Key Steps To Build A Profitable eCommerce Website

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eCommerce can be a really profitable business, however, no one can guarantee how it will really play out. In this article, we provide a blueprint to help you start out.

The eCommerce industry is growing impressively fast. Studies predict that it will reach $4.88 trillion by 2021. This means lots of competition for any online business owner. To build buzz around your new eCommerce site and gain customers’ trust, you need to build and launch your store strategically. This means having a detailed plan that will guide you through the process of building, launching, and growing your store.

#1 Choose What To Sell

Start by asking yourself what kind of products you would like to sell. Would you like to cater to a specific niche, such as selling natural cosmetics or baby equipment? Maybe you want to, similarly to Amazon, focus on commoditized products – a wide range of products everyone needs.

Then, start researching your target market and determining who your customers are. Identify the product people are passionate about. Think about the everyday problems they face when completing certain tasks. Put yourself in your target customers’ shoes and ask yourself whether your product can solve these problems.

Ensure your product can be easily brandable and positioned in your target market. Remember, only by building a unique brand around your product will you increase brand awareness, gain people’s trust and, above all, boost sales.

#2 Research Competitors & Build A Business Plan

Once you’ve chosen the type of items you would like to sell, pay attention to your competitors.

Observe the products they sell, the performance and user-friendliness of their online stores, their marketing efforts, and audience segments they’re targeting. How strong is their brand? What about customer experiences. Follow online reviews and social media discussions to see what people think about them.

Try to find the gaps in your niche, specific problems competitor brands haven’t managed to address. Turn product deficiencies in your market to your advantage and create something unique that will make your customers’ lives easier.

#3 Build A Business Plan

A business plan is a roadmap that guides you through the process of launching a store and helps you grow it in the long-run. When building and managing an online store becomes too complex and overwhelming, a business plan will remind you what your goals and priorities are, helping you stay on tracks.

Now, there are no strict rules to follow when writing a business plan. This depends on your specific needs. However, there are a few segments your strategy should definitely include:

  • The executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Market analysis
  • Products and services
  • Marketing plan
  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financial plan

#4 Building An Online Store

Building an online store is the most exciting and creative part of this process. On the other hand, this is an immensely complex process, consisting of multiple stages.

Choosing The Right Business Name

The good thing about building an online store lies in the fact that your business name serves also as your domain name. This is immensely important, as it gives you the opportunity to build a memorable and recognizable brand.

First, keep it sweet, short, and simple. You want users to hear your brand name and remember it instantly. Above all, make sure that your customers don’t get confused when googling your store. That is why you should avoid numbers and hyphens in your domain name. Let’s say your store is named It could also be written as shop-to-go or shoptogo, which may confuse a visitor and lead them to another website.

Second, check whether your domain name is available. You cannot use the domain name that is already taken. The majority of domain registrars have a WHOIS box, where you just need to write down your domain name idea and see whether it is available. In the case your desired domain name isn’t available, register an alternative TLD. For example, instead of .com, you could choose a popular TLD like .me, .ly, .buy or even go with your country code (if you’re selling locally).

Design A Logo

When I say Apple, Pinterest, eBay, Airbnb, or FedEx, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind? I bet it’s their iconic logos. A logo makes your brand more relatable to your customers and stands for its visions, missions, and values. Therefore, when choosing your logo, you need to pick the one that reflects your brand ideas in the long run.

First, decide what type of logo you want to create. Will you emphasize your brand through a symbol, letter marks, or watermarks? Sure, you can also use the combination of symbols and typography, just like Airbnb, Microsoft, or Puma.

The color of the logo is also important. Each color triggers a particular emotion in your customers. Green is great for brands that want to emphasize their relation to nature. Blue stands for trustworthiness, which is important for online sellers. Red is the color of passion and excitement and, as such, it is great for youthful brands that want to make an impact. Yellow is fresh, friendly, and playful.

Build A Killer Store

For starters, you will need to choose where you want to build your store. Make sure you ask yourself the right questions regarding the functionality of the platform, such as:

  • How simple is their platform to use?
  • Does the platform include all the features I need?
  • How reliable is their hosting?
  • Is this the right platform for the type of product I’m selling?
  • How good is their customer support? Can I get the right answers fast, when the need arises?
  • Is the number of products I can sell limited?
  • Can I take advantage of multi-channel selling, by directly marketing to customers on Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc?
  • How customizable are my themes?
  • What payment options can I use?
  • Will my platform be optimized for mobile devices?
  • Will the platform help me rank higher in the search?

Some of the most popular platforms to choose from are Shopify, Shopify Plus, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc. Pay attention to their pricing plans and to what they include. Most importantly, most of these providers offer free trials, so make sure you use them before making a final decision.

Pay attention to the overall looks and appeal of your store. You need to provide a smooth and personalized browsing experience that will boost user satisfaction and motivate them to make a purchase. If you’re not sure where to start with your online store’s design, you can always hire an expert. For example, if you use Shopify Plus, you can hire Shopify Plus experts that will help you create an authentic and on-brand online presence. An expert will help you create a consistent brand image across all channels and, above all, align your website design with your SEO efforts.

Invest In SEO Early-On

SEO and website design go hand in hand. Optimizing your website for search engines while designing it is far more efficient than doing so when the site has been already launched.

SEO requires lots of strategizing. Many beginners believe that SEO is all about keywords, backlinks, and high rankings. However, this is not so. Even though these are the crucial aspects of SEO, you should never forget that this practice is also about making user experiences pleasant. SEO gives you the opportunity to map out customer journeys from beginning to end and guide them down the sales funnel.

There are many aspects of your website design where SEO and UX collide, including:

  • Investing in an SSL certificate that makes your site “secure”
  • Building trust with customers by adding security badges
  • Creating a simple navigation menu with clear menu categories, which can boost both user experiences and your SEO
  • Speeding up a website to ensure better user experiences
  • Creating a mobile-ready website that feels the same across all devices
  • Creating high-quality and visually appealing content that positions you as an authoritative online resource
  • Creating internal links and powerful CTAs to guide users towards making a purchase

Choose The Right Distribution Channels

One of the most effective ways to find new customers for your online store is to find them on the sales channels they already use. This gives you the opportunity to market to them across multiple platforms.

Now, the list of sales channels is long, so you need to find the ones that will really work for you. Probably the most popular option for you is Amazon. According to recent research, over half of online buyers start their product searches there. For those selling crafty products, Etsy is the right choice, while Bonanza is the right place for those selling unique and creative products. Sure, social networks, like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook are an important addition to your list of product distribution channels, as most of your customers are already there.

#5 Promote Your Store Widely After The Launch

Once you launch your store, you need to let people learn about you. For starters, invest in a sold cross-channel promotion.

For starters, use social networks. Facebook is a great place to start building a solid online community and track your customers’ discussions. Instagram is an amazing option for starting giveaways, user-generated content, and behind-the-scenes photos and stories, while on Pinterest, you can showcase your products.

Then, start producing top-quality content on your blog. Create articles, guides, podcasts, video guides, infographics, case studies – anything that would work for your audiences. You should also create top content like whitepapers, online courses, or comprehensive guides that could serve as a solid lead magnet.

Finally, focus on building backlinks on quality sites that would bring you lots of authority and traffic.


Building, launching, and growing an online store is an exciting experience. However, no one can guarantee how it will really play out.

This is just a generic blueprint that may serve as your starting point. Over time, you will keep learning more about your audiences, tracking the latest industry trends, and test everything to see what works for you. Based on these data, you will refurbish your strategy on the go.




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