How to Choose the Right eCommerce Business Model for Your Startup

The eCommerce industry is expanding at a fast pace. It has become one of the most popular ways to sell goods online, along with the rapid growth of mobile shopping apps.

No longer is eCommerce restricted to selling physical products. With the introduction of marketplaces like Etsy and Shopify, entrepreneurs can now quickly launch their storefronts to sell digital products like eBooks. Deciding which eCommerce business model is right for you can be a daunting task.

Here are some ways that you can find out which eCommerce business model is right for your startup.


Explore Different Business Models

The first step is to determine which business model to pursue. Many different types of online business models can be rewarding if they are correctly executed. These include dropshipping, affiliate marketing, eCommerce, and retail arbitrage. Depending on what you want to sell, each one of these models offers the potential for success through low risk with high reward. 

With the rise in popularity of Amazon FBA, you can opt for the Amazon business model which involves products that you are selling but are fulfilled by Amazon, meaning the eCommerce giant handles holding the inventory, shipping it, and processing any returns. It’s a profitable and low-risk way to start selling online and is a great option for anyone who wants to sell physical goods online.

Find Your Niche

There are so many different types of niches that an entrepreneur can sell their products in. You may want to consider what type of market allows you to offer the lowest risk with the highest reward.

For example, if you are planning on selling a physical product, you may want to consider an industry where the average profit margin of each item is between 30-40%. This would ensure that you are making an average of $10 to $20 per sale.

On the other hand, if you want to sell digital products such as eBooks, you will need to find a niche that has plenty of customers with disposable income. This way, you will be able to charge the highest price possible without losing customers.

Find Your Competitive Advantage

No business can survive without a competitive advantage. By finding your niche, you will clearly see who your competitors are and this is an opportunity for you to stand out in the crowd.

For example, if you are selling eBooks related to parenting and there are already several established players like Barnes & Noble, consider adding a unique spin on your product.

A unique spin would be offering a free audiobook version with purchase, providing PDF downloads for each chapter, or creating a program that offers course materials to make each eBook interactive.

Research Your Competitors

It is never too late to learn from the leaders in the market. Spend some time researching successful eCommerce businesses in your industry and emulate their work.

What has made them successful? What type of pricing strategy do they use to drive sales? How often do they release new products or collections? How much variety do they offer in each collection that is currently available for purchase?

The answers to these questions will provide you with invaluable insight into the reasons why your competitors are successful. Consider using this information to create a marketing plan that sets your business apart from the competition. This will increase your chances of success.

Come Up With a Business Plan

Before you launch your eCommerce startup, it is essential to create a business plan that covers all of the main aspects of managing your business, including accounting, sales forecasting, market research, and more.

By creating a solid foundation for your company before launching, you will be able to identify any potential weaknesses in your business model before it is too late. For example, if you plan on selling physical products, it is essential to set aside a large amount of money for inventory.

Start small and slowly build your business to expand your operations once you have established yourself as a leader in your industry. This will ensure that your company’s first steps are not overly ambitious.

Final Thoughts

Being prepared before you step into any industry will increase your chances of finding success as an entrepreneur. Setting up an online store can be difficult when you are just starting. By choosing the right business model, building a solid foundation for your company using a business plan, and identifying your competitive advantage in the market, you can ensure your eCommerce startup is successful from day one.

As long as you have a unique idea that can be transformed into a business, there is no reason why you cannot join the ranks of successful online entrepreneurs.