How to Write an Ecommerce Business Plan [Examples & Template]

Kayla Carmicheal

Published: April 03, 2024

If you have a promising idea for an online e-commerce business , it’s important to create an e-commerce business plan to ensure your vision has enough stock to be profitable.

business plans for e commerce

Having a business plan for your online store will help you define your target market, establish your monthly and quarterly sales goals, and increase the likelihood of long-term e-commerce success.

In this post, we’ll go over an online store business plan and how you can create one for your e-commerce startup. Let’s get started.

→ Download Now: Free Business Plan Template

What is an e-commerce business plan?

An e-commerce business plan is a document that outlines your business and its goals, analyzes your industry and competitors, and identifies the resources needed to execute your plan. It also lists the e-commerce retailers you’ll use to distribute your products and the marketing strategies you’ll use to drive sales.

Whether a company operates as a startup or has years of operations and growth under its belt, an e-commerce business plan is essential for evaluating a business and determining areas of improvement.

An e-commerce business plan is essential, with increasing numbers of shoppers conducting business online. It's estimated this number has reached over 2 billion . An e-commerce business plan keeps you organized and is useful when seeking investors who need to understand your company.

So, let’s dive into some examples of e-commerce business plans and what goes into writing one using our free template .

business plans for e commerce

Free Business Plan Template

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

  • Outline your idea.
  • Pitch to investors.
  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

E-commerce Business Plan Template

business plans for e commerce

Don't forget to share this post!

Related articles.

17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips From Pro Presenters [+ Templates]

17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips From Pro Presenters [+ Templates]

TikTok Shop: What It Is, How to Launch One & How to Market One

TikTok Shop: What It Is, How to Launch One & How to Market One

How to Create an Infographic in Under an Hour — the 2024 Guide [+ Free Templates]

How to Create an Infographic in Under an Hour — the 2024 Guide [+ Free Templates]

How to Make Your Brand Stand Out When Amazon's Your Marketing Competitor

How to Make Your Brand Stand Out When Amazon's Your Marketing Competitor

20 Great Examples of PowerPoint Presentation Design [+ Templates]

20 Great Examples of PowerPoint Presentation Design [+ Templates]

14 Ecommerce Trends to Expect in 2024

14 Ecommerce Trends to Expect in 2024

Get Buyers to Do What You Want: The Power of Temptation Bundling in Sales

Get Buyers to Do What You Want: The Power of Temptation Bundling in Sales

The 16 Best Abandoned Cart Emails To Win Back Customers

The 16 Best Abandoned Cart Emails To Win Back Customers

How to Create an Engaging 5-Minute Presentation

How to Create an Engaging 5-Minute Presentation

How to Start a Presentation [+ Examples]

How to Start a Presentation [+ Examples]

2 Essential Templates For Starting Your Business

Marketing software that helps you drive revenue, save time and resources, and measure and optimize your investments — all on one easy-to-use platform

How to Make an Ecommerce Business Plan for Your Startup

' src=

Darren DeMatas

February 28, 2024


In addition to receiving commissions generated through affiliate marketing, we are able to fund our independent research and reviews at no extra cost to our readers. Learn more.

So you’ve decided that you want to quit your day job and start your very own ecommerce empire. That’s great!

But before you become the next Jeff Bezos  (and definitely before you quit your job!), it’s worth spending some time thinking about a business plan. In this article, we’ll dive into the key elements of an ecommerce business plan, which is very different than writing traditional business plans.

Ecommerce Business Plan 2020

Why You Should Create a Business Plan

We know that starting an ecommerce business is exciting, and it can be tempting to jump right in without constructing a business plan. READ: PLEASE DON’T DO THIS.

If you haven’t put your ideas, questions and concerns on paper, then you haven’t given your business model enough thought .

Taking the time to write a business plan might seem like a lot of work, but it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run by better preparing you for potential challenges and opportunities that you’ll face as a first-time entrepreneur. Think of it as a roadmap for your new business venture.

It’s exciting to start your own ecommerce business. However, you want to be well prepared and not jump into anything without having a solid, foolproof ecommerce business plan in place.

After all, you wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute, so why start a business without a safety device in place? That safety device is your business plan.

Quote 5 Jeff Bezos Retail Is Details

The business plan is the brainstorming process that ensures your concept and goals are realistic.

This is more than just mental notes. True business plans take your ideas , questions, and concerns and put those in writing.

As you start creating your business plan, you’ll soon understand that it’s more than a single piece of paper with handwritten details on it. It’s a clearly constructed format of how your business will be created, how it will operate, and what you hope the future holds in terms of a successful ecommerce business.

When you write your business plan, be sure to have a target audience in mind. Are you going to look for investors or put a Kickstarter campaign into motion and use this as your descriptive platform? If so, make sure that your business plan contains everything the audience would want to know about your business (and more!). Many traditional funding solutions require a business plan in order to give you capital. However, there are alternative solutions, such as  Payability  that specialize in ecommerce and don’t require credit checks, a business plan, or any complicated paperwork. They can also get you approved in as little as 24 hours.

When your business plan is completed, you should have achieved the following goals:

  • Knowledge:  A greater sense of knowledge of the business aspects.
  • Resources:  The resources you’re going to need to make your business successful, such as partners, money, employees, etc.
  • Road Map: Have clear set goals to take you from the very beginning of your business and onward.
  • Viability: In other words, is your business possible? Will you have enough profit margins to keep the doors open long-term?

Now that you know why you should create a business plan, it’s time to move on to how you can create your business plan and get started putting your ecommerce business into motion.

How to Start an Ecommerce Business Plan

At the very beginning of the planning stages, it’s a good idea to develop a framework for your business model. This business model will continue to evolve as you create each section of your ecommerce business plan, so don’t strive for a perfect completed plan on the first try. You will be making tweaks to the plan of certain steps along the way.

There are many ways to sell products online and different business models  to pursue. Research and learn from successful ecommerce business examples in the market. The exact business model you follow will be one that makes the most sense with your resources, skills, and interests.

In order to create the best online business plan with your product in mind, you need to figure out the following things:

What are you selling?

The first step to creating an online business is to learn the absolute basics of what you can sell.

  • Physical products: Clothing , shoes, home goods
  • Digital products: Software as a Service products, ecourses, ebooks
  • Services: Consulting services, home cleaning

Who are you selling to?

  • Business-to-Business (B2B): You are selling to organizations, corporations, and non-profits rather than individual customers
  • Business to Consumer (B2C): This means you are selling to individual consumers rather than businesses
  • Marketplace: You are acting as a middleman by bringing businesses and (B2B or B2C) customers to one website.

How are you sourcing your product?

  • Manufacture in-house: You make your product or service in-house
  • Third-party manufacturer: You outsource the manufacturing of your product or service to a third-party manufacturer
  • Dropship: You partner with a dropship manufacturer. Basically, this means that they make your product, package it and ship it directly to your customer while your company handles the entire customer relationship.
  • Wholesale : You buy goods or services from other companies in bulk and re-sell those products on your online store

Additional References

  • Entrepreneurship: Business & Marketing Plans
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship Resources
  • Business Plan Resources

Executive Summary

Ecommerce Business Plan Template Executive Summary

The executive summary will be written according to your goals, and it’s recommended that this is done at the very end of your business plan completion. This will ensure that you include all of the important factors about your business and present your ideas in a concise and complete way.

Some of the features you’ll include in the executive summary include information showing that you’ve done your research, you have concrete sales forecasts, and the main details about your brand.

Business Model

When you’re figuring out your business model, you have to consider four different areas:

  • Monetization strategy
  • Product/industry
  • Target market
  • Sales channel

Monetization Strategy

The monetization strategy delves into the methods you are going to use to sell your products.

This strategy will look at different product monetization methods, including white label, private label , affiliate marketing, wholesale, dropshipping, and even selling ads.


The product industry section is where you summarize your main niche.

For example, “Vegan Skincare Products.”

Target Market

In the target market section, you will write a sentence or so on who your target market, or ideal customer, is in the community.

If you’re selling vegan skincare products, your target customers might be women who embrace the vegan lifestyle and use natural skincare products in their daily beauty regimen.

Sales Channel

The sales channel refers to where you’re going to sell your products.

For example, you might be selling your products on your own website, and this should be entered in this section.

Business Overview

Ecommerce Business Plan Template Company Overview

This next section covers your company overview.

This section of your business plan will cover various features of your company, including the following:

  • Company type
  • Domain name
  • Value proposition
  • Brand traits

The brand name section lists your business name or brand name.

This is an extremely important aspect of your business plan as it’s what will set the tone for everything that follows.

Pick a brand name that’s simple yet unique and is something that can be used in a wordplay manner, if desired, but not pun-worthy.

Company Type

The company is how your business operates. For example, you might label your business as an LLC , S-corporation, sole proprietor, or some other type of business organization.

The best way to determine how you should categorize your company is to speak to your accountant. There are various tax and legal aspects to forming your business in a certain way.

Speak with the professionals in the company and corporation formation field to determine how to label your company and which company type best benefits your business in a variety of ways.

Domain Name

This section is where you list your domain name.

Choose a domain name that is memorable and embraces the overall traits and features of your business.

And, when choosing a domain name, be sure to think of SEO aspects when doing so. You’ll find out just how much all of these things tie together and ensure a frequently-visited website is the end result.

Keep in mind that with ecommerce, the domain name is just as important as the brand name. Maybe even more so!

Value Proposition

A value proposition is a short, crisp statement that will gauge how clear your idea is. Write this section as if you had one minute to explain your business to a potential investor or customer and then practice it over and over again.

The value proposition can be used on your ecommerce store as your company description.

Here’s a good example: Say you’re looking to start a hiking company called Atlas Hiking Co. which sells premium performance hiking shirts. A possible company description could be the following:

Atlas Hiking Co. is a lifestyle hiking company that produces high-performance hiking shirts for outdoor lovers. Our proprietary SPF40 fabric is one of the lightest fabrics on the market, providing mountain lovers with maximum comfort, both from a breathability and sun-protection standpoint. Our product is made in the U.S.A. and a portion of our profits are donated to preserve national parks around the country.

Pay special attention to all the sensory words !

The mission statement in your business plan is the “why” of it all.

For example, why you started the business, why you are selling the products you are selling, etc., can all be added to this section of your business plan.

You can make this portion as simple or detailed as you like. Just make sure to properly and clearly explain your business mission.

The vision part of the business plan is your “how” in the grand scheme of things. It is the dream you have for your company and the path you’re going to take to realize that dream.

When you write the vision portion of the business plan, think long-term. What are you hoping to achieve, not just in the near future but for the long haul of the life of your business?

Look into the future and plan out where you see your business in 5, 10, even 20 years from now.

This will help you construct the rest of your business plan if you know where you want your business to head, now and in the future.

Brand Traits

The brand traits section is a short section in your company overview.

Basically, in the brand traits section you’re going to want to list three to five words that describe your brand.

Think of your brand personality and describe it using a few separate powerful words.

The personnel section lists all individuals, including yourself, who will be involved in the daily operations of your business. You can create a separate section for a full operations plan or add that later.

Some business owners choose to handle all duties on their own or with a partner, while others will hire individuals to fill the following roles:

  • CEO (usually the business owner)
  • Management team
  • Customer service/logistics
  • PR/Social media specialist
  • SEO manager
  • Advertising manager

Competitive Market Analysis

Competitive Market Analysis

Here’s a fact you can bank on: there has never been a successful e-commerce entrepreneur that didn’t understand his/her target market cold.

That’s why this section is one of the most important in the entire business plan. It will force you to understand the industry in which you operate, the overall industry analysis and outlook, the existing competition, and your target customer demographic.

Market Segment

The market segment portion of the business plan will help you to put your ideas down on paper, make them more focused, and get your team together.

This area will include your niche selection, target market, and competitive analysis.

Niche Selection

The niche section  provides an overview of your niche, why you selected it, whether there’s a micro niche included, and the type of niche you’ve chosen.

The purpose of this section is to crystalize the ideas that you have and make sure they are understandable and viable.

The target market section covers an overview of your target market plus describes your market segments.

Ask yourself who your  target customer  is (population size, age, geography, education, ethnicity, income level) and consider whether consumers are comfortable with buying your product category online.

When listing the target market information, make sure to mention your target audience size as this is important for ensuring that your audience will be adequately covered.

Facebook Audience Size

Competitive Analysis

With the competitive analysis portion of your market analysis, you want to list your market leader and direct and indirect competitors.

After you mention who these entities are, you need to list the characteristics of each one, such as domain name, business model, monthly traffic, and pricing range.

However, before you even get started in writing this section, you need to spend several hours researching your target market.

Here are some of the most efficient ways to research a particular market:

Industry reports

Google is your best friend. Look for any recent industry reports on your market of choice. This will give you a good sense of how much growth the industry is experiencing, why this growth is happening, and what are the largest customer segments. In our example of Atlas Hiking Co., we should research the outdoor apparel market.

Outdoor apparel kids hiking hiking gear Google search Trends worldwide 2004-present

Let’s say that through our research of the outdoor apparel industry, we discovered that there was a huge boom in youth hiking apparel. Perhaps parents were increasingly concerned about their kids’ exposure to UV rays while hiking, so they began to spend more money on their kids. We could use this valuable information to guide our business strategy.

There’s only so much you can read online. Go to a nearby store that sells similar products to yours and interview the store representative. The store rep has interacted with hundreds of interested customers, which can lead to thousands of valuable insights! It’s amazing how these insights can translate into a meaningful business opportunity.

Here’s an example:

If I were going into Billy’s Outdoor Store to research the outdoor apparel market, I would probably ask Billy the following:

  • What are your best-selling products?
  • What are your worst-selling products?
  • Find products similar to yours and ask the representative his/her favorite features on products similar to yours.
  • How much are customers generally willing to spend on these types of products?
  • Do customers make repeat orders of any of these products?
  • Do you get a lot of customers that are looking to buy last-minute hiking gear before they go on a hike?


Create an Excel spreadsheet of all of your competitors. In your spreadsheet, you should have the following columns:

  • Competitor Name
  • Price point
  • Product Description
  • Key Features (e.g., fabric, waterproof, slim fit, etc.)

What is the competition missing? Is there a gap in the offering? Where you can add some additional value?

After conducting the competitor analysis, Atlas Hiking Co. might find that the competition’s hiking shirts offer very few features at a low price point, but no one offers a luxury hiking shirt with additional features at a higher price point.

This is just an example of the types of insights one can gain from market research which can drastically alter your business model.

Keyword Research

By using Google’s keyword planner  and trends pages, you can get a good sense of how in demand your product is and whether it’s trending upward or downward. Google is great for a general idea, just don’t bank on it.

Some other keyword tools you can use for keyword research include Ahrefs, JungleScout, and Viral Launch. Check out this list  for more ideas.

Trade shows

Are there nearby trade shows that you can go to? Again, creating connections with other people in your industry is a surefire shortcut to countless hours of reading on the internet. Trade shows are also a great opportunity to talk to competitors, meet manufacturers, and better understand where things are heading in your industry.

Once you finish researching the relevant industry, you should summarize your findings by answering the following questions:

General Industry

  • How big is the overall industry?
  • How big is the specific sub-industry in which you intend to operate?
  • Where has most of the historic growth in the market come from?
  • Why is this the right time to enter this market?
  • What are the sub-segments that are poised for future growth (e.g., youth apparel)?
  • How crowded is the product category with competition?
  • How is your competition distributing its product (online, retail, wholesale, etc.)?
  • What’s missing from the competition’s product offering?

Products and Offers

Ecommerce Business Plan Template Products and Offers

So we know we want to sell hiking shirts, but how do you research specific products?

But for some of us, we’re not quite sure what we should sell. To succeed in online retail, you need a product that is trending upwards in a growing niche.

Different types of products

Some of the different types of products include the following:

  • Convenience products: Frequent purchase products, little effort on buying
  • Shopping products: Less frequently purchased in between purchases, little more effort and planning, shop around
  • Specialty products: Strong brand preference and loyalty, will buy no matter what the price

The various types of niches include the following:

  • Hobby niches
  • Lifestyle niches
  • Problem niches
  • Weird/embarrassing niches

Existing products

Come up with detailed specifications for each product or service you intend to sell. If it’s a hiking shirt we’re selling, we would want to have:

  • Detailed sketches of the shirt
  • Fabric weight, materials, type
  • Key features (e.g., pre-shrunk, water-proof, SPF 40)

Future product pipeline

What are other products that you have in the pipeline? Perhaps once you’ve successfully sold hiking shirts, you’re able to leverage your manufacturing relationships to provide hiking socks and shorts. Include that information in this section.

The products and services section will cover the various selling categories of items.

These product offerings will include the following:

  • Core product

Each product group will have its own purpose in your sales catalog. For example, tripwire is the product that brings customers to your ecommerce store or online marketplaces  while the core product is your main seller.

Knowing what products you’ll include within each section allows you to have a firm grasp on what your main product will be and how the other types of products will work alongside your main product.

This section will also cover the search volume and Amazon pricing range.

You’ll need to calculate your true costs. You have to make sure you don’t overestimate your margins.

To tabulate your total true costs, you need to write down the costs in the following areas:

  • Target price
  • Supplier cost of the product
  • Total cost per unit
  • Net profit per unit
  • Profit margin per unit

Once you complete the pricing portion, you’ll have everything on one sheet and readily accessible whenever you need it.

Marketing Plan and Operations

Ecommerce Business Plan Template Marketing

So, now you’ve concluded that you have a great business idea, and it’s in a growing market. That’s fantastic – but how are you going to drive traffic to your ecommerce website and get customers to buy it ? And how much can you afford to spend on your product?

Marketing  is everything. It’s important that your marketing efforts match your business model.

If you have a website and no marketing, your site won’t have any visitors. With no visitors, you will make no sales. Then how do you grow and sell your ecommerce business (if that’s your long-term goal)? Even with the best possible products, nobody will buy them if they aren’t directed to them in some way.

In order to come up with a marketing strategy, you need to first know your customer inside out. You should be able to answer such questions as:

  • How old is your customer?
  • Where does your customer live?
  • What is the population of your customer base?
  • What is their education level?
  • What is their income level?
  • What are your customer’s pain points?

With so many channels to reach your customer, which one is best for you?

Once we know pretty much everything there is to know about our target customer, we can shift focus to our marketing strategy. You want to choose marketing strategies that equal positive conversion rates. What channels should you use to grab the attention of your customer demographic? Some of the key marketing channels include:

Paid Marketing

  • Pay-per-click – this online marketing typically involves using Google Shopping campaigns  and managing a product data feed.
  • Affiliate sales networks – Allowing other blogs and websites to sell your product for a cut of the revenue. List the different affiliate sale networks that you plan to promote through.
  • Facebook ads ⎯ Ads posted on Facebook to draw in buyers through social media means.
  • Influencer marketing ⎯ Hiring industry influencers to get the word out about your product through their social media platforms and contacts.

Organic Marketing

  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram , Pinterest, etc.): What is your strategy for social media, and where will you dedicate your attention?
  • Search Engine Optimization : Create and promote awesome content so people find your product organically through search.
  • Content marketing: Figure out how you’ll use content marketing in your business. Consider various article topics that will persuade your target audience to buy your products.
  • Blogger networks: could be organic or paid through affiliate sale programs.
  • Key bloggers: Develop a list of the key bloggers in your product category. For Atlas Hiking Co., this might be an influencer that blogs about the best hiking trails in America.

Finding the optimal mix of these advertising tools depends 100% on your customer segment as well as your product type. For example, a SaaS product targeting millennials will require an entirely different marketing strategy than an e-commerce physical product targeting baby boomers. Perhaps that should be a post on its own for another day!

How much should you spend to acquire a customer?

In order to understand this, we need first to discuss a concept known as customer lifetime value or LTV. In essence, this is a formula that helps you better understand how much an average customer will spend over time.

Here’s  a good read on how to calculate LTV.

It’s important to remember that for new businesses, you don’t have a lot of data on customer purchase habits so it’s a good idea to be more conservative with your assumptions in calculating LTV.

Let’s say, for Atlas Hiking Co., I determine that the average LTV per customer is $300. This means that over time, the average customer will spend $300. Let’s say, on average, if I receive $300 in revenue, $100 of that will translate to gross profit before I factor in my marketing costs (basically, I’m just subtracting the cost of making the shirts).

Knowing that my gross profit is $100 per shirt is a critical piece of information because it tells me that I can spend up to $100 in marketing to acquire a customer and still be profitable!

Some of the marketing options include social media marketing and content marketing.

Think about your business model and then line up your marketing budget. Your marketing budget may include the following items:

  • Sales/branded content
  • SEO/blog content
  • Facebook/Instagram ads
  • Influencer marketing
  • Marketing tools
  • Niche advertising

Choosing The Right Technology

With so much technology and SaaS products out there, it’s important to understand the various moving parts and diagram how they all integrate with one another.

Some of the different elements include:

  • Shopping Cart Platforms  – e.g., Shopify , BigCommerce , WooCommerce , or any open-source platform
  • Hosting – Nexcess , BigScoots , Kinsta , WPX
  • Payment Processo r – e.g., Stripe, Paypal
  • Fulfillment Center – e.g., Amazon, ShipBob
  • Apps – e.g., Zipify, BuildWooFunnels, Gelato
  • Accounting & Taxes  – e.g., Quicken, Xero
  • Marketing Automation – e.g., Klaviyo , Mailchimp
  • Marketing Tools – e.g.  Buzzstream, Ahrefs
  • Customer Loyalty Programs  – e.g., Antavo, Smile

Come up with a detailed list of the different products and services you need to run your business as well as the monthly and per-transaction cost of each of them. This will be important in understanding the impact of these services on your margins.

Matching your business model to your technology is essential, too. Certain website platforms are better suited for specific sales models.

Email marketing is another type of technology that should be carefully considered and matched up correctly with your business model.

Keep in mind that it takes, on average, 6-7 interactions with a brand before someone makes a purchase, so you need to keep using technology to get them back to your website.

As you explore the technology options and find out ways to draw potential customers in and keep them happy while they’re there, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • What you say about yourself and your products with your website content
  • How you respond to questions on live chat and email support
  • How to make use of chatbots
  • How you connect on social media
  • The information you send through email marketing
  • What bloggers and influencers say about your brand
  • How existing customers review your company
  • How you advertise
  • How you establish loyalty beyond sales

After you figure out your technology methods, you have to come up with a technology budget.

The business plan must also include the operations side of things. Determine who will be your manufacturer, secondary manufacturer, and shipping and fulfillment  provider.

When looking at supply chain costs and options, ShipBob  is an ecommerce fulfillment provider you can consider.

Financial Plan

Ecommerce Business Plan Template - Financial Plan

When figuring out your financial plan, evaluating and pinpointing your startup costs  is essential.

The focus of the financial plan is how long it will take for you to make your money back. You also need to figure out if you need a business loan .

Traffic and conversion rates will help you determine how long it will be until you start making money back.

You’ll also want to use an income statement to detail financial information.

This section is used for financial projections, such as forecasting sales, expenses, and net income of the business. Ideally, you’ll want to create a monthly Excel balance sheet showing the following:

  • Projected revenue:  First, come up with your projected number of units sold and then come up with your projected revenue (Projected Revenue = # of Units Sold * Average Sales Price).
  • Fixed expenses:   these are expenses that are fixed no matter how much you sell. Typically, these relate to monthly SaaS subscriptions, employee salaries, or rent.
  • Variable expenses  – these expenses change in direct proportion to how much you sell. Common examples include the cost of goods sold and credit card payment processing fees.

This helps business owners better understand what they need to achieve to hit their profit goals. In reality, projections are usually always off the mark, but it’s good to give yourself some measurable goals to strive for.

This section should aim to answer the following questions about your product offering:

  • How much product do you need to sell per year to meet your income goals for the business?
  • What are the margins on your product? If you sell one hiking shirt for $50, how much do you make after paying your supplier, employees, and marketing costs?
  • What is the lifetime value of a customer?
  • How much can you spend to acquire customers? If you conservatively project that the average customer will spend $300 over time on your shirts, then you can afford to spend an amount less than $300 to acquire that customer using the paid marketing channels described previously.
  • Do you have any big capital expenditures early on that would require you to need to bring in investors?
  • Can you improve gross margins by making bigger orders from your suppliers?

There are various acquisition channels that will help your traffic to convert including:

Your revenue plan will contain a 12-month revenue forecast plan to help you map out each month of earnings.

There are different business earning models you can go through to determine how much you can make with your business.

You want to calculate how much traffic costs. This all depends on the methods you use to gain traffic to your site.

As you determine what your profit might be with your ecommerce business  or ecommerce businesses, there are certain math formulas to use:

  • The profit equation
  • Break-even analysis
  • Units needed to achieve the profit target

You should also consider how you will use fintech companies in your ecommerce business.

What are the key elements of an ecommerce business plan?

The main components of an eCommerce business plan include the executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management structure, product line or service, marketing and sales strategy, financial projections, and funding request, if applicable.

How do I create a budget for my ecommerce business?

Start by estimating your initial startup costs and ongoing expenses. Consider costs like website development, inventory, marketing, shipping, taxes, and any necessary licenses or permits. It’s also important to factor in a contingency plan for unexpected costs.

How do I find the right product to sell?

Research is fundamental. Look at market trends, customer needs, and competitor products. Use tools like Google Trends or social media platforms to understand what customers are currently interested in. Always consider your passion and knowledge about the product too, as this can drive your business forward.

How can I differentiate my product from competitors?

Differentiation can come from unique product features, superior customer service, better pricing, or a compelling brand story. Understand what your competitors offer and how you can do it differently or better.

Wrapping Up Your Business Plan

Careful planning is crucial to get your e-commerce business from the planning phase to the launch phase and to ensure its successful future.

Going through the exercise of writing a business plan will cement your own understanding of your business and your market. It will also position you to take advantage of lucrative opportunities while mitigating harmful threats to your business down the line.

Your turn! Have you written a business plan for your online store? Do you have anything to add? Tell us about it in the comments below!

About the author

Photo of author

Leave a Comment

Featured on.


Join 30K+ entrepreneurs already learning ecommerce.

Ecommerce ceo.

Partner With Us

Editorial Policy

Review Guidelines

Terms Of Use

Affiliate Disclosure

Privacy Policy

[email protected]

Guides & Resources

Ecommerce Learning Center

How To Start An Ecommerce Business

How To Make Money Online

What To Sell Online

How To Sell On Amazon

Online Business Ideas

Best Ecommerce Tools

Ecommerce Platforms

Fulfillment Services

Shipping Software

Inventory Management

Print On Demand

Dropshipping Companies

Amazon Research

Online Course Platforms

POS Systems

3PL Companies


Shopify vs BigCommerce

2800 N 6th Street #5156 St. Augustine, FL 32084 United States

‪(904) 458-7077 ‬

Copyright © 2024 - Mission Demand LLC . All rights reserved.

Exclusive Member of Mediavine Finance

  • Credit cards
  • View all credit cards
  • Banking guide
  • Loans guide
  • Insurance guide
  • Personal finance
  • View all personal finance
  • Small business
  • Small business guide
  • View all taxes

You’re our first priority. Every time.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners .

How to Start an E-Commerce Business in 2023: A Step-by-Step Guide

Rosalie Murphy

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Table of Contents

1. Define your e-commerce business idea

2. set up your business, 3. source or develop your products, 4. set up your e-commerce website, 5. figure out order fulfillment, 6. market your e-commerce business, how much does it cost to start an e-commerce business, tips for starting an e-commerce business .

An e-commerce business sells goods, services and funds over the internet. Starting an e-commerce business is a lot like starting any company: You’ll need to create a business plan, get licenses and permits and set up dedicated finances. You’ll also need to choose an e-commerce website builder , source your products and market to online customers.

Follow these six steps to get your e-commerce business up and running.


The first step in starting any business is to hone your idea. Online business ideas can include selling physical or digital products as well as professional services. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to define your e-commerce business model and write a business plan that outlines your niche.

During this process, you’ll start to ask a lot of questions: How will you get your products or services to your customers? What sort of licenses or permits do you need? How much will it cost to get your business up and running — and how will you foot that bill? Your business plan should answer these questions and provide a road map for the coming months.

More resources to help shape your idea:

What is e-commerce? Understanding how it works  

Our picks for the best business plan software

Can your business idea actually make money?

Once you've solidified your e-commerce business idea, the next step is to set your company up for success.

This includes back-office steps like:

Choosing a business structure . There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these entity types, so talking to an attorney may be helpful as you choose the one that’s right for you.

Naming your business. Consult your local secretary of state's website as well as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to ensure that you're not choosing a name that belongs to another company. Check to see if your potential business domain name is available as well.

Applying for an employer identification number (EIN) . You can get an EIN from the IRS for free online or by mail, fax or phone. Not all businesses need an EIN, but having one can help you separate your personal and business finances.

Opening a business checking account . NerdWallet recommends all business owners have a dedicated bank account for their business.

Getting licenses and permits your city or state requires. This probably includes a business license, and if you perform services, you may also need an occupational license. Check your state or local government website for requirements for your area.

Answers as you set up your business:

Do you need a business license to sell online?

What’s the difference between an LLC and a sole proprietorship?

Our picks for the best free business checking accounts


Shopify Ecommerce

Next, you'll need to source the products you're going to sell. If you’re selling physical products, you may need to make them yourself or work with a manufacturer.

A key decision at this point: Are you going to order products in bulk and keep inventory in stock? If so, you’ll need to think about storage space and raising capital to order goods upfront. However, you’ll have the power to ship items yourself.

Other businesses choose to rely on dropshipping , in which products are manufactured or sourced at the time the order is placed. In general, dropshipping may keep your overhead costs lower, but it can be more difficult to manage since inventory levels and shipping will be out of your hands.

Other options for sourcing e-commerce products include:

White-labeling, or ordering items in bulk from a manufacturer and then branding them with your company’s identity.

Print-on-demand, or paying a third party to print your company’s designs on merchandise like T-shirts, mugs and posters. Print-on-demand normally functions like dropshipping, in that a customer places their order, then the manufacturer creates the product and ships it directly to the customer.

Retail arbitrage, or buying discounted items from retail sellers and listing them in your own store at a markup. 

If you're selling professional services, you might just have to describe and list what you offer on your business website. Still, you’ll need to figure out how much to charge and decide how many clients you can see each day or week.

More to help you develop products:

16 e-commerce business ideas

How to find products to sell on Amazon

How to make money on Shopify

Your e-commerce website will be your storefront. It’s where your customers will learn about you and your business, browse your products and make purchases.

The easiest way to set up a website is to use an online store builder . These platforms can walk you through the process of launching your website, from buying a domain name to managing your inventory to taking credit card payments.

Popular e-commerce website builders include Shopify , Squarespace , Square Online and BigCommerce .

If you’re a very small business or just experimenting with online sales, a free e-commerce website builder may be a good place to start. But to list unlimited products and access more robust suites of tools — which can help with things like shipping label printing, order management and sales analytics — you’ll typically need to spring for a subscription.

In general, many online store builders should be simple enough for someone without web development experience to navigate. But most offer the option to pay a professional designer or developer if you don’t want to build the website on your own.

The best e-commerce platform for you fits into your budget and is appropriate for your skill level.

Choosing the right website builder:

Our picks for the best e-commerce website builders

Wix vs. Squarespace: Head-to-head comparison

Shopify vs. Square Online: Head-to-head comparison

Order fulfillment is the process of getting customers’ purchases in their hands.

Most e-commerce website builders offer shipping label printing, which is the first step in the fulfillment process. Some also offer the ability to add shipping costs onto customers’ orders at checkout.

If you choose to handle order fulfillment yourself, research shipping rates so you have a sense of how much it’ll cost. Look for an online store builder that can help make the shipping process easier or research shipping software providers like Shippo .

Note, too, that e-commerce may connect you to customers across the world. If there are places you’re not willing to ship to, make that clear on your website.

If you don’t want to manage order fulfillment, you can outsource it to an e-commerce fulfillment center or use a service like Fulfillment by Amazon. Fees for fulfillment services vary depending on the size of your products, how far they’re traveling and how much you’re shipping.

More to help you manage orders and inventory:

Our picks for the best inventory management software

What is just-in-time inventory?

Shipping services that integrate with WooCommerce

Now that you've started your online store , you're ready to start serving customers — as long as they can find your products.

Your small-business marketing strategy might include:

Omnichannel commerce , in which you list your products on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and Instagram. Some e-commerce website builders can help facilitate this.

Influencer marketing, in which you pay popular social media creators to plug your products. 

Social media content or paid social media ads.

Optimizing your business website for search engines.

Sending email campaigns to past and future customers.

Many e-commerce website builders include some marketing features, which can help you do things like create social media ads or send emails to customers when they’ve abandoned their carts.

But if you want to develop more sophisticated campaigns, consider investing in marketing software . These tools can help you create email templates and campaigns, text customers, keep track of how individual customers are responding to your emails and more.

More help with marketing:

20 free marketing ideas for small businesses

Online marketing strategies and tips

Content marketing for small businesses

The cost of starting an e-commerce business can vary widely depending on what you’re planning to sell and in what volume. Your expenses may include:

Your e-commerce website. Subscription plans for online store builders generally start around $25 to $30 per month when billed annually. You may also need to spring for a domain name if your e-commerce website builder doesn’t include one — and make note of annual fees to keep your URL registered. 

Payment processing fees. In general, the company that provides your payment processing will take a cut of around 3% from each online sale. 

Stocking up. If you plan to order inventory in bulk, be prepared for significant upfront costs — even before you’ve started generating revenue. Inventory financing may be able to help you bridge the gap.

Order fulfillment. In general, you’ll pay a third-party service to fulfill each order, with rates varying depending on item size and weight. The more customers buy at once, the less you’ll have to pay per item. Order fulfillment services may also include warehousing, for which you’ll pay a per-item storage cost. 

Warehousing. If you’re buying more inventory than you can keep in your home or garage but not using an order fulfillment service that provides storage, you may need to spring for warehouse space of your own.

General costs of running a business. These could include monthly or annual fees for accounting software , business insurance , any employees or contractors you plan to hire and more. You may also need to set aside money for small-business taxes .

As with launching any business, starting an e-commerce business can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips for managing the transition.

1. Start simple

If you’re not certain e-commerce is the right path for you, set up an online store with low overhead first. This may mean starting with the free version of an e-commerce website builder, ordering a small amount of inventory or selling only one or two types of products. 

Starting small can limit how much startup funding you need and make it easier to pivot if your first idea doesn’t land. As your business starts to get traction, you can trade up to a more robust e-commerce platform and expand your product line.

2. Cultivate a loyal customer base

Your e-commerce business needs customers who appreciate your products enough to buy them more than once and, ideally, customers who will promote them to their networks.

Establishing a strong brand presence on social media can help you build a following. But the more information you can gather from your customers, the more you can market directly to them, whether that means creating an email marketing campaign, sending discount codes through text message or letting them know where your booth will be at an event in their region.

3. Invest in multichannel selling

Loyal customers may be willing to visit your website frequently. But to reach new ones, you might have to meet them where they are — which might be on Amazon, Instagram, TikTok or elsewhere. Start with the platforms where your customers are most likely to be, launch those integrations and then see how they perform. You can add platforms later if they fit into your business strategy. 

Keep in mind that selling in person is a channel, too. Craft fairs, local shops and industry or trade events may help you connect with new customers while generating some revenue.

A version of this article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

On a similar note...

One blue credit card on a flat surface with coins on both sides.

May 24, 2022 | 9 min read

How to Write an E-Commerce Business Plan (Step-by-Step)

null headshot

Dream of being your own boss? So do lots of other people, including 64 percent of the UK workforce and 65 percent of Americans . And I’m sure you’d see similar figures across a bunch of other countries.

I get it—after all, I did it myself.

But sadly, not every business is destined to become the next Amazon, Google, or Sleeknote.

Much-quoted data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that about one in five new businesses survive for 12 months or less , while only half make it to the five-year mark:

Survival Rates of New Businesses

So what separates the successes from the also-rans and the never-weres?

While some people will tell you the secret to “making it” lies in adopting a rise-and-grind mentality , truth is there is any number of reasons why some businesses thrive and others fail. 

But I can categorically tell you there’s one thing every successful startup has in common, and that’s a killer e-commerce business plan.

Basics of Writing an E-Commerce Business Plan

What is an e-commerce business plan, why do i need an e-commerce business plan, how to write an e-commerce business plan.

E-commerce business plans are roadmaps that plot the route to achieving your business goals. They set out who you are, what products you sell, and how you plan to operate (among many other things).

Just like a real roadmap, e-commerce business plans also highlight potential hazards, helping you plot alternate routes well in advance.

No one expects you to stick precisely to your original plan throughout the entire lifespan of your business. But by gathering business-critical information like cash flow, sales projections, and marketing budgets in a single place, your business plan can help you build a persuasive pitch to win backing from investors, which can be absolutely vital at the start of your journey.

And even if you’re not looking for external funding, figuring out your strengths, weaknesses, and objectives early on will save you a lot of pain down the line.

I know what you’re thinking: “I’ve got a to-do list as long as my arm; why should I spend days or weeks writing a business plan? Why can’t I just get on with it?”

You’re not completely wrong. Honestly, if you think buying a house or having a baby is stressful, try starting a business.

One study claims the biggest challenge founders face in the first three months is building a customer base, but there are countless others.

Challenges of Business Founders Statistics

From dealing with suppliers to building a website and chasing invoices, it’s one headache after another, and you never feel like you have enough time to give each problem your full focus.

But you really can’t afford to overlook your e-commerce business plan. Here are five benefits to creating one.

1. Understanding the Competitive Landscape

You might like to think of yourself as a visionary, but I can pretty much guarantee that someone, somewhere has had a similar business idea to yours.

They might have been doing it for years, or they might be gearing up to hit the market at the same time as you.

Either way, you need to know about them, and the research you carry out while building a business plan will naturally help you do that. Which means you’ll be better placed to differentiate yourself through marketing.

2. Getting to Know Your Audience

Another key element of creating a business plan is assessing the market you’re trying to reach. That means digging into who you’re selling to, where they hang out online and “in real life”, and what they’re looking for in a product like yours.

Why would they buy it? When would they buy it? How much would they spend on it?

All of that will help inform your messaging .

3. Locating Potential Investors

Unless you have a metaphorical (or literal) gold mine to fall back on, money is definitely going to cause you a few headaches in the early days of your business.

Even successful e-commerce companies struggled to keep the lights on when they were just starting up.

Building a business plan will help you identify potential sources of financial backing, like angel investors, business loans, venture capitalists, or wealthy business partners.

4. Finding Your Niche

There’s a reason Amazon started out as an online bookstore, rather than immediately selling every product you could ever imagine.

As an e-commerce startup, you need a niche . Ideally, you need to go further and find a niche within a niche. Rather than founding a womenswear e-commerce site, launch one that’s 100 percent sustainable and carbon-neutral. Or instead of selling regular sunglasses, sell sunglasses made from hemp (I don’t know, I’m just spitballing here).

My point is, all the other research you’ve done at this stage—studying your competitors, understanding your audience, figuring out your pricing strategy—will naturally guide you toward the best niche with the biggest opportunities.

5. Sourcing Fresh Talent

Admittedly, recruitment might not be on your immediate agenda.

But if things go well, you’re going to need a little help in the not-too-distant future. You might need people in the warehouse, a customer success agent or two, a marketing team, a developer, someone to handle the finances… The list is huge.

Problem is, a lot of other businesses want to get their hands on those people, too.

If you don’t want recruitment to constrain your growth, start reaching out to potential candidates early, using the information in your business plan to get them bought into your project.

Hopefully, by this point, I’ve demonstrated the value of creating an e-commerce business plan. Now, let’s dive into how to do it.

There are no hard-and-fast rules to how long a business plan should be. The more complex the business, the more in-depth the plan. But as a minimum, your business plan should include these seven sections:

  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Market analysis
  • Products and services
  • Marketing plan
  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financial plan

You might want to add a few more too. For instance, if you’re entering a largely untapped niche, you might want a section dedicated to the audience you’ll be targeting.

But for most e-commerce businesses, those seven categories should do the job.

Section 1: Executive Summary

Think of this as the “elevator pitch” element of your business plan.

Your goal here is to sum up the rest of your business plan in no more than one page, communicating key information to time-poor reviewers, and (hopefully) tempting them to read on.

Generally, you should look to answer the following questions:

  • What does your business do?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What do you sell?
  • Who will you sell it to?
  • What sets you apart from the competition?
  • How will you raise awareness among your target audience?
  • What is your current monthly/annual revenue?
  • What is your projected revenue for next year and the following years?
  • Who’s currently on your team?
  • What are their backgrounds and skills?
  • How much money are you asking for (if you’re looking for financial backing)?

Section 2: Company Overview

Again, heed the word “overview”. Like the executive summary, this is a concise section that demonstrates who you are, what you do, and why people should care.

Whether you’re seeking investment or planning your e-commerce marketing strategy , it’s vital you get all this information down in one place. Make sure to include your:

  • Company name
  • Business structure (e.g. sole proprietor, partnership, LLC)
  • Vision, mission statement, and value proposition
  • Product or service
  • Business model (e.g. direct to consumer, dropshipping, wholesale)
  • Team members, including their roles, backgrounds, and salaries
  • Short and long-term business objectives

Section 3: Market Analysis

A bad product in a good market stands a chance of success.

If you don’t believe me, check out your own purchase history—if you’re anything like me, you’ll have bought your fair share of useless products that sounded amazing when you saw them online.

But a good product in a bad market doesn’t have a cat in hell’s chance. You might be completely changing the game; solving a problem that’s never been solved before. But if no one’s prepared to spend money on it, you’ve not got a business—you’ve got a hobby.

The market analysis stage of your e-commerce business plan should help you find the right market: one with lots of customers who have an immediate need for the “thing” you’re selling (and enough money to buy it). Your market analysis should incorporate the following elements:

The Size of Your Market

It’s impossible to come up with a meaningful financial projection without first estimating the number of people who are potentially interested in buying your product.

Of course, to do that, you first need to figure out who your customers are.

The more demographic and psychographic information you have on them, the more accurately you’ll be able to gauge the scale of your market.

At the same time, remember to factor in broader industry trends. If you’re starting an e-commerce store that exclusively sells gas cans, you might have some early growth potential, but bear in mind there’s a good chance we’ll all be driving electric cars within a decade—in which case your whole market will have dried up.

Your Competitors

No e-commerce brand is an island.

To stand out against the competition, you need to find some way to differentiate yourself. That could be through:

  • Segmentation: Focusing on a very specific (and, ideally, underserved) niche within a larger market.
  • Pricing strategy: Do you plan to undercut your rivals? Or create demand through exclusivity by pricing yourself higher?
  • Distinctiveness: Ideally, there’ll be something unique that distinguishes you from the current market leaders.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analyses are about assessing your business’s:

  • Strengths: The things you do best.
  • Weaknesses: The things you’re not so good at.
  • Opportunities: Gaps and advantages in your market.
  • Threats: External challenges you need to tackle.

Typically, a SWOT analysis is presented as a simple, four-section grid, with bullet points under each heading. Here’s a beautifully presented example from the creative geniuses at Asana :

SWOT Analysis Example from Asana

Section 4: Products & Services

In a sense, your whole e-commerce business plan will be centered on your products and services.

However, given their importance to your business prospects, a section of your plan should be dedicated solely to outlining what you’re selling.

If you only sell one product or plan to launch with a very small range, give plenty of detail on each. But if you stock a wide selection of products, stick to general features and benefits such as price, unique selling points, and materials.

Additionally, be sure to reference any new products you’re planning to launch in the near future, along with any intellectual property you own.

Section 5: Marketing Plan

We know who you are and what you’re selling.

Now’s your chance to explain how you’re going to sell it.

As a marketer, I’m well aware that a marketing plan could easily run to thousands of words, and it can be hard to know where to start—you’ve likely got a lot of ideas about positioning and messaging. To make your life a little easier, use the so-called “four Ps of marketing” as the backbone of your marketing plan:

  • Product: How does it meet the needs of your customers? What are its unique selling points?
  • Price: How much does it cost? What is its value?
  • Place: Where are you selling it?
  • Promotion: Which channels will you use to reach your target audience? What messaging will you use?

Discuss the first three relatively briefly, as you’ll cover them in greater depth in other parts of your e-commerce business plan.

Reserve the most detail for that final “P”: promotion. That’s the real meat and drink of your marketing strategy.

Section 6: Logistics & Operations Plan

This might not be the “sexiest” part of your e-commerce business plan, but it’s important to discuss the systems and processes that will help you reach your goals. Specifically, you’ll want to cover:

  • Suppliers: Who are they and where are they based? What are their payment terms?
  • Production: Are you manufacturing your own products, using a third party, or going down the dropshipping route? Can you efficiently scale up or down to cope with changing demand?
  • Shipping and fulfillment: Are you handling fulfillment in-house or using a third party? Will you ship internationally? How long will it take for products to reach customers?
  • Inventory: How much will you keep, and where will you store it? How will you manage and track it?

Section 7: Financial Plan

Whether you’re seeking backing from an external investor or simply trying to understand your projected revenue and costs, a financial plan is a crucial element of your e-commerce business plan. Most are broken down into three elements.

Income Statement

Designed to demonstrate your revenue sources and expenses over a month, quarter, or year, the income statement also highlights your all-important bottom line. Subtract expenses from revenue and you’ll see whether you’re in profit or loss.

Of course, if you’re yet to launch your e-commerce business, these figures can be projected.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet is used to calculate the level of equity in your business—that is, the amount you’d be left with if all debts were paid and assets cashed. To work it out, subtract liabilities (things like loan repayments, wages, and accounts payable) from assets (such as stock and equipment).

Cash Flow Statement

Lastly, your cash flow statement is like a real-time version of your income statement. That’s because it takes into account when cash goes in and out of your business, based on when payments are received and debts settled.

Calculating and projecting cash flow should help you identify periods when you’re likely to be in surplus or short on money, which gives you time to prepare.

Sure, an e-commerce business plan requires a whole lot of work.

But as Abraham Lincoln supposedly said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

All that time spent analyzing your audience, honing your messaging , and crunching the financial numbers will give you a better chance of making it through those tough early days and scaling effectively when the time is right.

And honestly, no one ever said starting a business is easy.

Emil Kristensen headshot

Emil Kristensen

Emil is the CMO of Drip. When he’s not busy writing awesome content and building the Drip brand, he spends his time reading blog posts and listening to podcasts.

Come for the automated marketing. Stay for the endless revenue growth.

Start a 14-day free trial, no credit card required.

Related posts

Learn more about drip.

An illustration of a an envelope with a thumbs up.

Creating a Stellar Ecommerce Business Plan for Your Online Store

Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform

For years, you’ve purchased items from online businesses or marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Amazon and thought to yourself, “I could do something like this, too.”

Starting your own ecommerce business may seem intimidating — writing a business plan, even more so.

However, a business plan allows you to validate your business idea, assess your financial position and create a concrete action plan for how you’ll deliver a product from the original source to the end consumer.

In other words, while the business plan might seem like it’s ultimately meant for other people’s benefit — potential investors, business partners or well-meaning family members who keep pestering you to write one — in reality, the business plan benefits you, the business owner, the most.

You’ll shape the vision and mission for your business and map out how you’ll get there. One study by Harvard Business Review found that entrepreneurs who write a formal business plan are 16% more likely to achieve viability than those who don’t.

An ecommerce business plan is a document that outlines your business purpose and goals, analyzes your industry and competitors and identifies the resources needed to execute your plan.

For example, which suppliers will you work with? What types of products will you stock? Who is your ideal buyer? How will you advertise your business? Can you afford to provide free shipping and still make a profit?

Here’s a step-by-step primer on how to write a business plan for your ecommerce store, what elements to include and how to use your own business plan to increase your chance of success.

How to Create An Ecommerce Business Plan

Business plans help entrepreneurs maintain focus on their goals and shape the day-to-day running of a new business. The key elements of an ecommerce business plan template describe blueprints for growth, projected timelines and financial goals — clarifying topics like cash flow, expenses, marketing tools and distribution channels.

Draft an executive summary.

An executive summary provides a concise rundown of the key points in your business plan. In short, it should summarize your chosen industry, business purpose, competitors, business goals and financial position. Executive summaries average 1-3 pages and are ideally under two pages.

What does your business do?

Explain the raison d’être for your startup. What problem will you solve for your customers? Who is the target audience? Where do you want your business to be in one, five, or 10 years?

Here are the main elements of an executive summary:

The problem statement or business opportunity : Describe a pain point or gap in the market that you are uniquely qualified to fill. (“As someone who used to own a convenience store, I heard many of my customers complain about the lack of healthy food options while traveling domestically.”)

Your business idea : State how you plan to approach the problem (“XYZ is a ready-to-eat meal company that lets travelers order and pack healthy meals ahead of trips so they can avoid eating fast food.”)

Company history : Describe what milestones you have achieved. Are you already working with suppliers? What is your current revenue? (“In 2021, XYZ fulfilled over 10,000 orders, generating $150,000 in revenue.”)

Industry and market analysis : Outline the trends in the market that affect your business, market size, and demand for your product. (“In 2022, the global health and wellness food market was valued at $841 billion and is projected to increase to one trillion by 2026.”)

Competition : Explain who your competitors are, outline their strengths and weaknesses, and make it clear how you will differentiate.

Timeline for key milestones : Project when you plan to achieve goals like breaking even, launching an IPO, or other key milestones.

Financial plan (if you are seeking funding from investors or banks).

What goals does your business want to achieve?

Set short- and long-term goals for your business, such as achieving a certain amount of revenue or testing a new product idea. Business goals can be general and high-level or they can focus on specific, measurable actions (SMART goals).

The most realistic goal-setting approach is to set short-term goals as stepping stones to your long-term goals. For example, your short-term goal to decrease website bounce rate by 25% within 12 weeks might help you reach the long-term goal of growing conversions by 50% within one year.

Timeframes for short-term goals can range from a few hours to a year, while long-term goals generally take 1-5 years to achieve.

What products do you sell?

Outline your product offerings and specify where you’ll source each item. Some ecommerce businesses manufacture products in-house. Others work with wholesalers, manufacturers or print-on-demand businesses to resell their products.

Curate a tight product line that demonstrates your value proposition. Why should someone buy from your online store rather than another brand? Why would someone choose your products over a substitute if you don't produce goods in-house?

Ecommerce companies sell three types of products: goods, services and digital products. Tell your readers what you intend to sell and why. List each item and its purpose. For each, you want to answer the question “why?” Why are you choosing to offer these specific products and services? How do you plan on fulfilling orders?

If you’re offering a service, explain what you do and where. Are you local? Do you travel to your customers? Will you partner with similar service providers in other areas?

How will customers access the item if you're offering a digital product? Will they download software or education videos from your site? Will they pay a subscription or usage-based fee? What about licensing requirements? Mention intellectual property ownership (if applicable) including trademarks, patents and copyrights.

Who is your audience?

Describe your ideal customer. Define your product or service from their point of view. What problems does your product solve for them? What benefits or features do customers look for when shopping for that product type?

Create customer profiles that summarize your target audience in terms of demographics (age, location, gender, etc) and psychographics (pain points, interests, buying patterns). Consider creating customer segments based on shared characteristics if you cater to a wide audience.

Demographic data should include the following points:

Education level.

Relationship status.


Meanwhile, discover your target customer’s motivations, needs and wants as much as possible. Psychographic data should include the following points:

Where are you going to sell your products?

Outline your sales channels, both future and existing. For example, your main point-of-sale might be your ecommerce site. Be sure to include stats on site traffic and conversions so readers know how your site is performing.

Still, you might also offer your products online on marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy. Explain how each of these channels is performing and how you’re optimizing them for product discoverability and conversions (eg: following SEO best practices, using high-quality images, highlighting user-generated content).

Identify your company overview.

Tell your brand's story , its purpose, and how the company was founded. In addition to the company description, provide details on how you currently run the business. List your business partners and employees and describe the business's legal structure.

The best brand names are memorable and communicate the essence of your business. Brand names gain icon status because they represent an excellent product or service, so don’t obsess over it.

That said, the right brand name can be your brand’s most valuable asset, driving differentiation and speeding acceptance. In fact, 71% of consumers prefer to buy from brands they recognize.

If you’re struggling to come up with a name, try using an online brand name generator as a jumping-off point. Remember, you’re not locked into a single brand name forever.

Business structure

Describe the legal structure of your business. Is it a sole proprietorship, LLC, an S-Corp or a partnership? Consider speaking to an accountant if you’re not sure. Who is in charge of the business? List founders and officers and their contributions (both capital and expertise) to the company. Who works for the company? Include an org chart that illustrates who currently works for the business and the roles you plan to hire for . List their responsibilities, salaries and terms of employment (freelance, full-time, part-time).[

Your business structure]( ) affects how much you pay in taxes, your ability to raise money, the paperwork you must file and your personal liability in the event of business bankruptcy, so this information is important to lenders. Also mention if you have filed or plan to file for any applicable licenses or permits.

Domain name

Register a unique domain name for your business. A catchy brand name is essential because the domain is less likely to have been claimed by another business. Keep your domain name as short as possible and ensure it includes your brand name for SEO purposes.

Your mission describes the fundamental purpose of your business. It should tell people why the business exists and how it benefits its customers. For example, LinkedIn’s mission statement is “connect the world’s professionals and make them more productive and successful.”

However, be careful not to exaggerate. An overly aspirational mission statement is disingenuous and wishy-washy — no single corporation or small business will single-handedly “change the world.”

A vision statement is a declaration of what you want your business to achieve in the future by fulfilling its purpose. It describes your company’s “why,” while the mission statement describes the “who” and “what” of the business.

Your vision statement should define your values as a business (eg: reducing waste generated by single-use toiletries) and future goals (achieving a zero-waste world by implementing a circular economy).

Background information

Tell the story of how you conceived your business idea. Say you’re a former school teacher who discovered your artistic flair from making handmade pottery in your garage on weekends. Describe how your business has grown and changed since you first started it.

Your team and key people

List the key personnel in your company. Aside from the founders and executive team, who keeps the business running each day? Here are a few examples:

Company owner — that’s probably you.

CEO — that’s probably also you.

Management team.

Customer service manager.

Logistics manager.

PR and social media specialist.

Advertising manager.

SEO manager.


Conduct market research.

Ecommerce businesses face intense competition and are liable to market disruptions because they rely on third parties (suppliers, shipping companies, wholesalers) to deliver a product or service. Knowing the market in and out will help you build a more resilient business.

A market analysis considers your ideal customer (their purchase habits and behaviors), competitors (their strengths and weaknesses), market conditions (industry trends and long-term outlook), and how your business fits into this landscape.

The point of a target market analysis is to:

Identify the most and least valuable markets.

Develop buyer personas.

Find gaps in the market to fill.

Assess the viability of a product or service.

Improve business strategy .

Market opportunities

The first step to identifying your target market is determining your total addressable market (TAM) — the maximum market size for your product or service. Who are your customers? What are their demographic and psychographic traits? When and how often will they buy your product?

The best way to obtain a high-level overview of your customer base is to consult your social media and web analytics. These dashboards show where your customers live, their age, gender, general interests and more. You can also use U.S. Census Bureau data to pad up this information.

Competitive analysis

Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your current and potential competitors. First, find out who your direct and indirect competitors are. You can perform a Google search of businesses that sell similar products or scope out rivals in your local area.

Here’s what you need to know about your competitors:

What markets and segments they serve.

What benefits they offer.

Why their customers buy from them.

Details of products and services, including pricing and promotional strategies.

Search for publicly available information about your competitors. Aside from that, do some of your own primary research. Visit their website and complete an order or visit their physical outlet.

Next, analyze the information. Is there a segment of the market your competition has overlooked? Is there a product they don’t supply? Did you have a bad customer experience when you walked into the store?

Detail your competitive advantage in your business plan. Don’t just list things that your competitors do — that’s not analysis. The competitive analysis section aims to persuade the reader that you are knowledgeable about the competition and that your business idea has a significant advantage over the competition.

Products and services

List the products and services you provide and how customers will access them. If you’re selling digital products, will customers have to stream or download the content? Do they pay a subscription fee to access a content platform or do they pay for each individual content piece? If you’re providing a service, will you provide it on physical premises or will you travel to customers’ homes? Will you sell physical products in a physical store or online? What is your website like? List each product, including a short product description and pricing information.

Develop a marketing plan.

You need a go-to-market strategy if you haven’t already launched your business. How will you spread the word about your business? How and where will you advertise and what is your budget? If you run social media ads, for example, what platforms will you use and who is your target audience? Will you do content marketing and SEO? A thorough marketing plan answers all of these important questions.

Marketing channels

Define which channels match your consumer demographic. Do your potential customers spend time on Facebook or do they prefer YouTube? First, figure out where your potential customers are. Next, create attention-grabbing marketing strategies and use them to reach your customer base.

Paid marketing channels

PPC advertising : Advertise on Google’s search engine and pay only once someone clicks on your ad. You can bid for ad placement in the search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches a keyword related to your business offering.

Affiliate marketing : Embed links to another business’s products in your content and receive a commission when someone makes a purchase using your unique affiliate link.

Social media ads : Run paid ads on social media apps and platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to reach targeted audiences. Ads can use different creatives such as images, videos and GIFs.

Influencer marketing : Work with a popular influencer who will promote your products to their followers. Influencers are paid based on conversions or reach.

Organic marketing channels

Brands must use an organic marketing strategy to build brand awareness and engagement and drive website traffic.

Examples include:

Search engine optimization (SEO) : Optimize your website, web pages and blog posts for maximum discoverability on search engines. This involves doing keyword research for your industry, creating high-quality content that attracts and converts and using keywords in the right places.

Social media posts : Organic social media posts build brand awareness and humanize the brand by providing a behind-the-scenes look at the company and allowing you to share engaging visual content to inspire, educate and entertain.

Blogger networks : Collaborating with trusted bloggers on link exchanges can help you build website backlinks, improving your search engine ranking.

Content marketing : Organic content includes blog posts, white papers, SEO pages, and more. This gives you content to post on social media and improves the discoverability of your website. Websites that publish high-quality content consistently rank higher in search results.

Email marketing : Create email templates for new and potential customers, cart abandonment, promotions and announcements and more.

Logistics and Operations plan

This portion of the business plan covers what you physically need to run your ecommerce company. Basically, it outlines how you’ll manage the flow of goods from the supplier (you or a third party) to the consumer. You cannot start a business without an established supply chain.

Your logistics and operations plan should cover the following:

Suppliers : Where do your raw materials or products come from? Do you work with a manufacturer who produces your product idea or are you reselling products from a supplier, wholesaler or distributor? What is the minimum order value? Do they require payment upfront or after the sale? Do you have a backup supplier in case demand spikes or there is a problem with fulfillment?

Production : Will you create your own products or use a third-party manufacturer or dropshipping company? If you’re creating your own products, where will this be done? What assets and equipment do you need? What are your operating costs?

Shipping and fulfillment : Outline how the product will reach the end consumer. How long will it take you to pack and ship products to customers? Will you use a third-party shipper? Will you ship internationally?

Inventory : How much inventory will you keep on hand and where will you put it? How will you track incoming and outgoing inventory? Do you need warehouse storage space?

Establish a financial plan.

The financial section of your business plan is where you prove the feasibility of your business idea and calculate your startup costs. It includes financial projections and statements that show your business’s current financial position and project where you hope to be in the future. This is one of the essential components of the business plan, particularly if you are seeking investment funding, a bank loan or a business partner.

Income statement

In this document, you’ll forecast the company’s revenues and expenses during a particular period. Total revenue is the sum of both operating and non-operating revenues while total expenses include those incurred by primary and secondary activities.

If you subtract your expenses from your revenue sources, you’ll come up with your bottom line (profit or loss).

Balance sheet

A balance sheet helps you calculate how much equity you have in your business. It summarizes your company’s assets (what you own), your liabilities (what you owe) and equity (money invested into the business plus profits).

A balance sheet enables you to calculate your net worth. All of your assets (machinery, inventory, business premises, etc.) go in a column on the left and your liabilities (accounts and wages payable, business loan repayments, business credit card payments, taxes) go in a column on the right. If you subtract your liabilities from your assets, you get your business’ shareholder equity.

Cash-flow statement

This document shows how much cash is generated and spent over a time period. Cash flow determines whether your business is primarily gaining or losing money. Positive cash flow and profit margins are important because it enables your business to repay bank loans, purchase commodities and keep the lights on.

How to Increase Ecommerce Sales

Explore our collection of free resources designed to help you scale smarter and accelerate your online growth from $1 million to $100 million.

The Final Word

Writing a comprehensive business plan is crucial not only for staying on track in the first year or so after launching your business but also for securing funding, finding a business partner and evaluating the viability of your business idea.

FAQs About Ecommerce Business Plans

Who needs an ecommerce business plan, what are the benefits of creating a business plan, how do i start an ecommerce business with no money, browse additional resources.

Growthink logo white

Ecommerce Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Growthink Ecommerce Business Plan Template

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their ecommerce businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an ecommerce business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Ecommerce Business Plan Template here >

What is an eCommerce Business Plan?

An ecommerce business plan is a detailed and comprehensive document that outlines the strategies, objectives, and operational blueprint of an online business. It serves as a roadmap guiding the company’s operations and growth within the dynamic and competitive digital marketplace. The plan typically covers various aspects, including market analysis, target audience identification, product or service offerings, marketing and sales strategies, competitive analysis, financial projections, and risk assessments.

Why You Need a Business Plan for an eCommerce Business

If you’re looking to start an ecommerce business or grow your existing ecommerce business you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your ecommerce business in order to improve your chances of success. Your ecommerce business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Source of Funding for Ecommerce Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an ecommerce business are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for an ecommerce business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan.

Venture capitalists will fund an ecommerce business but not in its infancy. You will need to first achieve sales traction. Once you do that venture capitalists might invest $2 million to $100 million into your business over time.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

Below are the 10 sections a sample ecommerce business plan should include:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of ecommerce business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup or do you have an ecommerce business that you would like to grow further.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the ecommerce business industry. Discuss the type of ecommerce business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of ecommerce business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of ecommerce businesses.

Ecommerce businesses based on businesses model:

  • Drop Shipping: you sell the product on your website and the product’s supplier fulfills it
  • Wholesaling And Warehousing: you sell the product on your website and the fulfill it yourself (through your own warehouse and systems)
  • Private Labeling And Manufacturing: you sell the product on your website and you manufacture it yourself or have someone manufacture it for you
  • White Labeling: you sell the product on your website and have someone manufacture it for you (but unlike private label, your product is not unique; the manufacturer is also creating the product under other brand names)
  • Subscription: you sell the product or service on your website on a subscription basis (customer pays you every week/month/year)

Ecommerce businesses based on customer model:

  • Business-to-Business (B2B): your business is selling to other businesses
  • Business-to-Consumer (B2C): your business is selling to consumers
  • Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C): your business provides a platform for consumers to sell to other consumers (e.g., ebay)
  • Consumer-to-Business (C2B): your business provides a platform for consumers to sell to businesses
  • Business-to-Government/Administration (B2A): your business is selling to governments or administrative agencies
  • Consumer-to-Government/Administration (C2A): your business provides a platform for consumers to sell or communicate with governments or administrative agencies

In addition to explaining the type of ecommerce business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, customer milestones, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the ecommerce business.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the ecommerce business industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards subscription businesses, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for offering subscription options.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your ecommerce business plan:

  • How big is the ecommerce business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your ecommerce business. You can figure out your relevant market size by multiplying the amount of target customers by the amount they might spend on a product or service like yours each year.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your ecommerce business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, manufacturing plants, state government agencies, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of ecommerce business you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want a different offering and branding than teens or government agencies.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

Finish Your Ecommerce Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Ecommerce Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other ecommerce businesses.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes offline stores or other ecommerce companies that offer similar products or services. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who needs the products or services you provide will frequent a business like yours.

With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other ecommerce businesses with which you compete. For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What products do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And check product review websites to learn what your competitors’ customers like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior ecommerce services?
  • Will you provide ecommerce business products/services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products/services?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For an ecommerce business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product/Service : in the product section you should reiterate the type of ecommerce business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products and/or services you will be offering.

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the menu of items you offer/will offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your ecommerce business. In general, the place for an online business is well, online. But if there is a physical component to your business, document that here.

Promotions : the final part of your ecommerce business marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Search engine marketing
  • Traditional public relations
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
  • Advertising in physical newspapers, magazines, radio and television
  • Partnerships with other websites and/or organizations

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your ecommerce business such as warehousing, invoicing, serving customers, procuring supplies, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 10,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new product or service.

Management Team

To demonstrate your ecommerce business’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the ecommerce business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in ecommerce businesses and/or successfully running retail businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 100 customers per day or 200? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your ecommerce business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say a company approached you with a massive $100,000 contract, that would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now to fulfill the contract. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During that 180 day period, you could run out of money.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an ecommerce business:

  • Website and technology buildout
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include agreements you’ve negotiated with developers, manufacturers and/or employees.

Ecommerce Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your ecommerce business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the online store business plan template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the ecommerce business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful ecommerce business.

Download Our Ecommerce Business Plan PDF

You can download our ecommerce business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Ecommerce Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my ecommerce business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Ecommerce Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Ecommerce Business Plan.

Where Can I Download a Free Ecommerce Business Plan PDF?

You can download our ecommerce business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Ecommerce business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan advisors can give you a winning business plan.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Use This Simple Business Plan Template

PlanBuildr Logo

Ecommerce Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Business Plan Outline

  • Ecommerce Business Plan Home
  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Company Overview
  • 3. Industry Analysis
  • 4. Customer Analysis
  • 5. Competitive Analysis
  • 6. Marketing Plan
  • 7. Operations Plan
  • 8. Management Team
  • 9. Financial Plan

Whether you are planning to start a new ecommerce business or grow your existing business, you’ve come to the right place to create your plan.

We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their own ecommerce company.

Below are links to each section of a sample ecommerce business plan to help you write your ecommerce business plan:

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Ecommerce Business Plan FAQs

What is an ecommerce business plan.

An ecommerce business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your ecommerce business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your ecommerce business plan using our Ecommerce Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Ecommerce Companies?

An Ecommerce business can really be anything that is able to be sold on the internet, it is an online business. Ecommerce companies range from virtual clothing websites, furniture store websites, electronic devices and accessories, toy stores, etc. These companies can have a warehouse where they store and ship their own inventory or utilize a dropshipper who is a third party company who receives the order straight from the website, fulfills the order, and ships directly to the consumer.

No matter what type of online business you will operate, you will need to know how to make an ecommerce business plan. An ecommerce business plan template is key to creating a solid business plan.

What Are the Main Sources of Revenue and Expenses for an Ecommerce Business?

The primary source of revenue for an ecommerce company is the products that are sold on the website.

The key expenses for an ecommerce company are the costs to maintain a warehouse and shipping costs. There are also payroll costs that need to be factored in for the personnel who will be handling all product fulfillment and shipments. If utilizing a dropshipper, a key expense is the fees that will need to be paid to the dropshipper for fulfilling the orders and shipping directly to the consumers.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Ecommerce Company?

Ecommerce businesses are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your business plan to them. A major source of funding for an ecommerce company are angel investors, crowdfunding, or funding from friends and/or associates.

An investor will want to see a solid business plan complete with a strong financial plan (income statement, balance sheets and cash flow statements).  It should also include a comprehensive marketing strategy, details of your business model, an overview of your management team and  market research on your target market. You can quickly complete your plan using our Ecommerce Business Plan Template here .

Where Can I Get an Ecommerce Business Plan PDF?

You can download our free Ecommerce business plan template PDF here . This is a sample Ecommerce business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Other Business Plan Templates

Clothing Line Business Plan Template Clothing Store Business Plan Template Beauty Supply Store Bookstore Business Plan Template

Upmetrics AI Assistant: Simplifying Business Planning through AI-Powered Insights. Learn How

Entrepreneurs & Small Business

Accelerators & Incubators

Business Consultants & Advisors

Educators & Business Schools

Students & Scholars

AI Business Plan Generator

Financial Forecasting

AI Assistance

Ai Pitch Deck Generator

Strategic Planning

See How Upmetrics Works  →

  • Sample Plans

Customer Success Stories

Business Plan Course

Small Business Tools

Strategic Planning Templates

E-books, Guides & More

  • Sample Business Plans
  • Retail, Consumers & E-commerce

How to Write E-commerce Business Plan + Template

business plans for e commerce

So apparently everyone is jumping in to start an ecommerce business. Considering you already have your star product or service ready, you must be very thrilled to launch your business and make your first sale.

However, wait. Is your business plan ready? If you haven’t marked writing a business plan as the most important task on your checklist, you need to do that right away.

We know writing an ecommerce business plan is challenging. As a business owner of this new challenging enterprise, you don’t have much time. But this detailed guide with step-by-step procedures is likely to make the entire process of writing easier for you.

Don’t waste a minute further. Let’s dive right into the topic.

Key Takeaways

  • Elements like executive summary, product or service, operations, marketing and sales plan, management team, and financial plan come together to make a compelling business plan.
  • Determine marketing strategies for your ecommerce business and lay a clear action plan for building a solid brand image.
  • Clearly establish your value propositions, business goals, and objectives to form relevant strategies for your ecommerce company.
  • Make financial projections and consider various progressive and aggressive scenarios to establish the feasibility of your business idea.
  • Identify the gaps and loopholes in your planning and make changes to your business idea accordingly.

Why do you need an Ecommerce business plan?

A business plan has many more advantages apart from helping you get approved for a business loan. Here are a few potential benefits of having one for your ecommerce company:

  • Goals fulfillment: You will have to juggle multiple roles while running your ecommerce store. A well-crafted business plan will offer a roadmap to your business while helping you realize your business goals.
  • Business strategies: A  business plan simplifies your business strategy and helps put the strategies for sales, marketing, and operations in perspective.
  • Market analysis: A business plan strengthens your stand in the market by compelling you to conduct a detailed market analysis of the industry, competitors, and potential customers.
  • Test ideas: An ecommerce plan will help you realize the gaps and errors in your planning. This allows you the luxury to make changes in the business model before investing your money in it.
  • Simplifies the finance: A well-structured business plan lays a clear financial plan for your ecommerce business. The figures will help you understand the profitability, costs, and expenses of the company and its viability in monetary terms.

There’s much more to it. A business plan is like a beam of bright light that will make walking through the woods easier. It’s a living document that will evolve as the business grows.

Key components of an ecommerce business plan

Wondering what goes into making a perfect ecommerce business plan? Well, these are the key components you shouldn’t be missing.

  • Executive summary: The executive summary will highlight the key details of your entire business plan.
  • Business overview: This section will include a brief business overview along with its value proposition, objectives, mission, and vision statement.
  • Market analysis: This section will define your potential customers and competition. A detailed industry analysis and competitors analysis will lay a foundation for important business strategies.
  • Products and services: Define the products and services you will sell to your ideal customer. Also, offer a brief description of each product.
  • Sales and marketing strategy: Highlight your sales and marketing plan to attract your potential customers. From content marketing to social media- include every detail of your strategies here.
  • Operations plan: A well-defined plan that will help you run a smooth online business. Clearly defined process for inventory, order fulfillment, sales, storage, etc.
  • Management team: A brief introduction of your company’s management team and their expertise in the field.
  • Financial plan: Includes detailed financial forecasts and key reports like balance sheet, cash flow, P&L, and investment plan.

There is no definite format for business plans. However, a comprehensive plan accounts for all these components and makes it effective.

How to Write an Ecommerce Business Plan: A Complete Guide

From undertaking thorough market research to creating a marketing plan- uncover every detail on writing an effective plan for your online business with this guide.

1. Get an Ecommerce business plan template

Crafting a stellar business plan is a challenge. However, it can be the most precious reward for your business if you manage to write it comprehensively.

The process of translating your business idea into a business plan is lengthy and time-consuming. One is likely to leave behind an important detail or two without any definite format.

This is why you need an Ecommerce business plan template to write your plan in a structurally organized format. A template will help streamline your thoughts, organize the vision, and bring your ideas to life effortlessly.

Let’s not look elsewhere for a perfect template. Upmetrics business plan template is intuitive and is enriched with relevant examples that can be easily used as a reference while writing your plan.

business plans for e commerce

Need Assistance Writing a Ecommerce Business Plan?

Get Upmetrics’ business plan template, import data directly into the editor, and start editing using Upmetrics AI Assistant.

Upmetrics AI assistance

Start Planning Now

2. Write an executive summary

Executive summary is a concise rundown of key points that summarizes your business plan. Though presented at first, it should be written in the end after you have walked through all the other aspects of planning.

Consider it as a document that will offer a brief insight into your overall business. Investors will read this part and gauge the viability of your business idea. If they find it fascinating and intriguing enough they will read it further in detail.

Add brief details of your ecommerce business, target market, problem, solution, service model, business goals, and financial figures in this section.

Adapt a narrative tone to make it interesting and keep it highly informative. And, most importantly keep it within a limit of 1-2 pages.

Say goodbye to boring templates

Build your business plan faster and easier with AI

Plans starting from $7/month

CTA Blue

3. Create a company overview section

As the title suggests, this section offers a brief company description of your ecommerce business. You must also include brief details about the company’s history in this section if it’s not a new venture.

So what does this section include?

  • Name and location of the business , i.e. location of your warehouse, back end office.
  • Type of your Ecommerce business , i.e. B2B, B2C, D2C, C2C, etc.
  • Business structure of your e-commerce brand , i.e. sole proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, limited partnership, etc.
  • Business goals : Highlight milestones such as sales or revenue goals.
  • Mission statement : Describe the fundamental purpose of your business explaining why the business exists. For instance, the mission of First Cry is to offer eco-friendly baby care and maternity items to conscious buyers through its website and listings on a third-party platform.
  • Vision statement : It is a declaration of what you want to achieve with your ecommerce business. For instance, First Cry wants to become the preferred brand for baby care products in the markets of North America, Asia, and Europe.

4. Conduct a competitive and market analysis

In this section of competitive and market analysis, you will dive deep into the study of the target market, industry trends, and your competition. Only a thorough understanding of these key elements will help you build a resilient business.

Target market and market opportunities

Begin by determining the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for your products and services. This part of the market analysis will offer a realistic idea of your market size.

Further, strengthen the understanding of your target market by identifying your target audience. Create a buyer persona by considering the psychographic and demographic details of your ideal customer.

Collect data from US census boards, government websites, and industrial publications for solid and foundational market research.

Lastly, identify the market trends and highlight your business strategy to fill the gaps in the existing market.

Competitive analysis

Ecommerce companies operate in a severely competitive marketplace. Understanding your competition will help you safeguard the business against potential threats and risks from your direct and indirect competitors.

Collect the data and analyze your competitors on the grounds of prices, services, quality, product offering, target market, and market size to make conclusive points. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses using methods like SWOT analysis.

Now, detail the competitive advantage of your products and service offerings. This analysis should reflect that your business idea has a solid advantage over competitors’ offerings.

Focus on quality research. The study of the target market and competition will lay a foundation for crafting efficient business strategies.

5. Detail your products and services

After completing your market analysis, you will create a detailed section for your products and services.

Highlight all the product lines that your online business will offer. Also, mention the products within each product line and the product source.

If you are amongst the ecommerce businesses that sell digital products or services, mention those and explain how the customers will access them.

For instance, an OTT platform offers streaming services to its clients through an application.

Keep this section detailed by adding a brief description of each product and its pricing.

Consider this as a checklist of questions you must answer within this section:

  • What are the products of your online store?
  • Will you manufacture the products or source them from vendors?
  • How will your customers buy the product- Website, application, shopping platforms, etc.
  • What will be the pricing of your product offerings?

ecommerce business plan products and services

6. Develop a sales and marketing plan

By now, the readers are aware of the products and services that your online business will offer. It’s now time to tell them your sales and marketing plan.

Millions of ecommerce businesses start every year. But very few manage to crack their desired sales.

In this section, you will make sales strategies to ensure that your desired sales become achievable.

Try answering the following to form an efficient sales plan:

  • Sales channels: website, application, ecommerce platforms, subscription box platforms, flash sale sites, etc.
  • Sales method: Inbound methods or outbound methods
  • Sales personnel: Who will be responsible for product/service sales
  • Sales tools: CRM

The decisions you make here will influence the marketing strategy of your online store.

Marketing strategy

Now you need a well-rounded marketing plan to market your online store. After all, marketing is crucial to developing a brand, reaching your target customers, and acquiring sales.

In this section of a business plan, you will highlight the marketing plan for your ecommerce business. Identify the marketing channels that will be most effective for your target customers and design your strategies accordingly.

Here are a few prevalent marketing methods that can help you grow your online store:

  • Content marketing: Start writing informative and useful blog posts for your target audience. Focus on principles of SEO and keyword research to grow your reach organically. Also, post guest blogs on websites to increase your chances of reaching a wider audience.
  • Social media marketing: Identify the social media platforms that are used the most by your target audience and dedicate your marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Email Marketing: Email marketing is the most rewarding marketing channel for thousands of ecommerce businesses out there. Explain how you will build your Email list and draw conversions through them.
  • PPC: Design strategies for running paid ads on Google, Facebook, and other platforms and determine your budget for the same.
  • Traditional PR: Traditional methods of publications can also help you market your product effectively. If you will be using such methods, highlight the details regarding the same.
  • Influencer marketing: Will you hire or barter with influencers to promote your product? If so, define your strategy for the same.

All in all, the marketing plan should clearly define a roadmap to reach your target audience. Also, highlight different marketing tools you will use for your online business.

marketing strategy for ecommercre business

7. Introduce your management team

Having the right team will help you build a successful ecommerce business. So take your time and figure out the manpower needs for your business.

In this section of your business plan, you will introduce the key management members at your ecommerce store. Define their role, responsibility, experience, expertise, and achievements to prove their suitability in your organization.

Outline the organizational structure of your online store and explain how these people will be responsible for the smooth functioning of your business.

8. Outline your operational plan

Running an ecommerce store is not an easy task. From managing the backend to offering timely deliveries- a lot goes into ensuring smooth business operations.

A solid business plan cannot be complete without a detailed section of operations in it. So take your time and set your operations in line before you start with the store.

Here are a few things that most ecommerce business plans have in common. Consider adding them to your operations plan as well.

  • Order fulfillment process: Everything from getting an order to delivery, managing returns, shipment, packaging, exchange, and tracking is defined at this step. Explain how the order will be fulfilled at your online store.
  • Manufacturing and quality control: If the products will be manufactured in-house, what will be the manufacturing process? How will you ensure quality? Where will the goods be manufactured? What machinery will you use?
  • Suppliers: Who will be your supplier for products and services? What will be the purchase terms? Will there be an agreement or contract? What would be the contingency plan in case of casualty?
  • Storage: Will you dropship the products or store them in a warehouse? Where will be the storage located? How will you manage stock? What methods will you use?
  • Technology and payment processors: How will the customers pay for online shopping? What payment methods are available for them? What technologies will you use to facilitate payments? How will you secure their personal information?
  • Customer service: How can the customers reach you? What will be your order policies? Will there be any customer service team?

The logistics and operations plan will serve as a policy book for your organization. It will answer every query and doubt regarding the process.

9. Prepare financial projections

Now comes the most taxing part of creating a business plan- preparing a financial plan.

A financial plan is crucial because it will help you determine the feasibility of a business idea. Moreover, if you plan to seek funding for your online business, the projections in this plan will compel potential investor’s interest in your business.

Here are a few things to include in your financial plan:

  • Startup costs: Estimate the startup costs for your ecommerce business . From website development to inventory costs, licensing fees, security, and software charges- include every cost that will go into establishing your online business.
  • Funding source: Determine your funding requirements and what sources will you use to acquire the funds, i.e. business loans, angel investors, friends and family, etc.
  • Pricing strategy: Include your pricing plan for the products and services. Consider various overhead and operational costs to determine the final pricing.
  • Sales projections: Include your monthly, quarterly, and annual sales projections through different sales channels and also estimate your revenue.
  • Income statement: Also known as profit and loss statement, in this key report you will forecast the company’s profit and loss for the next 3-5 years. The difference between a company’s revenue and expenses will give you gross profits and net profits.
  • Cash Flow Statement:   A clear documentation of cash that is generated and spent in a business. This will help potential investors understand whether your business will make or lose money.
  • Balance sheet: A key summary of your business assets and liabilities that indicates your net worth. Calculate your equity in the business by deducting all the liabilities from your assets.
  • Break-even analysis: Break-even will help you evaluate how long before the business will start making money.

Too much of calculations right? Not with the financial forecasting tool from Upmetrics. Simply enter your numbers in the tab and the tool will do all the detailed calculations for you. Import the data from Excel sheets and before you know your projections will be done.

financial highlights for ecommerce business plan

Ecommerce Industry Highlights 2023

Ecommerce is a trillion-dollar industry. It’s indeed a rewarding market for anyone who wants to start an ecommerce business. But before that, you must check out these latest industry highlights of 2023.

  • Global market size: The global Ecommerce market size is expected to reach 6.3 trillion dollars in 2023. There is ample room for new businesses to venture into this market.
  • Online marketplace : According to Forbes , 24% of total retail purchases will be made online by 2026.
  • Market leader: Amazon accounts for 37.8% of Ecommerce sales , which is far more than other ecommerce businesses.
  • Cart abandonment: 48% of online shoppers abandon their carts because of extra costs on shipping and taxes. You are likely to lose your potential customers if you fail to consider these aspects.
  • Frequency to shop: 79% of online shoppers will shop for something or the other at least once a month. Considering the customer segments, nearly 96% of Gen Z shop at least once a month online.
  • Social media commerce: If you think websites and platforms are the only way to reach your potential customers, you are wrong. 96.9 million people in the USA are reported to shop on social media.

The US online marketplace is expected to reach 940.9 billion by 2023 end. There is enough scope for new businesses to emerge and grow in this competitive market space.

Related Ecommerce Resources

  • Creating a Successful E-commerce Marketing Plan
  • E-commerce Financial Plan
  • E-commerce Industry Statistics
  • Calculating Your Online Store Startup Budget
  • How To Open n E-commerce Business

Download a sample ecommerce business plan

Looking for help to write your business plan? Well, we have something absolutely perfect for you. Download our ecommerce business plan sample pdf and get a detailed guide to write a plan along with relevant examples.

Upmetrics business plan templates are designed specifically for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to write their own business plans. Our templates are modern, intuitive, and easily available to kickstart your plan writing.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.


Write your business plan with Upmetrics

All set to start your own ecommerce business? Let’s simplify the entire business planning process for you with Upmetrics. We have more than 400+ customizable sample business plans suited for varying different businesses. With features like AI assistance and financial forecasting, you can bring together an actionable business plan in easy steps.

So whether you are aiming to start a business-to-business or business-to-customer or any other type of ecommerce business, you are well equipped to write the most stellar plan with our business planning app .

Get started now.

Related Posts

Etsy Business Plan

Etsy Business Plan

Online Shopping Store Business Plan

Online Shopping Store Business Plan

Steps to Write a Business Plan

Steps to Write a Business Plan

List of Business Problem Statement

List of Business Problem Statement

How to Conduct Competitive Analysis

How to Conduct Competitive Analysis

ChatGPT Prompts for Business Plan

ChatGPT Prompts for Business Plan

Frequently asked questions, can i get expert help to draft my ecommerce business plan.

Of course, you can. Writing a business plan is not an easy task. You may lose context or can leave behind an important detail while writing. A plan writer can translate your business idea into a plan efficiently with his compelling skills. If not, you can take the help of online tools and search for relevant templates to write your own business plan.

Can I customize my ecommerce business plan as per my business needs?

Absolutely yes. No two ecommerce businesses are the same. The very purpose of a business plan is to address the unique concerns, ideas, and questions relating to your ecommerce business. From executive summary to a financial plan, customize every aspect of your plan with Upmetrics business plan builder.

What are the common mistakes to avoid while crafting an ecommerce business plan?

Here are a few mistakes to avoid while drafting a business plan for your new business:

  • Lack of market research
  • Inadequate financial planning
  • Overlooking the competition
  • Not having a clear value proposition
  • Undermining the technology needs
  • Not considering casualties and emergencies
  • Using complex language

Can I create an e-commerce business plan on my own, or should I hire a professional?

Ideally, you should be the one drafting your business plan. This is because no one knows your business better than you yourself and your business partners. So instead of hiring a professional, take the assistance of plan builders and step-by-step guides and create a compelling plan. Upmetrics AI assistant will simplify the writing process by helping you put together a cohesive write-up.

What are some emerging payment technologies to consider in your e-commerce business plan?

If you are planning to start a competitive ecommerce brand, you need to offer a bunch of payment solutions preferred by your target audience. Here are a few payment technologies you must definitely have in your business:

  • QR code payments
  • Mobile wallet
  • Contactless payment
  • Real-time payments
  • Buy now pay later solutions

About the Author

business plans for e commerce

Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

Plan your business in the shortest time possible

No Risk – Cancel at Any Time – 15 Day Money Back Guarantee

Popular Templates

bpb AI Feature Image

Create a great Business Plan with great price.

  • 400+ Business plan templates & examples
  • AI Assistance & step by step guidance
  • 4.8 Star rating on Trustpilot

Streamline your business planning process with Upmetrics .

Download How to Write E-commerce Business Plan + Template

  • E-commerce Business Plan
  • E-commerce Market Research
  • E-commerce SWOT Analysis
  • Ecommerce Reliable Solutions
  • Ecommerce Platforms List
  • Ecommerce Payment Gateways
  • Ecommerce Analytics Tools
  • How to Buy Domain Name
  • How to Choose Domain Name
  • How to Choose Domain Registrar
  • Ecommerce Domain Extensions
  • Best Domain Registrar
  • Best Ecommerce Hosting

Crafting a Robust E-commerce Business Plan: Your Roadmap for Online Success 2024

Embark on your e-commerce journey armed with a strategic business plan. From the essentials of an online retail business plan to detailed e-commerce strategies, learn how to navigate the digital marketplace successfully. Explore examples tailored for clothing and jewelry e-commerce, and discover the key elements in implementing a robust e-commerce plan. Whether you’re a startup or seeking business upgrades, our guide is your compass in the dynamic world of e-commerce.

Crafting a Robust E-commerce Business Plan

Considering the value of this insightful guide, why not share it with fellow entrepreneurs? Encourage your network to explore the strategies outlined at and provide feedback for tailored content upgrades. Together, let’s elevate the ecommerce landscape.


Introduction: E-commerce Business Plan

Importance of e-commerce business plan.

In the realm of online business, having a solid e-commerce business plan is like having a roadmap for a successful journey. Think of it as the guiding star that steers your ship through the vast digital sea. This essential document outlines your goals, strategies, and unique selling points, ensuring that your online retail venture sets sail on the right course. Without a clear business plan for e-commerce, it’s like navigating without a compass – you might drift aimlessly. In this section, we’ll delve into why this blueprint is the cornerstone of your e-commerce success, offering insights that transcend the complexities often associated with the term “business plan.” Get ready to understand the significance of this foundational document in the world of e-commerce business development strategy.

Role of a Business Plan in E-commerce

  • Strategic Navigation : Your e-commerce business plan acts as a strategic compass, guiding you through the competitive digital landscape.
  • Goal Setting : It’s your tool for setting clear goals and objectives, laying the foundation for a successful online venture.
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Uncover and define your business’s unique selling proposition, the secret sauce that sets you apart in the e-commerce world.
  • Adaptability : A well-crafted plan is your playbook, helping you adapt to market changes and challenges in the dynamic e-commerce space.
  • Stakeholder Understanding : It aids in communicating your vision to stakeholders, ensuring everyone is on board with your e-business strategy.
  • Risk Mitigation : By identifying potential risks, your plan becomes a shield, allowing you to proactively mitigate challenges and secure your e-commerce success.

Executive Summary

Key components of your e-commerce business plan.

To embark on your e-commerce journey, you need a clear roadmap – your business plan for e-commerce. This document encapsulates crucial elements for success. Begin with a detailed business description , outlining your niche, be it clothing or jewelry. Dive into a comprehensive market analysis to identify your audience, analyze competitors, and support your insights with data. Structure your team and highlight skills in the organizational section . Specify the products or services you offer, especially if you’re in clothing or jewelry. Craft a winning marketing and sales strategy , covering social media, SEO, and pricing. Estimate costs, revenue, and funding options in the financial projections . Don’t forget to foresee and plan for potential risks in the risk analysis section. This holistic approach ensures a robust foundation for your online retail business.

Main Goals and Objectives of Your E-commerce Business

  • Clearly articulate the overarching objectives that drive your e-commerce venture. Is it growth, market dominance, or a unique customer experience?
  • Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to quantifiably measure your progress. Will it be revenue milestones, customer acquisition rates, or market share?
  • Establish realistic timelines for achieving your goals. Are you aiming for short-term wins, or is this a strategic, long-term vision?
  • Break down your goals into manageable milestones. What achievements will mark significant progress along the way?
  • Highlight what makes your online business stand out. Is it unbeatable prices, exceptional service, or exclusive products?
  • Address adaptability in your objectives. What strategies will you use to stay ahead in the dynamic e-commerce landscape?

By answering these questions, you not only set clear goals but also establish a roadmap for achieving and adapting to success in the competitive e-commerce market.

Business Description

In the detailed business description, showcase the essence of your online venture, whether it’s clothing, jewelry, or another niche within the vast e-commerce landscape. Dive into your business model, elucidating how your operations will unfold—will you be a trendsetter in clothing fashion or specialize in unique jewelry designs? Highlight your unique selling proposition (USP), emphasizing what makes your e-commerce business exceptional. This narrative not only shapes the identity of your venture but also lays the groundwork for a successful business plan for e-commerce.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of Your E-commerce Business

In the realm of e-commerce, your success hinges on a compelling unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is the beacon that draws customers by offering something distinctive. 

For instance , if your e-commerce business focuses on clothing, your USP might be affordability without compromising on style, providing trendy fashion accessible to all. On the other hand, if jewelry is your niche, a USP could be the exclusivity of handmade designs, offering customers one-of-a-kind pieces. Clearly defining your USP in the business plan for e-commerce not only attracts your target audience but also sets you apart in the competitive digital marketplace.

Market Analysis

Conduct a thorough analysis of the e-commerce market.

  • Pinpoint the audience most likely to engage with your e-commerce business. Understand their preferences, demographics, and behaviors to tailor your strategies.
  • Delve into your competitors’ activities. Identify what makes them successful, where they fall short, and strategize ways to capitalize on their weaknesses.
  • Stay ahead by examining current trends in the e-commerce market. Anticipate future developments to adapt your business model and offerings accordingly.
  • Back your insights with data. Whether it’s consumer behavior, market size, or growth projections, use statistics to validate your market analysis in the business plan for e-commerce.

Explore Current Trends and Future Predictions in the E-commerce Industry

Staying ahead in the e-commerce business means being attuned to the current pulse and foreseeing future shifts. Dive into prevailing trends that influence consumer choices – be it the surge in mobile commerce, the sway of social media on purchasing decisions, or the escalating demand for eco-friendly products. Understanding these shifts is pivotal. Equally important is peering into the future, anticipating where the e-commerce industry is headed. Incorporate these insights into your business plan for online business, ensuring that your strategies harmonize with the ever-changing dynamics of the digital marketplace.

Support Your Market Analysis with Data and Statistics

Enhance your e-commerce business plan by underpinning your market analysis with concrete data and statistics. Elevate your understanding of consumer behavior, market size, and growth projections by incorporating credible numbers. Uncover demographic details of your target audience and competitor performance metrics. This data-driven approach not only boosts your plan’s credibility but also provides valuable insights for strategic decision-making in the competitive digital landscape.

Organizational Structure and Management

Define the structure of your e-commerce team.

Within your e-commerce business plan, articulate the organizational architecture powering your online venture. Explicitly detail roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines, forming a roadmap for streamlined operations. Clearly define leadership hierarchies and team dynamics, fostering a collaborative environment. This segment serves as the groundwork for effective e-commerce management, harmonizing talent with strategic objectives for a prosperous online enterprise. Like –

  • Responsible for overall strategic direction.
  • Sets long-term vision and goals for the e-commerce business.
  • Oversees key departments like marketing, operations, and finance.
  • Ensures alignment with the business plan for e-commerce.
  • Implements robust marketing strategies.
  • Drives customer acquisition and brand awareness.
  • Manages day-to-day activities, including inventory and logistics.
  • Ensures seamless e-commerce operations.
  • Handles website development and maintenance.
  • Implements e-commerce technologies for optimal performance.
  • Provides excellent customer service.
  • Resolves issues and maintains positive customer relations.
  • Utilizes data for market analysis.
  • Supports decision-making with valuable insights.

Define roles, skills, and expertise for each team member, ensuring a well-structured and capable workforce aligned with your e-commerce business goals.

Elaborate on Your E-commerce Product Range

Within your comprehensive e-commerce business plan, expound on the diverse spectrum of products or services your online business will showcase. Whether it’s staying ahead with the latest fashion trends in clothing or offering exclusive handcrafted jewelry, provide a detailed account of your offerings. Emphasize the distinctive features, advantages, and competitive edges that will set your online store apart in the dynamic e-commerce landscape.

Highlight Unique Features and Competitive Advantages

  • Emphasize what makes your clothing or jewelry stand out.
  • Showcase exclusive designs, quality craftsmanship, or sustainable practices.
  • Highlight benefits such as affordability, style, or durability.
  • Clearly define how your products meet customer needs and preferences.
  • Illustrate how your product line aligns with your overall e-commerce strategy.
  • Showcase how unique features contribute to a seamless shopping experience.
  • Clearly define your position in the market.
  • Explain how your products outshine competitors in the online retail space.

By highlighting unique features and competitive advantages in your product offerings, you not only attract customers but also solidify your position in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

Marketing and Sales Strategy

  • Utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter(X) to reach a broad audience.
  • Craft engaging content, run targeted ads, and foster community engagement.
  • Optimize your website for search engines to enhance visibility.
  • Research and implement relevant keywords to attract organic traffic.
  • Develop personalized and targeted email campaigns.
  • Nurture customer relationships, promote products, and announce special offers.
  • Set competitive prices aligned with market trends.
  • Incorporate discounts, bundles, or loyalty programs to entice customers.
  • Implement strategies for acquiring new customers.
  • Focus on building long-term relationships through excellent customer service.
  • Regularly analyze the performance of marketing efforts.
  • Adjust your strategies based on the data to maximize effectiveness.
  • Ensure marketing and sales strategies align with the overarching business plan.
  • Integrate feedback and data from marketing efforts to refine the plan.

A well-crafted marketing and sales strategy, encompassing social media, SEO, email campaigns, strategic pricing, and customer relations, is integral to the success of your e-commerce venture. Regular analysis and alignment with the business plan ensure adaptability in the dynamic online retail landscape.

Funding and Financial Projections

  • Carefully calculate initial expenses, including website development, inventory, and marketing.
  • Example : Initial investment of $50,000 for website setup, product sourcing, and marketing launch.
  • Identify recurring costs such as rental fees, basic utility, employee salaries, and marketing costs.
  • Example : Monthly operational expenses totaling $15,000 for rent, utilities, and payroll.
  • Project sales figures based on market research and forecasted customer demand.
  • Example : forecasted annual revenue of $500,000, considering market trends and growth projections.
  • Explore various funding sources, including personal savings, loans, or any possible investors.
  • Example : Seek a combination of a $30,000 personal investment and a $20,000 small business loan.
  • Clearly outline the amount of funding required to sustain and grow the business.
  • Example : Requesting $100,000 in funding to cover initial startup costs and ensure operational stability.
  • Recognize potential risks like market shifts, supply chain interruptions, or economic downturns.
  • Formulate contingency plans to proactively address these risks and fortify the business’s resilience.

Careful financial planning, including estimating startup and operational costs, revenue projections, exploring funding options, and analyzing risks, forms the foundation for a robust e-commerce business plan. Example figures provide a practical illustration of financial considerations.

Risk Analysis

Identify potential challenges such as market shifts and supply chain disruptions. Develop proactive contingency plans to ensure adaptability and fortify your e-commerce business against unforeseen risks.

  • Anticipate changes in consumer preferences and adjust product offerings accordingly.
  • Develop alternative sourcing strategies to mitigate the impact of supply chain interruptions.
  • Implement cost-cutting measures and diversify revenue streams to navigate economic uncertainties.

By questioning potential scenarios, you fortify your e-commerce business with strategic risk analysis and contingency planning.

In crafting a comprehensive e-commerce business plan, you’ve navigated through strategic intricacies, from defining your unique selling proposition to financial projections. This blueprint isn’t just a document; it’s your compass in the dynamic online marketplace. As you conclude, remember that continuous adaptation is key. The e-commerce landscape evolves, and your plan should evolve with it. Stay agile, embrace innovation, and leverage the insights gained from market analysis and risk assessment. With a resilient plan, your journey in the ever-evolving world of online business is poised for success.

Additional Insights

Q: What’s the Importance of an E-commerce Business Plan?

A: Essential for strategic direction, goal setting, and navigating the competitive online market.

Q: How Does a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Impact Success?

A: Sets you apart by showcasing exclusivity, be it in clothing trends or unique jewelry designs.

Q: Why is Market Analysis Crucial for E-commerce Success?

A: Identifies target audience, analyzes competitors, and anticipates market trends for informed decision-making.

Q: What’s the Role of Financial Projections in an E-commerce Plan?

A: Estimates costs, revenue, and funding needs, providing a roadmap for financial stability and growth.

Q: How Can Social Media Boost E-commerce Success?

A: Utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram for broad audience reach, engaging content, and targeted ads.

Q: Why is Email Marketing Effective for E-commerce?

A: Builds customer relationships, promotes products, and announces special offers for enhanced engagement.

Q: How Do You Navigate Risks in E-commerce?

A: Identify potential challenges, formulate proactive contingency plans for market shifts, supply disruptions, and economic downturns.

Q: What’s the Significance of a Clear Organizational Structure?

A: Ensures seamless operations, defines leadership hierarchies, and aligns team dynamics with business goals.

Q: Why is Strategic Pricing Important in E-commerce?

A: Sets competitive prices, incorporates discounts or loyalty programs, attracting customers in a crowded market.

Q: How Can E-commerce Plans Adapt to Market Changes?

A: Regularly analyze performance, integrate feedback, and align marketing and sales strategies with the evolving business plan.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Don't bother with copy and paste.

Get this complete sample business plan as a free text document.

E-Commerce Retailer Business Plan

Start your own e-commerce retailer business plan

Nature's Candy

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">, opportunity.

The modern world brings knowledge about the human body and the convenience of having things sent to one’s home. Why should that only be an option for people with more income? We will make sure that everyone has the option of health and convenience. 

Nature’s Candy’s mission is to provide the finest in natural supplements using the Internet to lower the consumer’s cost.  We exist to attract and maintain customers.  When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.  Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers.  

The nutritional supplement market is a semi-mature market characterized by high-growth rates, medium barriers to entry, and a few large competitors.  Despite the competition in the market, many companies have reported annual growth levels of 30%.  The market leaders are as follows:

  • GNC (General Nutritional Companies, Inc.): This company is a nationwide specialty retailer of vitamins, minerals, and sports nutrition supplements.  With over 3,000 stores, GNC generated $1.19 billion in 2000.
  • Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc.: Nature’s manufactures and markets a variety of health supplements.  This multi-level marketing company had 2000 revenues of approximately $370 million.
  • Rexall Sundown, Inc.: Rexall develops, manufactures, markets and sells vitamins, nutritional supplements, and consumer health products through retailers, independent distributors, and mail order.  Rexall had 2000 revenues of approximately $370 million.
  • International Vitamin Company, Inc.: IVC manufactures, packages, sells, and distributes private label vitamins and nutritional supplements to drug stores, supermarkets and health food stores.  IVC had revenues of $107 million in 2000.

The primary channels of distribution in this market are:

  • Mass market retailers (Fred Meyer, Rite Aide).
  • Direct Sales organizations.
  • Health Food Stores (GNC).
  • Mail order catalogs and the Internet.


Within the mass market retailer channel, the three main primary vitamin and supplement product categories are national brands, broad-line brands, and private label brands.  The national and broad line brands consist of 60% of the domestic market, which the private label brands account for the remaining 40% of the market.


In the next three years Nature’s Candy intends to create an icon e-commerce brand through laser-focused marketing and will grow and eventually make a profit by the second year 

Financial Highlights by Year

Financing needed.

We will be starting with $80,000 from founders: 

Quack $45,000

Stewart $35,000

Problem & Solution

Problem worth solving, our solution, target market, market size & segments.

The market for vitamins and nutritional supplements has grown to over $6.5 billion annually. Herbal sales alone are growing by 20% per year.  This market is lead by the aging Baby Boomer who is concerned with his/her mortality.  Also, there has been a paradigm shift of perception of nutritional supplements.  Homeopathic and naturopathic products are seen as normal.  In addition, positive medical results from major studies have further legitimized these products.

4.1 Market Segmentation

A significant trend in America, and abroad, is that people are taking a more proactive interest in their health.  This is exemplified by the increase of health clubs and health club memberships.  People are looking to avoid invasive surgery and powerful pharmaceuticals. People are taking an active role in the maintenance of their health and practicing preventive medicine.  Naturopathic medicine promotes the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disorders through the use of non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical products and practices.  In 1993, the United Stated government recognized this trend when it established the Office of Alternative Medicine.

Besides the general development of naturopathic medicine, the aging of the American population is a significant trend driving the use of naturopathic and homeopathic health supplements.  The Baby Boomers are now reaching middle age and mortality is becoming a focus.  This demographic segment, which is comprised of 80 million people, represents over 50% of our county’s discretionary income.  It is reasonable to believe that this wealthy market segment will continue to grow the sales of naturopathic products.

Another global trend is the emergence and popularity of e-commerce.  Brand-focused Web retailers that can provide quality products, customer service, information, and the intangible, emotional buy-in by the customer are becoming hugely successful.  E-commerce retailers have an advantage in that "Unlike traditional retailers, Web-based sellers are not slowed by the friction of store growth and local marketing"  (J.W. Gurley, Fortune, 1/11/98).  In addition, e-commerce companies do not have the excessive overhead of a traditional brick and mortar retailer.  As seen by the recent success of and, consumers are comfortable buying online and will pay for convenience.  Experts predict Web sales to grow to $12 billion by 2003.

This enthusiasm about the Internet is not irrational but grounded in reality in light of the recent market crash of Internet retailers.  The recent Internet crash was based on too-easy access to capital invested into retailers and other dot-coms without reasonable business plans or revenue models.  Regardless of the recent fallout, the Internet is a very efficient marketing and distribution model that if done right, significantly decreases costs of serving the consumer. Nature’s Candy will harness these efficiencies and will grow intelligently unlike other .dot-coms that became dot-bombs.

Current Alternatives

National Brands Examples:  Centrum, One-A-Day. Generally do not provide a full line of vitamins or other supplements. The product formulas are conservative and generic in nature.

Broad-line Brands Examples:  Rexall Sundown, GNC’s Nature’s Fingerprint, Country Life. Full lines of produce under one brand. Manufactured by company. This is the market segment where most of the product development and innovation occurs. Stronger potencies and cutting edge ingredients. Highest price.

Private Label Products Examples:  NatureMed. Under retailer’s name. Smaller line of products than broad-line brands. Manufactured by a third party. More conservative potencies than broad line. Tend to be the cheapest.

Our Advantages

Brought to you by

LivePlan Logo

Create a professional business plan

Using ai and step-by-step instructions.

Secure funding

Validate ideas

Build a strategy

Nature’s Candy’s other competitive edge is superior customer service.   The mantra of the customer service department is to serve the customer in any way required.  Customers that call in with problem/issues will be amazed at the amount of personal attention they receive and how quickly issues are not only resolved, but significantly improved.  This will be a powerful asset.

Keys to Success

Nature’s Candy’s keys to success are:

  • Web design.
  • Product quality.

Marketing & Sales

Marketing plan.

Nature’s Candy  is focused on the merging/redefined Internet marketplace.  The users will be Baby Boomers, which represent approximately 50% of the discretionary income currently in the United States.  They are looking for proactive, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical ways to stay healthy as they age.  Nature’s Candy can bring these people cutting-edge products coupled with convenience and service.

The long range goal of Nature’s Candy is not only to dominate the naturopathic and homeopathic supplement market, but to create an icon brand.  Initially the company will:

  • Engage in Web-based marketing for the next year to generate awareness of the company and product information.  Because Internet based advertising has declined in recent quarters, the prices for advertising have consequently significantly dropped making the expenditure more cost effective.
  • Engage in outdoor advertising providing general awareness to the public at large and direct individuals to the company’s website.

Nature’s Candy will process 90% of it’s sales online through a secure socket layer (SSL), an secure Internet connection.  All orders will be charged to Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

By ensuring that the website is easy to navigate as well as simple to order from, Nature’s Candy will be ensuring that people who make it to the website will end up purchasing something.  This last point is key.  Research indicates that too many sites that are not easy or intuitive lose customers who migrate through the site, often putting products in their basket, yet leave without purchasing anything.

Nature’s Candy will market and sell private label (manufactured by a company that places the retailer’s name on the packaging) naturopathic homeopathic dietary supplements to individual consumers via the Internet.  These products will include ginseng, ginkoba, and various antioxidants.  After year one additional products will be offered.

Milestones & Metrics

Milestones table, key metrics.

Our key Metrics are

  • # of views on the website 
  • # of visitors 
  • # of tweets and retweets 
  • # of returning customers 
  • inventory turnover 
  • customer favorite products 

Ownership & Structure

Nature’s Candy is a privately held Oregon corporation.  Quack Vendor will be the majority owner.  The company intends to recruit a sophisticated team of owner board members. The board members will be granted shares of stock to provide an incentive for their performance on the board.

Management Team

Quack Vendor, president and founder.  Quack worked for Arthur Andersen until qualifying for his CPA credential.  He left Arthur Andersen to become operations manager at Nautilus Footwear, a niche footwear start-up.  His duties included general office management, finance manager, and jack-of-all-trades.  Quack has gained useful insight into the supplemental industry through in-depth conversations with his father, a naturopathic physician.  He received his BS from the University of Oregon.

Stewart Wachit, technology officer.  Stew worked at Imagina for two years where he specialized in C++ and HTML/XML programming.  Stewart left Imagina to become a Web database developer at Systems Management Incorporated, specializing in ColdFusion and JSP.  He received his BS from the University of Pittsburgh.

There are important gaps as follows:

  • Customer service representative/manager.
  • Distribution/warehouse manager.
  • Advisory board.

Personnel Table

Financial plan investor-ready personnel plan .">, key assumptions.

Our Key Assumptions: 

  • The new trend is people are focusing on their health 
  • Vitamins help prolong health 
  • People need price accessible Vitamins 

Revenue by Month

Expenses by month, net profit (or loss) by year, use of funds.

Nature’s Candy will incur the following start-up costs


Stationery etc.$200

Web Development$10,000


Sources of Funds

We will be getting $80,000: 



Projected Profit & Loss

Projected balance sheet, projected cash flow statement.

Garrett's Bike Shop

The quickest way to turn a business idea into a business plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.

No thanks, I prefer writing 40-page documents.

LivePlan pitch example

Discover the world’s #1 plan building software

business plans for e commerce

Browse the latest blog posts from Shopify staff on commerce and the Shopify platform.

Shopify Community

  • Starting Your Shopify Store: A Guide to Costs and Essentials


  • Subscribe to RSS Feed
  • Mark as New
  • Mark as Read
  • Printer Friendly Page
  • Report Inappropriate Content


Billing & Payments

Intro to shopify.

You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.

  • Back to Blog
  • Older Article Next topic

Promotion image (Anonymous)

  • Community Connect: Recap April 24’
  • Partner Insights: The Top 10 Mistakes Every New Shopify Store Owner Makes (And How to Fix ...
  • Partner Interview: How to Create a Memorable Brand by The Prime Web
  • A guide to Shopify POS Launch and Operations success
  • Community Connect: Recap March 24’
  • Shopify Store Design: Expert Advice from Stephen’s World
  • Improve Your Conversions With Data Analytics
  • Community Connect: February 24’ Recap
  • New Shopify Academy Certifications on Headless
  • Billing & Payments 17
  • Intro to Shopify 44
  • Merchant Story 16
  • Point of Sale (POS) 5
  • Sales & Marketing 52
  • Troubleshooting 15

business plans for e commerce

Quick Links

  • Português do Brasil

Featured Insights: BCG’s most inspiring thought leadership on issues shaping the future of business and society.

" "

/ Report

Winning formulas for e-commerce growth.

By  Martin Barthel ,  Antonio Faraldi ,  Stephen Robnett ,  Olof Darpö ,  Karen Lellouche Tordjman ,  Robert Derow , and  Cornelia Ernst

Many retail and CPG companies today are fighting the e-commerce blues. And no wonder: 2022 brought a marked slowdown of online sales growth—after tremendous acceleration during the first years of the pandemic. Yet, despite consumers returning to brick-and-mortar shops and malls following the pandemic-driven e-commerce surge of 2020, e-commerce growth hasn’t stopped. Retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are progressively moving back toward their pre-COVID long-term e-commerce trajectory—looking healthy across most categories globally and still outpacing physical retail growth.

E-commerce dynamics, however, are not moving back to their pre-COVID status. Competition in the e-commerce space has intensified starting 2021, with emerging players and business models challenging established incumbents. In Europe, the share of the top ten e-commerce players—mostly large multi-brand platforms—fell from 70% in 2019 to 62% in 2022, eroded by CPG players building their direct-to-consumer business, traditional specialty retailers catching up (such as H&M), and the rapid growth of newcomers (such as Shein).

In addition, digital shopping habits have planted deeper roots across consumer segments, most notably in the non-digital-native generations. In fact, baby boomers and Gen-Xers account for a significant portion of today’s sales growth.

BCG’s new survey of 825 retail and CPG C-suite, e-commerce , and digital marketing executives spanning 11 markets around the world explored these businesses’ e-commerce growth, approaches, and attitudes toward the future. (See “ About Our Survey .”)

Drawing on these findings, we offer a view on how companies’ winning formulas are changing, along with several key ingredients for success.

Continuing E-Commerce Growth

Even as growth is gradually reverting to pre-pandemic levels around the world, e-commerce sales increased by 3% in Europe and 7% in the US and Asia in 2022, and global growth is expected to achieve a 9% CAGR through 2027—not fully achieving the 12%–14% pre-COVID trend but still above projected brick-and-mortar retail growth of a more moderate 4%. As a result, e-commerce is forecasted to constitute 41% of global retail sales by 2027, a significant increase from its share of just 18% in 2017.

Notably, growth is expected to vary by region and category, as Europe already shows with a contrast between the acceleration in the food and beverage and DIY, garden, and pet food categories vis-à-vis the 7% contraction in 2022 in electronics.

Our analysis shows e-commerce professionals share the positive outlook reflected by our data—in particular in Asia and Latin America. (See Slideshow 1.)

business plans for e commerce

Retail and CPG Winners and Laggards

We conducted an in-depth analysis to clarify the ingredients of the winning formulas those professionals are using or plan to use. The survey placed its primary focus on six distinct e-commerce criteria that can serve as leading indicators of the maturity level of each participating organization. These criteria range from factors such as the proportion of sales dedicated to digital investments to the sophistication of the technology infrastructure and the extent and ambition of e-commerce initiatives. (See Exhibit 1.)

business plans for e commerce

We analyzed the way that CPG and retail respondents performed along these six dimensions and then split them into groups of CPG and retail “winners” and “laggards” based on their performance. We define winners as those businesses that did not experience a slowdown following the big pandemic surge for e-commerce in 2020—reporting post-surge (2021–2022) growth above 30% per annum—and are confident of seeing the same or higher growth to 2027. They make up about a quarter of those surveyed in each group—27% of retailers and 20% of CPG companies. We define laggards, in turn, as organizations reporting post-surge growth of 10% or less per annum and lacking confidence about their future e-commerce growth. They make up about 21% of the retailers and 25% of the CPG businesses in the survey.

Formulas for Success

Our findings reveal clear distinctions between the way that winners and laggards approach their e-commerce efforts. (See Slideshow 2.)

business plans for e commerce

The winning retail formula includes four key ingredients:

  • Greater investments in digital technologies and e-commerce, with over 70% of winners investing more than 10% of their revenues
  • More mature technology stacks, heavily employing third-party e-commerce platforms
  • Many more ambitious e-commerce initiatives, including promos, assortment, pricing, and disruptive technologies
  • Teams that work in more agile, cross-functional, and autonomous ways—with 64% of winners having fully agile teams versus just 30% of laggards

The winning CPG formula revolves predominantly around three key ingredients:

  • More mature technology stacks than those of laggards, including more advanced digital and data platforms
  • An organizational structure that strongly supports e-commerce, with winners onboarding greater numbers of people to their e-commerce teams and fully integrating them into the broader organization
  • Greater agility—with more than 50% of winners saying they have extensive team agility, compared to only 20% of laggards

The Gap Is Not Unbridgeable

In both retail and CPG, the gap between winners and laggards is marked. However, it is not unbridgeable. Winners and laggards already seem to be on par in some areas, such as top management’s visibility to and alignment with the e-commerce team. This is a necessary, if insufficient, prerequisite for laggards to catch up, as these areas foster the establishment of appropriate priorities and strategy.

In addition, gaps in the tech stack and broader digital investments are, by definition, fillable. The challenge there is on the business case and speed of execution, which are typically specific discussions, as each company has its own set of strategic priorities, market dynamics, and legacy systems to cope with. To some extent, this is also true for the way companies should pursue autonomy and agility for their e-commerce teams, factoring in their own organizational and strategic specificities. The complexity of removing silos and enhancing cross-functional work varies greatly, for example, between businesses with a narrower geographic or business model scope (for example, food retail) and multi-continent, multi-division CPG players where even within e-commerce there are several distinct layers, starting from direct versus indirect.

Winners, too, have room to further improve their leadership.

Retail winners are already well organized and churning through an impressive number of ambitious projects. Yet, they are still identifying technology and strategic initiatives on which to double down. In particular, over 40% of these winners still have to work toward adding or revamping critical tech components, such as product information management or digital asset management software or their monetization stack, where relevant. While already distinctively ahead of laggards on strategic initiatives such as e-commerce commercial and communications planning or testing disruptive technologies, they still have a significant way to go. Some winners still have yet to revamp their e-commerce communications plan, and a majority have not consistently begun testing disruptive technologies.

For winning CPG companies, there are also critical initiatives that have yet to be started. While supply chain topics such as better e-commerce demand forecasting and operations planning are distinctively “winner” traits; most CPG respondents still have not embarked on those initiatives. Equally, although winners and losers have embraced digital marketing at similar levels, winners have yet to initiate advanced digital media initiatives, such as e-retail media tactics, retailer search optimization, and retailer media monitoring.

Companies in both retail and CPG should look to the medium term in e-commerce with confidence—and plan accordingly. Many markets and categories are still years away from full e-commerce maturity, with tailwinds strong enough to justify investing greater capital and resources into winning capabilities and organizations.


business plans for e commerce

The authors would like to thank Arnaud Bassoulet and Guillaume Triclot for their contributions to this article.


Managing Director & Partner


Managing Director & Senior Partner

Mexico City

Headshot of BCG expert Robert Derow

Los Angeles

Cornelia Ernst


Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.

Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.

© Boston Consulting Group 2024. All rights reserved.

For information or permission to reprint, please contact BCG at [email protected] . To find the latest BCG content and register to receive e-alerts on this topic or others, please visit . Follow Boston Consulting Group on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) .

What’s Next

Read more insights from BCG’s teams of experts.


Leading Online Shoppers to the Finish Line

BCG and Shopify looked at 1 billion data points across more than 220,000 sites to determine the best ways for sellers to optimize their e-commerce conversion rates.

" "

Social Commerce Is Remaking Online Shopping

If done right, this increasingly popular offshoot of e-commerce can benefit consumers, tech platforms, and brands. Here are four social-commerce archetypes companies can follow.

" "

Amid Uncertainty, AI Gives Retailers a Path to Resilience

Artificial intelligence can provide optimized solutions to three key retailer concerns: rising cost of goods, declining consumer spending, and supply chain volatility.

Five Moves for CPG in a Cost-of-Living Crisis | rectangle

Five Pricing Moves for CPG in a Cost-of-Living Crisis

Consumer packaged goods companies have many options for balancing volume and profit in a downturn, but they need the right tools to make the changes stick.

We have updated our terms and conditions and privacy policy Click "Continue" to accept and continue with ET BrandEquity

We use cookies to ensure best experience for you

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalize content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audience is coming from. You can also read our privacy policy , We use cookies to ensure the best experience for you on our website.

By choosing I accept, or by continuing being on the website, you consent to our use of Cookies and Terms & Conditions .

  • Leaders Speak
  • Brand Solution
  • Govt plans to make anti-fake review rules mandatory for e-commerce firms

The government issued the new quality norms for e-tailers a year ago, prohibiting them from publishing paid reviews and demanding disclosure of such promotional content.

business plans for e commerce

  • Updated On May 14, 2024 at 02:38 PM IST


'Livestream' shopping thwarts some high-tech tools to stop fake merch

Livestream shopping in the U.S. faces challenges with counterfeit goods influx. Technology by platforms like TikTok and Amazon aims to combat fakes, yet copyright violations persist in live videos. Patent lawyers emphasize the need for improved detection methods.

  • Published On May 14, 2024 at 02:30 PM IST

All Comments

By commenting, you agree to the Prohibited Content Policy

Find this Comment Offensive?

  • Foul Language
  • Inciting hatred against a certain community
  • Out of Context / Spam

Join the community of 2M+ industry professionals

Subscribe to our newsletter to get latest insights & analysis., download etbrandequity app.

  • Get Realtime updates
  • Save your favourite articles

business plans for e commerce

  • e-commerce firms
  • fake reviews
  • online retail sector
  • Consumer Affairs Ministry
  • anti-fake review rules
  • online reviews
  • consumer reviews
  • quality norms
  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India
  • Bureau of Indian Standards

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form .

The best web hosting services: Expert tested


If you want to build a website, there are dozens of web hosting providers available. Choosing the right web hosting service for you can be challenging, but you no longer need to be a programmer or pay someone to build advanced features such as e-commerce or forum management to launch a site.

Today many web providers will provide these functions, as well as a content management system and other features like SEO assistance and security checks, in standard subscription packages. Below, you will find our top recommendations for web hosting services, ranging from providers that give you a quick and easy way to build your website all the way up to the big companies that provide full data center infrastructure capabilities as a service.

Also:   The best VPNs

What is the best web hosting service right now?

ZDNET has conducted extensive research and hands-on testing with many of the top web hosting services. Our pick for the best web hosting service overall is Hostinger . Hostinger offers inexpensive plans starting at only $2.99/month suitable for most website owners. Its premium plan has everything you need: a website builder, WordPress integration, templates, emails, SEO, marketing help, and more. Read on for the rest of our picks for the best web hosting services.

Best web hosting services of 2024

Best web hosting service overall.

  • Inexpensive
  • One-click WordPress install
  • Enhanced security limited to more expensive plans
  • Prices jump on renewal

Hostinger's premium plan ($2.99/month, three months free) is excellent value for the money if you want to operate multiple websites for personal or business reasons under one account.

The premium plan supports up to 100 websites. It offers users 100GB storage, up to 100 email addresses and forwarders, free SSL website security, and unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain name. 

While there's no dedicated IP address, this won't bother most website owners. Furthermore, you'll be given basic e-commerce capabilities and one-click WordPress installation and migration. The same WordPress installation can be used to support multiple WordPress websites. 

Review:   Hostinger review: Good support, killer entry-level price web hosting

If you need a theme, Hostinger also provides a drag-and-drop website builder and 150 templates. The plan includes Google Analytics integration, SEO tools, and standard DDoS protection. 

Overall, we consider Hostinger's premium plan an excellent option for most website owners and small businesses. Business options begin at $2.99/month with three months added, for free.

A downside, however, is that you can only access more advanced features -- such as daily backups and increased performance -- with more expensive subscriptions. In addition, while many customers applaud Hostinger's customer service, there are reports of bounceback and slow loads by some clients operating multiple websites.

There is a limited, free plan available, with 300MB storage but no free domain or email.

Hostinger features:  cPanel : Yes |  SSL : Some plans |  SSH : Yes |  Backups : Yes |  Money-back guarantee : 30 days |  Support : 24/7, live chat support

Best web hosting service for professionals

  • Over three-month money-back guarantee
  • Many hosting options
  • Email an additional cost

DreamHost's easy-to-use interface, efficiency, and customer support stand out to business owners and new webmasters alike. The hosting provider offers WordPress hosting, shared hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, cloud hosting, and more. 

We particularly like that DreamHost offers G Suite integration, with domain integration and Google Cloud support. The company also provides a great set of resources and guides that can help customers grow their businesses, all in a cost-effective way. A free SSL certificate is available on all plans. 

Review:   DreamHost review: I'm a satisfied 15-year customer

Nick Farnborough, the co-founder of  Clavis Social , told ZDNET that he has "tried almost every host out there over the years and ultimately found DreamHost to be the best overall package, taking into account cost, performance, and ease of use." 

Customers online, too, have applauded the customer support and value for money of this web host, although some also note that reaching customer support teams can be challenging. Prices begin at $2.95 per month for a basic, shared plan, with email available for an additional monthly fee.

DreamHost features :  cPanel : No, proprietary panel |  SSL : Free |  SSH : Yes |  Backups : Yes |  Money-back guarantee : 97 days |  Support : 24/7 chat, ticket, and call-back

Best budget web hosting service

  • Affordable plans
  • Paid plans can become expensive following promotion time periods

Ionos is one of our top picks for affordable, long-term web hosting. The web hosting provider offers reliable, stable uptime with daily backups included on all plans. Free wildcard SSL certificates, email, a free domain, and 24/7 support are also included. 

Customers report great customer service and uptime, as well as easy setup and web hosting transitions. 

Basic plans supporting one website and with 10 databases, alongside 10GB storage space, are typically $6/month, but with the agreement of a three-year plan, will cost you $4/month. A free domain name for one year is included. 

The top deal at the moment is for Ionos Plus, a website hosting package suitable for larger, scalable projects and WordPress. On a three-year plan, you will only pay $6/month and you can operate unlimited websites with unlimited databases and storage. You will also receive a wildcard SSL certificate.

Ionos f eatures:  cPanel : Yes |  SSL : Yes, wildcard |  SSH : Yes |  Backups : Daily |  Money-back guarantee : 30 days |  Support : 24/7

Best web hosting service for the environmentally-conscious

  • Reasonably priced
  • Eco-friendly
  • On-demand backups limited to premium plans

GreenGeeks is a great web hosting option if you want to sign up for a sustainable, eco-conscious service.

GreenGeeks has developed its marketing around the concept of being environmentally friendly, with three times the power your hosting demands replaced with wind power credits and tree planting. 

It's not just the environmental factor, however -- GreenGeeks prides itself on a speedy, reliable service. Although the company's own website could use some modernization and an overhaul, the important part is the hosting, which includes standard hosting, WordPress installs, commerce, VPS, and dedicated tiers. 

You can expect to pay $2.95/month for basic plans, with options to upscale and grow over time. The basic web hosting plan only covers one website with 50GB storage, but once you move up a level, you can expect support for unlimited websites, managed WordPress installs, unlimited space, a free SSL certificate, and more. 

Customers applaud GreenGeek customer service, although there are reports of "hidden" fees related to specific products.

GreenGeeks f eatures:  cPanel : Yes |  SSL : Free |  SSH : Yes |  Backups : Varies by plan |  Money-back guarantee : 30 days |  Support : Depends on plan

Best web hosting service for GoDaddy domain customers

  • Free, unlimited SSL for all websites on the Deluxe plan and up
  • Tutorials online to help guide your website-creating process
  • Large payment down to start hosting

GoDaddy has made a business of offering as wide an array of services as possible for individuals and small businesses in need of an internet presence. It's widely known, and many customers enjoy the service.

Pricing begins at $5.99/month for one website. With specific plans, you may be eligible for a free domain name and SSL certificate. Regarding security, automatic WordPress updates are applied and malware scanning services are available. Each plan comes with a one-click WordPress installation, a cPanel, and daily backups. 

Review:   GoDaddy: A no muss, no fuss website-building service

Customer service is reasonable, and, although not 24/7, if you need a technical lead to get something accomplished, you can usually find someone with a clue (after jumping through a few hoops, of course). However, the refund policy is restrictive and I would say the host's website is cluttered, making it difficult to find exactly what service you need -- and for what price.

ZDNET author David Gewirtz has decades of experience with GoDaddy, and he has come to respect how this web host provides the key services most customers want. They're definitely not the best at anything, but they do a good job with almost everything. 

"GoDaddy, in my opinion, is the best web host," Gerrid Smith, director of E-commerce of  Joy Organics , told ZDNET. "They promise a minimum of 99.9% availability. To prevent malicious activities and repel DDoS attacks, their security team works around the clock."

GoDaddy f eatures:  cPanel : Some plans |  SSL : Some plans |  SSH : Some plans |  Backups : Some plans |  Money-back guarantee : 30 days for annual plans, 48 hours for monthly plans |  Support : 24/7/365 US-based ticket and phone

Best web hosting service for simple e-commerce

  • Lots of templates to choose from for beginner web designers
  • Simple interface
  • Website apps available with Wix support
  • Monthly plans are expensive
  • Can't switch templates, must start from scratch

If you've ever watched a YouTube video, you've seen a Wix ad. They are everywhere. With six million premium subscribers, they've got some momentum -- and are certainly capable of grabbing attention.

When selecting a website builder, why would you go with Wix over WordPress? The answer is simplicity. WordPress offers tremendous depth and customization options with plugins and widgets, but Wix quickly gets you up and running with an attractive site. 

There is nothing like the thousands of plugins and themes offered by WordPress in the Wix world, but if you want a well-designed site and you need an e-commerce solution, this is a great option. 

I selected this provider when I assisted someone in setting up a small online business, and the learning curve was easy, with no payment or downtime issues. However, for someone used to CMS backends, the more restrictive website builder can be somewhat frustrating.

Free versions, however, do contain Wix banners. You can start there, and if you like the system, convert to a paid plan and link up your chosen domain name. Plans begin at $17/month with a free domain name thrown in.

Wix f eatures:  cPanel : No |  SSL : Free |  SSH : No |  Backups : Site history |  Money-back guarantee : 14 days |  Support : 24/7 English call-back

What is the best web hosting service overall?

Hostinger is ZDNET's top choice because it offers excellent features at outstanding price points, with a large selection of tools to make the process easy, even for beginner webmasters. Hostinger offers plans starting at only $2.99/month suitable for most website owners. Its premium plan has everything you need: a website builder, WordPress integration, templates, emails, SEO, marketing help, and more. However, our other top picks are also worthy competitors.

Which web hosting service is right for you?

To help make the process of selecting your new web hosting provider simpler, here is a guide to making your decision less of a hassle, based on what is most important to you. 

Factors to consider when choosing a web hosting service

When selecting your new web hosting provider in 2024, there are some crucial factors you should consider:

  • Reliability : We always recommend you choose a web hosting provider with a long history of stable, reliable service. After all, your website could end up being the central hub of your business for promotion and customer communication, so constant downtime can harm your reputation.
  • Affordability : Your budget must be based on the purpose of your web hosting package. Whether you want a single, small slice of hosting real estate for a personal blog or you want to run a large e-commerce store, it will change how much you should expect to pay. Set a budget that you can easily afford and find the right provider to match you.
  • Scalability : You need to consider what the most important functions or uses of your website will be. If you expect to grow your business over time and you expect heavy traffic, you will need to be able to scale the hosting's capabilities over time. Choose a provider with upgrade options. 
  • Customer support : We find that customer support can be extremely important when you sign up for a web hosting service. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or you want to run a plethora of websites, you should choose a provider with customer support options.

How did we choose these web hosting services?

When we compiled this list, we began with web hosts ZDNET authors are personally familiar with. ZDNET does extensive testing on and research into web hosting providers, taking into consideration user reviews, competitor analysis, personal usage and experiences, and more.

Some of us have been running production websites for decades, with sites that have served millions of pages. Others have used web hosts for personal blogs, writing projects, and to help individuals launch small businesses. 

We chose these providers because we believe they offer some of the best services in the market. These are the main factors we considered:

  • Features offered : Deciding on the best web hosting provider for you requires you to consider what features are a priority. We've included options for CMS implementation, e-commerce, design services, SEO services, cybersecurity functions, and more. 
  • Price : Naturally, the price point is a very important factor when we choose our web hosting provider recommendations. We have included options suitable for varying budgets, all the way from personal blogs to small businesses and large enterprise setups that will need to scale.
  • Stability : We have included only reputable web hosting providers that provide stable services with minimal downtime. After all, there's no point in having a speedy, responsive website if downtime is a constant problem.
  • Customer experiences : If you are going to sign up for a long-term web hosting service, you need to know how the company treats and supports its customers. We have examined customer reviews and feedback.

Which web host is best for beginners?

Wix and Squarespace are the two web hosts we would recommend for beginners. With an abundance of creative templates between the two platforms, users can gain experience in web development with an attractive site. If you have experience with CMS platforms, you could look at

Can you get web hosting for free?

Yes. There are many sites that allow for free hosting, but to do so, you will have a generic, branded domain. For example, if you were to have a free WordPress website, your domain would be [yourwebsitename] 

Be careful, though. Many of the free offers end after a period of time and then you're stuck on a service that will likely charge you a considerable additional fee to keep using it. Or, the website host may allow you to have a free website on the condition that you allow adverts to be displayed.

Who is the largest web hosting company?

GoDaddy is one of the most popular web hosting service providers. Then, of course, there are the hosting plans from Amazon and Google, which are larger (in terms of revenue) than some countries.

What are the best WordPress hosting services?

We might as well get WordPress out of the way since if we're talking web hosts, we're going to talk WordPress. About  63% of websites  with content management systems use  the open-source WordPress CMS . 

The WordPress ecosystem is huge, and finding the right WordPress host is a challenge on its own. Beyond, the service offered by the creators of the CMS, there are a large number of managed hosting providers and an even larger number of hosting providers that specialize in providing a WordPress-optimized server for your website. Nearly every hosting provider will allow a WordPress install, considering its popularity.

What are the best Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers?

Our recommendations include IaaS providers you probably know intimately, such as Amazon. They are highly credible vendors who've been providing infrastructure for years.

If you're just starting, you might not want to go all-in with an IaaS provider, although they offer the most flexibility. Some, like Amazon and Digital Ocean, allow you to point-and-click configure virtual WordPress machines or almost any other open-source content management system you may want. It might be overkill for SMBs, though.

What are the best point-and-click website builders?

A website builder is a type of software that lets you craft your business website, generally without programming knowledge or experience. Many allow you to choose from templates and then modify those templates to suit your look and layout.

Nearly all web hosting providers include some kind of website-building software. But for most hosting plans, it's often an afterthought. By contrast, the website builders listed in this section are provided by web hosting services that have made point-and-click website building tools with excellent customer support and solid up-time a core priority in their offering. 

You do sacrifice some control when choosing a website builder solution, but if you've never done any web development and you want a beautiful, usable website quickly, these services are for you. One warning: There are a lot of lock-ins here. You won't be able to transfer the look of your site (and sometimes the content) to another hosting provider easily. So keep that in mind when you choose a website builder. 

Are there alternative web hosting services to consider?

There are countless web hosting providers out there and not all of them can make the list regarding our top recommendations, despite offering excellent service. Below, you will find other hosts to consider that may be more suitable for your requirements:

ZDNET Recommends

The best business internet service providers, bluehost review: good performance, integrated dashboard, and solid support, the best vpn services of 2024: expert tested.

business plans for e commerce

Salesforce is closed for new business in your area.


  1. How to ecommerce startup business plan

    business plans for e commerce

  2. FREE 41+ Sample Business Plan Templates in PDF

    business plans for e commerce

  3. Ecommerce Business Plan Sample, Template and Example

    business plans for e commerce

  4. How to Write an eCommerce Business Plan for Your Startup

    business plans for e commerce

  5. Ecommerce Business Plan in 2023: What Is It and How to Create One?

    business plans for e commerce

  6. eCommerce Business Plan & Template

    business plans for e commerce


  1. Starting My E-commerce Business


  1. How to Write an Ecommerce Business Plan [Examples & Template]

    Strategize your marketing plan. Create a sales plan. Outline legal notes and financial considerations. 1. Give an executive summary. An executive summary is a one-to-two-page overview of your business. The purpose of an executive summary is to let stakeholders know what the business plan will contain.

  2. Ecommerce Business Plan (FREE How To Guide + PDF Sample Template)

    The business plan must also include the operations side of things. Determine who will be your manufacturer, secondary manufacturer, and shipping and fulfillment provider. When looking at supply chain costs and options, ShipBob is an ecommerce fulfillment provider you can consider.

  3. How to Write an eCommerce Business Plan + Template

    Executive Summary. Every business plan needs an executive summary. Usually, you write the summary last, after you've fleshed out all the details of your plan. The executive summary isn't a repeat of the full plan—it's really just a brief outline that should be 1-2 pages at the most. When you're getting introductions to investors, you ...

  4. How To Create The Perfect Ecommerce Business Plan (Examples & Templates)

    Step 1: Draft an executive summary. Although this is the first part of an ecommerce business plan, it is better to tackle the executive summary after completing the entire document. The executive summary gives an overview of the business plan on a single page. The executive summary presents a company overview and highlights of the most ...

  5. How to Write the Ultimate eCommerce Business Plan

    Writing an eCommerce business plan is one of the first steps you should take if you're thinking about starting an online business. Whether you're opening an online-only shop or adding an eCommerce component to your brick and mortar store for an omnichannel retail experience, there's never been a better time to sell online.. The numbers don't lie: since 2014, the number of digital ...

  6. How to Start an E-Commerce Business in 2023: A Step-by-Step Guide

    An e-commerce business sells goods, services and funds over the internet. Starting an e-commerce business is a lot like starting any company: You'll need to create a business plan, get licenses ...

  7. How to Create an Ecommerce Business Plan

    Writing a formal ecommerce business plan lets you: Communicate your goals and vision of the present and future. Have a comprehensive understanding of what it will take to build a successful ecommerce business. Lay out your core value proposition and how you intend to deliver it.

  8. How to Write an E-Commerce Business Plan (Step-by-Step)

    Whether you're seeking investment or planning your e-commerce marketing strategy, it's vital you get all this information down in one place. Make sure to include your: Company name. Industry. Business structure (e.g. sole proprietor, partnership, LLC) Vision, mission statement, and value proposition.

  9. 7 Steps to Creating an Ecommerce Business Plan [+ Template]

    Get clarity on your overarching strategy - decide a clear direction of travel for your ecommerce business; Set goals - monitoring ecommerce business metrics allows you to track your progress and stay focused; Mitigate risks - by conducting thorough market research and risk analysis, you can identify and address potential pitfalls; Allocate resources - effectively budget to ensure your online ...

  10. Ecommerce Business Plan: How to Write + Strategies for Success

    Draft an executive summary. An executive summary provides a concise rundown of the key points in your business plan. In short, it should summarize your chosen industry, business purpose, competitors, business goals and financial position. Executive summaries average 1-3 pages and are ideally under two pages.

  11. A Better-Selling Ecommerce Business Plan (Template, Guide ...

    Ecommerce Business Plan Example. Below is an example business plan that we've written for a fictional cookware business. You can see how it breaks down the most important parts of a business - overall business model, competitive advantages, messaging guidelines, target audiences, budgets, key personnel - in a highly summarized, accessible format.

  12. How to Create an Ecommerce Business Plan in 2023

    As you may know, that might slow down the launching process. To kick off with bargain-priced e-commerce sales channels, you can try out plans from solutions such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or even BigCommerce. In a nutshell, having a full-proof e-commerce business plan sort of guarantees you systematic progress towards your future goals.

  13. Ecommerce Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    Ecommerce Business Plan Template. Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their ecommerce businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an ecommerce ...

  14. Ecommerce Business Plan Template & Example (2024)

    We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their own ecommerce company. Below are links to each section of a sample ecommerce business plan to help you write your ecommerce business plan: 1. Executive Summary. 2.

  15. How To Start an Ecommerce Business in 2024

    Start an ecommerce business in 5 steps. Find product opportunities and choose what to sell. Thoroughly research your competition and write a business plan. Choose a logo and name and set up your online store. Choose your shipping strategy and set sales and marketing goals. Launch your business.

  16. How to Start an E-commerce Business: A 2024 Guide

    Step 3: Choose a business name and start building your brand. Next, your business needs a name and brand identity. For those starting white label e-commerce businesses, the brand is especially crucial to the success of your business. Choosing a business name can be fun, but it requires a bit of strategic thinking.

  17. How to Write E-commerce Business Plan + Template

    Add brief details of your ecommerce business, target market, problem, solution, service model, business goals, and financial figures in this section. Adapt a narrative tone to make it interesting and keep it highly informative. And, most importantly keep it within a limit of 1-2 pages. Say goodbye to boring templates.

  18. How to Create an E-Commerce Business Plan

    Why E-Commerce Business Plans Are Important. Understanding how to create a business plan means nothing if you can't see the importance behind it. While I believe there are more important aspects of starting a successful business, every e-commerce venture should have a stable foundation, beginning with a business plan. Business Plan = GPS

  19. How To Create an E-Commerce Business Plan in 8 Steps

    E-commerce business plan examples. 1. Draft an executive summary. An executive summary outlines everything included in your business plan. It's the first section of your plan—which makes it important because it should capture the reader's attention and entice them to read through the rest of your ideas.

  20. Crafting a Robust E-commerce Business Plan: Your Roadmap for Online

    Without a clear business plan for e-commerce, it's like navigating without a compass - you might drift aimlessly. In this section, we'll delve into why this blueprint is the cornerstone of your e-commerce success, offering insights that transcend the complexities often associated with the term "business plan." Get ready to understand ...

  21. E-commerce Business Plan Template

    E-commerce business plans give an overview of what the management team expects to accomplish with the business and offer reasons why the readers should consider investing. This e-commerce business plan template is tailored specifically to e-commerce businesses, and all you need to do is add the details of your company. ...

  22. E-Commerce Start-Up Business Plan Example is an e-commerce start-up company positioning itself to become the market leader in offering online merchants and consumers a uniform and trouble-free way to return merchandise purchased online. The company offers a business-to-business solution to online merchants of physical, non-perishable products.

  23. E-Commerce Retailer Business Plan Example

    Cash at End of Period. $96,904. $101,080. $118,513. Download This Plan. Explore a real-world e-commerce retailer business plan example and download a free template with this information to start writing your own business plan.

  24. Starting Your Shopify Store: A Guide to Costs and Essentials

    Shopify has different plans available depending on your business needs. At the time of writing, we offer four price points depending on where you are in your business and what needs you have: Basic: For solo entrepreneurs ($39 USD/month) Shopify: For small teams ($105 USD/month) Advanced: As your business scales ($399 USD/month)

  25. Winning Formulas for E-commerce Growth

    In Europe, the share of the top ten e-commerce players—mostly large multi-brand platforms—fell from 70% in 2019 to 62% in 2022, eroded by CPG players building their direct-to-consumer business, traditional specialty retailers catching up (such as H&M), and the rapid growth of newcomers (such as Shein).

  26. Govt plans to make anti-fake review rules mandatory for e-commerce

    Govt plans to make anti-fake review rules mandatory for e-commerce firms. The government issued the new quality norms for e-tailers a year ago, prohibiting them from publishing paid reviews and ...

  27. The 9 Best eCommerce Hosting Providers in 2024

    When your online store requires better uptime, Dreamhost is also worth considering. Competitive with Liquid Web, Dreamhost features an uptime promise of upwards of 99.99 percent, which makes it extremely competitive for your e-commerce store. If you aren't sure whether Dreamhost is the right fit for your eCommerce business, you have nothing to ...

  28. The best web hosting services of 2024: Expert tested

    Hostinger's premium plan ($2.99/month, three months free) is excellent value for the money if you want to operate multiple websites for personal or business reasons under one account.

  29. 7 Free Google Slides Business Model Canvas Templates

    Download the E-Commerce Business Model Canvas Template for Google Slides When to Use This Template: Try this e-commerce template when you need to elevate your presence in the digital retail space. Ideal for strategizing the launch of a new online store or refining the operations of an existing one, this template facilitates a detailed ...

  30. Salesforce B2C Commerce Pricing

    First, choose the right Salesforce product.b2c-commerce edition for your business needs. product.b2c-commerce — Starter Create AI-powered commerce experiences with templates, composable storefronts, and headless APIs. ... Next, choose the Success Plan right for you. From resources to embedded experts, get the right level of support and expert ...