their physical products in person, the rest of digital marketing rests on doing one thing well: driving targeted traffic. Next, we’ll share a variety of marketing tactics that will help you in your first months.

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Free Webinar: Marketing 101

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Marketing your store

You’re well on your way and now likely have a few sales under your belt. It’s time to get serious and focused. The following posts will help you zero in on your top-performing marketing tactics for driving traffic and converting that traffic to sales.

Email marketing essentials

Driving traffic from social

Optimizing for higher conversions

Using analytics to uncover insights

A blueprint is just the beginning

Building your own ecommerce business is as exciting as it is challenging. At a rapid pace you’ll learn a ton about choosing a product, evaluating its viability, figuring out how to get it produced, building an online store, and marketing and selling to new customers. The process can feel like you’re solving a head-scratcher of a puzzle, but it’s rewarding all the same.

We hope following this resource roundup helps provide you with a clearer roadmap. As always, the best advice anyone can give is to just get started, and to enjoy yourself along the way.


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