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How To Start and Run an ECommerce Business Successfully

An “ecommerce” business is any type of business that sells their products and services online. Online shopping accounts for a large percentage of all retail sales worldwide, and that percentage is only growing. Over the last five years, the ecommerce industry has been growing substantially as consumers turn to online shops to purchase items they may not be able to find at the store from the comfort of their own homes. These businesses often choose to outsource fulfillment

If you are looking to start an ecommerce business, there are a few steps you’ll need to take first.

Step-by-step guide:

The details of running your ecommerce business depend on what products and services you choose to offer, but the set up and legal steps of ten remain the same. Here are the initial steps required to set up an ecommerce business:

Step1: Researching and finding your ecommerce niche

The first step is to start researching and brain storming ideas. Find your niche within the ecommerce realm and decide what kinds of products and services you want to offer. Do some market research and figure out what consumers want to buy online. How will the products be packaged and delivered to your customers? Are there any legal constraints or regulations involved with the products and services you want to offer? Thinking this out will be helpful in the initial setup stages.

Step2: Selecting a name and choosing the legal structure

The next step is to choose a name for your company. It should be catchy and unique. Ideally, it should not already be in use by another company, especially if the other company offers similar products and services. Coming up with a unique name is also important when it comes to looking for an available domain name for your website. Another thing to consider at this point is the legal structure of the company. One can choose to form a sole proprietorship, LLC, general partnership, or corporation.

Step3: Applying for an EIN

An EIN is an Employer Identification Number. It is a 9-digit number assigned to you by the IRS that helps when differentiating personal and business finances. The business owner can apply for one online without any charges.

Step4: Obtaining all necessary business licenses and permits

If the business is a sole proprietorship or general partnership, it does not need to be registered. Otherwise, registration is needed. Some businesses also need to get a local operating license. A few other types of licenses are:
- Sale tax permits
- Trade and professional licenses for certain industry types
- Building and construction permits
- Signage permits
- Health, environments, and safety permits

Step5: Creating a website

Your business’s website will be the face of your company for your online customers. It should be user-friendly so that the customers can easily browse and make purchases. Choosing the right platform for your online store is also an essential step.

Step6: Sourcing inventory

At this point, you are almost ready to launch your ecommerce business. The next step is to contact distributors to start sourcing and developing the products that your business will sell online.

Step7: Hiring a 3PL service for an Outsource fulfillment

A 3PL provider can manage your ecommerce product fulfillment. A third-party logistics company will take the responsibility of storing your products in their warehouse and shipping out the orders to your customers when an order is placed. They can also receive product returns for you and help you manage your inventory. When hiring a third-party logistics service provider, consider the different types:
- Full-service 3PLs
- Financial and information based 3PLs
- Transportation based 3PLs
- 3PL warehouses

Step8: Start marketing

After following all these steps, your ecommerce business is ready to go live. Use marketing tools such as SEO and social media ads to spread the word about the company and bring orders into your store.

Contact us today!

Give us a call today and let’s discuss how we can make things easier for you. We are the logistics service you need for keeping your business on top.

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