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How to start an online retail business

Starting an online retail business requires patience, diligence and the right online business tools. The ecommerce landscape delivers a wide range of business benefits, including operating a store 24 hours each day. Delivering a simple shopping experience will keep customers coming back to complete purchases. For someone just starting, online retail business can provide a strong environment for building a business. Shopify offers a range of tools to help business owners start and sustain a successful business.

How to start an online retail business

One of the most important components of opening a business is the online retail store business plan. The business plan establishes a framework and roadmap for developing the business and directing business activities. Writing an online retail store business plan requires several components that address the marketing, financial and advertising activities business owners will pursue. In addition, the plan includes an executive summary that explains how the business will reach success. Business plans also offer business owners an opportunity to create a business profile that venture capitalists can review; it serves as a vehicle to obtain funding.

Once the business plan is in place, business owners can identify the appropriate business structure. The Internal Revenue Service offers a range of helpful information that can assist people with selecting the appropriate structure. Once the business owner chooses a business structure, they must then file the incorporating documents with their state or county. This establishes the business as a legal entity.

Filing the documentation that legally establishes the business takes care of the offline process. Business owners can then choose an appropriate domain name and set up their website. Following the launch of the website, marketing and advertising efforts should begin, although many people build up a “buzz” about their products using social media tools prior to launching the website. The online retail store business plan should provide the foundation for developing the marketing strategy. Starting an online retail business also requires that business owners select the appropriate business model.

Online retail business model

The online retail business model provides a foundation for delivering products to consumers and generating revenue. Online retail business opportunities are numerous and choosing the appropriate business model for selling products can make or break a business opportunity. For example, the ecommerce model delivers a catalog through a website that provides a shopping cart. The website serves as a catalog that customers can review and select items to purchase. The ecommerce online retail business model requires an online shopping cart solution. Shopify offers an ecommerce hosting package that delivers important tools, including email, a domain name and unlimited bandwidth.

Online retail business opportunities

Multiple online retail business opportunities exist and selecting the appropriate model depends significantly on what a business owner wants to accomplish and how involved they are willing to be. If a business owner is just starting, online retail business prospects deliver a range of moneymaking opportunities, from selling handcrafted products to sourcing products from distributors. For example, some business opportunities allow business owners to sell products and have them drop shipped if the business owner does not have a warehouse to store goods. Other opportunities require the business owner to house products, arrange for their purchase and manage the distribution process.

Starting an online retail business offers an exciting endeavor and it requires the appropriate online tools. If you are just starting, online retail business tools provided by Shopify can help you successfully launch a website that delivers the appropriate security for customer purchases. In addition, our domain name and hosting packages ensure our customers receive all that is required to start a profitable business.

+ Jannelle Pierce