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A beginners guide to starting an eCommerce business

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Will 2021 be the year you finally fulfill your dreams of starting an eCommerce business from the ground up? If you have always wanted to start a business, then you have certainly come to the right place!

This guide seeks to provide you with a roadmap to starting a business from scratch, to finally operational. It provides a step-by-step guide on handling the entire process, ensuring everything is as straightforward as you would prefer it.

Conduct Research on the Existing Business

Research should always be the first step you take when planning to launch a business. You can not afford to operate based on your hunches alone. Remember that the investment, albeit online, is the same as any other investment you would make in a brick and mortar store.

You need to treat it like what it is, an investment! In the course of your research, you will find that there is no single business structure that can work for each person. Business structures available today include physical products, service-based businesses, digital product sales, and software. Choose one that works for you.

Choose a Product

The second step to setting up your eCommerce venture is to select a product to sell. Traditionally, this is considered the hardest part. Explore the trending products online, and research their target market, existing competition, and where to source them. You can’t start selling without an idea of where to acquire your stock.

If you are an existing retailer, be prepared to face numerous challenges as you attempt to move your brick and mortar business online. Make sure you research the existing competition and establish whether you would like to continue selling the same products, or whether you would prefer to use a broader approach, e.g. expanding your product coverage.

Look at the Other Available Businesses

Choosing the products to sell is just the beginning point. You have to look at what the competition is doing. Determine the cost of entry and the possible barriers to your success. Research whether the competition has invested heavily in ads and marketing campaigns, or whether they are yet to adopt digital marketing.

By understanding the overall investment amount needed and the work that will go into it, you may alter your decision to stock certain products. Competition research is critical to helping you identify better products. It also leads to a better understanding of how small businesses operate online.

Choose an Ecommerce Platform

Having identified the products to sell and registered a business name, it’s now time to take the store online. The website will serve as the face of the business and will be the first thing your clients interact with on arrival. You will thus need to look at several key points before setting it up:

Think about a domain name. An ideal name is one that closely matches the business name.

Think about the platform you would like to use with your store. Examples include Magento, Odoo, WooCommerce, and Shopify.

As you are choosing a platform, research into whether the platform allows you to use other business apps such as Odoo. Apps like Odoo make it easier to streamline your operations, integrate your services, amplify your marketing, and boost your sales.

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Develop or Source and List All the Products

After your website is complete and you have settled on a platform, the next step is to source the products. Considering you had already settled on this, all you need to do is to contact distributors and create a list of all available products. It is important to convey the available inventory to potential clients.

As soon as sourcing and listing are complete, begin marketing your new venture. For this, you can use Google Ads, word of mouth, social media ads, and email marketing campaigns. To make it easier for clients to access it, ensure the store is appropriately optimised for SEO. Additionally, if your chosen platform has integrated marketing tools, such as Odoo, be sure to take full advantage of these to enhance your store traffic and engagement.


There are a lot of factors to consider when setting up an eCommerce site. Not one business is the same, and therefore the essential element is to ensure you do all the relevant research and define what works best for your chosen product or service. These tips are meant to be used as a starting guide to help you create a solid plan to get your business up and running on the web.

Speak to us today, and we can help you set up the perfect eCommerce solution for your business.