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View Full Version : E-Commerce -- Step by Step, Please!



nubiecom
10-22-2005, 02:55 PM
First, I am new to forums and to E-Commerce, so please advise if other areas I should look into where answers may be posted. I may be asking too many questions so thanks in advance.

I want to start an online business, but don't know where to start. As an example, if I were to do sell online, like say ebay or Amazon (on a much smaller scale), what do I need to do? I don't have a site of my own yet and am not a website developer so pre-designed templates would help.

Please advise on a cheap/free and a reliable host with e-commerce capabilities. Should I host my site on a free hosting site and when I am comfortable with how-tos, then move to some e-commerce capable host to do business? Is moving easy/difficult? What is involved?

Until I begin selling online, I am considering signing up with some affiliate programs online and somehow promote my site. Any issues with signing up with multiple programs? Any suggestions on good affiliate programs and how to inlcude on my site? Ideas on promoting my site?

Do I need to create a company (LLC, etc.)? Please advise in case of a personal site with some affiliate programs...eventually selling online when I am ready. Do I need to consult a lawyer and tax advisor for anything?

Again, I ask too may questions, so thank you all.

BusinessMan
10-27-2005, 04:26 PM
There are so many questions here, it's difficult to know where ot start.

I would seriously suggest that you learn the basic ropes initially. Buy some cheap hosting (have a look around WebHostingTalk for instance), set up your initial site, sign up for a few initial affiliates.... then learn.

You have to learn to walk before you can run.

When you have done all this, and got the experience, you will stumble across answers to some of your other questions, and learn what the real questions should be.

jacklang
10-29-2005, 04:27 PM
Hi Nubiecom,

Congratulations on your new endeavor. Making money online is something that is not easy, but can be very rewarding if you stick with it and become successful.

The first thing that you should do is decide exactly how you are going to sell or make money online. You've mentioned a number of very different avenues of online sales such as Ebay, Amazon, and operating your own site with affiliate partnerships. Each option you have mentioned is a very different animal, each requiring unique expertise.

In my opinion, one of the biggest mistakes that newcomers make to selling online is trying to do too much at once. Unless your name is Yahoo!, the Internet is far too competitive of a place for any one website or person to do it all. Instead, the key is to figure out one or two ways that you will make money online and do them well.

Forming a Legal Company Structure
When starting an online business (or any business for that matter) it is crucial to keep overhead (expenses) as low as possible. There is no reason for you to expend the time or energy necessary to form a corporation (LLC, Sub-S, C, etc.). Initially you should run your business as a sole-proprietorship or a DBA (doing business as). Only after your business becomes a little larger, and can actually benefit from the tax breaks, liability protection, and professional stature that a corporation supplies will you need to worry about incorporating.

Learning the Online Ropes
You've made a great move by posting in forums, and searching for advice from others who have gone before you. This forum is great for business advice, and there are other resources and forums that are very well known for providing excellent advice on all aspects of managing an online presence. One such resource would be WebmasterWorld (http://www.webmasterworld.com). The beginners forum here is an indispensable resource for any aspiring Internet Entrepreneur. I would suggest that you join a few forums and ask a lot of questions before committing to any one online business idea.

Hosting
BusinessMan made a great recommendation about WebHostingTalk. Web hosting is a crucial aspect of online success, and as with anything, you will pay for what you get. While I would not recommend a free hosting service for anyone looking to make money online; you don't need to spend a fortune on hosting either. You can find a million different web hosting options by searching Google for "web host". However, if you are stuck on free hosting you should take a look at this review done by CNET (http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6541_7-6245526-1.html?tag=promo1) on the top three free hosting services.

I don't have a site of my own yet and am not a website developer so pre-designed templates would help.
Once I read this I would have to recommend that you not venture into affiliate marketing, or other similar forms of online revenue streams. Any type of affiliate marketing is very competitive, and being successful takes much practice and web know-how. In order to adapt to changing markets and your competition you would need to be able to keep your web-presence very liquid (change your web site often).

With this in mind I would suggest that you do one of two things.

1.) Learn web design with a WYSIWYG Editor like Dreamweaver (http://www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaver/) or FrontPage (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/FX010858021033.aspx).
These tools will help you to build a website with very little programming knowledge. This way you will be able to get online and focus more on marketing aspects than the technical know-how behind building sites.

2.) Sell through Ebay or other similar services.
Ebay is a great way for almost anyone with ambition to make money online because you don't need to know a think about building and promoting site. Everything is done for you. Many people have started selling on Ebay, built-up capital, and then launched their own online presence when the business was able to pay for itself. Perhaps this course of events is the ideal scenario for you?

nubiecom
11-01-2005, 11:00 AM
Hi jacklang,

Thanks for a lot of good advise.

I have been considering different avenues of online sales and as you suggested, there is a lot involved to do on my own with little/no experience in building and maintaining a site of my own. I don't want to jump into and do many different things at once.

Your suggestion to not get into forming a corp. before I establish myself is understandable, however, I do want to protect myself before signing up with affiliates, selling online, or having links from someone's site. Or, do I need to worry about all that? What kind of paperwork or steps I need to take for sole proprietorship or DBA? Does any such paperwork need to be completed to have a domain name, business name, policies, copyright, etc. listed on my site? At what point does it make sense to incorporate, etc.?

I am not necessarily looking for free hosting, but somewhere to host cheaply and reliably while I play around with the site and learn to do things taking full advantage of useful features provided by the host. Once I am comfortable, I can move to another host or upgrade at the same host. What all mininum features should I look for?

You have mentioned to do ebay selling? I will look at how to do things there but any particular suggestions on how/what all I can do with them? I do not have an inventory of things to sell so for that do I need my own domain and hosting or ebay provides all these features to use?

faeriebell
12-20-2005, 10:20 AM
I would form an LLC, not a corporation. It is better tax wise.

Then get a good ecommerce software, and if you need help with development, hire someone to manage products, store development, any custom modules you need, etc.

Have you considered using data feeds from major affiliate networks? Many offer feeds from top retailers that could be entered into your site easily, then you make the affiliate commissions.

Or will you be selling your own products? If so, the best way to go is with the ecommerce software that makes entering products and managing them easy.

Stay away from hand coding ecommerce sites (like in Dreamweaver). There are plenty of softwares that you can use that are more professional.

PM me if you still have any questions, I realize this thread is quite old but there are always people with these questions.

firebringer
12-20-2005, 04:59 PM
I'm not a lawyer, but its been my experience that there are two reasons to form a corporation, 1. Raise capital, and/or 2. Limit liability.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of liability exposure with a small website, focused on affiliate links, to me. Additionally, forming a corporation adds some significant costs to your stat-up.

You've had some great advice here, suggesting a slower, learn as you go approach. I've found folks make a lot more mistakes when they get in a hurry. E-commerce is no ticket to instant wealth.

Good luck - no matter how you decide to proceed. I love it when another fledgeling entrepreneur finds their wings!

SuccessfulAdvice
12-20-2005, 07:21 PM
This thread has some excellente advice and has pretty much expressed everything that I would have advised.

In regards to internet marketing it isnever to late to learn. I have started a forum on my website in which you can interchange ideas and ask questions in regards to online business's and other business opportunities.

There are several ways of promoting your website and bringing traffic in. One of which you are doing right now which is forum posting. Most moderators will allow you to post your website on your signature line or in some cased in the body of a messsage [Mod insert: there is a WWW link button for this purpose below] as long as you add value to the forum and if the website has a decent page rank on google your website will be indexed as well as long as you have optimized for on page and off page. It takes alot of work but even a newbie can get this done.

I also know of another method of making money online - pretty quick turn around and up to 144% return. If you need more info on this - PM me or visit my website forum or success advice website.

midynamics
02-03-2014, 05:41 PM
Hello,

It's pretty easy and affordable, however it depends on the products that you are planning on selling.

1. Incorporate a company (doesn't matter what legal structure however Limited Liability is always good)

2. Setup bank account for that company.

3. Paypal accounts and other merchants to process payment on your website.

4. Get a website designed / developed. It's best to go with CMSs like Opencart (http://www.midgr.com/cms-website/) or Magento (http://www.midgr.com/cms-website/). You can easily have one developed and deployed anywhere in between 3-5 days unless you want a bespoke design etc.

5. Have the website optimised for SEO. You also need to figure out keywords that pertain to your product niche. You need to analyse traffic that these keywords generate. Go to google adwords and it's all self explanatory.

6. So you have two choices from here. Take it long-term approach and have your website SEO optimised however sometimes it takes forever to get your website within decent rankings. The other approach is to run an Adwords PPC campaign which will bring in visitors (prospective buyers) instantaneously. Conversion of these visitors into sales would depend upon your product, content and ofcourse over all User Experience that you website offers.

Most important of all have a vendor who can supply consistently and reliably. Let's get started from here and keep us posted on how things are going and we would be glad to help.

touqeer
03-21-2014, 05:52 AM
If you want to start your own online business. You have register your firm (LLC). At least two partner is required for the limited liability.

stockbrokers
10-02-2014, 11:40 AM
In your case, I prefer trying with eBay/Amazon first before continue with own hosting

AdwordsGuru
10-02-2014, 05:52 PM
There are a lot of good comments here and i don't want to tread on anyone's toes, however i think we are all too caught up in the legal side of things. This is important, but it's just a form and a nominal registration fee. If you don't fill it in, you're not breaking the law you are simply classed as "a sole trader" - nothing wrong with that. Get professional advice but do not get hung up with this kind of stuff. Making your first sale should be your one and only priority.

My main advise is to "just do it". Action and boldness are the key and yesterday was the best time to get moving.

1) Buy a domain name from Godaddy or anywhere for about 7 for a year
2) visit Google.com/A and sign up for google apps for business. You now have your own @yourdomain.co.uk email address.
3) Photograph your products and upload them to ebay for testing
4) Now you have your products on ebay, put them on amazon and all of the other shopping portals
5) If you have products that sell, you will have some money now presumably
6) Spend 300 to 500 on a wordpress ecommerce web site. You can save even more if you get a theme from themeforest.com (40) and install wordpress yourself with a paid for hosting (40 a year)
7) The best free ecommerce shopping plugin for wordpress is woocommerce. Install it and add your data
8) Finish your web site with content and pictures
9) Add a blog to your web site
10) Setup Google Analytics and Google webmaster tools to measure your performance online
11) Create social media accounts and link them to and from the web site
12) Link your blog to your social media accounts, so that when you update your blog, it automatically posts to facebook, twitter, linked in, pinterest, tumblr etc. All of these will back link to your site and help raise your visibility on search engines. Use a tool called IFTT (https://ifttt.com/)
13) Once you start to make sales you will need a way to track your customers. Zoho CRM is a great tool and quite a bit cheaper than Salesforce.

And you're off!

Hope this helps

karnia
11-28-2014, 07:53 PM
Hello,

It's pretty easy and affordable, however it depends on the products that you are planning on selling.

1. Incorporate a company (doesn't matter what legal structure however Limited Liability is always good)

2. Setup bank account for that company.

3. Paypal accounts and other merchants to process payment on your website.

4. Get a website designed / developed. It's best to go with CMSs like Opencart (http://www.midgr.com/cms-website/) or Magento (http://www.midgr.com/cms-website/). You can easily have one developed and deployed anywhere in between 3-5 days unless you want a bespoke design etc.

5. Have the website optimised for SEO. You also need to figure out keywords that pertain to your product niche. You need to analyse traffic that these keywords generate. Go to google adwords and it's all self explanatory.

6. So you have two choices from here. Take it long-term approach and have your website SEO optimised however sometimes it takes forever to get your website within decent rankings. The other approach is to run an Adwords PPC campaign which will bring in visitors (prospective buyers) instantaneously. Conversion of these visitors into sales would depend upon your product, content and ofcourse over all User Experience that you website offers.

Most important of all have a vendor who can supply consistently and reliably. Let's get started from here and keep us posted on how things are going and we would be glad to help.


Very nice detailed answer. Don't forget to pick nice and short domain name for your website.

MeenaBhattacharya
12-09-2014, 06:20 AM
Well, I think, LLP is the first process for the eCommerce business where you have to register yourself. And, apart from this, you have to design a good eCommerce website design and use the lucrative themes, so that most of the folks easily pay an attention over it. After that, you need to have a good knowledge about the product and share the product information on different social networking sites.

TracyLisbet
01-28-2016, 11:35 PM
here some step of start online business .
1. Decide on the products that you would like to sell
2. Figure out if you want to build the website in-house or outsource it to a technology company
3. If you plan to build it in-house, there are two options - either hire a tech person or use some already available templates. We built it on Zepo
4. Choose a design / theme and start writing content that will go on the website
5. You will also need high quality images to go on the website along the content
6. While you are writing the content, it is a good time to get started for On-Page SEO. Hire a SEO expert and word your content accordingly
7. When the website is almost on the verge of getting ready, initiate discussions with a payment gateway company and a logistics company
8. Finalise the plan best suited for you both for payment gateway and logistics
9. Simultaneously, also speak to a packaging company to figure out the right packaging for your products
10. That's it, you are good to go. Start marketing and bringing your customers to your website

jordanpacker
08-06-2017, 11:53 PM
If you want to sell online, it is best to use ebay or amazon for cheaper overhead. You can also find sites in your country that allows you to sell online.

You should find a hosting provider that is not that cheap and not that expensive. You have to make sure it doesn't have a lot of drawdowns and maintenance downtime. Moving is easy. You can have a technical support staff to help you through the process.

When starting out, it would be hard to find affiliates that will promote your site for you. The best way is to start with Ebay or Amazon and make profits there. To promote your site for free, you must be active in forums, blogs, and other article-based sites. In addition, you can create articles that will promote your site. Submit these articles on free article-submission platforms like Ezine Articles.

Suman Verma
11-20-2017, 10:57 PM
You surely have so many queries. You know what, I would suggest consulting someone like a consultancy firm on e-commerce in order to get a better idea about what needs to be done in order to succeed as starting with incomplete knowledge won't help and can also create troubles in future. So, I think you should gather all the required information and then proceed.

Legion
10-26-2018, 03:26 PM
Hmm.. There is so much here.

If you want to make an income online I recommend starting with one of three types of businesses

1. Affiliate marketing
2. Dropshipping
3. membership site where you teach people something you like

I would recommend using email marketing for all of them. it is by far the cheapest and simplest way to get started online.

You create a simple 2 page website with clickfunnels, lead pages, or even optimizepress for wordpress sites.

Then you drive traffic to the website, collect emails in exchange for a gift of some kind (see my signature for an example of this)

Then follow up with them via email and build massive value so that they like, trust and respect you so that when you do occassionally send out an offer people actually want to buy it from you!

Eventually you will have thousands of people on your list and every email you send will be worth thousand if not tens of thousand of dollars.

bam - you have a sustainable business and distribution channel for whatever you want to sell.

I won $10,000 in an affiliate contest just by sending one email to my list.

hope this helps!

Cheers,

sapna_sagar
10-31-2018, 07:12 AM
as per your question, you have to be very clear in your decision before you start your business.you have to choose which type of stuff you want to sell. after that, you tell that eBay or Amazon which is more best for you? but why don't you make your own?

No Doubt it will not bring result at beginning stage but after some time it will work and it helps you more than eBay, Amazon. so as per your query you don't know how to start and you want to know all the things step by step. so you need The ultimate guide to start an eCommerce app development (https://www.gurutechnolabs.com/ultimate-guide-to-start-ecommerce-app-development/) as well as you have to get knowledge about how to Create Your Own Online Shopping App
(https://www.gurutechnolabs.com/create-own-online-shopping-app/)

spoorti1509
11-16-2018, 08:24 AM
First of all, welcome to the SBF forum
I went through your query and its a good question actually,Remember Online Marketing not a Rocket science.
The very first step of preparation,is having a well chalked out plan or atleast some rough idea u should build.

Since E-commerce is bomming everywhere across globe and the hype of online marketing is 20 % of profit world gain from online business and You can build up your very own site or you can browse a large group of SaaS suppliers to do likewise, which would spare you a considerable measure of time.

I suggest you to make a list of these points

* What kind of products u wana sell online?
* when you planned to launch your ecommerce site?
* Mianly what is your Budget,atleast rough budget
* You need to design your sites front-end with more attention in order to attract users
* After your site is built you have to work on SEO for making it famous and make it search engine friendly site
* You have to tie-up facility with shipping service providers along with payment gateway providers too.
* Last but not the least-you need to give 24 x 7 technical support which is manditory for growth

finally after going through those above steps if you can do it by your self only you were very well versed with all those steps
i mentioned above then go head or you I suggest you to rely on top ecommerce development companies for the
development of your eCommerce website with all related facilities i mentioned you before.

ahl
11-16-2018, 11:18 AM
Hello folks, first of all let me apologize in advance. This is only my second post the forum and I am already hijacking a thread but I don't have any alternative. I posted my first question 3 days ago and it seems to be still waiting to be approved by a moderator. I already used the "contact us" to ask for an update and no response. If any Mod is watching this please, help me out :)

Again sorry folks for the rude hijacking. Have a great day!

PratikShah
03-11-2019, 04:38 AM
If you start your own eCommerce business online, then magento is the best platform for you.

dragon22
01-29-2020, 09:17 PM
Hi,
Does Magento support Dropshipping? I am new and really want to start business related to dropshipping.

vision2020
02-15-2020, 05:43 PM
here's something that may work for you. They say that in this free webinar they show you how to use social media and will do the work for you to promote and sale their product giving you the commission. Let me know what you think http://j.mp/ExclusiveTrainingFromWes

speeduser
11-19-2020, 07:54 AM
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