What is an e-commerce business

What is an e-commerce business? Also, known as electronic commerce, it includes all the activity of selling and buying of products or services, over the internet. Read more here.

what is an e-commerce business

How to build an e-commerce business

Here are the steps to help you build your e-commerce business.

1. Do market research and choose your niche.

Market research allows you to determine if what you want to do is viable if it has the potentiality of making revenue in the future. Many people want to start a business in the niche they want. But sometimes after total market research, they will find out that it is a very competitive niche. And many after taking into consideration the result of there market search, they change.

When you do your market search be sure to pay attention to your result. And if the niche is too competitive, you better change. And, market research helps also in knowing your competition. Learn what they are doing, why it is working and how you can do it better.

Choose your niche accordingly, I usually advise to take something which is not too competitive for a start. But a niche which already has a certain demand. Unless you have experience and preexisting clients, do not go for a highly competitive niche.

2. Find your suppliers.

Where will you get your products from? Be sure to find a supplier for what you are gonna offer your clients. If it is a homemade product, find reliable suppliers for your raw materials. Today we have the choice to manufacture our own products, to do a wholesale or a dropshipping business. But in all choosing a good supplier is crucial.

Even for a service-based, an e-commerce, like a hotel booking service, you need to make sure that the hoteliers you are working with are bind with a contract. Because, it will kill your business if people book and show up for check-in but the rooms are not available or are not clean.

3. Choose a business name.

Choose a business name that reflects the nature of your business. And it can also be the name of your website. This is a very important step. Because, it is what people will keep in mind. So, make sure to choose something pretty and memorable.

It is also the same name that you will use to create your logo. And this is an image or design representative of your business. You can craft it in your packing material to get your client use to it. The logo also needs to be attractive and unique.

4. Get a website:

Because, in an e-commerce business everything is done online, your first step will be to get a website. We talked more about this subject in our other post on creating a website for your business.

Now the specification for an e-commerce website is that you need a website that will allow you to have transactions. Where your clients can find there needed products or services and purchase directly from the website.

online store

For the image above, it is an online store selling fashion items online. If that is your goal, you will need to have that specific look. Because, it allows your clients to get a better look at the product before purchase. And that website allows them to chase and buy directly from your website.

And, if your goal is to create an e-commerce business offering services, you may want to opt for another look for your website. Like this one below.

booking site

What we need to keep in mind is that when we create a website for our e-commerce business. We need to choose a theme or template which will allow us to expose our product in the best way possible. And make it easy for our visitors to navigate and find their products. Also, makes a simple way for them to purchase.

5. Get your e-commerce ready for SEO

This is an e-commerce business and laws of SEO apply too. But they are a bit easier than what applies to blogs and text content websites.

– On-page SEO:

You need to make sure that your pages are SEO friendly. In your product title, description and product category make sure to use Keywords. Yes, you need to go for a keyword search, use tools like Jaaxy. And you will get to know if your chosen keywords are too competitive, has any monthly impression or is too competitive.

Make sure your images have an alt tag. Because, that is what tells the search engines about the relevance of your images. And add a meta description to your products.

Link building is another great way to tell search engines that your content is relevant. You can get links in so many ways. But for an e-commerce, I find that social media is a great place to get links. Create a social media profile and share your content there, if people are interested, they will easily share it. But do not forget to have internal links.

Get your page speed at the top. Slow website ranks poorly in search engines.

– Off-page SEO:

After creating your e-commerce, use google search console and bing master tool to submit your content for index. Without that, the search engines will take a very long time before indexing your content. So, you need to submit it and you will get indexed faster.

You can create a product video to reach more people in different video sharing platforms like YouTube. And, you will get more backlinks from it.




– Mobile optimization:

Get a theme or template with a mobile-friendly formula. Today, many people connect via there phones and in other places, they do more via phones than any other device.

If your theme does not have a mobile-friendly formula, you can use the AMP tool to help you design a new theme for your mobile version. It should be fast to download via mobile.

– Create a blog:

Having a blog besides your e-commerce is a great feature. Because, you will need to create content hastily. And, that will tell google that your e-commerce is still viable.

Normally with an e-commerce, you create your product and services, then all you do is drive traffic. And you do not need to create products or services on a regular basis. So, search engines may think that your e-commerce is not relevant anymore. But when you attach a blog to your e-commerce with the constant posting of relevant content, you will keep ranking.

– Google shopping:

Join Google shopping. If you have product-based e-commerce, do not neglect this feature. It is a paid service within google where you display your products. When someone searches for a product the first result comes as product images. The person is able to compare from different stores and purchase.

6. Market your products or services.


Marketing is a beautiful thing. It can bring your business from zero to thousands in a day. All you need is to do it right. An e-commerce has a variety of possibilities for online marketing. You can create text ads, image ads or video ads.

And you can place your ads in social media, search engines or create an affiliate program.

– Social media marketing:

It is the not so secret weapon of online business. Many achieve great success with it and others not so much success. But all will tell it is worth the trial. With millions of people on social media, it is the place to be for any kind of business.

You can contact a social media management agency or get one in house social media manager. I will always advise getting a professional. Because, social media marketing is a full-time job and you can only achieve great success if you treat it as so.

– Search engines marketing:

This service is the most expensive and requires a lot of experience. But fortunately, it is not something that you need every day. So, you can contact an agency to help you when needed, to optimize your content and take care of your website health. The good thing with SEO is that when you start ranking, traffic is free.

– Affiliate program:

Create your own affiliate program. This will multiply your sales and revenue. There are two ways to create your affiliate program, as I explained in this article here.

The greatest advantage is that when your brand is established via an affiliate program, your marketing budget will decrease.


Impact of an e-commerce business.

The boom of e-commerce has impacted the business world entirely.

The online market is expected to grow by 56% in 2015–2020. In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021


– Geographical impact:

Today people can buy products or services from countries they have never heard of. Because, there is no geographical limitation for an e-commerce. You can advertise in places you could have never reached otherwise. As long as you can deliver your products and services to there location. People will be interested in buying from you.

– Competition impact:

In the old days, we could not identify where to buy at a lower price or a wholesale price. But today, we have e-commerce which sales at factory price. Allowing you to get the product you need at a better cost.

We have the possibility to search and compare prices online. The broker and others in the supply chain who were taking advantage of that part of the business, have today less and fewer jobs.

what is an e-commerce business

– Employment impact:

With the rise of online business, many traditional businesses had to close and many people were jobless.

But this has also another happy impact. It is that many people today own their e-commerce and create jobs or others too. It is cheaper than a traditional business and you do not necessarily need to rent a business place when you are just starting.

– Customers impact:

We as customers are the happiest. Because, we can buy and get delivered from the comfort of our home. We get to shop around and find the right price for us. And we can find everything we need online. From food, clothing, household products to high-quality products and services.

The danger of e-commerce is trust.

The biggest danger of e-commerce is that we do not know who is behind the computer. That is why at the beginning of your e-commerce business, you need to win the trust of your customers. You need to be transparent with your customers and be ready to pay back there cash.

The trust that the product and services will be delivered as promised. Because, all we see is an image of what we want, with a guarantee that it will be exactly as in the picture. You need to deliver exactly what you display to your customers. Otherwise, your business will not last. Because, your unsatisfied client will give a review of what you did. And no one else will come back.

But if you are faithful to your client, delivering on time the exact product. You will get yourself customers and brand ambassador for free.

Conclusion of what is an e-commerce business.

So, what is an e-commerce business? I hope you got the answer to this question and even more. An e-commerce business will allow growing your business reaching more and more clients every day. Even locally, it gives you the possibility to establish your brand faster.

It is really a nice business model with great potentiality. Are you ready to start your e-commerce business? If it is not for good enough for you. You may wanna check the list of successful online business ideas.

Thanks for reading, leave a comment below.

10 thoughts on “What is an e-commerce business”

  1. Making an online business has never been easier. Domain names and hosting are very affordable, and you can find tons of information online about how to set up your website, grow your traffic and monetize it. Fantastic, right?! If only it were that easy. The problem is that there is a lot of misinformation which can quite literally bog your blog. What are the best SEO practices? Which hosting service should I get? Which niche should I target? The questions are endless and it’s an bottomless pit. My advice is to take your time and really think out carefully what kind of realistic expectations you should have. If you can find a respected mentor who can simplify the process and show you a blueprint that you can follow. Go for it and don’t give up!

    • Yes, a mentor is a good idea but why spend thousands of dollars when you can get the training you need and a community supplor to help you achieve success. I always invite people to join Wealthy affiliate.

      It is affordable and you get the opportunity to create many business.

  2. Thank you for outlining the steps to creating an e-commerce business. The internet has certainly opened many doors and has changed the way things are done. I like the fact that you mention the importance of building trust and transparency online. Online is becoming like the normal local marketplace where you connect with certain vendors and get to know who stands for quality and who doesn’t. Reviews are a great indicator for most consumers of who to opt for.

    • Yes, trust is everything. Unless you build it properly you will not succeed in your e-commerce business.


  3. I define E-Commerce as having a store without having to pay massive on the rent and also you do not have to deal with the landlord. I use to own 2 restaurants and I am telling you dealing with the landlord is a nightmare. According to your guidelines, having an E-Commerce is almost the same process as having the physical but I think we need to have our marketing strategy right, it is such a high competition in the online space. You are absolutely right, trust is everything. If you cannot deliver good products and cannot help your customer solve their problems, no one will come back. I used to do everything to have a return customer just to save money on marketing. Thanks for the guidelines. 

    • Exactly! Return customers don’t cost anything to you. Keeping clients is the goal for an e-commerce because online marketing can be costly and acquiring new customer is more costly than keeping recurrent customers.


  4. Hi Davina,

    Thank you for outlining the steps to set up an e-commerce business.

    In fact, I am thinking of diversifying my affiliate marketing business into e-commerce business to add another stream of income.  But l have some confusion over e-commerce and drop shipping, what are their difference and benefits? Do you think Shopify is the best platform to start a drop shipping business?

    Your kind advice is much appreciated.

    Best wishes.

    • An e-commerce and a dropshipping are similar things, you sell product online and deliver to the customer. Where they differ is when it comes to responsibility. For a classic e-commerce store you are responsible of your inventory, you need to buy it and store it, you are also responsible of delivering your products and the customer care part. But with a dropshipping store, you are only responsible of customer care. You do not have an inventory, you do not take care of shipping or delivery, all you do is market your supplier’s product to your clients and the supplier does the rest.

      I do not think shopify is a good option, because you will not be the owner of your website and shopify can terminate your store anytime and you have a monthly fee which is not always great. I always advise and use alidropship as a plugin (that I only buy once and without any monthly fee) to set up my dropshipping store, Alidropship products review With the plugin you will use wordpress and woocommerce to establish your store and you will be the sole owner,

  5. Hi!

    Thank you for this fantastic post. I like that you gave meat-and-potatoes and why. Can you collaborate on how to manufacture your own product? What are the resources?

    I have to get it one by one and apply. Not sure I am in the low competition niche. After reading your post, maybe it is a good idea to give my niche a little “spin.” Thank you!

    Again, I have learned a lot but mostly I would love to know more about manufacturing your own product.

    Thank you in advance.

    • There are many ways to do this. But what I do, is to get in touch with manufacturer from china on alibaba website. When I see something that I like from a seller, I will first make sure that he/she is a manufacturer and not a wholeseller or reseller. When you succeed to establish that, you can discuss the details about the product and order a sample to make sure that it is really what you want. After, that you can place your order and within 2 months you will receive your order.

      It is cheap and can be of good quality too. It’s all depends on your choice of design and material, you can have the product made with your brand and logo too.

      I hope this helps.


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