How to Start an Ecommerce Store in 2021: Everything Covered

Online shopping used to be a convenience but is quickly becoming a necessity. Billions of people shop their groceries, clothing, gadgets, and business essentials online. That’s why millions of businesses are quickly going the e-commerce way by starting online stores.

However, starting an online selling business or store isn’t an easy task. A lot of technical, strategic, and growth steps ought to be taken together at the right time if you really want to make money online by launching an e-commerce shop. That’s precisely why we decided to write this guide on ‘how to start an online selling business in 2021?’ 

In this blog, TechoSquare will share detailed insights on setting up an online store along with industry insights. Reading this post carefully will give you a roadmap to getting from nothing to a fully functional e-commerce business in 2021.

Let’s start by understanding where the e-commerce industry stands in the US, UK, and Canada right now.

Ecommerce in the US, UK, and Canada: 2020 Insights

Even though e-commerce has been steadily making space, it hit gold in 2020, thanks to COVID-19. Entrepreneurs who were already selling online or moved fast to launch online stores made millions by selling electronics, groceries, clothing, medications, and other essentials. 

Earlier, the majority of us relied on community stores and supermarkets to shop but the fear of crowds and the convenience of online shopping is making us change old buying habits.

According to a report by Statista, global retail e-commerce sales amounted to US$3.53 trillion in 2019. This figure jumped to US$4.14 trillion in 2020. Ecommerce is growing fast and is expected to hit US$5.78 trillion in 2021.

Now, let’s look at the growth of online shopping in the biggest economies in the world!

Ecommerce sales in the US

Ecommerce sales ballooned through the first 9 months of 2020. From July to September, consumers spent US$199.44 billion online with local online retailers, up 37.1% from US$145.47 billion for the same quarter the prior year. 

In other words, the Q3 of 2020 accounted for 14.3 percent of total sales in the United States. Ecommerce experts say sales could reach around US$230.18 billion by the end of 2020. This gives a major morale boost to the offline business owners and entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting an e-commerce store in 2021.

Ecommerce sales in the UK

The United Kingdom is nowhere lagging when it comes to online shopping. A report by Edge by Ascential states that the surge in online shopping caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to add 7.12 billion US dollars to UK e-commerce sales in 2020, taking the total to 105.97 billion US dollars.

This e-commerce sales figure is up from 89.04 billion US dollars in 2019. Ecommerce experts also say UK sales are likely to grow by 9% by the end of 2021.

Ecommerce sales in Canada

Ecommerce share of total retail sales more than doubled between 2019 and 2020 in Canada. In April 2020, e-commerce retail trade sales in Canada hit 3.43 billion Canadian dollars, compared to 2.76 billion in December during the previous year.

What’s surprising, the e-commerce industry earned a total of 2.9 million Canadian dollars alone during the month of September. We could expect a total of 4 billion Canadian dollars by the end of 2020.

Online grocery selling is one of the fastest-growing segments. Learn how to start an online grocery store in 2021

Even if you are not from the above-listed countries, starting an e-commerce store in 2021 using SwiftKart is a great idea since:

  • Online shopping is kicking off across the globe
  • There is no sign that the COVID-19 pandemic is going away soon
  • Developing regions like India, China, and Africa are swiftly moving to the digital world.

However, setting up an online store could be difficult for those who haven’t selected any e-commerce niche yet. 

Don’t worry, we are listing out some of the popular online business niche ideas to start an online shop in 2021.

Promising e-commerce niche ideas for 2021

Some e-commerce segments are growing faster than the others, and that’s where the big money is. The following are the most promising e-commerce niche ideas for starting an estore in 2021:

#1 Natural and cosmetic skincare : The year-on-year growth rate of the cosmetic and natural skincare industry is 10%. The organic skin care products market is expected to reach  US$22 billion by 2024. That’s why selling cosmetics and natural skin care products online can be a profitable online business option.

#2 Second-hand products : A report from First Research states that there are around 20,000 used-merchandise stores producing US$17.5 billion in annual sales in communities across the United States. The global second-hand market which is sitting at US$29 billion is likely to get doubled over US$51 billion by 2023.

No wonder, starting an e-commerce store for selling second-hand products is a great idea for huge sales and profits in 2021.

#3 Fashion and clothing : Ecommerce share of apparel sales has grown by nearly 10% in the past 3 years. According to Statista, the global size of the clothing e-commerce industry was around US$525.1 billion in 2019. The market is expected to grow further at 8.6% per year and reach a total market size of US$1003.5 billion by the end of 2025.

You can start an online shopping store by selling any type of clothing online but focusing on a niche from the beginning works better. Select a specific style (casual, formal, etc.), price mark (affordable, expensive, etc.), or product type (tees, accessories, etc.)

Everything you need to know before starting a vintage clothing store in 2021

#4 Gadgets : Could you imagine a world without gadgets? We live in a world where gadgets have become a necessity. Ecommerce experts predict the estimated number of global digital buyers of electronics to hit 3.25 billion in 2021. Start an e-commerce store to facilitate the buying and selling of gadgets. Starting a multi-vendor store focused only on gadgets is a great idea as well!

#5 Health supplements : Health and wellness market is predicted to be the next trillion-dollar industry in the upcoming years. This industry has grown up to 55% ever since the pandemic has started. One very popular health and wellness niche of 2020 is vitamins and health supplements.

The current market size for health supplements exceeds US$18 billion with a projected growth of 15% for online sales in 2020.

#6 Eco-Friendly products : One of the most intriguing e-commerce trends is driven by growing environmental conscience. As of 2019, 38.5 percent of consumers in the United States had purchased green or eco-friendly home and home improvement products within the past twelve months.

The sales of eco-friendly products in the U.S. alone are projected to have a value between US$142.3 and US$150.1 billion in 2021. If you begin selling sustainable products by establishing an e-commerce website, you will definitely earn huge sales and profits in 2021!

#7 Grocery : In 2020, thousands of digital entrepreneurs made millions delivering produce, pantry, meat, and dairy products. Don’t believe us? As per the report from Supermarket News, 39.5% of shoppers bought groceries online in 2019.

Analysts believe that even if we find a vaccine and COVID-19 disappears from the face of the earth, the online grocery industry will continue to dominate the e-commerce industry.

Above are some of the best e-commerce niche ideas to start an online store in 2021 but if you need more ideas, we highly recommend checking out this blog!

22 best ecommerce business ideas to earn huge sales and profits.

How to start an e-commerce store: A step-by-step guide

We bet you have at least made up some mind about an e-commerce niche. Now, it’s time to discover the right steps to start an e-commerce store. We have created a step-by-step guide of the entire process to make everything as straightforward as possible.

Here is the roadmap to setting up an online store in 2021:

#1 Select a business name and domain : Like any brick and mortar shop, an online shopping store also needs a name. Choose a name that is not only unique but also clearly indicates what your business is all about. Consult your local secretary of state’s website to ensure that you are not choosing a business name that is already claimed by someone else.

Also, it would be worthwhile to check if your favorite online business domain name is available for buying or not. In case, your domain name is currently being used, consider a different business name or TDR. For instance, instead of

#2 Identify products to sell : Once you have selected the niche, business name, and bought the domain, it’s time to identify products you want to sell. This is the most challenging part of starting a new online store. The key to selecting right products for your e-commerce website is understanding your customers, their needs, and their desires.

In other words, you have to figure out what makes your customers buy and what sort of products they are most likely to buy. Do research on what sells the best in your selected niche. Find relevant groups and pages that your customer base follows. Meet with merchants willing to host their products in your store. Also, speak with wholesalers to inquire about discounts on bulk purchases.

#3 Choose the right store launcher : This is the most crucial step in starting a small as well as big store. An online store will be the virtual storefront of your business. It is where your customers will arrive to browse and purchase your products. There are two popular solutions for starting an e-commerce website:

  1. Custom e-commerce solution
  2. Turnkey e-commerce solution

Using a custom solution, you develop an online store from scratch. It is best suited for companies that require total control of their e-commerce strategy. Usually, a team of web designers and developers is hired to deliver this. The cost of setting up an online shop using custom solutions varies from US$5,000 to US$40,000 depending on your size and feature goals. 

Turnkey e-commerce solution, on the other hand, is completely different. If custom online store development is building a car, turnkey e-commerce is simply buying it. It is an ideal e-commerce option for those who have limited technical knowledge, are low on budget, and want to live immediately.

Online stores built using turnkey solutions like SwiftKart bring the best of both worlds by guaranteeing quick turnaround, low cost, and future scalability. Here are the reasons why SwiftKart was loved by digital entrepreneurs in 2020:

  1. It packs multilingual capabilities.
  2. Airtight security is guaranteed.
  3. It is 100% scalable.
  4. Swiftkart provides multi-vendor capabilities.
  5. It charges a one-time fee starting at US$499
  6. It has critical e-commerce features.
  7. Turnaround time is less than a month

Learn more about the best online shop builder for launching an web store in 2021.

#4 List products and add details : Now that you have an e-commerce store, it’s time to upload your catalog. Product description and images are the most crucial for this step.

A product description is the marketing copy that explains what your product is and why it is worth purchasing. Write remarkable descriptions for products to supply your potential customers with important information about the features and benefits of purchasing them.

Use high-quality images for each product. Good product photos — from multiple angles — helps in filling the gap by providing your customers with information about what your product looks like.

#5 Apply for online business licenses : Another important step of our how to start an e-commerce store in 2021 guide. All companies, be it online or offline, require a business license to sell their products. It provides a way for the government to keep track of enterprises operating in the area and keep track of tax revenue. When you operate an online business without the proper licenses and permits, you risk heavy fines and shutdown.

Check with your city, county, and state to see what sorts of sales tax licenses or home business licenses you need, and get those approved before you start operating your virtul shop. This is super important if you want to survive in the long run.

#6 Market your e-commerce store : There you have it! You have learned how to start an e-commerce store in 2021. Now that your products are sourced and listed in your online store; your licenses and permits have been gathered, and your website is up, you are ready to start selling. In order to do this, you will need to properly market your online store.

There are a variety of marketing strategies to utilize for your online business. Google ads, paid social media ads, SEO, content creation, social media, and brand building are some of the most popular options. Use them to build excitement about upcoming launches or product reveals. Keep investing in marketing to boost traffic as well as sales.

Launch your online store in 2021

You must have figured out by now that starting an e-commerce store isn’t easy. However, by taking it one step at a time, you can make the process more manageable and have your online store up and running fairly quickly.

Swiftkart is our in-house online store builder that uses the best of e-commerce technology to deliver superb online stores. Discuss your online selling plans to request a custom quote for your online store.

Got any queries to ask? Send them to and have them answered by our experts.