Starting an Online Retail Business

If you have minimal capital to invest but you still want to own a business, the most popular choice would be to look at options online.

This type of business can be run by part-time entrepreneurs, parents, solo individuals, or home-based people. We can guide you on how to start an Online Retail Business here.

People are always buying products online and they have their favorite websites. That is why it is a good time right now to start your own online retail business on the web. So as shoppers are flocking to computers instead of malls, the e-business entrepreneurs are making a hefty sum.

Online Retail Business Startup Cost

To begin with, internet businesses right now have low startup costs and overhead, even as low as $3,000. Give thanks to the robust yet inexpensive e-commerce services and software on the market.

Moreover, this business can just be set up at home and attended to on weekends and at nights, allowing new entrepreneurs to still keep their day jobs. Furthermore, many budding entrepreneurs are setting up their business in as fast as a few days. Initial start-up phase consist of the following:

  • Design a dynamic website – initially, this is your storefront so you want to make it look classy and sharp. Domain names and hosting can be acquired for about $200 only.
  • Create a top-quality product – your business will be successful if you have a good product to offer. You may also want to spend a little on packaging and shipping for about $10-$20 per item to kick off your store.
  • Implement a strategic marketing program – it’s important to understand your customers and how you could market your products effectively to them. For example, a carefully constructed plan includes promotion through online ads, trade shows, and even through media for about $500-$1,000.

Startup Online Retail Business

Aside from offering top-quality products, your website should be easy to use and optimally designed. The buyers should be allowed to put multiple products in the cart and then go for checkout before making a payment. It’s also recommended to put in a physical business address and telephone number on your website. In addition, you need to research some e-commerce laws that may affect your internet business as well as the pitfalls you should avoid.

Payment methods are very important. Owners of credit cards have been educated by banks never to make website orders from websites without SSL – this is a security symbol for secured websites. Therefore, make sure you consider this aspect as well.

Finally, you need an effective shipping and customer service process. This would ensure that your first-time customers will come back and become your loyal customers. Of course mistakes may happen, but if you treat your customers well, they will surely support your business.

56 Comments

  • Jayachandran said on January 25, 2010
    Hi, i am residing at Kerala, alappuzha, India, working in Afghanisthan, i like to start an online business, please guide me whats the necessary steps i needs to take. Thank you
  • VISHNU PATEL said on February 9, 2010
    Hi, i am residing at Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. I like to start an online business, please guide me what is the necessary steps i needs to take and what is needed to start new online store? Thank you, Vishnu Patel
  • K.Ramakrishnachar said on February 27, 2010
    Hi, I am residing at Bangalore, Karnataka, India. I would like to start an online business regarding supply of do it your self kits for 40 watt Electronic ballast. Please guide me the necessary steps to be taken to start on line store. Thanking you.
  • Brandon Gaynor said on May 9, 2010
    I want to start my own online cell phone accessory store. please help me get this started! Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91730
  • G. Rubio said on June 2, 2010
    I am interested in starting an internet business selling cell phone accessories. Any information or how to get a business plan would be appreciated. Duarte, CA 91010
  • Gowrisankar said on December 10, 2010
    I am interested in starting an online business for selling electronics goods like DVD Player, computer accessories and many more.. Please let me know your valuable suggestions.... Thanks MGS
  • S Patil said on December 30, 2010
    I am interested in opening a retail online store in INDIA[Delhi & Nasik]. Please guide me in achieving the goal. I have done fair amount of study online but really puzzled by vast amount of info and contradicting views of people. I am NRI so would like to know the legal implications of business owner and e-commerce laws affecting me. Thanks a lot for your time.
  • Kavita Iyer said on January 29, 2011
    Hi, I'm based in Mumbai and would like to start an export business and retail online store for handicrafts and diamond jewelery. I'm a housewife and have no knowledge of how to go about it. Please advise how I can go ahead Thanks
  • rahul said on April 11, 2011
    i live in mumbai and want to start online retail business of garments please help me regarding govt. rules and regulation and various steps
  • G.S.Khurana said on July 23, 2011
    I am retired corporate Professional 52 years old Based at New Delhi, India and want to start online retail business. kindly suggest me how to do the same.or suggest me some International Online Retail Company where I could get experience of 1 or 2 years and after that start my own business independently. thanks 09891159205
  • Thilak said on August 5, 2011
    I would like to start online retail business in Tamilnadu. Please suggest ur ideas and how to proceed with the web designing and getting license and other formalities. Thanks Thilak
  • Josefina Evangelista said on August 26, 2011
    #9A23 Francesca Tower corner Scout Borromeo and EDSA Quezon City Philippines.
  • karuna said on June 2, 2012
    Hi, I would like to start an online retail business. Pl guide me on way of keep maintaining products inventory. And shipping procedures... And marketing tactics...
  • nasir said on July 8, 2012
    mumbai. I want to start ladiess dress online store
  • Rahul Jain said on September 25, 2012
    Goa/ Banglore. want to start online store of unique items or travel or cosmetics. Pls guide me soon.
  • Arunn said on December 3, 2012
    I would like to start an online business, please guide me what are the necessary steps and process to start new online store?
  • MD TORIQUL ISLAM said on December 23, 2012
    Hallo How do you do? I am Mr Toriqul from Bangladesh. I am a handicraft businessman. My handicrafts are nakshi kathas, means two pieces cloth together on which rural women sew with great patience and make various kind of design that are very eye-catching as it is completely hand made. Actually, this is the art of depressed women and also tradition of Bangladesh. However, tell me how i can export my handicrafts abroad and in which country my nakshi katha may be highly demanded, please. Also help me how I can start my online business. Thanking you, MD TORIQUL ISLAM', RAJSHAHI, DHAKA, BANGLADESH.
  • Analyn Bungubung said on January 1, 2013
    Hi, i'm residing in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. I am a housewife and planning for an online business of perfume product because i'm taking advantage with our internet connection. please guide me and give me tips for the proper way/procedure of using online as medium for my plan online business. thanks a lot
  • Narayanan said on January 4, 2013
    Hi, I am a resident of Trivandrum, capital of Kerala State in India. I am 62, retired from a private industry. I have my own premises in Trivandrum city with a good location. I would like to start an online business and would like to be advised on the best product to deal with and how to go about it.
  • abhijeet said on February 11, 2013
    i stay in INDIA MAHARASHTRA PUNE. i am willing to start online shopping website of clothing with a tie up with small stores of clothes so as to make minimum investment with the help of few recognized sponsors plz make me know the law while starting this business n how to make it grow n what will b the cost of making website as well as of its registration. i want to alter my investment at very low scale
  • meenakshi said on February 19, 2013
    Hello, I am planning to start my online store for items. I need some information that whether any license is required to start online business? Is registration is compulsory? I am prepared with my products, website. Please advice.
  • korma said on March 13, 2013
    hello, i am for long planning to have my own retail business. i need some information about what kind of business is profitable on line business. please advise me?
  • Sachin Gupta said on March 15, 2013
    HI, I would like to start online retail business in Delhi & NCR. Please share ur ideas regarding legal formalities web designing , license, required Space, Investments, Profitability, purchase of products, minimum size of staff and other formalities. Thanks, Sachin Gupta
  • jose said on March 29, 2013
    Hello, i am planning to have my own retail business in any running items. i need some information about what kind of business is profitable on line business , investment on that and other kind of details. please advise me? ahah, THANKS JOSE
  • khalid matheen said on April 10, 2013
    I would like to start as online business in different segments in india. I would like to know pros and cons of this industry and future market in this industry. Thanking you
  • Richard said on April 13, 2013
    Hi Entrepreneurs, Have you heard of $1 or $2 shops businesses? This $1 or $2 shop where most items are sold at the same pricing originated from Japan. It started in around 80s where there are now more than 2000 over 100 yen shops. We belong to one of the top 10 100 Yen business in Japan and are expanding rapidly overseas. I would be glad to share more ideas how you can run this business both online and as a brick and mortar business. You can email to: hyakuyenshop@gmail.com. Thank you. Richard
  • vimal said on May 21, 2013
    hi am starting a men's underwear online business.. anyone wants to join with operational background as a cofounder? we have solid tech and marketing cofounder. mail me at vimal@scaleuphr.com
  • Sruthy said on June 28, 2013
    Hi.. i would like to start an online boutique. Would like to know should i register my online store? i am in bangalore. All other aspects i need to know regarding an online store. Kindly help me with your valuable suggestions. Thanks
  • pradeepkumar said on September 22, 2013
    Hi.. i would like to start an online shopping business in india in tamilnadu state, what is the procedure to start and what steps should be taken like vat, website, bank account opening. etc, please guide us
  • priyanka goyal said on November 30, 2013
    hi, i am residing in mafurai and i am looking forward to open an online business so please suggest me how to i am unaware about the procedure???
  • shihab said on December 5, 2013
    hi my name shihab in kerala i want to start online business in kerala at my own pls suggest me my email shihabpk27@gmail.com mob9544780929
  • gowthami said on February 4, 2014
    hi, i want to start a online retail business for groceries and food for a district. living in tamilnadu. pls suggest me a legal procedure for opening an online store.
  • batrisia said on March 21, 2014
    hi i'm residing in trivandrum and i want to start an e - commerce business like snapdeal.com,amazon.com etc i already register my domain name for 5yrs. Please share ur ideas regarding legal formalities web designing , license, required Space, Investments, Profitability, minimum size of staff and how can i register my firm here
  • Judy said on April 12, 2014
    Hi, I am looking to start an online retail store like amazon and the likes. What are the basics I need to start and how can I get a network of big manufacturers where I can source these goods in order to get the best price for my customers. Thanks
  • Ashish said on May 6, 2014
    Hi, I am looking to start an online retail store in India like amazon and the likes but dont have much money to start. What are the basics I need to start and how can I get a network of big manufacturers where I can source these goods in order to get the best price for my customers.
  • DEEPAK . S said on May 18, 2014
    HAI, I AM FROM KERALA I AM LOOKING TO START AN ONLINE CLOTHING STORE. WHAT ARE THE PROCEDURES TO START AN ONLINE PAGE?
  • Anoop said on June 7, 2014
    I am looking to start an online mobile store in kochi, kerala. What are government procedures to starting online business
  • PRATHEESH K said on June 8, 2014
    I am looking to start an online clothing business in Palakkad, Kerala. What are the government procedure s to start this. Pls give me reply
  • Shifa Saju said on July 15, 2014
    Hi...i am looking forward to start an online dress boutique in Cochin, kerala. Could u pls tell me the procedures and govt formalities i've to go through to start my venture. Pls give me a reply soon.
  • Samar Hamsa said on July 24, 2014
    hi, i live in Kerala, India and want to start online retail business of garments please help me regarding govt. rules and regulation and various steps
  • sreehari said on July 31, 2014
    is this a profitable business
  • parijat atreya said on August 26, 2014
    HELLO SIR/MAM- I wish to start my online shopping retail business in india so please guide me what minimum basic requirements are needed as well as what minimum capital is needed to start this. THANKS, awaiting for your reply, parijat atreya, E-MAIL-sunnyatreyas@gmail.com, CONTACT NO-+917417100764
  • Corpoclientz Business Support Services LLP said on September 13, 2014
    Corpoclientz is a one-stop business solution house, offering Legal Compliance, Liaison, Registration & Business Advisory services to Corporates, SMEs, Upcoming SEZ Business Units & Entrepreneurs in India. Those who are looking for 'reliable cum professional services' may contact us via support at Corpoclientz dot com Or our website. Thanks, CEO
  • Kunal Singh said on September 18, 2014
    Hi.. I wish to start a online store... Let me know the details and basic requirements to start up with... I am based out in Pune.
  • I S said on October 6, 2014
    I want to start computer, laptop, mobile accessories online shop, would appreciate if I can get a business plan for it.
  • Ari said on October 18, 2014
    Want to start online business in Punjab
  • Imthiyaz said on November 1, 2014
    I want to start online retail business sir please give some clues
  • PAWAN KUMAR MAHESHWARI said on November 27, 2014
    I want to start my own on line retail business from Ajmer Rajasthan. At present I have my own business house of solar power plant ,solar street light, Exide battery, Inverter, Please clarify minimum investment & laws relating to e- retail business & precaution taken in this business. Thanks Pawan Kumar Maheshwari, 09414415624
  • shihab said on February 9, 2015
    i want to start e comers business at my own in kerala pls suggest me. internationalsami@gmail.com
  • v.dinesh said on February 16, 2015
    i want to start a business of online retail from chennai, so pls guide with some clues like how to start, with what to start pls suggest me with some ideas
  • Vicky said on February 16, 2015
    hi, i want to start online general store. i want to start in Bhopal (MP ). i want to know how to start the business. i am already in MNC. pl guide
  • anish sasi said on March 3, 2015
    hai dear friends , i start and online shop , i need product tie ups some willing to do business with us please contact me in sasaashopping@gmail.com, anishnvi@mail.com or please leave massage at 07418488992 cal me @ 00966509812168
  • Dinesh said on May 18, 2015
    want to know legal formalities to start online store
  • Pradeep kumar said on March 20, 2016
    Hi frsz,i start online business, please suggest\more information about to online business and i want to some investor if anybody interested than please call/sms on 8750851724.Thanks
  • vijayakumar said on February 27, 2017
    i may have started online dress sale business in coimbatore with same day delivery and without delivery charge anyone interested pls call me and guide me. thank you, ph:9445948535, mail:pcrvijayakumar@gmail.com
  • Manivannan said on April 1, 2017
    I want to start an online bookstore. Can you help me?

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