Ecommerce Business Blueprint: How to Build, Launch, and Grow a Profitable Online Store

The future of ecommerce is bright. But starting an ecommerce business is hard work and demands many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time.

To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive blueprint for starting a business, compiled from Shopify’s most popular content. These blog posts, guides, and videos have been organized based on the most important tasks you’ll face when researching, launching, and growing a profitable ecommerce business.

I. Choosing a product

Finding a product to sell

The first step to building an ecommerce business is knowing what products you want to sell direct-to-consumer. This often is the most challenging part of starting a new online business. In this section, we’ll highlight strategies you can use to find product opportunities, explore the best places to look for product ideas, and finally, look at trending products to consider.

  • Find Products to Sell on Shopify with Oberlo

  • Strategies for Finding Your First Profitable Product Opportunity

  • Places to Look for Profitable Product Ideas

  • Trending Products to Sell in 2020

  • Online Business Ideas You Can Start from Home

Evaluating your idea

Once you have a product idea in mind, how do you know if it will sell? In this section, we’ll cover a few approaches that active entrepreneurs have used to validate their product ideas and potential market.

  • How to Validate Your Product Ideas

  • The 16-Step Checklist to Evaluating Your Product Idea

Obtaining your product

After landing on a strong product idea, your next step is figuring out where and how you’re going to obtain your products. The next four posts cover the various methods for acquiring your products, along with the pros and cons of each model.

  • Should You Make, Manufacture, Wholesale, or Dropship?

  • How to Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea

  • 12 Shopify Apps for Finding Products to Sell (Without Shipping Them Yourself)

  • Print on Demand: A Low-Risk Way to Sell Custom T-Shirts, Books, and More

II. Research and prepare

Research your competition

You’ve found your product, evaluated its potential, and sourced a supplier. But before you get into that, you’ll need to thoroughly research your competition so you know what you’re up against and how you can differentiate your business from theirs.

  • How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis

  • How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis

Writing a business plan

With your competitive research complete, it’s time to write your business plan. A business plan is a roadmap that helps bring your ideas and thoughts together. A business plan is vital in determining what to prioritize and how to effectively reach new customers.

  • A Detailed Guide to Writing a Useful Business P