In this article
In this article

Key Takeaways:

  • Starting an e-commerce business in 2024 is a good idea because more people are buying things online. There are different ways to sell, like directly to customers or using dropshipping, to fit what you’re good at.
  • There are few important steps to remember. You need to choose what you’ll sell, plan out how you’ll run your business, including how to send things to customers, and use good marketing to get customers to notice you.
  • Wonnda helps new businesses by making it easy to find trustworthy suppliers, so you can get your products and start selling faster and without much hassle.

What is an E-commerce Business?

An e-commerce business operates online, offering products or services to its customers through the internet. These businesses can vary in size from small companies run from home to big corporations worth millions. An effective e-commerce strategy enables entrepreneurs to connect with a worldwide market while keeping costs low. The two generally known e-commerce models include business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C).

Why Start an E-commerce Business in 2024?

In 2024, starting an e-commerce business is a smart decision because online shopping is becoming more and more popular. The facts are that running an online shop costs less than a physical one, lets you sell to people all over the globe, and you can manage it all with your computer. Thanks to access to valuable data you also learn a lot about what your customers want, letting you improve your shop to make them happier. This means you can work from anywhere, anytime, making your business flexible and customer-friendly, providing a personalized shopping journey that meets their needs and boosts your sales.

Selling products online offers the flexibility to make it a full-time career or a side hustle. It’s a great way to earn passive income, enjoy the freedom of setting your own schedule, and work from any location with an internet connection. With the increasing trend of online shopping, there’s significant potential for rapid growth.

Start an E-commerce Business: 5 Steps

To start an e-commerce business, follow these five steps:

1) Choose Your Niche by Identifying What Products You Want to Sell.

Choosing your niche is the first step in starting an e-commerce business. It involves carefully selecting the type of products you want to sell, based on factors like market demand, your interests, and potential profit margins. Consider researching current trends, customer needs, and competition to ensure your niche is viable. This foundational decision shapes your branding, marketing, and inventory choices, setting the stage for your business’s success.

Finding your niche for an e-commerce business involves several steps:

  1. Identify Your Interests and Passions: Start with what you know and love. A business built around your interests or passions is more likely to keep you motivated.
  2. Research Potential Markets: Use tools like Google Trends, social media, and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to see what products are trending and identify gaps in the market.
  3. Analyze the Competition: Look at other businesses in your potential niche. High competition might indicate a healthy market, but it’s also crucial to find a segment where you can stand out.
  4. Understand Your Target Audience: Define who your ideal customers are. Consider their demographics, interests, and buying behavior. This will help you tailor your product and marketing strategy.
  5. Evaluate Market Demand: Use keyword research tools to understand the demand for potential products. High search volumes with low competition could indicate a lucrative niche.
  6. Consider Profitability: Check the potential profit margins of your products. Remember to account for costs like production, shipping, and taxes.
  7. Test Your Idea: Before fully committing, consider running a small-scale test through social media ads or a simple website to gauge interest.

2) Create a Business Plan and Determine Your Shipping Strategy.

Creating a business plan is like drawing a map for your journey in the online selling world. It helps you see where you’re starting, where you want to go, and how you’ll get there. Start by writing down what you’re going to sell and who will want to buy it. Then, think about how much money you’ll need to start and keep your shop running. Don’t forget to plan how you’ll let people know about your shop, like using social media or ads. This plan is your guide, so you know what steps to take next and how to keep your business growing.

In this step it is also important to decide which strategy to choose. Here are some examples worth considering:

  • Selling directly to customers (DTC): This is when you make something and send it straight to the people who buy it, skipping any middlemen.
  • Dropshipping: Here, you sell things but don’t keep them in stock. When someone orders from you, you tell the supplier, and they send it for you. It doesn’t cost much to start.
  • Print on demand: It’s like dropshipping, but for items you design that get printed when someone orders, like t-shirts or mugs.
  • Retail arbitrage: This means buying stuff from regular stores and then selling it online for more money. It can make you money, but it’s more work.
  • Wholesaling: You buy lots of items at once to sell to other stores. You get a discount for buying a lot, which lets you sell for a profit. But you need money to buy lots of stock first.
  • Subscriptions: This is when customers pay regularly to get products or services from you, like a box of interesting things every month.
  • Private label: Here you pay to manufacturer to make your product. You decide on ingredients, branding and functionalities.
  • White label: You buy generic products and put your brand on them. It’s cheaper than making your own from scratch but gives you less control over the product.

3) Build Your Online Store by Choosing an E-commerce Platform that Fits Your Needs.

Building your online store starts with picking the right e-commerce platform that meets your business’s specific needs. This platform is where you’ll set up your shop, list your products, and manage sales. Look for one that’s easy for you to use, fits your budget, and has all the features you need, like different payment options for customers and tools to help you track your sales. Some platforms even offer templates to make your store look good without needing to know a lot about design. Choosing the right platform is a big step in getting your online business off the ground.

4) Set up Your Business, Including Sorting out Inventory and Logistics.

Setting up your business involves more than just creating your online store; you also need to organize your inventory and logistics. This means figuring out what products you’ll have on hand, how many you need, and where you’ll store them. You’ll also plan how to get your products to your customers, from choosing shipping methods to deciding on delivery times and costs. Handling these details well ensures that your customers get what they ordered quickly and in good condition, which is key to keeping them happy and coming back to your store.

5) Launch Your Store, and Then Focus on Marketing to Attract Customers and Drive Sales.

Launching your store marks the start of an exciting journey, but the real work begins with attracting customers and driving sales. Implement marketing strategies like creating engaging content on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, or starting a blog related to your products to boost SEO. Consider email marketing campaigns to offer exclusive discounts to your subscribers, or use Google Ads to reach potential customers actively searching for products like yours. Collaborating with influencers or happy customers to share their experiences can also be powerful. Each of these methods helps spread the word about your new store, drawing in shoppers and encouraging purchases, setting the foundation for your store’s growth.

How Much does It Cost to Start an E-commerce Business?

The cost to start an e-commerce business can vary widely, depending on several factors. Initial expenses include website development or e-commerce platform fees, domain registration, hosting, and possibly purchasing an SSL certificate for website security. Inventory costs will depend on your business model, such as dropshipping vs. holding your own stock. Marketing and advertising expenses are also crucial for attracting customers. Additionally, consider the costs for packaging and shipping, as well as any necessary business licenses or permits.

A basic setup with minimal inventory and using cost-effective solutions might start around 500€ to 1,000€. However, for a more comprehensive inventory and marketing approach, costs could rise significantly, potentially reaching 5,000€ to 10,000€ or more. It’s essential to carefully plan and budget for all possible expenses to ensure a solid foundation for your e-commerce venture.

What are The Four Types of E-commerce Business?

The four types of e-commerce businesses are:

B2C (Business to Consumer) e-commerce is where businesses sell goods or services directly to consumers online. This model covers a wide range of online retail activities, including the sale of physical products, digital goods, and services. It’s characterized by quick purchase processes and direct marketing strategies aimed at individual customers.

B2B (Business to Business) e-commerce focuses on electronic transactions between businesses. This model typically involves more complex sales cycles and larger transactions, including wholesale purchases and long-term service contracts.

The C2C (Consumer to Consumer) e-commerce model allows individuals to sell goods and services to each other, often facilitated by online platforms or marketplaces. This model supports the exchange of second-hand goods, unique items, or specialized services between consumers, leveraging the power of the internet to connect sellers with a wide audience of potential buyers.

C2B (Consumer to Business) is when consumers offer products or services to businesses, often through freelance platforms or crowdsourcing websites, reversing the traditional business-to-consumer model.

Things to Know About Starting an E-commerce Business

1. Selecting Your Products

Choosing the right products to sell is crucial for the success of your e-commerce business. You’ll need to research your target audience and determine what products they’re interested in buying. You can also look at trending products in your industry and choose products that align with your brand values and mission. With Wonnda’s B2B platform for private label sourcing, you can find trusted and verified suppliers for your consumer products, making it easier to find the perfect products to sell.

3. Building Your Website

Your website is the foundation of your e-commerce business, and it’s essential to create a user-friendly experience that makes shopping easy and enjoyable for your customers. This includes selecting the right e-commerce platform, designing your website with a clean and modern layout, and optimizing your website for search engines. By investing in website design and optimization, you can increase your chances of attracting and retaining customers.

4. Find a Reliable Payment Gateway

An essential part of starting an e-commerce business is choosing a payment gateway. This is the system that enables online payment transactions on your website. It is important to choose a secure and reliable payment gateway to ensure that your customers’ transactions are safe and your business is protected against fraud. Some of the popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, and Square.

5. Implement Effective Marketing Strategies

Marketing is crucial for any e-commerce business. It helps to increase your brand’s visibility and drive traffic to your website. Effective marketing strategies include search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing, and content marketing. Determine which strategies are best suited for your brand and budget and create a plan to implement them.

6. Use Wonnda to Find the Right Suppliers

Finding the right suppliers for your e-commerce business can be challenging, especially if you are new to the industry. Wonnda offers a solution by connecting brands with trusted and verified private label manufacturers and suppliers. With Wonnda, you can easily find the right suppliers for your products, order samples, and manage the collaboration process all in one platform. Plus, with more than 80% match-rate between buyers and suppliers, you can be confident that you are connecting with the right partners to help grow your business.

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Set up your account in less than 3 minutes and begin your journey with Wonnda. Unlock endless possibilities for your business, bring new products to market and streamline your sourcing process from idea to launch on one single platform.

About the author
Alice Pegorin
Alice Pegorin is a talented writer and a world-citizen who was born and raised in Brazil. In 2019, she moved to Lisbon, Portugal to pursue a BSc in Marketing and Advertising at IADE-UE. Following her passion for business management, Alice moved to Berlin, Germany in 2022 for her Erasmus semester at UE-Germany, where she completed her studies. Alice is a curious and open-minded individual who adapts easily to any environment. She enjoys exploring new cultures and experiences, and is always eager to learn. Currently based in Berlin, Alice travels to Portugal from time to time to visit friends. Her passion for writing and business management makes her an invaluable member of our team at Wonnda, and we're thrilled to have her on board.
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