How to Start Your Own eCommerce Web Store Website: The First 35 Steps You Must Take

How to Start Your Own eCommerce Web Store Website: The First 35 Steps You Must Take

Posted by Big Brand on 20th Mar 2020

We get asked a lot "how do I start an online store like yours", and it's hard to give a quick and easy answer, so I have finally gotten around to starting this multi-part series for you.  Let's begin... 

  1. Pick a company name - Check your state database to make sure there is not a company name that matches the name you want.  You also don't want to pick a name that is too close to a different companies name because that could cause confusion. 
  2. BEFORE you officially choose the company name, go to a domain provider and purchase the domain name. (URL).  You want your URL to be an exact match with your company name.  You also want it to be a ".com" because ".net" is hard to remember.  This process of going back and fourth between step 1 and 2 can take months.  Don't rush it!
  3. Create a matching email & Verify all of the accounts
  4. Decide on Phone Number - Google Phone, App, are you going to get a 2nd phone plan or are you going to do Text Support like we do? Get the phone number.
  5. Decide on Theme Colors. Get Paint Samples!  Go to Home Depot or Lowes or whatever building store is near you and pick out 50+ colors that really mean a lot to you.  Then, in GOOD LIGHTING, lay then out and group them into trios that look good together.  Tape each trio together so you can see all three colors at the same time with the color you like best as the top piece.  Now you'll have 10-20 trios of different color schemes.  Hang these somewhere that you are forced to look at them all the time.  Force yourself to take down 1 trio every day.  At the end of a week you'll end up with the final color scheme (or a couple left) that you LOVE.  If you truly can't decide, ask some friends and family to pick their fav.  
  6. Create a Logo - Make sure you have your logo in a variety of sizes and both orientations. 
  7. Create a mission statement / motto
  8. Determine your "registered address".  This information will be PUBLIC! You will be using it for legal documents AND on your postage,  i do not recommend using your home address.  Instead get a PO Box.
  9. Immediately make Social Media Accounts that match your company information but do not promote the accounts yet. Just make them quietly; upload logo, motto, etc
  10. Officially get your LLC
  11. Get an EIN - Check out What is an EIN and How to Get One
  12. Get your Reseller Certificate
  13. Immediately add your url to listing databases. Avoid adding to "any" database; only add to databases that offer what you sell.  For example, if you plan to specialize in womens leggings, find womens clothing databases only.
  14. Pick a Web Host - We use BigCommerce.  Shopify and Volusion are the other two most popular hosts. I strongly encourage you to pick BigCommerce or Shopify.
  15. Set up all of the basics of your website - fill out Profile, yada yada
  16. Purchase a Camera and Lighting.  We love the Lumix cameras. 
  17. Buy an HD Memory Card.  You should at least get a 32GB. 
  18. Order a Test / Sample order of inventory or a few different small purchases.
  19. Now that you know what you ordered, add Categories and Sub Categories to your site
  20. When Inventory Arrives, Set up a photo area and take test photos using the sample inventory
  21. You may realize you need photo props, backdrops, mannequins, hanging lights, spotlights, etc.  Get whatever you need to create the best images and listings possible. Remember, people shop by picture (and video)!
  22. If you are planning to sell on Amazon you will need a Light Box and/ or photo editing program to make sure you photos meet Amazon criteria. If you are using your own site your photos can be however you would like, but you still want to aim for good quality, clear photos. 
  23. Set up Shipping Tables, Shipping Policies, Transit Time, International Shipping, etc.  Decide if you want to ship by "weight", "zone", "quantity" etc. 
  24. Order Shipping Supplies: Boxes, Tape, Labels, Packaging Material, Tape Gun, Stickers, etc
  25. Create Terms, Return Policy, About Us and Other Web Pages.  Personally, I thought the "About Us" was the hardest page I have ever created.  It took me literally YEARS to really be able to tell our buyers about myself and our family.  Surprisingly, it has gotten AMAZING feedback because people love knowing WHO they are buying from!
  26. Set Up Merchant Account and Other Payment Accounts: Credit Card (we use Braintree powered by Pay Pal), Amazon Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay / Gpay, Apple Pay, etc
  27. Create a Listing Template
  28. Test Website by placing orders - test from pc, tablet, android and iphone.
  29. Make sure all links work - go back through every single page and check everything
  30. Order first batch of actual inventory
  31. Inventory SKU Numbers
  32. Create Inventory Storage system
  33. Set up Shipping Account through or whomever you want to ship through
  34. Add site to google
  35. Add site to Bing
  36. When your inventory arrives, start listing

NEXT: Continue reading the next steps 37-61

check out our other Amazon & eCommerce detailed guides:


Where to Next?  Popular Topics:



Other Selling Sites

Inventory Buying

Starting an Online Biz

How to Pack & Ship

Store Returns

Biz Supplies (Online Sellers)

Wholesale Pallets Guide

Upselling Guides

Save Money on Everything

Motivation & Inspiration

Advice & How To Guides

Humor for Online Sellers

Drop Shipping 101

Item Name Cheat Sheets

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