The Quick Guide to Breaking Into Ecommerce

The guides are everywhere: How to make $10K, $30K, $60K a month from an online store.

It all sounds too good to be true, but is it really?

You’re not going to become Jeff Bezos overnight, and you won’t get rich dropshipping cheap products off AliExpress, but with an in-demand product, great branding and design, and a solid ecommerce strategy, you can earn a respectable amount of cash selling stuff online.

What should you sell? Defining your ecommerce niche

This is at the heart of any ecommerce strategy. Tons of people dabble in ecommerce and wonder why they’re not making any money. But you can’t sell just anything and succeed. You need to understand what people want.

  • Small ecommerce brands do best targeting a small segment of the population. Define a niche and build your brand around it.

  • Trending niches for 2022 include home improvement, work-from-home, toys, and beauty and personal care.

  • Look for upselling and cross-selling opportunities to increase sales. Additional offerings should be relevant and useful to your niche.

Legal steps to start an ecommerce business

It doesn’t matter if your brand exists online or off: It has to follow the rules of business. That includes setting up a legal business entity, paying taxes, and all the other fun stuff that comes with being a business owner.

  • Sole proprietorship is the default business structure, but it doesn’t offer any legal protection. Forming an LLC is well worth the liability and branding benefits.

  • You’ll also need an EIN to charge sales tax and open a bank account. Issued by the IRS, this is like a Social Security number for your business.

  • Sales tax is one of the most complicated aspects of opening an online store. Learn how to determine your sales tax obligations across state lines.

How to build your ecommerce brand

You have a great product lineup, a legit business, and you’re ready to make your first sale. There’s just one problem: You don’t have any customers. How can you take your new ecommerce brand from zero to 60?

  • Rather than build an online store from scratch, use platforms like Shopify or integrations from WooCommerce and Squarespace Commerce to quickly create a store.

  • User experience, branding, and social proof define good ecommerce website design.

  • Pay-per-click advertising, strategic partnerships, and social media marketing generate brand awareness for new ecommerce companies.

  • Turn one-time purchases into repeat sales. A seamless purchase process, superior customer service, and ongoing engagement drive customer retention.

With these steps, you have the foundation of a thriving ecommerce brand. However, it’s not time to rest on your laurels just yet. As sales come in and your ecommerce business gains a following, keep an eye on the data to understand what works, what doesn’t, and where there’s room to grow.

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