How to start your own eCommerce website business (step by step guide)

eCommerce Singapore – Being the digital age, people are shifting from brick and mortar stores to shopping online. Products/ Services can be purchased at the comfort of your home, and the best part is it’s 24 hours available. Based on statistics, global eCommerce sales are expected to hit $4.891 trillion in 2021. Having seen the rise of the eCommerce business, many would have wondered how one can start an eCommerce business. Below we have compiled a guide to kickstart your eCommerce journey and how you can start building your ecommerce website.


ecommerce singapore

1. Research on the e-commerce business

Before you embark on building your won ecommerce website, you will have to get some research done to understand the market for the products/services you are planning to sell. Firstly, the easier way is to look around you, search on your social media or your web browser to get a feel on how the market is in general. For popular needs like fashion or electric goods, you will be bound to face fierce competition; thus, you will have to plan on your unique selling point, which sets you apart from the rest. 

Once you have a general feel of the industry, the following plan would be to perform a competitor analysis. Choose around three competitors and compare the difference between them in terms of services, products/services, price etc. By doing this, you will find out how your products/services can outdo and gain traction.

2.  Decide on the product to sell

If you have done your research, you should have a general idea of the things that you will want to sell on your ecommerce website, and at this step, you will need to consider the following

  • Cost/Price of your products/services

You would have to take account into all the expenses that you may incur and also the profit margin that you expect to gain

  • Stocks to hold

You will need to consider whether to get a space to hold your stocks and also, some products have an expiry that will cause an issue if you don’t sell it out in the given timeframe.

  • Delivery 

Will you personally deliver the item or plan to engage third party logistics for last-mile delivery. For Bulky items, the delivery would cause a lot more, and for fragile items, you might need a courier that specialises in those items. 

  • Payment methods

What are the payment methods that you are planning to provide? For credit cards, do note that there will be extra charges incur based on the payment that the customer chooses, which will affect your profit margin

3.  Register your business

Once you have decided on your products, we would recommend registering a business. In Singapore, there are four main types of business structures to choose from, and for more information on the difference between them, you can click on the link below to understand more. 

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4. Choose an eCommerce Platform

We have done a summary of some of the popular ecommerce website platforms available in the market. 

  • Third-Party Marketplace

These are popular platforms like LAZADA, SHOPEE, Q10, where sellers sell various products. You will be able to leverage the traffic to these ecommerce websites to gain traction with your product. However, the main downside is that it will be hard to gain customer loyalty due to many sellers selling similar products, and the customer might go for the one that provides the most value.

Reaches to a wide range of audiencesPlatforms Fees
High Traffic to SiteLimited Analytics
Easy Interface to upload productsFierce Competitions – There will be other sellers selling the same product as you
Integrated Marketing module (flash sales, store coupon etc.) 
  • Shopify

If you plan to build your ecommerce website, Shopify is an excellent choice for more minor tech-savvy business owners. However, the main drawback would be the functionalities it provides, so there might be instances where the functions you need are unavailable. 

Simplicity of usageLimited customisation
Several themes to choose fromSubscription Model
24/7 support teamHard to migrate
  • WordPress/ Woocommerce

For business owners who intend to build their ecoomerce website, Woocomere is an excellent choice, given its customizability. Woocommerce is built on WordPress, meaning it’s an open-source community with tons of free plugins and a larger community to provide solutions to your inquiries. 

Simplicity of usageCoding knowledge is need for customisation
Highly Customisable 
Highly Scability 
Open Source 
Large Community 

In summary, it will be wise to leverage the traffic of a third-party marketplace. However, it will be hard to retain customers. It would be better to have your own ecommerce website to maintain customers and obtain the relevant data to understand your customer profile. 

5.  Build your ecommerce website

Upon deciding the platform to go for, now it’s time to build your ecommerce website. If you have decided to start your website, you will need a few things for your store to be fully functional. 

  • Domain

This will be the link that customers key in to find you. Also, having a well thought out domain will be crucial in your SEO which we will discuss in another article. Some platforms do provide domains purchase. However, you may also get your own. Below are some of the sites that provide domain purchases.

  • Hosting

The next thing to consider will be your hosting. Hosting is where your ecommerce website is stored. Depending on your hosting provider, it will affect your website’s speed and the number of people that can visit your site; thus, having cheap hosting might affect loading time for customers, which is not an ideal recommendation. 

  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Lastly, there is also Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which helps to keep users’ data secure and prevent others from creating a fake version of your site. SSL also conveys trust to your customer allowing them to purchase your goods/services at ease. 

Worrying how you can incorporate all this onto your website? Fret not! As we do, we provide web development services to business owners that intend to embark on their eCommerce journey. At Dcub3, we will assist with all web development services from design to building; thus, you can focus on selling. 

6.  Promote your business

Lastly, all products/services will need marketing in some form, and this is where you can leverage the available tools to promote your business. The easiest way is to create a Facebook Business page to showcase your products/services. Instagram is also another way you can start to gain market presence. Alternatively, you have set aside a marketing budget to explore Google Ads and Facebook Ads to reach your targeted audiences. 

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