Shopify gives advice on how to start your online business using their platform – Why not!
– This is a HUGE resource for any of you interested in getting started in an online store. I’ve never seen anything this complete…
It may be a 10 minute read but once you “decide to become” … and follow the amazing leads on this page you will spend your entire weekend getting SMART!
Do it NOW! – J Epperson
This may be you at the end of your research. Read this post!
May 2, 2020
10 minute read
The future of ecommerce is incredibly bright. But, starting an ecommerce business is hard work and demands many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time.
To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive blueprint for starting a business, compiled from Shopify’s most popular content. These blog posts, guides, and videos have been organized based on the most important tasks you’ll face when researching, launching, and growing a profitable ecommerce business.
I. Choosing a product
– (Check out my previous blog post on selling T-Shirts… It’s an idea 🙂
Finding a product to sell
The first step to building an ecommerce business is knowing what products you want to sell online, wholesale, or direct-to-consumer. This often is the most challenging part of starting a new online business. In this section, we’ll highlight strategies you can use to find product opportunities, explore the best places to look for product ideas, and finally, look at trending products to consider.
Find Products to Sell on Shopify with Oberlo
Strategies for Finding Your First Profitable Product Opportunity
Places to Look for Profitable Product Ideas
Trending Products to Sell in 2020 and beyond…
Online Business Ideas You Can Start from Home
Evaluating your idea
Once you have a product idea in mind, how do you know if it will sell? In this section, we’ll cover a few approaches that active entrepreneurs have used to validate their product ideas and potential market.
How to Validate Your Product Ideas
The 16-Step Checklist to Evaluating Your Product Idea
In less than 40-minutes, let us walk you through how to find product ideas, how to validate them, and how to sell the product once you have an idea you want to pursue.Register now
Obtaining your product
After landing on a strong product idea, your next step is figuring out where and how you’re going to obtain your products. The next four posts cover the various methods for acquiring your products, along with the pros and cons of each model.
Should You Make, Manufacture, Wholesale, or Dropship?
How to Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea
12 Shopify Apps for Finding Products to Sell (Without Shipping Them Yourself)
Print on Demand: A Low-Risk Way to Sell Custom T-Shirts, Books, and More
Sell your retail products online
Many independent retailers face a challenging road ahead. Shifting your brick-and-mortar business online can help you weather this storm, generate cash flow, and build a more resilient business.
How to Move Your Brick-and-Mortar Business Online
Sell Gift Cards for Your Retail Business with a Simple Online Store
Quickstart Guide: How to Start Selling Online With Local Delivery
How to Quickly Set Up a “Buy Online, Pickup Curbside” Experience
II. Research and prepare
Research your competition
You’ve found your product, evaluated its potential, and sourced a supplier. But before you get into that, you’ll need to thoroughly research your competition so you know what you’re up against and how you can differentiate your business from theirs.
How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis
Writing a business plan
With your competitive research complete, it’s time to write your business plan. A business plan is a roadmap that helps bring your ideas and thoughts together. A business plan is vital in determining what to prioritize and how to effectively reach new customers.
A Detailed Guide to Writing a Useful Business Plan
Business Plan Template: A Framework to Streamline Your Next Business Plan
III. Setting up your business
Naming your business
Aside from figuring out what to sell, another challenging decision is determining your business or brand name and choosing an appropriate and available domain name. These blog posts will help you tackle these important tasks.
What Should I Name My Online Store?
Choosing a Brand Name: 10 Tools & 5 Brainstorming Strategies
Creating a logo
Once you’ve selected a memorable name and registered a corresponding domain, it’s time to craft a simple logo. In these resources, we’ll show you several options for creating a great logo for your new business.
Hatchful: A simple logo maker by Shopify
5 Easy to Use Online Logo Makers to Design Your Brand
How to Design a Memorable Logo in 7 Steps (We Make One From Scratch)
Learn more: From a logo maker and business name generator to gift certificate templates and a discount calculator, Shopify offers free marketing tools to help run your business.
Understanding search engine optimization (SEO)
You’re almost ready to begin building your online store. However, before you jump into it, you should understand the basics of search engine optimization so you can properly structure your site and pages for Google and other search engines.
The Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce SEO
What Can I Do to Help My Store Rank in Search Engines?
Keyword Research for Ecommerce from the Ground Up
Business SEO Checklist: How to Rank a New Site
Building your store
With a better understanding of search engines, it’s time to build out your store. There are many crucial elements to consider. Below, we’ve listed our essential reads to help you build high-converting product pages, write captivating product descriptions, shoot beautiful product photography, choose your ecommerce color palette, and much more.
50 Exceptional Shopify Stores to Inspire New Entrepreneurs
11 Experts Share How to Optimize Your Product Pages
How to Write Product Descriptions that Sell
The Ultimate DIY Guide to Product Photography
Customizing Your Shopify Theme: How To Use Images, Colors, and Fonts
Must-Know Tips for Optimizing Your Images
How to Create a Coming Soon Page and Start Marketing Before You Launch
Don’t forget, if you run into any problems getting your store set up, you can always hire help from Shopify Experts.
Choosing your sales channels
One of the best ways to reach new customers is to choose sales channels where they already shop. The right mix of sales channels will depend on your products and your target customers, but there are a number of great options that can complement and support your self-hosted store.
Etsy and Shopify: How Three Makers Used Both to Grow Their Businesses
Selling on eBay: How One Business Finds New Customers
This Business Generates 76.8% of Orders Selling on Amazon with Shopify
As you prepare for the launch of your new business, there are several shipping and fulfillment elements you need to prepare for. In this section, we’ve curated a few comprehensive guides on how to determine your shipping strategy.
The Beginner’s Guide to Shipping and Fulfillment
International Shipping: Everything You Need to Know
How Do I Price and Implement a Strategy to Handle Returns?
How to Reduce Shipping Costs as a Small Ecommerce Store
It’s also a good idea to define your key performance indicators up front so, once you launch, you know what measures of success to track.
67 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Ecommerce
What Are the Basic Ecommerce Metrics I Need To Focus On First?
As a final checklist, this post covers the 10 essential things you need to do before launch.
The Essential Shopify Store Launch Checklist
V. Post launch
Acquiring your first customer
Now that you’ve launched, the hard work of marketing your products begins. While many new store owners should consider selling their physical products in person, the rest of digital marketing rests on doing one thing well: driving targeted traffic. Next, we’ll share a variety of marketing tactics that will help you in your first months.
Marketing Checklist: How to Get Your First Sale in 30 Days
Need Traffic? Here’s How to Get Visitors to a New Website (Even If You Don’t Know Where to Begin)
Customer Acquisition: How to (Profitably) Gain New Customers
Marketing your store
You’re well on your way and now likely have a few sales under your belt. It’s time to get serious and focused. The following posts will help you zero in on your top-performing marketing tactics or expand into new ones for driving traffic and converting that traffic to sales.
Email marketing essentials
Driving traffic from social
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
How to Get More Followers on Instagram: A Guide for Businesses
Pinterest Marketing 101: Why You’ll Need a New Playbook to Win
How to Start a YouTube Channel for Your Business
Driving traffic and conversions from paid ads
Facebook Ads for Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide to Running Your First Campaign
The Google Ads Playbook: 13 Campaign Types And What to Expect From Them
The Best Price Comparison Engines to Increase Ecommerce Sales
Optimizing for higher conversions
The Complete Guide to A/B Testing (Tips from Google, HubSpot, and Shopify)
How to Find and Plug the Leaks in Your Conversion Funnels
Drive More Sales and Revenue with Targeted Live Chat
19 Experts Share How to Increase Revenue Without Increasing Traffic
9 Ways to Earn Customer Trust When You Have Zero Sales
How Trustworthy Is Your Online Store? 39 Ways to Build Customer Trust
Driving Traffic but No Sales? Here’s How to Diagnose and Improve Your Store
Using analytics to uncover insights
The Beginner’s Guide to Analyzing Shopify Reports and Analytics
What Basic Ecommerce Metrics Should I Focus On First?
5 Google Analytics Segments You Can Use to Increase Revenue
9 Google Analytics Custom Reports by the Experts
Facebook Custom Audiences 101: A Starter Guide for Ecommerce Businesses
A blueprint is just the beginning
Building your own ecommerce business is as exciting as it is challenging. At a rapid pace you’ll learn a ton about choosing a product, evaluating its viability, figuring out how to get it produced, building an online store, and marketing and selling to new customers. The process can feel like you’re solving a head scratcher of a puzzle, but it’s rewarding all the same.
We hope following this resource roundup helps provide you with a clearer roadmap. As always, the best advice anyone can give is to just get started and to enjoy yourself along the way.
I told you it was an amazing compilation of just about everything you would need to start and sell from a Shopify site. Let’s “Get Going”… That would be Day 12 of My XYZ’s of Excellence – One Day at a Time – Online Course Check it out.