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Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start a Ecommerce Business From Scratch

By Fatma Humayun Last Updated -- Wednesday, 2022-10-26
How to start a ecommerce business

Nowadays everyone is on the internet. So if you are planning to start a business then you should sell your products online. Starting an ecommerce business from home can be a great way to sell your products online. But starting an ecommerce business from scratch can be very difficult. Starting a successful ecommerce business requires a lot of hard work and effort. Also, you need to know a lot of tips, tricks, and techniques and understand ecommerce business requirements. 

Don’t worry! We are here to help you learn all these things. If you are planning to sell your products online through an ecommerce store and you are a beginner then read this article thoroughly. You will learn everything from start to end on how to start a ecommerce business.

What is Ecommerce Business?

Ecommerce stands for electronic commerce. Ecommerce is a way of buying or selling different things which can be goods or products and services through an electronic network such as the internet. Customers have the access to browse online stores or ecommerce stores with the help of the internet through their smart devices like smartphones or mobiles, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc. And place an online order for any available products or services. 

After receiving the order, an online store or ecommerce store’s owner will deliver the product or send professionals to provide the ordered service. Payment can be done in cash on delivery or through any online transaction system like mobile banking or applications like PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill, Stripe, etc.

Types of Ecommerce Businesses

There are mainly 6 types of ecommerce businesses. They are given below.

  1. Business to Business (B2B)
  2. Business to Customer (B2C)
  3. Customer to Customer (C2C)
  4. Customer to Business (C2B)
  5. Business to Administration (B2A) 
  6. Customer to Administration (C2A)

The best worldwide available ecommerce sites are Alibaba and Amazon. You can gather ecommerce business ideas from these sites and also make ecommerce business plans from those gathered ideas to ensure the success of your ecommerce business.

How to Start a Ecommerce Business?

Steps to Starting an Ecommerce Business

Ecommerce businesses have both similarities and differences with other businesses. Considering other business aspects, ecommerce business has a lot of differences and a few similarities with other businesses. So starting an ecommerce business can be challenging. At the same time, starting any business can be very difficult for a beginner. But over time you will become a pro with your experiences and expertise. But at the beginning, you need guidelines and help to understand and start an ecommerce business which is why we are here to help you get the guideline. The steps to starting an ecommerce business are given below.

Step 1: Research and Select Niche

Research and Select Niche

The first step to starting an ecommerce business is researching and finding a niche for your ecommerce business. If you are a beginner and just learning how to start a ecommerce business then you should know that,

“Research is extremely important”

Because you first need to understand the ecommerce business and gather knowledge on what others or your competitors are doing. Researching others or your competitors will give you a clear vision of what you should do to move toward success and beat your competitors.

The research will also help you know which niche is best for your ecommerce business and also which niche is in demand on the market. Also what potential your selected niche has in your future ecommerce business? The research will help you understand how much success you can expect from that particular niche. 

Let’s look at an example.

Suppose you are planning to start a restaurant business. What will you do? Firstly you will look for a location. Then you will either own a place or rent a place. Then you will plan the restaurant theme and menu. Same to this situation you need to research different factors when planning to launch an ecommerce business.

You need to find out the answer to some questions while researching. Those are given below.

  1. You need to decide what type of item you're going to sell.
  2. Will it be a product or service?
  3. Will your selected product or service be digital or physical? 
  4. From which source you are going to get your products? 
  5. Will you manufacture the products or will you buy wholesale and resell the product? 
  6. You also need to decide if you are going to sell the product individually or in a package. 
  7. You also have to decide if you're going to sell your item totally or offer it in an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly subscription. 
  8. Will the subscription be hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly?
  9. You need to decide how you will deliver the item to your customer.
  10. What will be your start-up budget?

When you will successfully find out the answers to these questions, you will automatically get the desired niche and additionally your ecommerce business plan. And also a better sense of what your ecommerce business goal is and also how you are going to reach your ecommerce business goal.

Nowadays with the rapid growth of ecommerce businesses, you have a huge resource of ideas on how to start a ecommerce business. At the same time, it means you have to deal with a lot of competitors. If you are determined enough you will be able to find a gap among your competitors. This gap is the bridge to your success. You need to fill this gap in your ecommerce business planning and execution. This will help you beat the competitors and rush towards success in selling products online. After performing research and discovering a niche for your ecommerce business you need to move forward to the next step.

Step 2: Name Your Business and Manage Legal Processes

Name Your Business and Manage Legal Processes

When you will successfully finish researching and also choose a niche for your business. You will need to name your business and also manage legal processes to solidify your ecommerce business.

Every business has a name. And every business is identified by its name. So it must be unique to identify its individuality. So firstly you need to select a business name like any other business. If you are just a beginner and learning how to start a ecommerce business, then you must know that it has to be a unique name. Also, the name should be something that points out or specifies what the business is about.

For example, you should select a business name that automatically tells people what you sell.


you need to select a unique name for your business. You have to ensure the name you selected for your business is not already chosen by someone else or some other business. If any existing business has the same name which you selected for your business. Then make sure to change it and start finding a new unique name. Because it can cause you to get involved in legal issues in the long run. So it’s better to avoid this problem in the beginning.


You need to get yourself a website for your business. To run a website you need a domain name and address. Your business name and your domain name have to be the same. So that the customers can easily find your website on the internet. It is best practice if you manage to find a “.com” domain for your business. 

For example, if your business name is “Laline”. Then your website’s domain name should be “”. But in case this name is not available, or someone or some other business is already using it as their website's domain. Then try to use a different structure. You can use “” in exchange for “”. Whatever you do, make sure to use a unique domain name. Both your business name and your domain name have to be unique.


When you are done choosing a business name and domain name, you need to manage legal processes such as registering your business name or applying for a DBA, getting an EIN, and also permits or licenses for your business. 

  • First, register your business under your chosen name or apply for a DBA. DBA stands for doing business as. Applying for a DBA is as important as choosing a name for your business.
  • Next, you need to get an EIN for your ecommerce business. As you are just learning how to start a ecommerce business, you might not know about EIN. EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. EIN is a nine-digit number. It is extremely helpful to separate your personal and business finance and accurately pay tax.
  • Finally, you need to get a business permit or license. Depending on the state you live in you might need both a general and a local license.
  • Ecommerce businesses are mostly home-based. So you don’t need as many business permits or licenses as other businesses. But in some states, you need to get a home occupation permit. This permit ensures that you are not creating any disturbance in the residential area for other residents.
  • Different businesses require different types of permits. For example, the food business requires health and safety permits, and at the same time, Real Estate Developer Companies require building and construction permits.
  • Some businesses require a trade license and all businesses require sales tax permits

Naming your business and dealing with legal issues is the most sensitive part. So if you are a beginner and you are just learning how to start a ecommerce business. Then it will be best practice to consult with an attorney or any other professionals about this matter. And strictly follow the legal procedures. You should start your business with a clear image. And follow every legal instruction. So that you don’t have to face any legal issues in the upcoming days. 

So if we summarize the second step, then we can see:

  1. Choose a name for your business.
  2. The name you selected for your business should point out what your business is about or what you are selling.
  3. Chose a unique name for your business. 
  4. Make sure no other company or business is using the name you selected for your business.
  5. Get a website for your business.
  6. You need to choose a domain name that matches your business name.
  7. Your domain name also has to be unique.
  8. If any other website has the same name as your chosen name for your ecommerce business, then try to do a bit of modification.
  9. You must register your business under your selected name or apply for a DBA.
  10. Next, you need to get an EIN for your ecommerce business.
  11. Finally, get a business permit or license. 
  12. Depending on the location you are operating your business you are going to need a general and also local license. 
  13. You might need a house occupation permit if you are operating your business from home.
  14. Consult with an attorney or any professional while handling any legal affair.
  15. Avoid any legal mistake that might have an impact in the long run.

Step 3: Chose an Ecommerce Platform for Your Website

You have come to the point where you have completed all the legal paperwork to start your ecommerce business. Now all you need to do is create a storefront. To create a storefront you don’t need to find a suitable location but a suitable platform to create a website for your ecommerce business.

“A website is the storefront of an ecommerce business”

In an ecommerce business creating a website is the most important thing. Because the website represents your business as it is both the storefront and also the face of your business. Website is the physical existence of your business. The website is the place where customers will see and place orders for products or services you will be selling.

Now there are thousands of ecommerce platforms with so many different amazing features where you can create your website for your ecommerce business. Every platform has its unique benefits, as well as challenges. So you should wisely choose a platform to create a website for your ecommerce business keeping in mind the necessities and requirements of your business.

Let’s look at a platform where you can create a website or online store for your ecommerce business. Considering the challenges one might face when they are only learning how to start a ecommerce business, we have chosen the best platform for beginners which is Isshue to create your website or online store for your ecommerce business.

Best Ecommerce Software

About Isshue

Isshue is our first pick for those who are only learning how to start a ecommerce business. Because It is created keeping small businesses in mind. This platform charges very less than most of the other platforms. It has no monthly payment. You can purchase this software through a one-time payment. You will be able to purchase the software with a complete source code in a one-time payment. CodeIgniter framework is used to develop this software. If you have coding knowledge you can utilize the code to make your desired changes on your website.

But if you have no coding knowledge, then no problem. You can make whatever change you want. Because customization of your website is easier than ever on this platform. If you face any problem, you can reach the provider for help anytime. It is a platform with the complete package to run an ecommerce business. You can access it in all kinds of browsers. Though this platform charges less it has a lot of amazing features.

Features of Isshue

  1. PHP Code: Isshue has the neatest PHP source code. Once you purchase the software, full control will be in your hands. You can add or remove any features you want in the future.
  2. Fast: Isshue is one of the fastest ecommerce shopping cart software in the world. An ecommerce website must load fast. Because many customers get annoyed if the website takes time to load and does not place an order.
  3. Secure: Security is the utmost important factor for an ecommerce business. Security is important for every business. Because if security is not strong, any attack from hackers will be able to weaken the whole system. And a lot of sensitive information can be fallen into wrong hands. Isshue has the strongest security keeping that point in mind.
  4. Easy Customization: Customization is easy when your website is created with Isshue. It also provides source code. If you have coding knowledge you can use source code to do any customization you want. If you lack coding knowledge then don’t panic as Isshue got your back. Isshue has a dedicated team of professionals who are ready to do any customization as per your request.
  5. Responsive Support: If you face any kind of technical problem while installing Isshue, you will get full support anytime from Isshue. It has the most dedicated customer care team. And they are always ready to help you solve any problem at any time.
  6. Marketing Tool: Isshue has a lot of built-in marketing tools like SEO, Email marketing, and SMS marketing. You can easily market your website and maintain a good customer relationship with it.
  7. Payment System: Isshue has the richest payment system. Most of the top payment getaways are integrated with Isshue. You can also add more payment systems to it by customization.
  8. Design: One of the best features of Isshue is its awesome designed templates. It has a lot of fantastic templates. You can use these templates to make your website more eye-catching to attract customers.
  9. User Friendly: Not only Isshue has templates that are attractively designed but also these templates are user-friendly. You can beautifully present your website on any device like a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.
  10. Lower Cost: Isshue is probably the most affordable ecommerce software with all the features mentioned above. It has no monthly fees and no hidden charge. All you need to do is make a one-time payment and get the software along with the source code. It has an extended licensed version with unlimited features and support. But the regular licensed version is also quite reasonable with a lot of features and limited support. 

Step 4: Source Products

ecommerce Source Products

The most important part of starting an ecommerce business is done. Which is choosing a suitable platform to create a website for your ecommerce business. And creating a website or online storefront for your ecommerce business. Now you need to start to source products to sell through your online storefront.

If you are just learning how to start a ecommerce business and want to sell products, you can do mentioned things below,

  1. You can make your products. 
  2. You can manufacture those products which you want to sell.
  3. You can also source the product you desire to sell from a good distributor.
  4. You can buy products wholesale and resell them.
  5. You can also do dropshipping.

When you have decided how you will source the products you will sell, you may proceed to the following phase, which is how you will ship or deliver the products to your clients. It is now time for marketing after selecting a shipping or delivery method.

Step 5: Marketing

ecommerce product marketing

When you are done sourcing products and also list products on the website. And also found a delivery or shipping method, now it’s time to move to the fifth step. The fifth and final step of starting an ecommerce business is to market your ecommerce business. Marketing is also an important part of starting an ecommerce business. Because no one can purchase from your website when they don’t even know about your website or ecommerce business.

Marketing is also important for ecommerce businesses like other businesses. Because people are probably looking for a source to buy products that you are selling through your online storefront. And you are not getting any customers because your customers don’t even know your ecommerce business exists. So it’s time to reach them and make some sales.

Before marketing, you must remember to make an eye-catching design and reduce the loading time to as little as possible. You should move to marketing when your website has a good design and high loading speed. Also, make sure the website is device friendly or mobile-friendly. Because according to a study 61 percent of online orders were placed from mobile phones.

There are a lot of marketing strategies you can select and utilize to market your ecommerce business.

  1. The first thing you can do to market your ecommerce business is that you can tell your friends and family about your ecommerce business. You can also request that your friends and relatives spread the word about your e-commerce business to their connections. Word of mouth is the oldest technic of marketing. And it is quite effective.
  2. Secondly use social media to market your ecommerce business. People spend the majority of the time of the day on social media. So marketing your ecommerce business on social media can result in great profit. The importance of social media for business promotion is a lot.
  3. The third thing you can do is utilize any online marketing tools provided by your e-commerce platform.
  4. Fourthly, you should use different internet marketing tools like Google Ads, Social Media Ads, etc.
  5. Finally, you must not underestimate the power of SEO. Your website should be SEO optimized to ensure the best organic reach from SERP.

Finally, you will start getting orders. But something you should keep in mind that you must keep track of every marketing tactic to identify which marketing strategy is bringing you the most sales. Once you try every marketing strategy and identify the marketing strategy that works best for you, then stick to it. Invest more time and money in that technic to make more sales.


Starting an ecommerce business can be challenging. But starting any business can be challenging. If you compare the traditional way of starting a business with an ecommerce business then you will see it is quite easy to start an ecommerce business. You have to deal with less hardel when you will launch an ecommerce business than any traditional business. But before you launch your ecommerce business you must know how to start a ecommerce business. Otherwise, you might face a big failure. You must do good research and then make an effective business plan according to your research and execute everything according to your plan to ensure the success of your ecommerce business.