As of 2020, the food and beverage industries made 23.3 billion U.S. dollars with online retail sales in the United States. In India, online shopping sales rounded up to 67 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.

These stats show that skilled entrepreneurs and artisans should take advantage of this golden opportunity. Now is the time to start their online shop and design a unique eCommerce business model.

This eCommerce business guide will present the key steps to creating your first eCommerce model!

Table of Contents

An Overview of eCommerce

Regardless of their size, all eCommerce businesses have one thing in common: they sell goods and services online. Therefore, digital transactions are the basis of eCommerce business models. Ecommerce businesses don't need a brick-and-mortar presence.

Of course, their activities also largely depend on their business type. We will soon get into the details of the 5 main types of eCommerce businesses.

Types of eCommerce Businesses

There are six major eCommerce business models.

  1. Business to Consumer (B2C) is when a company sells its products or serves its services directly to end users.
  2. Business to Business (B2B) is when a company markets and interacts directly with other businesses. B2B eCommerce has two parts, vertical and horizontal.
  3. Business to Government (B2G) is the process by which a company markets its products and services to the government.
  4. Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C) refers to a company selling products to another company and then selling them to the public. An example is when a wholesale distributor sells merchandise to retail stores that then sell the merchandise to end users.
  5. Consumer to Consumer (C2C) is a model in which consumers market their goods or services directly to other consumers, e.g., via third-party marketplaces or websites that facilitate the transaction.
  6. Consumer to Business (C2B) model involves customers selling goods and services directly to companies. For example, some websites allow individuals (contractors or freelancers) to share work or services they're skilled in.

Research Your Idea, Create Business Plan & Define Budget

Every eCommerce company needs to follow a series of systematic steps if they want their platforms to stand out from their competitors.

#1 Find Product Opportunities

If you're a creator, skip this step as you know which product you want to sell. But if you're an entrepreneur, you should know what products you want to sell or what services you plan to provide. While this may sound a little daunting, there are strategies to use.

Don't worry, and keep reading; you'll get some clues!

#2 Familiarize Yourself With the Competition & Write A Business Plan

Most businesses have to keep up with a competitive market. And yours will be no different, so consider these tips when composing your business plan.

  • Provide unique solutions to your market challenges.
  • Convince your customers that your business is better than competitors.
  • Be conceptually (e.g., sales and marketing) and visually (UX and UI) superior.
  • Offer high-quality products and services and compile favorable customer reviews.

#3 Lay Out Your Online Store

It's time for the basics! Find a name and logo to start an eCommerce business. In this case, we are referring to the domain name, which should be chosen based on appropriate criteria – it can be SEO-optimized or picked based on your brand.

The key to setting up a successful website is to understand its structure and elements thoroughly. Focus on SEO, content, visual aspects, navigation, and more while meeting UI/UX needs.

Design your product pages patiently, and write relevant and informative descriptions. Don't forget their size when using high-quality images because it reduces your site's loading speed.

#4 Choose Your Shipping, Sales, & Marketing Methods

The launch of your online store is just around the corner. But first, you need to equip your store with shipping, sales, and marketing components. And there are some fundamental eCommerce metrics like KPIs and CVR that you need to consider.

And that’s it. You've done it. You can launch your eCommerce website. However, there's one important thing to do after launching: marketing. After all, what good will an eCommerce business be without its prospects?

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About eCommerce Platforms; Pros & Cons

Online stores deploy eCommerce platforms to manage their merchants' purchases and their own needs as sellers. Some even hire a Magento development company to improve their online presence.

Here, we examine two of the most popular eCommerce platforms: Shopify and WooCommerce.

Shopify

With Shopify, you can manage all of your commerce from one place.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • +100 appealing themes
  • Affordable
  • A 14-day free trial
  • Numerous strengthening features
  • 24/7 support
  • Improved SEO

Cons:

  • Some templates can be expensive, as well as advanced Shopify options.
  • The platform limits the user in terms of design customization.
  • It charges a transaction fee for each sale you make.
  • It doesn't help you with marketing automation.

WooCommerce

WordPress has an eCommerce plugin called WooCommerce. With sufficient flexibility, it facilitates the creation and management of online stores.

Pros:

  • WooCommerce is flexible; excellent for physical products and downloadable files.
  • Endless customization features, free plugins, and an impressive number of themes.
  • Heightened security; The frequent updates leave no room for hackers to attack your site.
  • Larger community; +4.5 million users distributed across many forums with many posts and guides

Cons:

  • WooCommerce is a plugin, so you cannot utilize it on websites with which WordPress doesn't comply.
  • While you can download and install WooCommerce freely, some extensions, which are required for an optimal website, require additional payment.
  • The platform leaves you in charge of speed, and it requires technical maintenance-- there are many things you have to do on your own, although there are many 3rd party plugins, for that matter.

How Much Does It Cost to Start Ecommerce Business Model?

As you start, you must consider your budget and all the major expenses along your eCommerce journey. The following costs are the highest:

  • Business licenses and permits: Depending on your business entity type, location, and the products you sell, this can vary from $50 to hundreds of dollars.
  • The eCommerce platform, domain name, and hosting; For example, Shopify will set you back $29 a month for just basics and $79 for a regular plan.
  • Product inventory & Shipping: Inventory and shipping might be your predominant and most strategic expense since you want to have enough to market but don't want to lose money on items that won't sell or be delivered.
  • Marketing: In the beginning, you may want to invest more in marketing and advertising.
  • Employees: Depending on your business's size and how quickly it grows, you'll need human resources one day.

Bottom Line

Compared with a brick-and-mortar store, the initial investment for an eCommerce business is considerably lower. So you can start big or small, but what matters is to establish a solid online presence using the right strategies.

We hope this eCommerce business guide was helpful to you. Obviously, It will be very tough to do everything by yourself. You need to automate your work and use the latest tools and technologies if you want to succeed.

Our eCommerce web development company helped many startups and established businesses create cost-effective and trendy online stores. Get in touch, and let's talk about your eCommerce needs.

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