How to Begin an E-Commerce Store: 4 Steps to Begin an Online Store Using a Tiny Budget

How to Begin an E-Commerce Store: 4 Steps to Begin an Online Store Using a Tiny Budget

Consumers around the globe spent 1.86 billion dollars in e-commerce shops in 2016 and, even based on Statista, that amount will reach 4.48 trillion dollars by 2021. That's an increase of 240 percent in just five years.


Who can blame you for wanting to claim a piece of that pie? There's a lot to go around, in the end. Right? A physical storefront costs around $30,000 to start and, unfortunately, the story is not much different for e-commerce.

ECorner forecasts an e-commerce store done correctly will price the founder $31,222 from the first year.

That's okay. Fortunately for you, I'm going to demonstrate to you how you can begin an online shop with just a couple hundred dollars (or not) since to claim your piece of this pie, you do not have to have loads of cash. You just must play your cards right.

Step #1 to begin an Online Store: Pick a Popular Product

Your first step towards maintaining a slice of this trillion-dollar e-commerce is to opt for a product. In the event you had tens of thousands or millions of start-up bucks, then you would have the liberty to decide on a product you are passionate about.

However, you don't. That means you can't. The cause of that is simple: There are about 110,000 ecommerce websites on the internet generating significant revenue and there are countless others that are failing to create enough revenue to become even worth mentioning. Apparently, you need to be in the first class.

But here is the thing: you need to compete with all those online stores. Imagine trying to contend with Amazon and eBay, that's enough to make even the toughest person cringe. After all, why would you win? I hate to break it to you, however, you wouldn't. Which is the reason you need don't compete with these stores.

That is right. Ignore them.

Your goal when selecting a product (or products) is to pick products that are so specific they ave these two characteristics:

  • A relatively modest amount of competition.
  • An audience that is easy to goal.

Some products that fall into this class are items like Star Wars java presses:

The easiest way to think of a market product is to combine a theme with a item. For instance:

  • Star Wars socks
  • Star Trek shirts
  • Lumberjack mugs
  • Environmentally friendly backpacks

Afterward, advertisements to your intended audience will be much easier and more rewarding.

What you want to keep away from are commoditized products. Do not, for example, simply sell hats. Rather, sell video game hats. Don't simply sell t-shirts. Do not sell toenail clippers. Sell lightsaber toenail clippers. (Sorry I am in a Star Wars mood!)

Still, however, how in the heck are you planning to choose a niche product or collection of goods which is rewarding?

Here's the way: First make a list of commoditized products which you wouldn't mind promoting. Your list may look something like that:

  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Leggings
  • Coffee mugs
  • Watches
  • Headbands
  • Sunglasses
  • Pants
  • T-Shirts
  • Baby clothing

Subsequently, go to Amazon and type in every item one at a time. Click on the first result, or among the very first outcomes.

Scroll down to the Item description.

Here, you will have the ability to observe some invaluable information.

First off, you'll realize the status number for your product that you clicked in different categories. To put it differently, this is the place that Amazon rankings the product beneath the corresponding searches.

This tells you how popular the product you're taking a look at is. The greater the number, the better.

Then, you will see common market searches under the commoditized product you are looking at.

With luck, this will give you a couple of ideas for possible markets. But, again, this can be only the beginning. Keep in mind that the farther you niche down, the greater, provided that you do not go so far it becomes too niche. ("Organic wool Star Wars hand-threaded hippy hat," for example)

Pick a market and apply that to your merchandise. Then, it's time to find out which products are selling the best.

To do so, go to Google Trends, sort into one of your merchandise in the search bar and then hit enter.

The next page will show you the interest level during the past couple of weeks for that search phrase on Google. The greater that attention is also the better to your prospective product sales.

However, don't just stop with one product. Compare your entire collection of products against you to ascertain which ones will probably be the most rewarding.

You can compare up to five goods on the graph at a time so based on the number of products your list comprises, you may have to do a few runs.

Whatever your graph shows, concentrate on the products which have the highest interest. In particular, focus on only three products to get started. As you make more cash with your internet retail business, you are able to move to other goods. But to begin, fewer products will lessen your marketing budget, and you also want to do this on a small budget. So start with three otherwise you'll need more than you can manage.

The final thing you will need to do in order to select those three products, however, determines the sustainability of every. To do that, you need to figure all the money you're going to invest and how much you are likely to make on each item.

Here is what that mathematics should look like:

Profitability per merchandise ($) = overall revenue from product -- (price of item + cost of shipping cost of advertising + some other additional overhead costs)

Choose the 3 products on your listing with the highest profitability margins. If not one of your products are successful, then start the process over with a brand new list till you find some that will provide you a decent return for your investment.

Step #2 To Begin an Online Store: To Drop Ship or Not to Drop Ship?

The next thing you will want to decide is if you would like to lose ship your products or not. Drop shipping is a hands-off method for selling and shipping your goods and it's an ideal business model since it outsources a great deal of the job of running a business.

Here is exactly what the dropshipping business design resembles:

With drop shipping, you benefit because you spend less time managing shipping and inventory products. The supplier of these products benefits since you do the work of marketing and promoting their goods for them. It's a symbiotic relationship and also for many internet stores, it functions:

Approximately 33 percent of online retailers use drop shipping as their principal order-fulfillment system.

But, there is a dark side to fall shipping. Profit margins tend to be much smaller since you're paying the provider to store the stock and ship the products to you. So while you may save yourself time with dropshipping, you wind up spending more money a product.

Armando Roggio from PracticalCommerce explains from his experience:

"Profit Earnings for drop shipped items are more often razor thin also. For instance, I work with a manufacturer of apparel that costs an extra $10 per item drop-ship fee in addition to the item's cost and any delivery charges. This new products often sell for about $59.99, using a cost of about $30. Therefore a merchandise sold from inventory has roughly $29.99 in mamargin,hile a merchandise sold through drop shipping is at $19.99. Insert an average return, payment card fees, and the cost of pay-per-click advertising, and there may not be much left."

In other words, the supplier charges more for fall shipping, which means that you simply pay more.

If you are searching to save money, then you might want to consider shipping products. If you are interested in saving time, yet, then drop shipping might be your best choice.

Step #3 to Start an Online Store: Build Your Store

Now you will need to choose exactly where and how you would like to market your products. Third-party marketplaces are a great place to set up shop. Here, we will talk about three of the most popular and best choices for selling online that has a little budget.


If you would like to make your own website to drive traffic and sales, then Shopify is the perfect option. Their plans start as low as $29 per month and they have a 14-day free trial so that you may test out their stage and receive your online shop set up.

With all the free trial you may opt for a motif for your site, customize it and have a shop up and running within seconds. You may want to consider buying your own domain name and linking it to your Shopify store. That'll cost you around $10 annually and also you can do it right through Shopify when setting up your shop.

There are two great things about Shopify:

  • The most massive app database that produces customizations easy and economical. For example, Jason Wong was able to test out his product idea "The Holy Meme Bible" for just $450 and later scale into $200,000 in only 21 days.
  • The automatic integrations with drop shipping providers such as Printful, MXED, and Oberlo for all men and women that wish to drop ship solutions. If you want to drop ship goods without the annoyance or just run your storefront online, then Shopify is a wonderful place to invest your small budget.


Amazon, on the other hand, won't give you your own domain name and website but it's its very own arsenal of advantages. First off, you get automatic access to Amazon's enormous audience, which includes about 300 million users.

Secondly, maintaining your own website might be more hassle than it is worth. With Amazon, you don't have to worry about downtime, designing or programming for conversion, for instance. You also don't have to buy a domain name and renew it every year.

Ultimately, you may earn a lot of money on Amazon if you get it done right. For instance, Spencer Haws made almost $40,000 in just 30 days.

The very best part? There's hardly any upfront expense. It's possible to just begin with a single selling plan which does not have any monthly price. You will pay $0.99 and a referral commission every time you sell a product. And for media items, you'll have to pay a standard extra $1.35 per product sold.

To put it differently, you don't have to pay a dime until you really begin selling goods.

In case you don't need to invest money upfront, then Amazon may just be the ticket.


eBay is possibly the easiest choice of all. Within minutes, you might take a picture of your goods, post it, and begin selling. You may even bid your items off if you think you'll earn more money. But do not be deceived into thinking that bidding would be the main manner sellers on eBay make their cash. In fact, 86 percent of eBay's merchandise comes at a predetermined price.

If you would like to sell and send your own items and you need to do it with creating a website, then eBay is the option for you. Additionally, you can do it relatively inexpensively. You won't spend any money before you really begin making money.

Here's a graph of the kinds of costs you can expect to pay:

As soon as you've picked your e-commerce stage, it is time to market your store on the internet.

Step #4 to Start an Online Store: Use Social Ecommerce Integrations

Social e-commerce makes it easy to extend your company's reach and boost earnings. 1 simple method to market your store would be to discuss links to your store on Facebook.

You may even sell right on the stage in the event that you set up a "Shop" part on your FB page where consumers may browse or buy right from the profile.

Another alternative is Pinterest, where you can create some buyable hooks to share in your boards for users to detect.

Instagram also includes plans to introduce buyable articles to users once testing of the attribute is completed.

You might even turn your e-commerce shop into a mobile program using a tool such as Buildfire. It's simpler and cheaper than employing a program programmer and you're able to add your program to both Apple's App Store and Google Play. Having a program is not only helpful for acquiring new customers that want to use mobile apps to shop, it's also beneficial for keeping your current customer base by supplying them with a clean, easy and handy interface to buy and review your goods on.


Consumers are spending trillions of dollars online. Want to get your cut of the pie? Of course, you do. That is why you are here. However, I get it, you do not believe you have sufficient money to get started.

Well, that is where you'd be incorrect.

In reality, obtaining a bit of extra time, a wholesome dose of vision and zero dollars is a wonderful place to begin. With a number of these methods, you do not need to pay until you sell. Simply choose a favorite merchandise which appeals to a niche market, choose whether you want to drop send it not, and build your shop on Shopify, Amazon, or eBay. Following that, you'll be on your way to claiming a bit of this trillion-dollar pie in no time, all on a very small budget.