How to Start an Ecommerce Business from Home
Starting an ecommerce business from home is one of the best ways to make money from home online. With an ecommerce business, you can sell your products or services or those of someone else via affiliate marketing or dropshipping models. One of the easiest ways to start an ecommerce business is by selling your products and services via an established marketplace like Amazon, eBay, etc. If you already have an existing site, you can add a shopping cart to it to sell your items online and receive payments from customers. You can also build a brand new website from scratch and then add a shopping cart to it to start an ecommerce business.
If you want your own full-fledged ecommerce site, there are some reputable hosted ecommerce software providers that can get your ecommerce site up and running in just a few clicks. There are a number of options when it comes to starting an ecommerce business, and the key to success is choosing the right platform based on your budget, programming skills and features you want on your ecommerce site.
What You Need to Start an Ecommerce Business from Home
If you are interested in getting started, you will need the following things:
- Product(s) You Want to Sell
- Domain Name for Your Ecommerce Site ( A recommended site is GoDaddy)
- Web Hosting Service to Host Your Site ( ex. Bluehost)
- Design Your E-commerce Site
- Shopping Cart Software
- Merchant Services Provider to Accept Payments
- Marketing Strategy to Market Your Business Onlin
Options for Starting an Ecommerce Business from Home
Starting your own ecommerce business from home can be an excellent way to have the freedom and flexibility you want to spend more time around your family, while making a living by selling goods online from the comfort of your own home. An ecommerce business allows you to sell physical and digital products online from a website that has the ability to provide customers with a secure payment gateway to pay for the goods you sell to them. An online store or website with the ability to process transactions and receive payments from customers is the prerequisite to start an ecommerce business from home. The real challenge, however, is choosing the right platform when it comes to hosting an ecommerce store and website to sell items online.
You have a number of options when it comes to selling products and services online:
- Sell via One of the Third-Party Marketplaces Online
- Sell via your Own Ecommerce Website
- Sell via a Third-Party Marketplace Online (Ex. Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce, etc.)
This option is ideal for businesses or people that find it challenging to create their own ecommerce site due to their lack in understanding technicalities involved in running an ecommerce site. They can simply set up a store in an established marketplace like
If you like this option all you do is, list your product inventory on your store, set the price and earn money when a sale is made. The payment will be handled by the parent marketplace. You can choose to ship the product to your customer or let the third-party marketplace do it, depending on the fullfilment service you choose and available. You can also use dropshipping business model if you do not want to handle the physical delivery of products you want to sell.
When you sell via online marketplaces, you can reach out to a market with a larger customer base. These marketplaces get tons of traffic from search engines being optimized for the search engines, so you do not need to spend extra money that you would have spent to optimize your own ecommerce website. However, you still need to promote your products on your store via a third-party marketplace using various methods. Whether you want to sell your used items, your own new products or want to resell items that you have bought at cheaper prices from other sources, eBay, Amazon.com and Etsy are great platforms to get started your ecommerce business.
Sell via Your Own Ecommerce Website
If you sell items via your own ecommerce website, you have more control over your products, pricing, and marketing options. There are a few options when it comes to creating your own ecommerce website. These are:
- Create an Ecommerce Site from Scratch Using Hosted Ecommerce Software
- Upgrade an Existing Site to an Ecommerce Site Using Hosted Ecommerce Software
- Create a New Website from Scratch and Add Ecommerce Functionality to It Using Self-Hosted Ecommerce Software
- Add Ecommerce Functionality to an Existing Website Using Self-Hosted Ecommerce Software
- If you want to create your own brand, keep all your profits to yourself, then starting your own ecommerce business is the best option.
- Hosted Versus Self-Hosted Ecommerce Software or Shopping Cart
You can set up a full-fledged ecommerce site, upgrade an existing site to a full-fledged ecommerce store or create a site and then add a shopping cart with built in payment processor to sell products and receive payments from customers. If your shopping cart does not have an in-built payment processor or more, you will need at least a payment processor to accept payments from your customers. You can also add a shopping cart and payment gateway to an existing site to be able to sell your items online.
Self-hosted ecommerce software or shopping carts can be free and paid software. If you have a self-hosted site, your hosting account may provide various free and paid shopping carts that have business affiliations with your hosting company. You can also download free or paid ecommerce software from a third-party vendor.
Some reputable self-hosted carts include:
If you want all the ecommerce features on your ecommerce site, then using a hosted shopping cart software system is the best option. You can choose one of the reputable hosted ecommerce software platforms to set up a new full-fledged ecommerce website or upgrade an existing site to a full-fledged ecommerce site.
Some reputable hosted Carts include:
If the steps involved in creating an ecommerce site by using self-hosted ecommerce software seem a daunting task, creating a full-featured ecommerce site by using a hosted ecommerce software provider is the best option. Building an ecommerce website is easy if you go with a reliable hosted ecommerce software platform that will provide reliable hosting services, secure shopping cart, merchant services, ecommerce web design, drag and drop website builder, lots of pre-maid templates, online marketing tools, etc to create a robust ecommerce website without any technical skills required.
What Is a Shopping Cart?
A shopping cart acts as a site’s store catalog and allows customers to review the products based on various factors such as size, color etc and purchase the products. You can buy shopping cart software as a separate service from a shopping cart software service provider to add it to a new or an existing site. If you create an ecommerce site by using a hosted ecommerce service provider, it will provide the shopping cart software alongside all other ecommerce software features.
You do not need a shopping cart if you want to sell a single item online at a time. PayPal’s Buy Now buttons let you accept payment each time an item is sold. It is free to create PayPal’s Buy Now buttons on your site, but you have to pay transaction fees which are low.
- How to Market Your Ecommerce Business
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
- Buy Ad Space on other Websites
- Affiliate marketing
- Social Media Marketing
Ecommerce is a great home-based business model if you choose products carefully, have good marketing skills to market the products and choose the right ecommerce platform based on your targeted market, product inventory, technical expertise and budget to set up your ecommerce site. Selling via eBay and Amazon.com is a great way to start an ecommerce business if you do not want to create your own storefront. If you do not want to create a full-fledged ecommerce site, but still want to be able to sell your products and services from a new or an existing site, you can add a free or paid shopping cart to the new existing site to accept payments from your customers.
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