Last year pushed millions of people towards online technology, and some of those people took to learning about the space enough to start their own business. Whether you are starting a new small online business out of your home office or starting a new company with employees and a dedicated office space, the process of starting a new ecommerce business in 2021 is mostly the same. While anyone can start a new ecommerce business, it is easier said than done to make a new online business take off and survive in the long-term. Anyone can set up a website, mission statement, and business description, but it takes many more details and external factors in place to make a business function and turn a profit. The process is not impossible, and with some hard work and research, anyone can get an online business off the ground as large investors and a business degree are not required. There is no exhaustive list that will tell you everything you need to know and do, but below are just a few of the most critical tips to start an ecommerce business in 2021. 

Claim Your Spot, Domain, and Niche

The first part of setting up an online business is claiming your domain name and market corner. The odds of you competing with Amazon to become a one-stop-shop are very slim, and you have a much better chance of surviving if you focus on a smaller niche fewer stores are covering. Figure out what you want to sell, what you want your business to be called, and buy the website domain name as fast as you can. Try to keep your domain name simple and easy to spell or search so customers can easily find your store. If the name you want is already taken, you can try and buy it from the owner or pivot to find a different domain that is available. 

Let Technology Do The Work For You

Too many new businesses insist on doing all the work themselves and checking each step of the process like a traditional brick and mortar businesses often still do, but this is not necessary when technology can take care of a lot of grunt work. Years ago, employees had to check, print, and pack shipped orders by hand, but now technology can do many of those initial steps for you. With a few simple plug-and-play APIs, your system can generate FedEx shipping labels as soon as an order comes through rather than having to wait for an employee to verify details and print a label manually. AI chatbots can also respond to customer questions with pre-written responses to partially automate customer service and support, so employees don’t have to answer the same questions repeatedly. 

Effective and Unobtrusive Web Design

Once you have a domain and your general business idea figured out, it is time to start building your site. First-time website designers have a tendency to go overboard with colors, fonts, layout, navigation systems, and more. While a fancy site design is fun to make, it does not always translate to a pleasant or straightforward user experience. You want customers to navigate your site easily, find items to purchase and make it through the checkout process rather than getting hung up on distracting website design. Your website design should guide customers where you want rather than getting in the way of customers reaching your and their goals. Thankfully, there are many hosting websites that offer templates or pre-built websites to get anyone started with a digital business if you don’t want to invest the time to design a site yourself or hire an outside web designer. 

Anyone can start an ecommerce business in 2021 thanks to the easy access of multiple online tools and services, but it takes more to run a successful business. The first step is to claim your marketing corner, business name, and domain name. Figure out what you want to sell, how many other businesses you will be competing with, and quickly claim a domain to start setting up your business. Do not forget to add technology like APIs to your website that will make your life easier and more efficient. Be careful that your site design does not impede potential sales, as poor design and layout will drive customers away even if you are proud of your flashing text. When you set up your business, consider everything through a customer’s eyes to ensure your UX/UI is as straightforward as possible. The simpler the process, the happier your customers will be and the more sales you will rake in.