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How to Start e-commerce Business Online

Updated on December 31, 2013
how to start ecommerce
how to start ecommerce

What is Ecommerce?

E-commerce is just like any other commercial activities, except the fact that in case of Internet based commerce, trading is done in the form of electronic money transaction. Buying, selling or offering services through Internet is called e-commerce. For instance, eBay and Amazon are nothing but the two pioneer examples of e-commerce industry.

Examples of ecommerce- electronic fund transfer, Internet based business & marketing, online transaction processing, providing online services etc. Most of the e-commerce is related to buying and selling of virtual products such as access to web contents or books. But, online retailing is getting very popular; world retailers are making their presence stronger in through e-commerce such as Walmart.

How Ecommerce process work?

E-commerce is a process, which like any other business processes follow and maintain certain procedures in order to meet the objectives of their business. In most e-commerce activities, buyers place order for buying products via websites. To take an order, a merchant website use shopping cart, by clicking it customers send a specified amount of money for buying a product; usually a customer enters his credit card details in a shopping card to place a product purchase order. After getting the order information along with necessary payment for that ordered product, a merchant web site immediate send all the purchase details, in the form of email, to buyers and warehouses. It is the responsibility of the warehouse for sending the shipment to the customer’s house address.

starting ecommerce website for real estate business
starting ecommerce website for real estate business

E-commerce services

  • Online products- software, electronic books, streaming audio & video.
  • Retail service- online banking, food order, flower delivery, dvd rental, travel bookings
  • E-commerce market place-trading community, online bidding, online advertisement, product review and price comparison services.

Types of e-commerce

According to the nature of products trading methods, e-commerce can be divided into four general categories.

  1.  B2C
  2.  B2B
  3.  C2C
  4.  C2B


This is also known as business to consumer. In B2C type of ecommerce, consumers directly place purchase from the merchant’s web sites. Example- buying books from Amazon.


In business to business e-commerce, product producers distribute and market their products through a number of whole sellers or retailers. Example- many electronic products are distributed through clickbank to the affiliate marketers for sells and promotion.


This is very interesting electronic commerce, where no merchant or product producers take part in selling the products. Instead, a consumer directly sells the product to another consumer or a number of consumers. Usually, this type of business help people to sale their second-hand electronic products.


Another interesting business concept via Internet is called consumer to business or C2B. In case of C2B, consumers offer business to the merchants. This way of business is mostly observed in travel and airline industry, where consumer society ask the airliners to offer packages to a certain destination at some discount price, in return the merchant is offered at specified number of sales per month or week or whatever it is.

How to Create a Successful E-Commerce Web Site

e-commerce - evolution

Online Store & Ecommerce Website Mistakes

Size of E-commerce Market, World Wide

E-commerce is prevailing in almost every country with every class of people to a certain level and its market size is growing steadily each year.

2006- $335 Billion

2007- $819 Billion

2008- $17 Billion

2009-$608 Billion

2010-$711 Billion

Basics of starting E-commerce Business

Once you are familiarized yourself with the pros and cons of every aspect of e-commerce, you are psychologically prepared to decide on which type of e-commerce is suitable for you.

  • Make your own website with an interesting domain name and fill it with the relevant contents
  • Choose your products according to your expertise and confidence on that niche market. For choosing the best e-commerce products, you may visit Amazon, eBay, Clickbank, and Linkshare .
  • Once you select your product or products, the next step is to find a suitable way to reach your potential customers. For this you need to have a basic understanding on how web marketing works or you can consult a web adverting expert for finding the best mediums promoting your business.
  • Your website needs to show your buyers the security credentials of your e-business. This is basically done to gain the customer confidence in you and to prove them that you are doing a legitimate online business. For assuring your customer about the authenticity of your business, you may think about adding BBB (one of the most trusted e-business verification company) security seal on your site.
  • Add a shopping cart to your site so as the users can place order with confidence for purchasing your products. Preferably, use papal, visa and master card at the begging of your e-business, since most of the people are suing any of the three online money transaction facilities. As your business grows add more shopping cart vendors to your site, because many customers will not buy from your site if their credit card vendor does not match you shopping cart list of the site.

This article is intended as a beginner’s guide for starting an ecommerce business. The processes of starting an ecommerce site is very simple, but in the long run, you need to develop the skills of how to manage and expand a web business. For this you need to have extensive knowledge of marketing, branding and promotions. Lastly, there is no limit on how much you can pull down from your e-business- it can be anything from $20/day to even $2000/day or even more. ROI of e-business mostly depends on how much time and money you are ready to spend for your business site promotion.


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    • profile image

      GalinaJ 5 years ago

      Consider also the infographics which outlines 10 points of building eCommerce site. Might be useful :)

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 6 years ago

      @sweeti1:I think there are many e-commerce ready websites that anyone can start an e-business.But to sustain the business you need to know almost everything that you required to run an off-line business.Thank you so much :)

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 6 years ago from India

      Thanks Andromida.. after reading your hub i feel that it is not that difficult as much as i thought but it is still very difficult for me

    • lawebdesigning profile image

      lawebdesigning 6 years ago from 9663 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 917, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      Very informative post. Really appreciate for broadening the e-commerce knowledge.

    • dperrySMB profile image

      dperrySMB 6 years ago from Boston, MA

      Are you interested in finding a merchant account provider that can help with your ecommerce account? Read my reviews at for some help!

    • mydeco profile image

      mydeco 6 years ago from NY

      in addition I can recommend a good ecommerce provider ... might be interesting and useful

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 6 years ago

      Les Finle-Thank you so much.

    • Les Finley profile image

      Les Finley 6 years ago from Findlay, Ohio, USA

      vey good post, good detail, thank you

    • profile image

      gaurav 6 years ago


      eCommerce stores nowadays is a boon to the common people and the person which setup the store online. As we are watching people prefer buying products online rather than going of the markets and it also saves time and money.

      With the ease today one can easliy buit there store and start selling there products online to there customers.

      With vplanetcommerce and many other platform we can build online stores in minutes.For more details visit


    • EverettW profile image

      EverettW 7 years ago

      Nice hub, I am doing some hubs on e-commerce and would love for you to check them out.

      Everett Winchester

    • lazymeaw profile image

      lazymeaw 7 years ago from Vietnam

      thank you so much.It helped me a lot :d.

    • HotWax OFBiz profile image

      HotWax OFBiz 7 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

      Great info, thanks for posting.

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 7 years ago

      Thanks you so much for your feedback :)

    • Jenny Calender profile image

      Jenny Calender 7 years ago

      Excellent details, incl. stats: 010-$711 Billion great projection!


    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 7 years ago

      H P Roychoudhury-thank you so much.I also think the security issues of online money transaction is kind of scary stuff to many :)

      Wren-I always like reading your comments.E-commerce figures looks very promising,I guess I will triple in the coming five years. thanks :)

      Elena-You are already an IT expert, I will expect some IT hubs from you as well.I remember one of your great hub about teaching IT.thanks friend :)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks for this Andromida. I didn't realise there was so much more to ecommerce. e.g the four general categories.

      Great Hub. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile image

      wrenfrost56 7 years ago from U.K.

      WoW, the e-commerce figures are huge and rising, I had no idea it was that much! Another well written and well researched hub. :)

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is a progressive hub of e-commerce no doubt. But it will definitely take time to accustom with the business and more so with the security of money transaction.