How to Set Up an Online Retail Business In Steps


A Music Lover 🎶
Staff member
Mar 2, 2022
Becoming a business owner is not about talking about the methods, it is about taking steps and performing the actions.

It is always like a big deal when someone is trying to start an online seller. The truth is that it’s not an easy task or thing to start, but the aim is to see the greater reward which is ahead.

One of the biggest problems you’ll face is determining the time and energy it will take you to start your own online business.

As you must have known all businesses go through the trial and error phase, it is important you learn from this.

When starting your business, whichever business you are trying to start you must know that you will take your time to go through the stages that will seem like your effort is useless but you must relent.

In order to help make it easier for you to set up an online retail business, I have carefully simplified the process by stating the proven steps.

How to set up an online retail business:​

Right below are the steps to take in order to set up an online retail business with detailed information.

1. Find a market that needs your products

When you plan to set up an Online retail business you must not decide based on only what you can present to people but on the market that really wants your products.

For you to be able to market your products effectively you need to do your research and be certain that there is a need for the products you offer in the market.

You should understand that doing research might seem uneasy and time-consuming at first but with time you will see the importance of doing proper research.

Explaining this basically, it is of no use to set up an Online retail business but with no customers, this is what happens when you don’t work on targeting the right market.

The solution to this is by using tools to find the best market for your target.

Here are a few of those tools:

  • Google Trends
  • Keyword Surfer (a chrome plugin you can use)
  • Google Keyword Planner (this needs you to set up an Ads account and use it free)
  • Search for product demand on sites like Amazon and eBay.

2. Know to get a Targeted Audience

This is one of the important stages you must take before you set up an online retail business, it requires to be done to be able to get customers.

This is a simple formula that everyone should understand that without customers to sell to there is no revenue.

The method to finding potential customers is not an easy one, doing thorough work to bring people to your online store and to convert them into paying customers.

There are lots of ways to successfully identify and find an audience to target, but to do this you need to carefully know what it takes to find who your customers are.

The best way to get people to become your customer is by understanding what people really need from your products or services. Then start creating products that solve those problems and you will see that you turn them into a long-time loyal customer.

To make it easier for you, there are some tools that help you to be able to retarget people who already have an interest in your products and services.

One of these tools is Facebook Audience Insights, it helps retarget people who have already had an interest in your products and services during your Facebook ads process.

3 Do Business Logistics Research and Requirements

Before you set up an online retail business you need to make sure you are using the opportunities to do research on how you can make your business stand.

Venturing into an online business without having a plan is like swimming in water without course, to grow that big idea of yours you need to take your time to do research and understand the laws, resources, regulations, and logistics to back your online business idea.

Below is a list of things to know:

  • The business registration, licenses you need, and permits based on your country or region
  • Products shipping weight and costs
  • Number of stock-keeping units based on your product line
  • The cost of production and overhead
  • Copyright, trademark, and patent applications
  • Also, look out for shipping restrictions for your product type
To be sure you are following the right path on determining these, go to the right places in order to get enlightened on how to go successfully.

4. Plan your business well

For you to set up an online retail business you need to set up a formidable plan. Creating a better business plan can help you make sure you are ready to target those important aspects of the business.

Your business growth depends on your plan using it strategically as a map that helps your way to reaching the proposed business goals.

When you have a business plan laid out, it is best that you follow it with a thorough mindset to help you fulfill the growth you have focused on.

To get started I have gathered some notes to use whenever you want to set up an online retail business:

  • Executive summary
  • Products and services
  • Description of the business or company
  • Market and competitive analysis
  • A complete sales and marketing plan
  • Financial projections and need for funding
  • Company operations and management
Consider carefully creating a business plan before you set on the journey.

5. Look for a Manufacturer or Supplier

Starting your business is the key and it is either you manufacture your own products yourself or get them directly from a manufacturer.

You will be needing a supplier to get products from or sell to them it all depends on your decision.

While working to explore the market do this:

Pop-up questions: This is a thing you must keep in mind to progress your business. Questions help you learn new things pertaining to your business from experts who have grown in the same business. Start with asking questions from manufacturers on how they manage to keep things smooth.

Decide which manufacturers: Business is always about the decision and this also applies to choosing between working with overseas manufacturers and domestic manufacturers. This decision decides how high or low your product’s cost will be.

Research properly: As I said earlier it is important that you do your research so as to keep business in trend. There are lots of websites and directories online that can make it easier for you to search for manufacturers, sites like Alibaba, and search engines like Google.

If you are ready to set up an online retail business then you must do your best to do these tips mentioned above.

6. Build a brand

Building a brand is like building a house on solid rock, this means you get to stay relevant for years to come with higher values. A brand is one of the things that help keep customers and business owners in a strong relationship resulting in a win-win situation.

Your business brand must be your top priority as it speaks for your business and how relevant you are.

To build a better brand you should:

  • Create an attractive logo that speaks about your business in a simple yet effective way to stand out.
  • Continue creating informative and stunning visuals to convince people about your business.
  • Let your main color associate with everything pertaining to your business, be it website page, product, and logo
  • Post content that is helpful and informative about your niche (business focus) to help people understand the importance of your business.
  • Clearly show your uniqueness by doing extraordinary things that can wow people, hiring marketers and strategists can help.
The way to build a brand is not limited to one but to many ways, it only depends on which of them you want to use. Set apart your branding setup process using the key roles of your business in the market.

7. Set up an Online Retail Store

Now, this is when the fun begins, the part that talks about bringing your dream to life.

There are lots of eCommerce platforms online that make it easy for you to set up an online retail store. We have an eCommerce platform like Shopify, which was basically created for the purpose of setting up your online store with ease.

It all depends on what your aim is, let’s say you are dropshipping then it’s better for you to get started with Oberlo. It was built for the purpose of supercharging the entire process of dropshipping on your Shopify store.

To set up an online retail store you should include these:

Always write attractive and unique product descriptions about your products

Attach well-taken product photo to show the value

Set up a landing page that will lead visitors to the right part of the site for purchase

Set up pages that include legal info to prove to your customers that you care about them, legal pages such as privacy policy, shipping policy, return policy, and terms and condition

Display your shipping rates and how it’s processed

Finally, set up the checkout page and payment gateways

Something good you will hear today is that most of these pages and requirements have been made ready by e-commerce like Shopify. All you need is to start analyzing where and how you place them in your online stores.

8. Develop your marketing strategy

When you set up an online store, the aim is to make sales or generate income from it. This is basically the purpose of going through so many stages just to get your store online up and running.

In order to make the whole process complete, you need to come up with strategies to market your business (products and services)

That is when you start to see changes in revenue, marketing is the to generate revenue from whichever business you may start.

We have different marketing strategies that are worth trying, my advice is to try a few of them first so as to be able to determine which works better for you.

Here is a list of a few you can start with:

Social media marketing:
This is one of the best ways to market your business to your followers on social media platforms. Start creating post content that will help solve people’s problems using your products as the key. This can help turn people into loyal customers.

Email marketing: Another way to create a long-term and between you and your customers by making use of the subscriber’s capture magnet. It helps you get information and sale announcements to people of interest before the sale is on. Share exclusive and hot deals with your subscribers to see a great turn up.

Influencer marketing: This is a form of marketing that deals with influencers in this same niche as yours promoting your business through their channel while you pay them. When you have influencers, who have already made their name in the industry give your business a shout-out then you are already making a name and customers for yourself.

Marketing is not magic; you have to start from somewhere before you finally reach there. Always do your research, work on providing values with your content continuously, and will see yourself grow in years to come.


For you to set up an online retail business means you have the aim of bringing your business to the limelight. The quality products you have to offer are the key and also how you offer them.

Keep yourself and your business in the trend, follow up on new things in your industry and try to relate with customers based on their needs.

Then give your best to create products and services that will benefit your customer which in return will benefit you with revenue growth.
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