Business TipsEcommerceStartUp

Your 7-Point Checklist for Starting an Ecommerce Business

Considering the staggering success of the ecommerce world, it’s no wonder more people are contemplating the idea of starting their own digital kingdom. Selling online has become somewhat of a norm, if not even a preference, since we immediately erase borders and have the ability to choose brands that come from other countries. We enjoy the convenience of buying while sitting at home, without the crowds at the store or the pushy salesperson trying to convince us that a particular glossy shirt would suit us best. We love the idea of buying something in a matter of several clicks and with no fuss whatsoever.

But the reality of it is somewhat different from the perspective of the sellers. You’ll find yourself in a crowded market with loads of competition to tackle, and veteran brands whose reputation precedes yours by years, if not decades. To be able to sell successfully and run your ecommerce store, you need to make sure you have your bases covered – and this is your essential checklist to consult as you start your online selling empire.

Land on a specific niche

You want to be in the fashion industry? Then you need to find an angle to help your store stand out. With so many generic ecommerce stores that sell clothes and specialized stores alike, you’ll find it close to impossible to find a way to make your brand memorable and unique. That is why you need to narrow down your market as much as possible, since stores come and go, but brands leave a mark and have a greater chance to stay and survive.

Ask yourself who your target customers are, what their problems might be, and how your products will solve their issues. Look to your competitors to see what you can offer that differs from them and that delivers something more than what they already have. 

Handle the legal details

Once you know what the subject of your business will be, it’s time to make it official. Look for a simple, streamlined way to register a company in your name, preferably online, and in a matter of minutes. This is one of those essential steps that too many eager entrepreneurs neglect, and it’s vital to make sure that your brand is registered, as it makes your business a trustworthy entity.

Search engines and customers alike will appreciate their ability to verify your key information, such as your address, location, and your contact details. Plus, this will help you create legally binding contracts with your vendors, so that you can expand and grow over time.

Obtain the right permits 

With registration come permits as well, since selling specific items requires different legal licenses that will make it possible for you to run your ecommerce store seamlessly. Talk to your legal representatives and make sure they gather the right information as to the necessary licenses you need to obtain in your country. 

This is a must for tax purposes, opening up a bank account, working with partners and vendors, and the like. Some goods come with very specific legal obligations, so, for example, if you’re selling alcohol, you need to check which permits you need to have. 

Build a stellar digital presence

There can be no ecommerce store without a brilliant digital presence! Luckily, there are so many reliable platforms you can choose from, such as Shopify or BigCommerce, Magento, and numerous other ecommerce solutions, so you can look into your options and find a reputable developer to start building your digital presence.

Keep in mind that certain industries work better with specific platforms, so the more research you conduct, the easier it will be for you to make a decision that will ultimately help you grow your ecommerce business. 

Turn to social media channels

In addition to a stellar website, no modern brand can survive without creating a social media presence, as well. However, before you start creating profiles and pages on every single channel available, do more research to find out where your target audience likes to spend their time. That way, you can narrow down your social selection and spend time posting on social media that actually has the potential to bring you more customers and grow your brand reputation.

Collaborate with influencers

As you start developing your digital identity and your social media accounts, you’ll notice that brands with connections have a stronger presence. That said, every industry has its most prominent influencers as well as many micro-influencers waiting to find perfect brands to collaborate with. This is your opportunity to look for individuals that share your brand’s values and that have access to your target audience. 

Security comes first 

Finally, whether you’re a boutique seller or you’re looking to grow your ecommerce business into a digital giant, you need to put your customers’ security first. Together with your platform of choice and your security provider, come up with a comprehensive security strategy to protect your customer data, and to ensure that every transaction that goes through your site is entirely safe. That is why updating security patches, being compliant with security regulations, and using various forms of encryption are all some of the most vital steps in providing security on your ecommerce site. 


As lucrative as the world of ecommerce may be, it’s necessary to ensure a strong foundation for your company before you launch your business. Use these essential tips to start strong, and your brand will have a greater chance to stand the test of time. 


Elaine Bennett

Elaine Bennett is a marketing specialist and a blogger, currently based in Sydney, Australia. Topics that she covers include marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and SMBs. She’s especially interested in social media and technology. Loves coffee, music and video games. Follow her on Twitter @ElaineCBennet

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