8 Essential Steps to Launching Your E-Commerce Business

Photo of author

By Richard

Launching an e-commerce business can be a daunting task, but we’ve gathered eight essential steps from industry leaders to guide you. From co-founders to digital marketing managers, these experts share their insights, starting with the importance of achieving a quick product-market fit and culminating in the need to craft a meticulous product catalog. Dive into their invaluable advice to ensure your e-commerce venture is a success.

  • Achieve Quick Product-Market Fit
  • Conduct Personalized Market Research
  • Invest in Thorough UX Testing
  • Align Platform with Business Strategy
  • Start with Cost-Effective Tools
  • Set Up Secure, User-Friendly Website
  • Research Potential and Target Audience
  • Craft a Meticulous Product Catalog

Achieve Quick Product-Market Fit

If your target market doesn’t like your product, you’re going to waste a lot of time marketing something that no one wants. Your best bet is to test small, fail fast, and get to product-market fit as quickly as possible, with the minimum amount of wasted inventory possible. You can do this using pre-sales, incentivized customer feedback, and in-person interviews—which all feedback into the product development process.

Albert Varkki, Co-Founder, Von Baer

Conduct Personalized Market Research

The first step in starting an e-commerce business is to do personalized market research. A lot of time is spent getting to know the target group, carefully looking at competitors, and watching for new trends.

By learning everything possible about potential customers’ wants, pain points, and habits, it can be ensured that products, prices, and marketing strategies meet their needs exactly. By conducting a thorough study of competitors, gaps in the market can be found and the unique value proposition can be improved.

Keeping up with changes in the industry and new technologies is key to ensuring that an e-commerce business stays at the forefront of creativity and competition. In fact, personalized market research is the foundation of a successful e-commerce journey. It helps make well-informed choices and build a strong base for long-term growth in the online marketplace, which is always changing.

Nilesh Rakholia, Director, Abelini

Invest in Thorough UX Testing

One absolutely critical step when launching an e-commerce business is to “test your user experience (UX) thoroughly before launch.” Don’t underestimate the power of first impressions. For Evenskyn, before we went live with our anti-aging beauty devices, we invested in rigorous UX testing—both automated and through real user test groups.

We found that a complex checkout process was a significant bottleneck. After identifying this, we streamlined it and increased our conversion rate by 15% within the first month post-launch. A poor user experience can turn a potential long-term customer into a one-time visitor, leading to lost sales and negative reviews that can stymie growth right out of the gate.

Investing in UX design and testing will pay dividends in the long run.

Zain Ali, Partner, EVENSKYN

Align Platform with Business Strategy

When launching an e-commerce business, ensure the chosen platform aligns with your business strategy. In today’s economic landscape, retailers of all sizes are seeking practical and cost-effective solutions to thrive. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, social media commerce, and headless CMSs are gaining traction as businesses strive to establish resilient e-commerce foundations to meet evolving demands and stay competitive.

The key advice is to stick to your business objectives, rather than fixating on the platform’s features. Imagine investing months of effort to launch your e-commerce solution, only to discover that it doesn’t align with your business strategy. Despite its initial cost-effectiveness, this decision can lead to compatibility issues, limited scalability, subpar customer experiences, and increased maintenance costs. Moreover, the implemented cutting-edge technology may become redundant over time.

So, choosing the right e-commerce platform is a winning strategy.

Valeria Shugaeva, Digital Marketing Manager, Amitech Group

Start with Cost-Effective Tools

When you’re starting out, it’s best to keep things simple and cost-effective. Take advantage of free or really low-cost tools as much as possible. This allows you to do your own testing and figure out what works for your e-commerce business. Only invest in tools that truly move your business forward and help you achieve your goals. Research is essential, so make sure you’re informed about the options available to you.

Ewen Finser, Founder, The Digital Merchant

Set Up Secure, User-Friendly Website

One essential step when launching an e-commerce business is setting up a secure and user-friendly website. It’s crucial because it’s the platform where customers will browse and purchase your products or services. The website should be easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing, and provide all the necessary information about your offerings. Moreover, it should be secure to protect your customers’ information and build trust with them.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO Consultant, SEO Consultant London

Research Potential and Target Audience

Researching your potential and target audience is one of the first steps you’ll complete when setting up an e-commerce business. Your customers are essentially the thing that will keep the business alive and make you sales, so ensuring you are meeting their needs is essential.

This prior research will also have a huge effect on marketing as it will determine things such as branding, what social media platforms you use, and language use. If you’re not connecting with your audience, they won’t feel inclined to buy your goods or services.

For example, if you’re launching a clothing website that is aimed at women who are over the age of 40, your marketing efforts would look very different compared to a gaming website aimed at teenagers and young adults.

Annie Everill, Digital Marketing Executive , Imaginaire

Craft a Meticulous Product Catalog

In this digital landscape, where tactile experience is missing, the role of a meticulous product catalog becomes even more critical. Each product should not only be visually inviting through high-quality images but also offer comprehensive, spot-on descriptions and specs. Trust me, this is your handshake with your customers; it’s essential for building immediate trust and guiding them toward making informed choices.

A well-crafted catalog not only helps your site rank better in search engines but also makes life easier for your customers—and let’s not forget, fewer questions for your customer service to tackle. It’s like the cornerstone that supports every other aspect of your online venture.

Embarking on an e-commerce journey is no walk in the park, but a well-executed product catalog can chart a course for a dependable and rewarding online business. Give this essential step the attention it deserves, and you’re already on your way to building a trustworthy rapport.

Todd Saunders, General Manager, BIG Safety

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos