How to Start an Ecommerce Business

Tiny shopping cart with money next to a laptop

Written By Nathan Pineda

Nathan is a Web Designer and SEO Specialist at Curious Laiman Digital.

February 25, 2022

The Ecommerce industry is expected to surpass $1 trillion in sales in the US alone. (Forbes)

Starting your online business will ensure you get a share of the massive revenue coming in 2022. Building your company, product, and brand all begins and ends with a website.

If you haven’t made a website, don’t let that stop you from your first sale. We can help you at Curious Laiman get online or you can create your own ecommerce business with WordPress which is also available on Laiman Hosting!

Okay enough shameless plugs, read on to learn how you can start your online shop today!

Lone Tiny Shopping Cart for Ecommerce

Photo by emirkhan bal from Pexels

Step 1: Purchase a Domain

Pretty self-explanatory. If you want an online business, you’re gonna need a website. If you’re gonna need a website, you absolutely need a domain!

A domain is the name of your website and will more than likely be the face of your brand as an ecommerce business. This is how your customers will find your shop and this is where they will be buying your product.

Step 2: Find a Web Host

Web hosting is essential when running an ecommerce business. Firstly, you need to ensure your business will be operating overnight. Secondly, your website needs to be backed up remotely. Thirdly, your emails should look professional with YOUR domain. And finally, most importantly, you have your SSL certificate to protect your users!

Moreover, hosting solutions give you the flexibility of managing EVERYTHING in your website from multiple domains to multiple databases. The possibilities are endless!

Two Birds, One Stone.

Get a Domain and Hosting with Laiman Hosting Today!

Step 3: Get Legitimate

Selling online? Get registered, get your licenses, be prepared to pay sales taxes. Starting your company in a professional manner will set your business up for success without going through the hiccup of paying for licenses, taxes, and fees as a surprise. You are starting an ecommerce business, not a lemonade stand.

If you are starting a limited liability company, corporation, nonprofit, or a professional organization, you will need to file an Articles of Organization/Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State of your state. Contact your local attorney for more guidance around the necessary licenses/permits to sell within your state as well as forming an entity for your company.

Laptop with sticky notes and one says help

Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

Step 4: Develop Your Website

The most important element of your website is how it operates. The last thing you want for your customers is to leave due to a lagging webpage or non-responsive links.

If you decide to create an ecommerce business without a developer, there are a plethora of tools and themes you can choose from when utilizing WordPress.

ThemeForest is one of the biggest theme distributors in the WordPress industry I recommend checking them out if you are interested in a DIY project.

On the other hand, Curious Laiman can take the weight off your shoulders and develop a beautifully stunning website with everything you need! Just… throwing it out there…

Step 5: Find a Payment Gateway

You finally have a website but how are you going to accept any payments?

Two of the best payment gateways I recommend are PayPal and Stripe. Lots of consumers feel comfortable with PayPal, therefore I have an account with them as well as Stripe to accept any credit card payments.

Prior to applying for a payment gateway, it is extremely important to first create a Privacy Policy and a Return Policy. Next, you must create a secure checkout process on your website. Lastly, you will need a customer service phone number and email.

After that, you need a US bank account to deposit any funds from transactions made on your website. You will also need a federal tax ID and a valid drivers license.

The application process can take a few days to a few weeks. This is mainly due to the fact that these payment processing companies want to ensure that they are working with a responsible individual who is not a liability to their business.

Step 6: Take Your Ecommerce Business Live

Man reading newspaper on fire

Photo by Danya Gutan from Pexels

You finally did it!

Now you can create everything you need from an About Us page in addition to negotiating with vendors to establish legitimacy. Furthermore, reaching out to bloggers and content writers can also help a great deal to keep your site alive and well! Consequently, this will allow for sources to link back to your website which is extremely important for SEO.

As you can see, starting an ecommerce business can be an extensive process. This checklist will help you succeed in launching an online shop and get you started on the road to entrepreneurship!

Keep on keeping on and stay curious.

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