What you need to figure out upfront before starting your eCommerce business

There is no single formula for starting an eCommerce business. The process is pragmatic rather than theoretical.

Let’s look at some of the important things you need to figure out upfront before starting your eCommerce business:

  • Market Research
  • Domain Name
  • Brand Value
  • eCommerce Types and Platforms
  • eCommerce Success

Market Research

It’s essential to understand the marketplace if you hope to create a successful edition to the eCommerce world. Consider the following steps:

  • Estimate demand - Will people or other businesses buy your products? Total available market and share?
  • How many people or businesses could theoretically buy your product or service? What percentage use your competitors?
  • Timing - Is now the best time to start your business? Are your potential customers going through a downturn? Have they changed their buying habits?
  • Price - Could you sell your products or services for a profitable price? Why or why not?

Get a Domain Name

To start an online business includes registering a domain name. This should take place once you have chosen the name for your business. The domain name here would be the address on the Internet that would reach your business website.

  • It defines your brand - this is how people will find you.
  • Consider the long term over the short term.
  • It should be easy to remember.

To check if your domain name is available you can use any of the below websites to search:

A lot of the businesses provide the domain name registration service, and the process is very straightforward. All you need to do is make an account on the website that offers the service, search for the domain that you want to register, and then pay the annual fee to purchase it.


Estimate your start-up costs, which could include:

  • Office space
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Communications
  • Utilities
  • Licenses and permits
  • Insurance
  • Lawyer and accountant
  • Inventory
  • Employee salaries
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Market research
  • Website development

To this, an eCommerce start-up might add:

  • Packaging
  • Fulfillment and warehousing services
  • Returns
  • Software

Before you launch, research each of these expenses. Estimate one-time expenditures and recurring monthly fees. You’ll want enough financial back-up to pay for everything for at least a few months.

A word to the wise here: Be realistic in your estimated expenses and your funding plans, but also undaunted.

Establish your Brand

You’ll need at least a few brand elements. These may include:

  • A logo
  • Fonts and colors
  • Graphic design elements
  • Packaging

Brand value plays such an important role in your eCommerce Journey as it creates trust with your customers.

eCommerce Types

There are four traditional types of eCommerce:

  • B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
  • B2B (Business-to-Business)
  • C2B (Consumer-to-Business)
  • C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer)

There’s also B2G (Business-to-Government), but it is often lumped in with B2B

There are five value delivery methods in the eCommerce landscape: D2C (Direct-to-Consumer), white label and private label, wholesale, dropshipping, and subscription service.

eCommerce Platforms for each eCommerce Type

There are three main ways to classify the different types of eCommerce platforms:

-> Open-Source
-> SaaS (Software as a Service)
-> Headless Commerce

There are also two types of web hosting environments within eCommerce platforms:

-> Cloud: Hosted Elsewhere
-> On-Premise: Self-hosted on your business premises

A B2B eCommerce platform likely is easy to manage, reliable integrates with current internal systems, and provides a unique shopping experience for buyers. On the other hand, a B2C eCommerce platform might offer a more straightforward buying process for customers.

Which eCommerce type is the most successful?

Being successful in eCommerce means different things to each business or consumer. Success could mean more sales, higher revenue, global reach, or the best customer experience. It’s important to define success first and then create a plan to get there. There are massive untapped opportunities either way.

A successful online business takes a lot of commitment. Getting a start online takes blood, sweat, and tears. It’s simple but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

You need to take responsibility for your success since it’s completely up to you. Nothing will happen by itself. If you don’t do something, it doesn’t get done.

The future of eCommerce is incredibly bright. But, starting an eCommerce business is hard work and demands many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time. Consumers want and expect more; constantly improving & adapting to the change & uncertainty is a journey, not a destination - and you need to travel with the right team of people.

An eCommerce platform does not automatically translate to sales; a digital transformation strategy performing as a strategic investment is critical to success.

Interested in learning more about HOW Vectra can help your business benefit with eCommerce, visit our website https://vectra.co.za/ or contact us for more.