Starting an Online Retail Store – Sample Business Plan Template PDF

Interested in small online retail business ideas? If YES, here is how to start an online retail business with no money and no experience. How much does it cost to start up?

HOW TO START A RETAIL BUSINESS ONLINE: Cost, Checklist, Requirements

Do you know how to setup a retail business online? If you don’t, then you have a full plethora of realization before you, because indeed it is true that businesses can now go beyond the offline horizons. E-retailing is the word; the selling of goods as well as services through the internet, one might say.


I should mention, to begin with, that online retailing is an off-offline analogy of the usual Brick and Mortar retailing that is common in the business sphere. So every rules, as well as arrangements almost follow in tandem, except those that come as a consequence of the virtual nature of doing business online, where a physical interaction is not required in the trading process.

So as much as you require a building for the offline trading, so also you require an online workshop (a weblog or website) for the online version.

The goal is to get a customer to purchase a product without the barricades of distance or chance. To make it possible for potential customers to get a commodity or service with his fingers, and a few clicks.

Below are a number of important considerations when setting up an online retail business model:

1) Online Retail Business Plan

It is a popular saying that “one who fails to plan, plans to fail”. Every business was birthed from an idea, adequately conceived, planned, and executed. What type of product you are interested in, cost of starting the online retail business, how the business would be financed, considerations regarding a warehouse, advertisement and marketing plans, as well as business goals and strategies.

The business plan for an online retail store should be clearly conceived and thoroughly analyzed, and if possible written and documented. If you have difficulty setting up a business plan, you could check out LivePlan platform.

2) Structural Frame

Now, haven considered a number of notions in building your plan, you should end up with a well-defined business structure. You should know if it is sole proprietorship, partnership, or venture capitalist. This would help you know the taxation plan your business falls into.

3) Launching and Marketing

Once the business have been born into the online beds from the wombs of imagination, then a heavy sigh can be heaved; though what is left is marketing of products. This is done via advertising through social media platforms like Facebook, twitter, and whichever you want.

The launching of the business is one the entrepreneur’s critical moment, because this is when he exposes his product to the purview of the general public. This should be done strategically, for instance, you could create forum for a community of users of your product to promote your product, or you could make up a mailing list of potential clients and send them mails using software like MailChimp.

4) Website structure and Aesthetics
Deeply sensitive is the face of the blog that it could be a source of customer turn-offs as much as it could be point of attraction for your customers. It should have the necessary features in their finest quality. Domain name and site location is also an important consideration.

5) Your Products
You must structure your business to suit your product. Products could, in this sense, be physical or digital (where in such cases you could jointly use Shopify and Fetch add-on). You should also get bar codes for your product.

6) Inventory
You should setup an inventory for your business online, one that is easily accessible for customers. In this regard, you should consider setting up a physical warehouse, whose address or P.O. Box should be public enough for customers to see.

This would go a long way in building customer trust and reliability. But if you do not intend to, or perhaps do not have the means to, you could reach business terms with warehousing firms to do storage at a more cost efficient rate. Note that your pictures should be pictorially displayed online in a dynamic and eye-catching way.

7) Set-up an efficient Shopping

Simplicity of website would do much for your online retail business, and one of such benefits is ease of navigation through your inventory. Most customers are too impatient to search through an entire blog for available products, so it pays the retailer more to loosen the shopping knot by adopting approaches like creating the possibility for customers to add items to shopping cart as well as check out with ease. Make the process of ordering for goods simple, so it could be done with a few clicks.

8) Planned Sustenance

Haven built a software retail business online, it doesn’t end there; you must have a well baked plan on how to manage and grow your online retail business opportunities, much as any other business. How you intend to update your inventory, customer service, and site maintenance.

You must also consider promotional techniques to ensure that you keep customer constantly dangling back towards your end. Maintenance is crucial to the continual survival and growth of an online retail business startup and it must not be overlooked as most amateur entrepreneurs do.

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