How to start an eCommerce business

Enjoy free advice from the experts in eCommerce growth

Since 2010, James and James Fulfillment has helped hundreds of eCommerce businesses grow 200% a year.

Now we’re sharing weekly advice on how to start an eCommerce business – from having an initial idea to growing your store globally.

Read all the advice from our eCommerce experts below. Then subscribe to get tried-and-tested tips in your inbox once a week.

An icon of a light bulb: a metaphor for having eCommerce business ideas.
How to start an eCommerce business: part 1

Having a brilliant eCommerce business idea

The first step of starting an online store is having a brilliant eCommerce business idea. In this article, we walk you through a simple, five-stage process to help.

You’ll find out how to research a product or target market, and have your light-bulb moment. We’ll show you how to test and develop your idea quickly and cheaply.

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An icon of a shopping cart: a metaphor for eCommerce platforms
How to start an eCommerce business: part 2

Choosing the best eCommerce platform

Clients often ask us what the best eCommerce platform is. The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer – it depends on your business goals and technical skills.

In this article, we show you the pros and cons of four popular shopping carts – Amazon Marketplace, WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento – for creating your online store.

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An icon of a megaphone: a metaphor for getting traffic to your online store
How to start an eCommerce business: part 3

Getting traffic to your online store

You’ve had a brilliant eCommerce business idea. You’ve chosen the best eCommerce platform. Now comes the hard part – getting traffic to your online store.

In this article, we highlight eight cost-effective ways to do that. They include SEO, blogging and social media, influencer marketing, and digital advertising.

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An icon of a mouse pointer hovering over a buy button: a metaphor for eCommerce conversion rate optimisation.
How to start an eCommerce business: part 4

Optimizing your conversion rate

Getting traffic to your eCommerce business, but not seeing the sales you’d hoped for? Then it’s time to understand your eCommerce conversion rate and optimize it.

In this article, we run through a 15-point CRO checklist. It will help you set up analytics; optimize your site design, product pages and checkout process; and start A/B testing.

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An icon of a paper aeroplane: a metaphor for eCommerce shipping.
How to start an eCommerce business: part 5

Picking the right shipping strategy

73% of online shoppers now say unconditional free shipping is critical to their purchase. But offering it isn’t feasible or affordable for all start-up eCommerce businesses.

In this article, we look at the pros and cons of offering unconditional free shipping. Plus discover alternative shipping cost strategies that may work better for you.

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An icon of a bar graph on a blackboard: a metaphor for eCommerce stock control and inventory management
How to start an eCommerce business: part 6

Managing your product range

90% of start-ups fail. The top reasons they do include: not being able to support growth; poor allocation of resources and money; and ignoring customers.

For eCommerce businesses, these issues are intertwined with stock control. In this article, we show you six ways to get your inventory management right as you grow.

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