Starting an eCommerce merchant store in 2024 can be a rewarding venture but it can also be challenging. However, you can achieve success by following proper guidance and using the right tools. Careful research and selection of certain elements can help ensure success when starting an eCommerce merchant store. The following 10 Step Guidelines will help you get started:
- Choose a Niche
When choosing a niche, three key aspects are important: profitability, searchability, and passion. Profitability means that the niche should have a large enough market to make a profit. Searchability means that the niche should be easy to find online. Passion means that you should choose a niche that you are passionate about.
- Define Your Audience
When defining your target audience, look for aspects like demographics, location, and interests so you can tailor your store’s offerings effectively.
- Choose Your Products
Finding profitable products to sell is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face. To ensure success in this endeavor, it is recommended that you choose products that:
- Appeal to Enthusiastic Customers
- Choose Products That Are Trending
- Go With Your Passion and Expertise
For more product ideas, observe online marketplaces, such as eBay, Amazon, Walmart, etc.
- Choose a Distribution Method
Once you have selected the products, the next step is to determine how you want to distribute them. Your choices include manufacturing, reselling, or dropshipping. Learn about these and then decide which suits you best.
- Create Your Brand Name and Assets
Before you launch your eCommerce merchant store, you will need to choose a brand name and register a domain. Make sure your brand name is unique and choose a logo, tagline, color palette for the website, and packaging that aligns with your store’s niche/theme.
- Select an eCommerce Shopping Cart Platform
The next step is to select an eCommerce shopping cart platform so you can build and manage your online store. When choosing a platform, key features to consider include usability, web hosting, omnichannel support, personalization, reporting and analytics, hassle-free checkout, and accessible customer support.
- Set Up and Optimize Your Website
Setting up an eCommerce merchant store website is a straightforward process as long as you have an eCommerce platform. Simply choose a template, customize it, and set up your website. However, you must consider key factors before proceeding. These include creating an account with the provider, setting up a domain name, adding your business name and logo, creating listings, etc. Make sure your website’s content is SEO-friendly so it can be found on search engines.
- Register Your Business
Make your eCommerce merchant store legal by registering it with relevant local or state authorities. There are many benefits of this, e.g. potentially receiving a lower tax bill, separating your business’s credit from your personal credit, securing business funding more easily, etc.
- Apply For eCommerce Merchant Services
Applying for eCommerce Merchant Services to enable your ecommerce payment processing is essential to your success. Your ability to capture payments from your customers for goods and services, is a must. Your eCommerce Merchant Account Provider will get your account approved and activate your payment gateway. See more information on eCommerce Payment Gateways below.
- Connect an eCommerce Payment Gateway
Most eCommerce platforms allow for online payments and facilitate PCI-compliant transactions through popular ecommerce payment gateways like eProcessing Network, AuthorizeNet, and NMI. Choose a payment gateway that suits you best and is compatible with your product shopping cart. Make sure to simplify the checkout process as much as possible so you can get more value from your payment processing gateway.
Starting an eCommerce merchant store in 2024 can be a rewarding venture. While challenges exist, strategic planning and careful execution can help ensure success. By following the above-listed guidelines, you can position yourself for a profitable eCommerce venture in today’s dynamic digital landscape. Before proceeding, make sure that the final preparation steps are complete. These include adding a custom domain, integrating relevant sales channels, setting up your store for marketing, integrating it with social media platforms, and setting up shipping, pickup, and delivery options.