E-commerce is taking over the world. With increased convenience, no need to wait in long queues, and easy return policies, people are switching to online shopping at a faster rate than ever before.

And if you have a good knowledge of retail, you might have thought of owning a retail store before. But the thought of owning a physical store can be overwhelming for many of us out there. An eCommerce business can act as a solution to that.

But as e-commerce is a flourishing industry, it is a competitive one too. So to keep up and succeed you need to have an eCommerce business plan.

A business plan will help you keep up with your competition, devise smart strategies, and make good business decisions.

Industry Overview

The global e-commerce market stood at a value of 9.09 trillion USD in 2019 and isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

The growing use of the internet and access to all goods due to it has led to the rapid growth of eCommerce.

Due to eCommerce stores, people have everything on the tip of their fingers which has led to an increase in the popularity of looking for and buying things online.

Things to Consider Before Writing a eCommerce Business Plan

  • Find your USP

    E-commerce business is profitable but at the same time, it is very competitive. As it takes less effort to set up an e-commerce business many people opt for it, making it necessary for your business to have something that sets it apart from the others.

    Your USP might be anything from affordable prices to better return policy or good quality products. It can also be a unique concept or theme.

  • Choose the right platform

    With the growth of e-commerce, hundreds of different platforms have cropped up. You’ll have several options to choose from. But chances are hardly two or three platforms would be ideal for your business.

    Check the platform based on the type of products, customer base, policies to become a seller, and so on. The right platform will play a huge role in your business’s success.

  • Build your online presence

    Due to the absence of a physical storefront, you’ll largely rely on your online presence to reach out to your customers and sell your products. Hence, having a good website and social media audience is essential.

    Also, people who look for things online would make up the majority of your customer base, so possibly social media marketing and email marketing might be the right way to reach out to them.

  • Design a user-friendly website

    Many online retailers lose their customers due to a poorly made website that is difficult to navigate through. Hence, designing a site that is easy to navigate through and visually appealing at the same time is important. It also helps you stand out from your competition.

    Make sure you have a good user interface, images that load easily, and an overall site design that looks clean and uncluttered.

How Can an eCommerce Business Plan Help You?

Though an e-commerce store is a lucrative business in today’s internet economy, it can have several loopholes if not managed properly. From misshapen return policies to a shortage of delivery fleet, an unplanned e-commerce business is no less than a disaster.

On the other hand, a well-planned business can make your business dream come true. A plan can help you have a proper budget, a good marketing strategy, a well-managed team, and skillfully designed policies.

Most importantly, it can help you have clear business strategies and precise goals. And having clarity can help you conduct your business easily.

Chalking out Your Business Plan

With a little help and a good amount of research, you can easily write an effective e-commerce business plan.

You can either take help from a professional, a premade template, or an online business plan software. An online business plan software helps you write a customizable plan with the help of a sample business plan.

Apart from that, market research, a good financial plan, a well-defined operational strategy, and a fair amount of critical analysis can help you write a good business plan.

eCommerce Business Plan Outline

This is the standard eCommerce business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Executive Summary
    • Business Overview
      • Products and Services
      • Customer Focus
      • Management Team
    • Success Factors
    • Financial Highlights
  • Business Overview
    • Who is firstcry.com?
    • Firstcry.com’s History
    • Firstcry.com’s Products
    • Website Design
  • Industry Analysis
    • Industry Statistics & Trends
  • Customer Analysis
    • Demographic Profile of Target Market
    • Customer Segmentation
  • Competitive Analysis
    • Direct & Indirect Competitors
      • Diapers.com
      • Babies “R” Us.com
    • Competitive Advantage
  • Website and Technology
  • Marketing Plan
    • The Firstcry.com Brand
    • Promotions Strategy
      • Public Relations
      • Search Engine Optimization
      • Pay-Per-Click Advertising
      • Email Marketing
      • Affiliate Website Partnerships
      • Print Advertising
      • Pricing Strategy
      • Strategic Alliances
      • Incentives
  • Operations Plan
    • Functional Roles
      • Administrative Functions
      • Website Functions
      • Service Functions
    • Milestones
  • Management Team
    • Management Team Members
      • John Doe
    • Hiring Plan
  • Financial Plan
    • Revenue and Cost Drivers
    • Capital Requirements and Use of Funds
    • Key Assumptions & Forecasts
    • Income Statement (5 Year projections)
    • Balance Sheet (5 Year projections)
    • Cash Flow Statement (5 Year projections)

A well-written business plan consists of thorough and honest details about your business. You can write a well-rounded business plan by including the following sections:

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary section of your business plan sums up your business idea, it forms the first page of your business plan and if written properly it can help you in gaining an investor’s confidence. And eventually, in getting funded.

It consists of the following subsections:

2. Business Overview

This section would give an overview of all the aspects of your business including:

  • What your business stands for
  • Your business history
  • A detailed description of your range of products and services
  • Your website design

3. Competitive and Industry Analysis

Analyzing the industry and your competitors before planning your business model can act as a big plus.

It helps you understand the market gaps, trends, strategies your competitors follow, how your products and services stand apart from theirs, etc.

For example, you can have a better return and exchange policy or faster delivery and turn that into your USP. But you can only know what your competitors do and do not offer if you carry out a thorough industry and competitive analysis.

You can include the following subsegments in this section:

4. Website Technology

This segment is especially important for e-commerce businesses. Having a good website design that is easy to navigate through can be of great help to your e-commerce business.

Hence, it is important to have a solid initial design as well as a timeline for updates.

A good website technology would focus on the following:

  • A proper user interface
  • Smooth Navigation
  • Search Engine Optimization

And most importantly, a personal touch, can either be the copywriting, the graphics, the user interaction technology, innovative pop-ups, etc. Anything that’ll help in building your brand image.

5. Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is crucial for any business. It not only lets people know of your existence but reminds them of it regularly.

Hence, a good marketing plan would not only make you known but memorable as well.

It would consist of the following subsegments:

  • Target Market
  • Market segmentation
  • Market Positioning
  • Advertising strategy

6. Management Team

A good management system is especially important for an e-commerce business as it solely functions on good structure and management. This section includes roles and responsibilities of various people at different levels and a tracking system of progress.

It would consist of the following subsegments:

  • Roles and responsibilities of various people
  • Performance report

7. Financial Plan

A financial plan in the initial stages is crucial for any business. It prevents your business from failing due to cash flow and funding problems. It is a major deciding factor of your business’s growth and success.

It would consist of the following subsections:

  • Cash flow management
  • Funding sources
  • Forecasted profit

eCommerce Business Plan Summary

In conclusion, a good business plan can save you from having major setbacks and loopholes in your e-commerce business. Everything ranging from cash crunches to a bad management system can be put right through a plan.

But for your plan to work, you must execute it flawlessly, and more importantly, start writing one!

After getting started with Upmetrics, you can copy this sample eCommerce business plan into your business plan and modify the required information and download your eCommerce business plan pdf or doc file.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

Business Planning Resources

We have plenty of free business planning resources available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.

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DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on upmetrics.co are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and upmetrics makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.

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