How to Start an Ecommerce Business in Canada in 5 Steps

Muskaan Kapoor Muskaan Kapoor
Apr 27, 2023 4 min read
How to Start an Ecommerce Business in Canada in 5 Steps

According to Statista, the number of online shoppers in Canada has consistently grown over the years, reaching approximately 28.8 million in 2022. As this figure is predicted to increase to 31.71 million buyers by 2027, now’s a great time to launch your own eCommerce site if you’ve been considering it!

To help you begin, here’s step-by-step guidance on how to start an eCommerce business in Canada.

1. Decide What Products to Sell
2. Write Your Business Plan
3. Build Your Brand
4. Create Your Online Store
5. Market Your New Ecommerce Business

1. Decide What Products to Sell

The products you choose to sell on your eCommerce website can have a significant impact on how successful you’ll be. To find your niche and select your products, a great place to begin is your own interests.

Consider what you’re already passionate about and/or knowledgeable about. To achieve success with your business, you’ll likely need to become an expert in your field. Already having a good foundation in terms of knowledge and interest can help you to start off on the right track.

Once you have some niche ideas in mind, spend lots of time researching the market to decide exactly what products you want to sell. Using tools like Google Search, Google Trends, social media, and others, see what keywords and products are trending. Determine who your potential competitors will be and how you’ll be able to set your business apart from existing brands.

2. Write Your Business Plan

Your business plan is a document that’ll serve as a roadmap to success for your business, helping you to stay organized before and after you launch your online store. You’ll also show this to potential investors, business partners, or lenders.

Although this document’s exact structure will depend on your individual business, there are several key elements common to an effective business plan, taking the extensive market research that you performed earlier into consideration.

Your business plan should describe what products and/or services you’ll offer, explain how you’ll structure and manage your eCommerce business, and highlight your mission statement, identifying your brand’s core values. It should also include a market analysis and competitive analysis, your marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and any funding requirements you have.

3. Build Your Brand

With your thoughtfully crafted business plan ready to go, you can now start to build your brand. Your aim here will be to develop a brand image and a voice that’ll resonate with your target audience.

In this step, you’ll also need to decide what to call your eCommerce business. Your business name should make sense for what you sell and be easy for people to pronounce and remember. Confirm that the name hasn’t already been trademarked and that it’s available on your desired social media networks and as a domain on the internet.

Building your brand also involves deciding on your brand’s colors, which you’ll incorporate in everything from your logo and website to your social media pages and your packaging. To create your business logo, you can design it yourself, using a tool like Canva, or hire a freelancer to do it for you.

4. Create Your Online Store

Next, you’ll create your online store, where shoppers will go to buy your products. Regardless of if you want to start an online boutique to sell clothing or build an eCommerce site that offers surfboards, candles, pet supplies, etc., having a professional online store is essential!

While you can opt to create your website from scratch, this is often a time-intensive process, even if you hire a web developer to design one for you. If you want to launch your business quickly, using an eCommerce platform to create your store is generally best.

When building your site, always keep your target audience in mind. Use an uncluttered, easy-to-navigate design featuring colors that match your brand. In addition, add detailed product descriptions, high-quality images, and call-to-action buttons to boost conversions.

5. Market Your New Ecommerce Business

Once you launch your eCommerce site, you’ll need to work on marketing it to help your business grow. The right marketing methods for you will depend on your particular niche and budget, but here are a few common options to consider implementing to drive site traffic and sales.

  • Email marketing: Send personalized newsletters with informative content, abandoned-cart emails, and post-sale messages to strengthen the relationship with your customers.
  • Social media marketing: Using the channels most frequented by your target market, create a variety of types of content to increase your visibility and connect with your audience.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Improve your rankings on search engines like Google by performing keyword research, creating helpful content, obtaining high-quality backlinks, and following other SEO best practices.
  • Influencer marketing: Collaborate with well-known content creators in your niche to promote your products and expand your reach on social media and beyond.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: Invest in paid ads to increase awareness of your brand and reach current and potential customers alike more efficiently.

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