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Ecommerce Business Plan

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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.

ecommerce business plan sample doc

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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.

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ecommerce business plan sample doc

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 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.

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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.

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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

ecommerce business plan sample doc

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

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Download Ecommerce Business Plan

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

Kayla Carmicheal

Published: January 11, 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.

ecommerce business plan sample doc

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 .

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Free Business Plan Template

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How to Make an Ecommerce Business Plan for Your Startup

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Darren DeMatas

January 30, 2024

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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.

Product/Industry

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?

Competition

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!

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As the saying goes, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” So, if you wish to build your own eCommerce empire, having an eCommerce business plan is crucial to your success.

Why Should You Continue Reading This Article?

But maybe you have no idea where to start. Of course, you don’t want to leave out something important. In this article, we’ll show you how to build an eCommerce business plan and discuss how to write it in a well-crafted, simple way from scratch, for your eCommerce small business and what are the key elements that should be included in it.

Let’s get started!

Why You Need an eCommerce Business Plan

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” So, planning is almost everything you should start with.

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Although it can be hard work to put together a comprehensive eCommerce business plan, it’s such an important step for the below-mentioned four reasons:

  • Establishing a Clear Roadmap:  Well-written strategic planning will help you set clear goals and set an action plan to reach them. It will also help you to set priorities and realistically estimate the time and effort needed to achieve them.
  • Being Ready for Any Sudden Changes:  Change in the eCommerce business world is happening quicker than ever before. And this increases the value of planning. Having a data-driven business plan gave managers a dashboard to work with navigated sudden change.
  • Securing Funding: If you are looking for a loan or an equity investment for your startup, getting a business plan document right is essential because an organization that will provide the money wants to make sure that you know what you are doing and have a clear path to profit.
  • Avoiding Costly Mistakes: If you are considering setting up a small business with limited resources, having a startup business plan helps you know exactly what resources are needed to avoid wasting resources down the drain and to make the most of them.

Before You Start Planning: 3 Key Questions to Answer

To build a well-written online business plan sample, you need to answer the following questions:

  • What Are You Selling?  Are you selling physical products (i.e apparel, home appliances, etc.), digital products (i.e online courses, ebooks, software, etc.), or services (i.e marketing services, consulting, car repair, etc.)?
  • For Whom?  Do you sell to individuals (B2C) or organizations, corporations, and non-profits (B2B) or are you are a part of a marketplace acting as a broker just like affiliate marketing?.
  • Who Are Your Suppliers? Do you manufacture your products in-house, or outsource a third-party manufacturer? Do you partner with a dropshipping manufacturer or do you depend on wholesale?

With great data comes a great business plan. Answering this line of questioning will give you an initial overview of what your business is and it’ll be like a starting point.

How to Structure a Business Plan for Your Online Store

Let’s agree from the start that the business plan will not be perfectly completed on the first try. It will continue to evolve as you create each of the planning stages and you’ll be making edits along the way.

For an eCommerce business plan example, there are six basic sections it should include, Let’s delve deeper…

6 Steps of eCommerce Business Plan

Let’s delve deeper…

1. Executive Summary

Any e-Commerce business plan should start with an executive summary of just one sheet summarizing each section of your business plan. Although it is placed at the beginning, it should be the last section to be written.

The executive summary is the first thing your prospect investors would read, and it creates the first impression of your project. So, make it simple, easy to understand, and attractive.

The executive summary should include:

  • Business ideas presentation
  • Business model
  • Products and services
  • Target audience and target market
  • Management team
  • Success factors or the points that differentiate your company
  • Financial strategy

2.  Company Overview

This is the next section that includes detailed information about your business and identified the competitive advantage of your online store. It covers some features such as:

  • Brand Name and Founder’s Name: Your online store name and who is behind it.
  • Brand Traits: List just 3 to 5 words that describe the brand that you want your online store to be identified with.
  • Domain Name: It’s the URL. It should be short, simple, memorable, and doesn’t include numbers.
  • Company Type: How your business operates.
  • Value Proposition: It’s a brief statement that shows how clear your idea is.
  • Mission Statement: The reasons behind your business’ existence.
  • Vision: The goals that you want to reach long term. They must be realistic and ambitious so they can be motivating.

3. Market  Analysis

Conducting market research around your eCommerce small business idea is essential. It tells you whether or not people will buy what you’re selling.

Market analysis is broken down into 3 main sections:

A. industry analysis:.

Industry analysis outlines the industry size facts and statistics bode well for your eCommerce business. It answers questions like:

  • What does the market look like for your industry overall?
  • Has it grown or changed over the years?
  • Are there any expectations of growing up or slipping down in the future?
  • Are there factors that could impact its growth?

Industry analysis is likely to be one of the toughest parts of your eCommerce business plan, but fortunately, research and white papers are abundant in almost all industries, besides free tools like Google Trends .

B . Market Segment:

The market segment or audience segmentation helps you to create your “Buyer Persona” which represents your target audiences’ various demographic sets (gender, age, geography, education, income level, ethnicity, etc.). The market segment includes both your target market and niche selection.

It’s important to provide an overview of your niche, whether there’s a micro-niche included, and why you chose it.

C. Competitive Analysis:

Competitive Analysis provides an overview of who is your market leaders are and direct, indirect, and potential competitors. It also identifies your competitors’ key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, focusing particularly on where you can defeat the competition or add unique value to your business.

eCommerce Business Plan

Creating a comprehensive competitive analysis includes 4 key phrases that are:

  • Identify Your Competitors
  • Select a Competitive Analysis Framework
  • Collect Data on Your Competitors
  • Write Your Competitive Analysis Report

4.  Marketing Plan

By now, you’ve covered almost all your company-related aspects, your customers, and your competitors as well. It’s time to talk about how you’re going to reach your customers and drive traffic to your eCommerce website.

The marketing plan describes the planned promotion strategies, business growth strategies, pricing strategies , sales strategies, and how much can you afford to spend on your marketing efforts. To come up with a well-defined marketing strategy, you need to deeply know your customer inside out.

It’s important to keep in mind that every potential customer is different, and there are many organic and paid marketing techniques that you can use to reach each of them. From SEO, social media, content marketing, and email marketing to influencers, these proven techniques will surely  acquire customers and drive traffic to your online store .

So, this stage is all about defining:

  • Which marketing channels are best for you to reach your customer?
  • How much can you afford to acquire customers to your online store?

5. Operations Plan

Operational planning reflects the task flow of your eCommerce store and how they’ll be divided. It includes your daily tasks as an online store owner. Some basic things should be established, such as your work schedule, your daily tasks timetable, your location, and your product stock.

Your tasks will include:

  • Offering support
  • Managing the stock
  • Managing returns
  • Negotiating with suppliers
  • Dealing with unforeseen events
  • Promoting your store
  • And much more

List all of your daily tasks and how your routine will be to make sure that everything in your business plan will be under control. If you are a startup and you’re the only person in charge, it’d be hard to manage all tasks. So, it’s important to have initial planning on paper, and then make small modifications down the line to hire a staff and management team.

6. Financial Plan

For many people, this is the most difficult part of a business plan. However, it’s extremely important. It outlines the major costs for an eCommerce business that include the cost of goods, internet connection fees, salaries of the staff, etc.

If you’re seeking to get outside funding, your financial statement should contain the following documents:

  • Summary of Funding Requirement: It’s an outline showing why you are applying for a loan, the cost for raw materials and operational machines, and how much money you need.
  • Use of Funds Statement / Income Statement: It shows how profitable your business would be during a given period and describes how you plan to use the funds you’ll get.
  • Business Budget: This displays cash inflow and outflow statements over a specific period of time.
  • 3-Year Profit and Loss Projection: It’s assumptions that are stated clearly and in detail to communicate your vision of the company’s future and how you anticipate achieving that vision.

5 eCommerce Business Plans’ Mistakes to Avoid in 2022

As for eCommerce owners ( whether it was for fashion, services, etc.), there are some methodologies they use to approximately estimate future turnover, profitability, and more.  But unfortunately, most of these estimations and expectations are frequently distant from market reality.

ExpandCart gathers the most common mistakes that usually happen when you put an eCommerce marketing plan into work, Let’s show you around! 

Mistake #1  |  Selecting the Improper eCommerce Platform

Whether you’re just getting started with your eCommerce shop or have been running one for a while, a not-suitable eCommerce platform can boost your eCommerce business plan or awfully put it to an end! 

After you’ve created a sample business plan for an eCommerce startup, you’ll need to think about several things when selecting an eCommerce platform, including:

  • Your financial situation
  • Whether you prefer a template or bespoke design, we can help.
  • What type of experience do your consumers want?
  • What items do you intend to sell?
  • How do you intend to grow your company?
  • What tools your platform needs to integrate with?
  • How much control do you desire over your website?

The last thing you want is to pick a platform that restricts your company’s development, doesn’t interact with your existing systems, or doesn’t provide the amount of control and flexibility you want.

An improper eCommerce platform can result in a variety of problems, including income loss, decreased conversions, less traffic, security difficulties, bad design, and more. This major error might force you to spend even more time, money, and effort modernizing your platform or moving to a new one entirely.

Take your time while deciding on the best eCommerce platform for your online eCommerce as this will affect the whole performance of your eCommerce business plan. 

Mistake #2  |Skipping Environment Check

Before drafting an eCommerce business plan to launch or boost your e-commerce website, it’s a crucial step to start assessing the viability of your ideas before anything!

And here, we don’t mean broad market studies, but rather a comprehensive test using a limited version of your site, that will assist in ensuring in the field that you are gaining traction in your market. You must be able to tie your business strategy to the fact that you have already made your first sales even before you daft your eCommerce business plan. 

Aside from the checking and validation component, an initial test will help you to get useful feedback from your consumers and discover for yourself the major roadblocks or places for progress in your business.

You’ll be in a better position to carry out your company plan and generate realistic and plausible financial projections once you’ve completed it.

Mistake #3 | No Clear Brand Message or Identity

A good product alone won’t perform as good branding! 

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that your things will sell themselves. To build a successful business, you’ll need to develop a strong brand identity that is both approachable to your target audience and favorable to viral brand awareness. If you’ve done your research, you should have a good notion of what your target audience wants and how to communicate with them. Then it’s only a matter of maintaining a consistent and firm message.

A strong brand identity boosts client loyalty and your chances of gaining global brand recognition.

Mistake #4 | Shallow Website Content 

If your eCommerce business relies on organic traffic to attract clients, then the material on your website should be crafted with the user and SEO in mind.

Many organizations make the mistake of considering content as an afterthought, failing to see that each piece of content represents a chance to increase traffic and convert clients.

You need to provide content that is relevant to your target audience, optimized for search engine traffic, and entices consumers to buy your items, from your homepage to your product descriptions.

Investing in SEO and CRO-friendly content is worthwhile, whether you engage with an SEO service or do it yourself. This entails using the correct high-quality keywords for your niche and crafting material that is designed to convert.

Mistake #5 | Mistargeted Audience 

What else could you possibly require? You have items, a company strategy, and a website. Unfortunately, having an offer and a venue to pitch it isn’t enough to be a true eCommerce success.

One of the most common blunders a business owner can make is failing to precisely define their target demographic and spend time learning what makes them tick. You’ll need to do some serious market research to make sure that:

  • Your target audience has a genuine necessity for your product. 
  • You know how to express your offer in a way that they will comprehend. 
  • You may create a marketing plan that prioritizes your target audience.

Identifying and specifying your target audience can help you develop an atmosphere that they will remember and a brand message that will tempt them to buy and re-buy, and hence, a successful eCommerce business plan! 

Final Notes

We are living in a world of fast-paced digital transformation. Almost all businesses are thinking of building a strong online presence. Being prepared and having a well-crafted business plan for your dream eCommerce website helps you focus on what exactly you want your business to be in the future and provides a map of how to get there in no time.

Remember! Creating your own eCommerce business plan won’t be that easy, but success comes to those willing to put in the work and if you did it right, you will witness a great increase in sales and revenue . You can seek help from experts who can help you plan your business effectively.

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Ecommerce Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

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Ecommerce Business Plan Template

If you want to start an Ecommerce business or expand your current one, you need a business plan.

Your Ecommerce business plan will accomplish several key objectives. First, it will help you create goals for your Ecommerce business and give you a roadmap to follow to reach them. It will also help you develop the right strategies to attain your goals. For example, by understanding trends in the Ecommerce industry, the strengths and weaknesses of other ecommerce businesses, and the demographic and psychographic needs of your target market, you can craft better product and marketing strategies.

You can download our Ecommerce Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

The following Ecommerce business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning business plan for an ecommerce startup or an existing ecommerce business.

Below are links to each of the key sections of a sample ecommerce business plan:

E-commerce Business Plan FAQs

What is an e-commerce business plan, do i need an e-commerce business plan, how often should i update my e-commerce business plan, how do i write an e-commerce business plan.

  • Executive Summary - In this section, you will provide an overview of your e-commerce business including highlights from each section of the business plan.
  • Company Overview - This section includes a description of your company, its legal form of business, where you are located and/or based out of, who is involved in the venture (both financially and non-financially), who your customers will be, and why a consumer should buy from you instead of a competitor.
  • Industry Analysis - Here you will describe the current state of the industry that your business is involved in by providing relevant data. This information will allow you to then describe the competitive landscape, any barriers that may affect entry into this industry, and how your company plans to overcome these obstacles.
  • Customer Analysis - Identify who your customer is and why they would buy from you. What is the size of your market? How will you reach your target audience?
  • Competitive Analysis - Identify who your major competitors are. What are the different ways that you can differentiate your company from these competitors?
  • Marketing Plan - This section should include a description of your target customer, how you will reach them, and what the cost associated with this activity will be.
  • Operations Plan - This section should discuss how you will run your day-to-day operations. This includes information such as manufacturing or service delivery, inventory management and any other key issues related to how your company will operate.
  • Management Team - This section should be composed of resumes for each member of your management team including any current gaps in their skill sets.
  • Financial Plan - This section should include projected income statements, balance sheets and cash flow forecasts for the first three years. You will need to provide both your financials as well as those of any sub companies you are involved in.

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Ecommerce Business Plan Outline

download ecommerce business plan template

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Sample Ecommerce Business Plan

Growthink Ecommerce Business Plan Template

Writing a business plan is a crucial step in starting an ecommerce business. Not only does it provide structure and guidance for the future, but it also helps to create funding opportunities and attract potential investors. For aspiring ecommerce owners, having access to a sample ecommerce business plan can be especially helpful in providing direction and gaining insight into how to draft their own ecommerce business plan.

Download our Ultimate Ecommerce Business Plan Template

Having a thorough business plan in place is critical for any successful ecommerce venture. It will serve as the foundation for your operations, setting out the goals and objectives that will help guide your decisions and actions. A well-written business plan can give you clarity on realistic financial projections and help you secure financing from lenders or investors. An ecommerce business plan example can be a great resource to draw upon when creating your own plan, making sure that all the key components are included in your document.

The ecommerce business plan sample below will give you an idea of what one should look like. It is not as comprehensive and successful in raising capital for your ecommerce business as Growthink’s Ultimate Ecommerce Business Plan Template , but it can help you write an ecommerce business plan of your own.

Example – ClickCart Emporium

Table of contents, executive summary, company overview, industry analysis, customer analysis, competitive analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, management team, financial plan.

Welcome to ClickCart Emporium, your new go-to ecommerce destination based in the vibrant city of Oklahoma City, OK. Our mission is to revolutionize the local ecommerce landscape by providing an unparalleled online shopping experience. With our comprehensive suite of services, we cater to a wide range of customer needs, ensuring secure payment processing, timely delivery, and a user-friendly online retail platform. Our dedication to excellence and our commitment to the Oklahoma City community drive us to serve you better, making online shopping convenient, secure, and enjoyable.

Our confidence in becoming the leading ecommerce platform in Oklahoma City is anchored in our founder’s previous success in the ecommerce industry, combined with our unwavering commitment to superior service. Since our launch on January 4, 2024, ClickCart Emporium has achieved significant milestones, including the development of a distinctive brand identity, securing an ideal operational base, and laying a strong foundation for our future growth. These accomplishments reflect our dedication to excellence and our strategic approach to becoming your preferred online shopping destination.

The Ecommerce industry in the United States, currently valued at over $600 billion, is on an exponential growth trajectory, with projections estimating its value to reach $1 trillion by 2025. This growth is driven by increased internet access, rising disposable incomes, and the proliferation of digital devices, alongside consumer preferences shifting towards online shopping for its convenience and variety. ClickCart Emporium is poised to leverage these trends, offering exceptional customer service and a diverse product range, positioning us to carve out a successful niche within this competitive and rapidly expanding market, especially in Oklahoma City, OK.

ClickCart Emporium targets a diverse customer base in Oklahoma City, focusing on busy professionals, parents, elderly shoppers, tech-savvy millennials, Gen Z, and small business owners. Our platform caters to their varying needs with a wide range of products, convenient and reliable delivery options, and an easy-to-navigate interface. By tailoring our marketing strategies, especially through social media and influencer partnerships, we aim to engage these segments effectively, ensuring a seamless and efficient online shopping experience that meets their everyday needs and preferences.

Our main competitors include Liquidfish, 1stPride, and Plenty of Pixels, each offering unique digital solutions targeting different customer segments in Oklahoma City, OK. Despite their strengths, ClickCart Emporium differentiates itself through superior customer service, an intuitive shopping platform, and leveraging cutting-edge technology to offer an expansive product range. Our focus on competitive pricing, exclusive deals, and personalized support ensures a seamless shopping experience, setting us apart as a leader in the ecommerce market.

At ClickCart Emporium, we offer an integrated suite of ecommerce services, including a user-friendly online retail platform, secure payment processing, and efficient logistics and fulfillment services, all designed to empower businesses and delight consumers. Our competitive pricing strategy and comprehensive service offerings are tailored to meet the diverse needs of our customers in Oklahoma City, OK. Our promotional strategy is multifaceted, encompassing SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing, community engagement, and influencer partnerships. These efforts aim to enhance our visibility, drive traffic, and foster a strong community around our brand, ensuring ClickCart Emporium becomes a household name in the local ecommerce scene.

To ensure ClickCart Emporium’s success, our operations focus on maintaining a user-friendly website, real-time inventory management, efficient order processing, and seamless coordination with shipping partners. We prioritize customer support across multiple channels and implement secure payment systems to enhance the shopping experience. Our operational strategy includes regular analysis of customer data and market trends, enabling us to refine our product offerings and marketing strategies continually. By focusing on these key operational processes and milestones, we aim to achieve operational excellence and sustain our growth trajectory.

Our management team combines expertise in ecommerce, digital marketing, logistics, and customer service, driving ClickCart Emporium towards achieving its mission. With a solid track record in the industry and a shared vision for innovation and excellence, our team is committed to providing the best online shopping experience in Oklahoma City, ensuring that ClickCart Emporium stands out in the competitive ecommerce landscape.

Welcome to ClickCart Emporium, a new Ecommerce venture based right here in Oklahoma City, OK. As a local ecommerce business, we noticed a gap in the market for high-quality online shopping experiences tailored to our community’s needs. Recognizing this, we set out to create an ecommerce platform that not only serves Oklahoma City but also sets the standard for what local online shopping should look like.

At ClickCart Emporium, we offer a comprehensive suite of ecommerce solutions. Our primary offering is an online retail platform designed to bring the convenience of shopping online to our local customers, providing them with a wide range of products at their fingertips. To complement this, we offer payment processing services, ensuring a seamless transaction experience. Recognizing the importance of timely delivery, we also specialize in ecommerce logistics and fulfillment. These services work in tandem to provide a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience from browsing to delivery.

Our operations are deeply rooted in Oklahoma City, OK. This strategic location allows us to stay closely connected with our community and understand the unique needs of our customers better. Serving the Oklahoma City area is not just a business decision; it’s a commitment to enriching our local economy and providing value to our neighbors.

ClickCart Emporium is poised for success for several reasons. Our founder brings valuable experience from previously running a successful ecommerce business, imparting a wealth of knowledge and industry insights that are instrumental to our operations. Moreover, our commitment to delivering superior ecommerce services positions us ahead of the competition, ensuring that we meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.

Since our inception on January 4, 2024, ClickCart Emporium has made significant strides as a Limited Liability Company. We’ve developed a unique and recognizable brand, starting with the design of our logo and the creative development of our company name. Additionally, we secured a great location that supports our logistics and fulfillment operations, laying a solid foundation for our business. These accomplishments, though early, are indicative of our dedication to building a successful and sustainable ecommerce platform for Oklahoma City.

The Ecommerce industry in the United States is currently valued at over $600 billion, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in the country. With the rise of online shopping and the convenience it offers consumers, Ecommerce sales have been steadily increasing year over year. Experts predict that the market will continue to grow at a rapid pace, reaching over $1 trillion by 2025.

One of the key trends in the Ecommerce industry is the shift towards mobile shopping. With more and more consumers using their smartphones and tablets to make purchases online, businesses that provide a seamless mobile shopping experience are poised for success. ClickCart Emporium, being a new Ecommerce platform, can take advantage of this trend by ensuring their website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate on all devices.

Another trend in the Ecommerce industry is the increasing demand for personalized shopping experiences. Consumers are looking for tailored product recommendations, exclusive deals, and customized shopping features. ClickCart Emporium can set itself apart from competitors by offering personalized recommendations based on customer preferences and purchase history, creating a unique and engaging shopping experience for its customers in Oklahoma City, OK.

Below is a description of our target customers and their core needs.

Target Customers

ClickCart Emporium will primarily target local residents seeking a convenient and efficient online shopping experience. This segment includes busy professionals, parents needing to juggle work and family commitments, and elderly individuals who prefer the safety and comfort of home shopping. The focus will be on offering a wide range of products tailored to their everyday needs, from groceries to household essentials.

The business will also cater to tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z consumers who are always on the lookout for the latest trends and unique products. These younger customers value fast, reliable delivery and an easy-to-navigate website or app interface. ClickCart Emporium will tailor its marketing strategies to engage this demographic through social media channels and influencer partnerships.

In addition to the above, ClickCart Emporium will target small business owners in Oklahoma City who require bulk purchases for their operations. This segment is in need of a reliable partner that can provide a variety of products at competitive prices with the convenience of scheduled deliveries. The platform will offer business accounts with features such as order tracking, purchase history, and volume discounts.

Customer Needs

ClickCart Emporium steps into the market to fulfill the growing demand for high-quality eCommerce services among residents who seek the convenience of online shopping. Customers expect a seamless shopping experience that combines ease of use with a wide selection of products. By focusing on user experience and inventory diversity, ClickCart Emporium meets these expectations head-on, ensuring that every visit to the site is both enjoyable and fruitful.

In addition to providing an extensive range of products, ClickCart Emporium understands the importance of reliable customer service and fast, accurate delivery. Shoppers value quick responses to inquiries and appreciate the peace of mind that comes with knowing their purchases will arrive on time and in perfect condition. This level of service builds trust and loyalty, encouraging repeat visits and long-term relationships with customers.

Moreover, ClickCart Emporium recognizes the significance of offering competitive prices without compromising on quality. Consumers are always on the lookout for the best deals online, and by ensuring that prices are attractive, ClickCart Emporium positions itself as a go-to destination for savvy shoppers. This approach not only satisfies the need for affordability but also reinforces the value proposition of shopping with ClickCart Emporium.

ClickCart Emporium’s competitors include the following companies:

Liquidfish specializes in offering comprehensive digital solutions including website development, digital marketing, and custom software development. Their services are tailored towards businesses looking to establish or enhance their online presence. Price points for their services vary depending on the complexity and scope of the project, making them accessible to a wide range of businesses.

While specific revenue figures are not publicly available, Liquidfish is recognized for its robust client portfolio across various sectors, indicating a healthy financial standing. The company operates primarily from its headquarters in Oklahoma City, OK, but serves clients across the United States. This broad geographic coverage is a key strength, as it allows Liquidfish to cater to a diverse client base.

Key strengths of Liquidfish include its comprehensive service offering and its ability to deliver customized digital solutions. However, its primary weakness lies in the highly competitive market of digital services, where differentiation can be challenging.

1stPride offers a range of ecommerce services, focusing on website design, online marketing, and SEO optimization. Their services are designed to help businesses improve their online sales and visibility. The company adopts a competitive pricing strategy, which makes it an attractive option for small to medium-sized businesses.

1stPride operates mainly within the Oklahoma City area, targeting local businesses aiming to expand their online footprint. Although they have a strong local presence, their geographical reach is more limited compared to other competitors. This focus on a local customer base both serves as a strength, providing personalized services, and a weakness, limiting potential market expansion.

Their key strength lies in their local market knowledge and personalized customer service. However, their limited geographical reach and the challenge of scaling their services can be seen as weaknesses.

Plenty of Pixels specializes in website design and development, offering customizable packages to meet the needs of various businesses. Their pricing model is transparent, with clear tiers based on the complexity and features of the website, catering to both startups and established businesses. The company prides itself on its efficient project delivery and post-launch support.

Although primarily based in Oklahoma City, OK, Plenty of Pixels serves clients nationwide, leveraging digital communication tools to manage projects remotely. This allows them to tap into a larger market, despite their physical location. Their ability to serve clients across the country is a significant strength, broadening their potential customer base.

The key strengths of Plenty of Pixels include their flexible pricing model and nationwide service coverage. However, their focus on website services means they might not offer as comprehensive a digital solution set as some competitors, which could be seen as a weakness in a market that favors full-service agencies.

Competitive Advantages

At ClickCart Emporium, we pride ourselves on providing unparalleled ecommerce services that set us apart from our competition. Our secret lies in our commitment to understanding the unique needs of our customers in Oklahoma City, ensuring that we offer personalized shopping experiences tailored to their preferences. We leverage advanced technology to streamline the shopping process, making it faster, more intuitive, and user-friendly. This approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also fosters loyalty, as shoppers know they can expect a seamless experience every time they visit our platform.

Beyond merely offering a wide range of products, we differentiate ourselves by integrating cutting-edge features such as AI-powered recommendations and real-time inventory updates, which significantly improve the shopping experience. Our customer service is second to none, providing round-the-clock support to address any queries or concerns promptly. Additionally, our logistics and delivery system is optimized for efficiency, ensuring that orders are processed and delivered faster than any other service in the area. This comprehensive approach to ecommerce positions us not just as a shopping platform, but as a reliable partner for our customers, making their online shopping journey enjoyable and hassle-free.

Our marketing plan, included below, details our products/services, pricing and promotions plan.

Products and Services

ClickCart Emporium emerges as a comprehensive solution for both businesses and consumers, offering a suite of services designed to streamline the online shopping experience. At the heart of its offerings is an online retail platform that serves as a marketplace for a wide range of products. This platform connects sellers with buyers, facilitating easy access to an array of items from the comfort of one’s home. The average selling price for products on this platform varies widely depending on the category and value of the items, but ClickCart Emporium ensures competitive pricing to attract a broad customer base.

In addition to facilitating sales through its online retail platform, ClickCart Emporium offers payment processing services. This crucial service ensures secure and efficient transactions between buyers and sellers, employing state-of-the-art encryption and security measures to protect all parties involved. The company charges a nominal fee for these services, typically a percentage of the transaction value. This fee averages around 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction, aligning with industry standards and ensuring that sellers can affordably access secure payment processing capabilities.

Understanding the importance of logistics in e-commerce, ClickCart Emporium also provides e-commerce logistics and fulfillment services. This comprehensive service covers everything from warehousing and inventory management to order fulfillment and shipping. By handling these logistical aspects, ClickCart Emporium enables sellers to focus on their products and sales, rather than the complexities of distribution. Pricing for these services is tailored to the specific needs of each seller, but businesses can expect competitive rates that reflect the efficiency and value of the logistics solutions provided.

Overall, ClickCart Emporium positions itself as a key player in the e-commerce sector by offering an integrated platform that not only connects buyers and sellers but also provides essential services like payment processing and logistics. Through competitive pricing and a commitment to quality, ClickCart Emporium aims to foster a vibrant online marketplace that meets the needs of a diverse customer base.

Promotions Plan

ClickCart Emporium embarks on an ambitious journey to captivate the hearts and wallets of customers in Oklahoma City, OK, with a blend of innovative and traditional promotional methods tailored to the digital age. Recognizing the power of online presence, the emporium will leverage online marketing as its spearhead strategy. Through this approach, ClickCart Emporium expects to build a robust digital footprint that resonates with its target audience, driving both traffic and sales.

Diving deeper into online marketing, the company will utilize social media platforms extensively. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will become arenas where ClickCart Emporium engages with its audience. Regular posts, interactive stories, and targeted ads will serve to inform, entertain, and persuade potential customers. Moreover, the emporium will harness the power of influencer marketing, partnering with local influencers in Oklahoma City to tap into their followers and gain credibility quickly.

Email marketing will also play a crucial role in ClickCart Emporium’s promotional strategy. By collecting emails from potential customers through sign-ups and promotions, the emporium will send out newsletters, exclusive offers, and updates about new products or services. This personalized approach expects to not only drive sales but also foster a sense of community among its customers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will ensure that ClickCart Emporium appears at the top of search results when potential customers look for related products or services online. By optimizing its website content with relevant keywords, the emporium expects to attract more organic traffic, thereby reducing its reliance on paid advertising in the long run.

ClickCart Emporium will not limit itself to online methods alone. Local events and sponsorships will serve as an excellent opportunity to increase brand visibility and engagement within the community. Participating in or sponsoring local events, fairs, and festivals will allow the emporium to showcase its brand and products in a more personal and interactive setting.

Loyalty programs will be introduced to reward returning customers, encouraging repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. These programs will offer discounts, special offers, and early access to new products, cultivating a loyal customer base that feels valued and appreciated.

In conclusion, ClickCart Emporium will employ a multifaceted promotional strategy that combines the reach and efficiency of online marketing with the personal touch of local engagement and customer loyalty programs. Through these efforts, the emporium expects to attract and retain customers, setting a strong foundation for growth in Oklahoma City, OK.

Our Operations Plan details:

  • The key day-to-day processes that our business performs to serve our customers
  • The key business milestones that our company expects to accomplish as we grow

Key Operational Processes

To ensure the success of ClickCart Emporium, there are several key day-to-day operational processes that we will perform.

  • Maintain a user-friendly and up-to-date website interface to ensure customers can easily browse, search for products, and complete purchases.
  • Monitor inventory levels in real-time to ensure stock availability aligns with website listings and restock products as needed to meet customer demand.
  • Process orders efficiently, from confirmation to packaging, ensuring accuracy in order fulfillment to minimize errors and returns.
  • Coordinate with shipping partners for timely delivery of products, offering customers tracking information to ensure transparency and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Offer customer support through multiple channels (e.g., chat, email, phone) to address inquiries, resolve issues, and provide assistance throughout the buying process.
  • Implement and maintain secure payment processing systems to protect customer data and ensure a smooth checkout experience.
  • Analyze website traffic and customer purchase data to understand customer preferences, improve product offerings, and tailor marketing strategies.
  • Engage in digital marketing efforts, including SEO, social media marketing, and email campaigns, to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
  • Collect and act on customer feedback to continually improve the shopping experience and address any shortcomings in products or services.
  • Conduct regular financial reviews to monitor profitability, manage expenses, and adjust pricing strategies as necessary to remain competitive.

ClickCart Emporium expects to complete the following milestones in the coming months in order to ensure its success:

  • Secure a reliable supply chain: Establish agreements with suppliers and distributors to ensure a steady supply of products. This not only assures product availability but also helps in negotiating better terms and prices, reducing the cost of goods sold.
  • Develop and launch the ecommerce platform: This involves finalizing the website design, ensuring user-friendly navigation, and implementing secure payment gateways. A smooth, secure, and convenient shopping experience is crucial for customer retention and acquisition.
  • Implement an initial marketing strategy: This should include a mix of digital marketing tactics such as SEO, social media marketing, and email campaigns to build brand awareness and drive traffic to the new ecommerce platform.
  • Establish customer service protocols: Develop a robust customer service framework that includes clear return policies, a responsive support team, and a feedback system. Excellent customer service not only enhances customer satisfaction but also builds trust and loyalty.
  • Launch our ecommerce business: Officially open the online store for business. This involves ensuring all operational, logistical, and marketing systems are in place and functioning correctly to handle orders and customer inquiries.
  • Monitor and optimize operations: After launch, closely monitor all aspects of the business from website performance, order fulfillment efficiency, to customer feedback. Use this data to make informed decisions on operational improvements and optimizations.
  • Expand product offerings: Based on initial customer feedback and sales data, gradually introduce new products or variations to meet demand and attract a wider audience. This helps in keeping the product catalog fresh and engaging for return customers.
  • Get to $15,000/month in revenue: Achieve this financial milestone through a combination of increasing traffic to the website, improving conversion rates, and expanding the customer base. It signifies a stable demand for the products and a growing business.
  • Build partnerships and collaborations: Establish partnerships with complementary brands or platforms to expand reach and tap into new customer segments. Collaborations can also open up opportunities for exclusive products or marketing campaigns.
  • Implement a customer loyalty program: To encourage repeat business and foster a loyal customer base, introduce a loyalty program that rewards customers for their purchases, referrals, or engagement with the brand.

ClickCart Emporium management team, which includes the following members, has the experience and expertise to successfully execute on our business plan:

Lily Young, CEO

Lily Young brings a wealth of experience to ClickCart Emporium, having previously led an ecommerce business to notable success. Her entrepreneurial spirit and deep understanding of digital marketplaces equip her with the unique insights needed to navigate the complex landscape of online retail. Lily’s leadership style is characterized by a focus on innovation, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency. Her track record of building cohesive teams and fostering a culture of excellence makes her an invaluable asset to ClickCart Emporium. Under Lily’s guidance, the company is poised to achieve its goals and make a lasting impact in the ecommerce arena.

ClickCart Emporium’s financial strategy is designed to support our growth objectives, ensuring we have the necessary resources to expand our operations, enhance our service offerings, and achieve our goal of becoming the leading ecommerce platform in Oklahoma City. Our plan outlines the investment needed to fuel our strategic initiatives, focusing on technology upgrades, marketing efforts, and operational efficiencies to drive revenue growth and profitability.

Financial Statements

Balance sheet.

[insert balance sheet]

Income Statement

[insert income statement]

Cash Flow Statement

[insert cash flow statement]

Ecommerce Business Plan Example PDF

Download our Ecommerce Business Plan PDF here. This is a free ecommerce business plan example to help you get started on your own ecommerce plan.  

How to Finish Your Ecommerce Business Plan in 1 Day!

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Business-in-a-Box's eCommerce Business Plan Template

eCommerce Business Plan Template

Document description.

This ecommerce business plan template has 38 pages and is a MS Word file type listed under our business plan kit documents.

Sample of our ecommerce business plan template:

[Company Name] BUSINESS PLAN 2011

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Ecommerce Business Plan Guide + Sample

ecommerce business plan sample doc

July 6, 2023

Adam Hoeksema

Welcome to the ever-evolving world of ecommerce—a space where countless businesses are launching every day. If you've landed here, we're guessing you too are gearing up to start your own ecom business. Yet, entering ecommerce is not just about setting up a website and listing products—it involves a robust plan that encompasses every aspect from customer acquisition to cash flow forecasting. That's why we've crafted this comprehensive guide. This Ecommerce Business Plan Guide, complete with a sample business plan, should help you check this project off the list. 

Although we focus on ecommerce financial models , we know that some of our clients also need a full business plan, so I decided to take a deep dive into the topic.  I plan to cover:

  • Why write a business plan for an ecommerce business?
  • What to include in an ecommerce business plan?
  • Ecommerce business plan outline

How to Analyze the Market for an Ecommerce Product?

How to analyze the competition in ecommerce, how to estimate customer acquisition costs in ecommerce.

  • How to Create Financial Projections for an Ecommerce Brand?
  • Example Ecommerce Business Plan?

Ecommerce Business Plan FAQs

With that as our guide, let’s dive in!

Why write a business plan for an ecommerce business? 

It might feel like writing a business plan is a waste of time, and honestly, writing a 40 page plan probably is a waste of time.  So why write a business plan?  I like to say that you write a business plan primarily because the people with the money (the lenders and investors) are asking for your business plan and projections.  

Although I think a business plan could be a good exercise for any ecommerce startup, I know the real impetus for writing a business plan is likely the fact that your potential investors or lenders are asking for one.  

What to include in an ecommerce business plan? 

I don’t think your business plan needs to be a 100 page dissertation, our ecommerce business plan example is roughly 10 pages.  We include the following sections:

Ecommerce Business Plan Outline

We suggest the following business plan sections for your ecommerce business plan:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Product and Service Offerings
  • Marketing Plan & Customer Acquisition
  • Operating Plan
  • Financial Plan

Analyzing the market for an ecommerce product is a vital step in any business plan. It gives you a better understanding of your potential customers, competitors, and overall market dynamics. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you do this effectively:

  • Identify Your Target Audience: Understanding who will buy your product is crucial. Segment your audience based on demographic and psychographic factors. This might include age, gender, location, lifestyle, interests, income, and more. Analyzing these factors will give you a clear picture of who your customers are and what they need.
  • Market Size Estimation: Determine the size of your potential market. This involves looking at the number of potential customers who might be interested in your product. Market size can be categorized into three segments: total available market (TAM), serviceable available market (SAM), and serviceable obtainable market (SOM).

I like to use Google Keyword Planner Tool to see how many people are searching for keywords related to the product I plan to sell as a quick and free way to estimate the market size.  For example, let’s assume that we are selling a yoga mat.  According to Google Keyword Planner Tool there are roughly 90,000 monthly searches for that keyword. 

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated

To put some additional rough math to the opportunity, the first organic search result will often get roughly 40% of the clicks, and a solid ecommerce site will have a 3% conversion rate of visit to purchase.  So if you ranked first and received roughly 36,000 clicks with a 3% conversion rate you could sell 1,080 mats per month. 

  • Competitor Analysis: Understanding your competitors is as important as understanding your customers. Identify your direct and indirect competitors, analyze their products, pricing, marketing strategies, customer reviews, and their market share. This will help you identify gaps in the market that you can exploit.

Read More: How to Write a Business Plan Competitor Analysis

  • Trend Analysis: Investigate current market trends related to your product. Look at the growth of the market, customer preferences and behavior, and the impact of technology and environmental factors.

I like to suggest using Google Trends to see trends in popularity in your market.  If we stick with our yoga mat example we can see the following seasonal trends and trend over the last 5 years for the search term yoga mat. 

A graph showing a lineDescription automatically generated

  • SWOT Analysis: Carry out a SWOT analysis - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to your ecommerce product. This analysis will help you understand your product's position in the market.
  • Pricing Analysis: Understand the pricing strategies of your competitors and the pricing willingness of your potential customers. It will help you to set a competitive and profitable price for your product.
  • Regulatory Environment: Check the regulatory environment related to your product. It includes legal regulations, trade policies, and standards that might impact your ecommerce business.
  • Customer Behavior and Preferences: With the help of analytics and customer feedback, understand what drives customer behavior. Consider their shopping habits, their product preferences, and what influences their buying decisions.

Each of these steps will provide valuable insights that can shape your ecommerce product's marketing strategy, positioning, pricing, and much more. Remember, market analysis is an ongoing process—it needs to be repeated periodically as markets evolve over time.

There are a couple of tools that I like to use when analyzing the competition in ecommerce.  

  • Google’s Ads Transparency Tool – with this tool you can simply enter in the domain name of a competitor and Google will show you all of the ads that they are running.  This is a nifty way to get an idea of ads that might be working well and areas you might be able to compete. 
  • Ahrefs – Ahrefs will allow you to look up a competitor’s website and you can see how much organic traffic they are getting and exactly what keywords are sending that traffic. For example, REI ranks 3 rd organically for the keyword “yoga mats” so we looked up their Yoga Mats page on Ahrefs and found that they receive roughly 2,200 organic visits per month to that page:

A graph on a screenDescription automatically generated

We can also see what keywords are sending the most traffic to that page below where I have highlighted the monthly organic traffic estimate for each keyword. 

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated

I like to use Google Keyword Planner Tool to estimate customer acquisition costs as well.  As we saw with the Yoga Mat example below the average cost per click to advertise for that keyword was between $0.39 cents and $3.13.   

Again if we stick with a 3% conversion rate and assume 50 cents per click that means you are likely to spend roughly $16 to acquire one customer.  Not a whole lot of room for margin in this business right?  In this case you would need to hope that you can sell multiple products to the same customer over time.  

Your customer acquisition costs will be a fundamental assumption in your financial model.  Let’s dive into that next. 

How to Create Financial Projections for a Bar Business Plan

Just like in any industry, the ecommerce business has its own unique factors that impact financial projections, such as online traffic, conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs. Utilizing an ecommerce financial projection template can simplify the process and increase your confidence. Creating accurate financial projections goes beyond showcasing your ecommerce venture's ability to generate sales; it's about illustrating the financial roadmap to profitability and the realization of your online business goals. To develop precise projections, consider the following key steps:

  • Estimate startup costs for your ecommerce business, including website development or platform setup, inventory acquisition, branding and marketing expenses, and initial fulfillment and shipping costs.
  • Forecast revenue based on projected online traffic, conversion rates, average order value, and potential growth in customer base.
  • Project costs related to product sourcing or manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and fulfillment services.
  • Estimate operating expenses like website maintenance, hosting fees, digital marketing expenses, customer support, and administrative costs.
  • Calculate the capital needed to launch and sustain your ecommerce business, covering initial expenses and providing working capital for continued growth.

While financial projections are a critical component of your ecommerce business plan, seek guidance from experienced professionals in the ecommerce industry. Adapt your projections based on real-world insights, leverage industry resources, and stay informed about digital marketing trends and evolving consumer behavior to ensure your financial plan aligns with your goals and positions your ecommerce venture for long-term success.

Example Ecommerce Business Plan

Explore our E-commerce Business Plan, presented below. If you prefer, you can access a downloadable Google Doc version of this bar business plan template, allowing you to personalize and tailor it to your specific needs. Additionally, a helpful video walkthrough is available, guiding you through the process of customizing the business plan to perfectly align with your unique Ecommerce business.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary:

  • Business Description
  • SWOT Analysis

Marketing and Sales Strategy

  • Branding and Identity
  • Website, menu, and social media platforms
  • Marketing materials and promotional items
  • Marketing mix

Operations Plan

  • Organizational Structure:
  • Location and Facility:
  • SOP (Standard Operating Procedures):
  • Health and safety protocols:

Financial Projections

  • Startup Costs and Use of Funds
  • Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit
  • Key Financial Ratios
  • Income Statement at a Glance
  • Income Statement Annual Summary
  • Cash Flow Statement Annual Summary
  • Balance Sheet Annual Summary

I. Executive Summary

Our ecommerce store, "Eco-Friendly Fashion," aims to provide consumers with stylish and environmentally-friendly clothing options. 

Our target customer is the eco-conscious, fashion-forward individual who is looking for sustainable alternatives to fast fashion.

The ecommerce market is growing rapidly, and there is a growing demand for sustainable fashion products. We believe there is a gap in the market for an ecommerce store that offers a wide range of eco-friendly clothing options at affordable prices. Our unique selling proposition is to offer high-quality, stylish clothing that is also environmentally friendly, at a price that is accessible to our target customer.

We plan to launch with a product line of 50 items, including t-shirts, hoodies, and dresses, made from organic cotton and recycled materials. Our products will be manufactured in fair trade factories, ensuring ethical labor practices. Our initial funding will come from personal investments and a small business loan. Our financial projections show that we will break even in the third year of operation and achieve a profit by the fourth year.

II. Company Description

Eco-Friendly Fashion is a newly established ecommerce store that will offer a wide range of eco-friendly clothing options for both men and women. The company was founded by two friends, Jane Doe and John Doe, who share a passion for sustainability and fashion. Jane has a background in fashion design and John has experience in ecommerce and marketing.

Eco-Friendly Fashion is a limited liability company (LLC) registered in the state of California. Our team also includes a product sourcing specialist and a freelance graphic designer. Our office and warehouse are located in Los Angeles, CA.

III. Market Analysis

The global ecommerce market is expected to reach $4.9 trillion by 2021, with a significant portion of this growth coming from the fashion industry. Consumers are increasingly turning to ecommerce for their fashion purchases, and there is a growing demand for sustainable fashion products.

Our target customer is the eco-conscious, fashion-forward individual, aged 18-35, with a moderate to high income. This demographic is highly concerned about the environmental impact of their clothing choices and is willing to pay a premium for sustainable fashion options.

Competitors in the eco-friendly fashion market include established brands like Patagonia and smaller, niche brands like Tentree. However, these brands tend to focus on outdoor and athletic wear, rather than everyday fashion, and their products can be expensive. Our competitors in the sustainable everyday fashion market include companies like Reformation and Everlane, but these brands have limited product offerings and their products can also be expensive.

Our marketing and sales strategies will focus on leveraging social media, influencer marketing, and targeted online advertising to reach our target customer. We will also attend sustainable fashion trade shows and events to network and showcase our brand.

IV. Product and Service Offerings

Eco-Friendly Fashion will launch with a product line of 50 items, including t-shirts, hoodies, and dresses, made from organic cotton and recycled materials. Our products will be manufactured in fair trade factories, ensuring ethical labor practices. Our products will be designed in-house, with a focus on creating stylish, on-trend pieces that are also environmentally friendly.

Our pricing strategy will be to offer high-quality, stylish clothing at a price that is accessible to our target customer. Our products will be priced slightly higher than fast fashion options, but lower than sustainable fashion competitors like Reformation and Everlane.

We will continuously expand our product line and source new materials and manufacturing partners to ensure we are always offering the latest in sustainable fashion. In addition to our clothing line, we will also offer a recycling program for customers to trade in their old clothing for store credit. This will further demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and encourage customers to make more sustainable fashion choices.

V. Marketing Plan & Customer Acquisition

Our plan to grow our ecommerce business and reach our financial targets will follow a 5 pronged marketing approach in order to acquire customers. 

Brand Awareness:

  • Partner with influencers and bloggers in the sustainable fashion and lifestyle space to feature your products and increase brand exposure.
  • Utilize social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to showcase your products and educate your audience on the importance of environmentally responsible and ethically sourced apparel.
  • Participate in local events and festivals that align with your values to increase visibility and connect with potential customers in person.

Content Marketing:

  • Create a blog that features articles on sustainable fashion and how your products are made in an environmentally responsible and ethical manner.
  • Offer styling tips and suggestions for incorporating eco-friendly fashion into everyday outfits to engage and educate your audience.
  • Share customer testimonials and reviews on your website and social media channels to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Email Marketing:

  • Build an email list by offering an incentive such as a discount code to customers who sign up.
  • Send newsletters that include information on new product launches, sales, and events.
  • Use email automation to send abandoned cart reminders and follow-up emails to potential customers who have shown interest in your products.

Paid Advertising:

  • Utilize targeted Facebook and Instagram ads to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your website.
  • Partner with eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle websites to run display ads and reach potential customers who are already interested in these topics.
  • Consider using Google Ads to target customers who are actively searching for environmentally responsible and ethically sourced apparel.

Referral Program:

  • Encourage satisfied customers to refer friends and family by offering a discount code or other incentive for each successful referral.

VI. Operating Plan

Eco-Friendly Fashion will operate as an online ecommerce store, with all sales taking place through our website. Our website will feature a user-friendly interface, detailed product descriptions, and multiple payment options. We will also offer free shipping on all orders within the United States, with the option for international shipping at an additional cost.

Our fulfillment and delivery strategies will include partnerships with established logistics companies to ensure efficient and cost-effective shipping. We will also implement a comprehensive returns and exchanges policy to ensure customer satisfaction.

Our ecommerce platform will be powered by Shopify, which offers a range of tools and integrations to manage our website, inventory, and customer data. We will also use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track customer interactions and improve our marketing and sales strategies.

VII. Financial Plan

Our start-up costs will include the cost of product development and manufacturing, website development, marketing, and rent for our office and warehouse. Our initial funding will come from personal investments and a small business loan.

Our financial projections show that we will achieve $75,000 in sales in the first year, increasing to $500,000 in the second year and $1 million in the third year. Our expenses will include product manufacturing, marketing, salaries, and other operating costs. Our projections show that we will break even in the third year of operation and achieve a profit by the fourth year.

To minimize risk, we will continuously monitor our financial performance and adjust our strategies as needed. We will also implement a thorough risk management plan, including carrying appropriate insurance coverage and implementing strong data security measures to protect our customer information.

All of the unique financial projections you see below were generated using ProjectionHub’s Ecommerce financial projection template . Use PH20BP to enjoy a 20% discount on the template. 

Startup Costs:

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Projected Financial Summary:

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit:

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Key Financial Ratios:

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Watch how to create financial projections for your very own ecommerce business:

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Income Statement:

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Balance Sheet:

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Cash Flow Statement:

ecommerce business plan sample doc

VIII. Conclusion

Eco-Friendly Fashion is poised to fill a gap in the sustainable fashion market, offering a wide range of stylish and environmentally friendly clothing options at affordable prices. With a growing demand for sustainable fashion and our commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices, we are confident in our ability to succeed in the competitive ecommerce market.

Our team is dedicated to offering the highest quality products and customer service, and we are excited to bring our vision of sustainable fashion to life. Our next steps include finalizing our product line and manufacturing partnerships, launching our website, and beginning our marketing and sales efforts.

How do I start an ecommerce business?

To start an ecommerce business, you'll need to identify your target market and products, create a business plan, set up an online store or website, source or create products, establish secure payment and shipping methods, and implement marketing strategies to drive traffic and sales.

Which ecommerce platform should I use for my online store?

Popular ecommerce platforms include Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce. Consider factors such as ease of use, customization options, scalability, pricing, and integration with other tools or marketplaces when choosing the right platform for your business.

How can I drive traffic to my ecommerce website?

You can drive traffic to your ecommerce website through various strategies, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, influencer partnerships, email marketing, paid advertising, and utilizing marketplace platforms such as Amazon or Etsy.

What are the essential elements to include in product descriptions for ecommerce?

Essential elements for product descriptions in ecommerce include clear and concise product titles, detailed descriptions highlighting key features and benefits, high-quality product images, pricing information, sizing or specifications, and customer reviews or testimonials, if available.

How can I optimize the checkout process to increase conversions?

To optimize the checkout process, streamline the steps involved, offer guest checkout options, provide multiple payment methods, ensure security and trust indicators, display shipping options and costs upfront, minimize form fields, and offer incentives such as discounts or free shipping for completing a purchase.

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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6-Part Ecommerce Business Plan (Template Included)

ecommerce business plan sample doc

Shayla Mars

Last Updated Apr 23, 2019

Your ecommerce business plan is a living document. As your company develops, so will your document.

However, there are six basic sections your business plan should include:

1 Problem And Solution 2 Market Research 3 Business Model 4 Business Costs vs. Potential Revenue 5 Proof Of Concept And Beta Testing 6 Market Your Product

Problem And Solution

While there are simple ecommerce businesses that rely on gimmicks, like Ship Your Enemies Glitter (which sold for $85,000 in 2015), the real opportunity for revenue is in solving other people’s problems or your own.

Lindsay McCormick, founder of BITE Toothpaste Bits, wanted to solve a problem that directly affected her. As a traveling TV Producer for HGTV, she used too much travel-size toothpaste for her liking and was tired of the tubes exploding in her luggage. She did her research and found that one billion toothpaste tubes ended up in landfills. When she was unable to find a viable alternative, she decided to start BITE , and create her own toothpaste.

Screenshot of a webpage about a product about toothpaste bites

Here’s how you can start brainstorming your own product idea:

#1 Create a list of products or services that could potentially solve a problem. Speak with others about your ideas.

What’s something that’s bothering you or something you believe could make life easier? Hold a solo brainstorming session where you write out your ideas. If you already have an idea (or several!) skip to #2.

Don’t worry right now if you have the skills to bring your idea to life. Lindsay wasn’t a chemist, but that didn’t stop her from following through on her idea.

#2 Once you have a list, get together with your friends (or even start a Facebook thread) to discuss your ideas.

Ask them the following questions:

Is this something that can improve your life?

Does something like this already exist?

If yes, what do you think is lacking?

If no, why do you think that is?

This line of questioning will help you figure out what hurdles may come up in bringing your idea to fruition (and if your idea meets the initial criteria stated of being needed and useful). Take notes and listen with an open mind. After speaking with your friends, select the idea you feel most passionate about.

Passion will help keep you motivated to succeed when the hurdles pop up. Just like Lindsay, there’s nothing you can’t learn.

Use This Ecommerce Business Plan Template To Define Your Problem And Solution

Market Research

#1 understand your tam, sam, and som.

You don’t want to build a company that doesn’t have a market, or the market size is too small to generate any meaningful revenue. Knowing your market size is key to understanding other aspects of your business, such as costs (how much you would have to spend to reach your market, how much you would have to produce to penetrate the market, etc.). Correctly estimating your market size and how much market share you can corner is a key element in any ecommerce business plan.

There are three important elements in assessing market size: [ * ]

Your total addressable market (TAM)

Your serviceable available market (SAM)

Your serviceable obtainable market (SOM)

A picture showing multiple circles in another bigger circle

The  total addressable market is the total revenue opportunity for your product or service. The serviceable available market is the market size that is geographically and/or politically available for you. The serviceable obtainable market is the market size that your product can realistically capture.

When thinking about internet and mobile penetration, to get an idea of how many people could access your ecommerce store, remember:

54% of the world’s population has internet access [ * ]

96% of the U.S. has internet access [ * ]

73% of U.S. mobile phone users accessed the internet with their mobile device [ * ]

#2 Calculate your TAM using Industry Reports

When Christine Souffrant Ntim, founder of Vendedy, wanted to launch a business that connected travelers to global street vendors, she needed to know how many people and how much money existed in this industry. [ * ]

A simple Google search using industry-specific keywords can yield big results. Her search words were: Street markets, street vending, street market industry. Her searching led her to this piece from foreignpolicy.org:

Screenshot of a news article

Christine started traveling the world in 2008 and knew that street vendors were referred to as working within a black market economy. When she took her business live in 2014, this article gave her data points to pull from. She gained insight about the tourism industry from World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Neilson, and Deloitte. She concluded that there were, on average, 1 billion global tourists traveling annually. She used this figure for a rough guess at her TAM.

#3 Calculate Your SAM using Your TAM

Continuing our example with Christine, she used her TAM (1 billion tourists) to calculate her SAM. One billion represented tourists from around the world. She first wanted to focus on the U.S. market. Using a report from the National Travel & Tourism Office, she found an estimate of how many Americans were traveling abroad and their destinations. At the time of her research in 2013, there were between 12 and 16 million Americans traveling around the world.

#4 Calculate Your SOM by Comparing Competitors Market Size

No company has 100% market share in any industry. Your SOM is a realistic guess of how much market share you can acquire. This guess is based off trend predictions for your industry. By making a list of all your competitors (direct and indirect) and their trend predictions you can deduce what needs are being met and where your company can make a profit. [ * ]

Your product or service does not have to have a direct competitor, but can be an addition to a product/service that already exists.

Cameras on cell phones have gotten fairly advanced, but the video capabilities are lacking. There’s a viable market for detachable mobile phone camera lenses. Moment, a cell phone lens company, raised over $1.5 million and was featured in several digital publications.

Screenshot of a pre-order landing page for a filmmaking device

This kind of success is one outcome of understanding the market and standing out from your competitors. Moment and it’s direct competitors (Olloclip, Ztylus and Easy-Macro) are private companies, so finding their exact market share and revenue is tricky. 

To find your SOM, use industry websites to find estimates of revenues and market share for businesses in your industry. Some websites you can use to find different industry data include:

Industry specific sites such as: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for example

Use This Ecommerce Business Plan Template To Enter Your TAM, SAM, And SOM

Business Model

An effective business model is paramount to profit creation. Your business model is the framework of how you plan to capture a share of the market. It outlines how you plan on selling your product or service to buyers. There are several models:

A picture of boxes stemming from a bigger box

Business-to-Business (B2B) means you sell your product to other businesses instead of individual customers. A B2B company can be a service provider, but it can also sell a physical good such as an office furniture supplier.

A picture of boxes stemming from a bigger box

Customer-to-Customer (C2C) means you provide a platform for customers to trade or sell with each other. You generate revenue by charging a fee, such as eBay.

A bunch of boxes stemming out from another box

Customer-to-Business (C2B) is similar to the C2C model. You are still providing a platform for customers to trade and sell, but they are trading and selling to businesses.

A picture of boxes stemming from a bigger box

Last is B2C, which is common among ecommerce businesses. You as the business sell directly to an individual consumer. If you are selling a physical product, outline your product acquisition and delivery process. Amazon is an example of a C2C model and a B2C model because they sell their own proprietary products under the name “Amazon Basics”.

If you choose a B2C or B2B model, some follow-up questions to consider:

How does someone place an order?

How is the order received?

How is the order fulfilled?

How is the order shipped to the customer?

How do you ensure this process is repeated with all orders?

Be sure to state where and how you are storing inventory, as well as how long order completion takes. If your product is custom-made, note how long custom jobs are expected to take and how you will space out orders.

Use This Ecommerce Business Plan Template To Enter Your Business Model

Business Costs vs. Potential Revenue

Your potential revenue is derived from your SOM. Knowing you won’t take 100% or even 10% of a market will help you estimate a realistic financial overview for your industry choice. Even if you've got something that could be huge, it won't start out that way. While Airbnb is known as a disrupter, according to an STR Report (“STR is the source for premium global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights”) from July 2016 (8 years since being in business), it’s share of market demand and revenues was still below 4% of the total accommodations market share for 13 regional markets. [ * ]

Screenshot of graphs that show airbnb

#1: Determine Your Startup Costs

Your startup costs are the sum of the expenses your business incurs before launch.

Costs can be broken down into three categories: one-time, fixed, and variable.

Detail your costs in a list

In column one, list one-time costs. This may include hiring a consultant, incorporating your business, or buying a laptop.

In column two, list fixed (constant) monthly costs associated with selling your product. While this includes rent, it also includes the cost of your internet, website hosting, ecommerce software, etc. 

In column three, list all variable costs. Credit card processing costs will vary based on the amount you sell each month, utilities will change based on usage and the season, raw materials can fluctuate based on the market, and labor costs can change based on production needs. One method is to try to estimate the costs for a year and divide the result by 12 for a monthly cost.

Pro Tip: Set up an emergency fund for unknown costs. This can be an extension of your “runway fund.” “Runway” is a startup term that reflects how long your company can remain afloat if income and expenses are steady. A “runway fund” is the money you have to ensure your business remains operational pre-profit.

Screenshot of a spreadsheet showing startup costs

Use This Startup Costs Spreadsheet

#2 Set Your Price

How much you sell your product or service for depends on a number of factors. The value of anything is what people are willing to pay for it. Using your market research, you can apply a value that makes sense for your market. Here are two pricing strategies you can use:

Pricing Strategy 1: Market-Oriented Pricing

If you are selling machine-made diamonds, you have to consider the cost of creating the diamonds and how much customers are willing to pay for machine-made diamonds. Given that diamonds are in a luxury market, whether they are man-made or natural, you have several ways to price your product. 

You can use a higher price point than average, copy the market average, or undercut your competition by pricing lower than the average. This is called market-oriented pricing. It compares your product or service to the competition in your market.

Create a spreadsheet that identifies your direct competitors’ pricing of products you intend to sell. Using your market research and factoring in your costs, you can make an informed pricing decision.

Screenshot showing two different methods of pricing

Pricing Strategy 2: Keystone Pricing

Keystone pricing is when an item is priced twice as much as it costs you to make or buy. Keystone pricing has been associated with the retail industry specifically, but it’s not a standard by any means.

The pro of keystone pricing is that you can test your market and see if they’re willing to pay that price for your product. Sticking with our diamond example, if it cost you $500 to make a diamond ring, will someone be willing to pay $1000 for it? On the upside, you’ll have a gross margin of 100%.

The con of keystone pricing is that your price will be uncompetitive if your competitors have all decided to accept a lower margin — marking up a computer by 100% would not get you any sales or much interest in your business plan. 

To read more about market-oriented pricing, keystone pricing, and other pricing strategies, click here .

Remember: The price you set now can be changed later; however, you don’t want to price your item too low where you don’t make a profit, nor too high where no one wants to buy it.

Use This Ecommerce Business Plan Template To Enter Your Pricing Model

#3 Create Your Sales Forecast

As a new ecommerce business, your sales forecast is a prediction of your sales and revenue based on educated guesswork about your product or service, and the market. You will compare your forecast to actual numbers when you have them.

Calculating Revenue Projections

You want to create a five-year projection. First, create a spreadsheet that outlines your projected sales for each month of year one. Then add years two through five to the spreadsheet to demonstrate annual projections.

Create a spreadsheet that outlines the following:

Price Per Unit

Sales Revenue (Units Sold ✕ Price Per Unit)

Unit Cost (Sum of material, labor, fixed and variable costs, and overhead to create one unit) *Note: Overhead generally refers to non-labor costs for running your business 

Cost of Sales (Units Sold ✕ Unit Cost)

Profit (Sales Revenue minus Cost of Sales)

Screenshot of an empty spreadsheet, with the title

#4 Calculating a realistic sales forecast

There are two approaches startups and small businesses can take when creating a sales forecast.

A picture showing two boxes with different captions

The Top-Down Approach

This approach uses your knowledge of the market to make an assumption that you can capture a certain percentage of the market within your first year of business, and increase that percentage each year. This may give you an optimistic forecast that may be unrealistic to investors. The forecast could also hinder your business decisions when actual numbers come in.

Hypothetically, if you make candles, then your market research will tell you candles are used in seven out of 10 households in the U.S. There are 126.22 million households in the U.S. according to the 2017 Census, so that's 88 million households that buy candles. [ * ]

Let’s say each household buys at least one candle a year. Since you are a new business, your conservative guess is that you can capture 1% of that market, giving you 880,000 customers.

At first glance, this seems optimistic. Why? You have not factored in your business model — how many salespeople do you have? Can you sell to the entire US or should you maximize a specific region? Can you make 880,000 candles in a year?

The Bottom-Up Approach

This approach will give you a smaller forecast, but more realistic figures as it takes into consideration actual numbers and your own output capacity.

Pro tip: Check public company annual reports and filings to help determine financial and product information about potential competitors. Comparing competitor information against your own business model will give you more insight.

Back to our candle example: You know you can produce 100 candles a month. You know the average mass-produced candle sells for $1.99, but handmade candles retail between $8 and $15. You decide to price your candles at $10 each. You set a modest goal to sell 25 candles a month, increasing to 50 candles a month during the holiday season (October through December).

Spreadsheet showing the sales forecast for a product for the 1st year

With this model, $3,000 is the profit from one year of business, using modest projections. You can then increase your units sold, and price in the following 2-5 years at an incremental rate. So in year two, you sell 50 candles off-season and 75 during the holiday season. By year three, your ability to produce could increase by bringing on a second maker or dedicating more time to candle creation.

You will outline this in your sales forecast section to show why you believe your output, sales, and pricing will increase over time.

Use This Spreadsheet To Forecast Your Sales

Proof Of Concept And Beta Testing

Before writing your business plan, you want to develop a proof of concept. You want to have these steps completed so you can write up your findings and how your business is going to succeed.

Proof of concept, also written as POC, precedes your prototype and beta testing. It answers the question: Is your idea feasible? Two questions to ask yourself is:

Has this idea been done before/ Does your imagined product already exist? (Which you’ve already answered)

Who are your competitors? (Which you’ve already identified) 

Back to our diamond example. Creating manufactured diamonds has been done before, you can get access to the machinery that can create the diamonds, you can gauge for quality and so on. Your POC is sound; however the challenge is finding what will make your product stand-out from your competition.

A detailed graph showing how you can ask questions to get to the proof of concept

For an idea or product that hasn’t been done before, you will need to collect significant data to prove feasibility. Some ideas are ahead of their time, such as Charles Babbage’s first stab at a machine that could be programmable (the computer). He was able to produce a POC based on the knowledge of computing that existed at the time, and marrying that without engineering capabilities. [ * ]

Then we enter the prototype phase. Once all aspects of feasibility have been addressed, you can then design an internal version of your idea for you and your team to test (known as alpha testing). When it is ready for the public (doesn’t have to be perfect), then you enter your beta testing phase. 

NOTE: If your product has a unique mechanism that you created, you may want to patent it — you can start your patent application online. Once you get the “patent pending” green light, you are free to share your product via beta testing without risk of it being legally copied. [ * ]

Patenting a product before you’ve pre-sold or sold it to anyone can be risky. We recommend validating you can sell your product before worrying about the patent process. Focus on your velocity to $1 like AppSumo did when they started. 

Screenshot showing how a product is going to progress to its final version

#1 Be Creative — Offer Incentives for Beta Testing

Whether your product is an app or a tangible item, you want to test it on a subsection of your target demographic. Some beta tests are used to gain feedback on usability, errors, or malfunctions. Decide what you are using beta testers for before you go looking for them.

You want your beta testers to give you accurate and actionable feedback, so you have to give them clear and detailed instructions. Maintaining ongoing communication is key to success.

Incentives help prompt that feedback. Incentives can be a free item, a discount on the product, raffle prizes, or gift cards. If you have the funds, you can hold a launch party and reward beta testers with invites.

FitStation Tribe is offering one year of free access for beta testers.

Screenshot showing an instagram post by fitstationtribe

EarBuds, a social music app, is running an Instagram social media campaign where they shout out their beta testers.

Screenshot of an instagram post by earbudsmusic

NOTE: Beta testing is not for prototypes. 

#2 Get Influencers to Beta Test Your Product

The best part about beta testing is that you are marketing your product at the same time. The rise of influencer marketing allows a potential customer to test your product and amplify your message. Whether you have to pay an influencer depends on their personal brand; some influencers may test your item because they think it’s cool, while others may charge. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

In 2016, a custom jewelry startup, Jevelo, worked with influencer company, Activate, to hire 12 influencers to beta test their app. Each influencer used the Jevelo app to make their necklaces and showcased the final product in photos on social media. Some of them wrote blog review talking up the product.

Screenshot of an instagram post by oliamajd

According to Activate’s case study on the campaign, the influencers generated 14,594 organic engagements on Instagram. Using a mixture of social media posts and blog reviews, Jevelo’s 12 beta testers had a combined reach of 3.6 million. [ * ]

#3 (Gently) Plug Your Product in Blogs, Forums, and Other Online Spaces

Using your market research, you can find your target demographic online. If your product is food related, you can drop some savvy copy in blog comments, Facebook groups, and Instagram comments. You can email food bloggers directly as well. The sky’s the limit on how to find your potential customers and pique their interest.

List the tactics you are going to use in your business plan.

Use This Ecommerce Business Plan Template To List Your Beta Testing Tactics

Market Your Product

While we discussed combining finding beta testers with marketing, you still need to create a stand-alone marketing strategy. You need to detail where your potential customers live on the internet — after all, you are an ecommerce business. Be detailed when it comes to your marketing strategy. If you plan on launching a social media campaign, write it out. If you plan on hosting a booth at a conference, write it out. If you’ve already implemented marketing campaigns, be sure to include results in your business plan as well.

#1 Create Customer Profiles via Beta Testing and Earlier Market Research

Your product or service will not be for everyone, and that’s OK. You want to target a specific demographic. As you get more feedback from your beta group, you’ll learn which groups enjoy your product the most. Honing in on buyer personas and using your earlier market research will allow you to craft specific campaign ads and messages.

#2 Create a Robust Email List and a Landing Page

As an ecommerce business, you will be selling your goods via a website. Instead of stressing over coding a landing page to get email signups, use Sumo’s new Grow Email List Shortcut to display a perfectly timed offer to your website visitors. You can try it free by clicking the button below.

Not on Shopify? Sign Up Here

Hemper used a Swag Bundle offer and 10% discount to grow their email list: 

Screenshot of a promotional popup aimed to collect emails

The average Sumo email list building popup converts website visitors into email leads at 2.3%, but Hemper was able to generate an 11.8% conversion rate, and 29,062 new email subscribers. To see a detailed breakdown on how they achieved a conversion rate 5x the average, click here .

6 Key Sections You Need In Your Ecommerce Business Plan

Including these six key sections in your business plan will create a starting road map for your business.

While there are other components to a business plan such as your executive summary and team bio, this has everything you need to hit the ground running.

Download our Ecommerce Business Plan Template today to start planning your next business idea.

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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.

Competition

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.

Expectations

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

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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 Amazon.com and Gap.com, 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

Nature’s Candy’s competitive edge will be their easy-to-use website and superior customer service.  The website design will be a competitive advantage because research indicates that an easy-to-use website significantly increases sales.  The design of Nature’s site will encourage purchases because it is so easy and quick to make the purchase.  Too often sales are lost because of complex websites that are far from intuitive.

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

Legal$1,000

Stationery etc.$200

Web Development$10,000

TOTAL START-UP EXPENSES$ 11,200

Sources of Funds

We will be getting $80,000: 

Quack$45,000

Stewart$35,000

Projected Profit & Loss

Projected balance sheet, projected cash flow statement.

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Ecommerce Plan Templates

Ensure the Success of Your Ecommerce Business with Template.net’s Free Printable Ecommerce Plan Templates. Choose from Professionally-written Document Examples Online for Your Ecommerce Plan, Marketing, Startup, Online Products, Goals, Competitors, and Resources Needed to Execute Your Plan with Our Templates that You Can Fully Edit to Your Needs, Download for Free, and Print for Immediate Use. 

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Free Ecommerce Plan Template, Printable, Download

Template.net ensures that you meet your objectives in your ecommerce business and reach your sales targets with our professional ecommerce plan templates. Whether for mobile or digital marketing, get template examples for one page, 90-day market plan, or market analysis templates that contain simple and fillable original content that you can edit to your needed specifics using our document editor tool. All templates are free to download and printable on office or commercial printers.

Edit Ecommerce Plan Online for Free and Download

Choose your ecommerce plan template example that fits your needs to cover areas of planning processes, marketing strategies, or electronic commerce sales presentations. Edit your chosen template online using our editor tool to include your own relevant business provisions and objectives. Download freely after editing in PDF file format.

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7 Online Resources to Download Ecommerce Business Plan Template 

ecommerce business plan sample doc

A business plan can help you navigate your business in the right direction. Similarly, if you want to start an ecommerce business or grow an existing one, you need a well-crafted business plan. This is an essential document to help you raise funding and vision of your business. With this in mind, a good ecommerce business plan template is necessary. Examine our compilation of seven websites where you can download these templates. 

1. Growthink

ecommerce business plan template example

Turn your ideas into reality with Growthink’s Ultimate Ecommerce Business Plan Template . Growthink allows you to create a professional business plan using this template in less than one day. 

Growthink is a management and business plan consulting firm that has been helping entrepreneurs since 1999. The company is known for its business plan template and business planning-related services. Still, their price may not be affordable for all. The excellent news is that Growthink is offering a Limited Time Offer, wherein their complete business plan package worth $643 is now offered at only $97, with a 365-day 100% money-back guarantee. 

2. Live Plan

ecommerce business plan template example

LivePlan is a cloud-based business management tool that assists entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses through strategic business planning. With LivePlan, creating a business plan takes only a few hours, which used to take several weeks to complete.

LivePlan’s step-by-step instructions, examples, prompts, and definitions of key business terms guide you through each phase of creating a professional business plan.

Access a library of over 500 sample business plans for inspiration. Also available are chat with support and expert-led webinars to get additional business planning tricks and ideas. 

LivePlan’s Standard Plan costs $15 a month. 

3. Shopify 

ecommerce business plan template example

Shopify is a leading ecommerce platform that provides various ecommerce tools , including a business name generator, logo maker, and business plan template. As mentioned above, business planning is typically helpful in securing funding. However, many business owners prepare a business plan even without working with an investor. 

The Shopify ecommerce business plan template focuses on the essential elements of starting a new business. It is intended to help new entrepreneurs to visualize the total score of running a business. Likewise, it is designed to identify functional areas where they need to enhance their skills as the business flourishes.

Generally, business planning is used to secure funding support. In contrast, plenty of business owners nowadays find writing a plan valuable, even if they never worked with an investor. That’s why we put together a free business plan template to help you get started.

Start a free trial today and explore the tools and services you need to start an ecommerce business. 

4. Upmetrics 

ecommerce business plan template example

With competitive pricing, almost similar feature lines, and a seamless & user-friendly user interface, Upmetrics can help you create a winning business plan. The tool is suitable for startups and small businesses. Upmetrics, whether user-friendliness, pricing, or financial projection features, is best for new-age entrepreneurs.

Upmetrics Starter Plan costs $7 per month. 

ecommerce business plan template example

Enloop is an online business planning and financial forecasting software that helps entrepreneurs maximize their potential business growth. Once you figure out its basic functionalities, this template offers many excellent business planning and financial forecasting features. 

The tool is specifically designed for individuals with financial management experience, so there could be an apparent learning curve in using the template/

Enloop’s detailed plan starts at $19.95 per month, which includes three business plans, a ratio analysis, and detailed financials. A 7-day free trial is also available to help test the software. 

6. PandaDoc

ecommerce business plan template example

PandaDoc is an American SaaS company that empowers businesses to communicate with customers through personalized documents that can be created in minutes. It helps generate professional-looking proposals, business plans, and contracts with PandaDoc.

This all-in-one tool also offers a free downloadable ecommerce business plan template. Creating an effective business is very easy with this editable template from PandaDoc. All you have to do is download it from the link provided here and the details of your company. 

7. Wise Business Plans

ecommerce business plan template example

The platform inspires entrepreneurs and leaders to plan, build, and fund their business vision.

As an entrepreneur, you want to emulate famous online shopping platforms like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. However, launching your own ecommerce business might be scary. The same goes for writing a business plan. 

Wise Business Plan provides an ecommerce business plan template that enables you to verify your business idea. It also analyzes your financial status and devises proactive marketing. 

Why do you need an ecommerce business plan? 

These are a few key reasons you should strive to create a good ecommerce business plan.

To guide decision-making 

You’ll make countless decisions quickly to launch and manage a successful business. An excellent business plan can help you make an informed decision, replacing gut feelings with facts and proven strategies. 

To prove the viability of a new business

You have an excellent idea for an ecommerce business. However, do you have proof that this concept is a winner? 

Drafting an ecommerce business plan will encourage you to investigate the metrics behind this challenge. Once you become confident that your idea is doable, your business plan has a better chance of convincing others. This process can help address issues that could block your success along the way.

To communicate ideas to investors 

Whether you need investors or a loan, your business plan can be a supporting document. It will lay out how much money you need, how you’ll spend it, and how you plan to be profitable. 

A well-written ecommerce business will position you ahead of other budding entrepreneurs seeking funding assistance and support.  

Conclusion 

Creating an ecommerce business and watching it grow is an exciting endeavor. Choose the best ecommerce business plan template to communicate your goals and objectives. It will help you understand the proposed ecommerce business. Aside from that, it also gives you insights into your target market, your competition, and financial projections for a given period. Moreover, this vital document will serve as your reference for developing a marketing plan to expand your commerce business.

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Ecommerce Business Plan Sample

OCT.12, 2016

Ecommerce Business Plan

Ecommerce Business Plan for starting your own online store

Are you looking for startup ideas that can easily be initiated and run from home? Well, you must then consider ecommerce business as after the prevalence of coronavirus pandemic internet sales have really shot up.

E-commerce business is based on selling things through the Internet. The line of products may vary from electronic possessions such as e-books or audio/videos to actual physical entities including clothes, furniture, toys, vehicles, etc.

To guide you about each and every aspect of this business, we are providing here a sample business plan for ecommerce of a recent startup ‘TradeE’.

Executive Summary

2.1 the business.

TradeE will be a licensed B2C ecommerce startup that will be run through its ecommerce website. The online enterprise will be owned by Diana Blunt.

The business will sell downloadable products throughout the world, however, delivery services for physical items will be provided in just three cities, San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.

2.2 Management of Online Retail Store

Management is an important aspect of business as it ensures that everybody clearly knows what they have to do and there is a check on every employee to ensure a perfect workflow.

Starting an online business usually seems easy since you don’t have to personally interact with customers and employees. However, this too can end up in a mess if you are failed at managing it.

Online management is a challenge because your ecommerce site and online transactions are always prone to hackers, frauds, and copycats. To make sure that your and your customer’s data is protected and everything goes like you intended, you must write a detailed business plan.

If you are looking for how to write a business plan for online store you can take help from here.

Diana will govern the business herself. To manage the online store , the company will be hiring social media manager, digital marketing director, virtual assistants, IT specialists, and delivery personnel.

2.3 Customers of Online Retail Store

The groups that are expected to be our major customers will mostly comprise of young, adults, and senior citizens. We believe that college students, working moms and dads, and senior members of households will surely find many things to buy from us.

2.4 Business Target

Our target is to become a renowned online store in our service areas. We believe in generating profits by serving our customers with our best.

Ecommerce Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 company owner.

Diana Blunt is the owner of TradeE. She has recently completed her MBA from the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.

During the years of her graduation, she was constantly involved in learning emerging disciplines and skills such as graphic editing and ecommerce management.

Besides being tech-savvy she is also a great communicator, leader, and tourist.

3.2 Why the online store is being started

Diana had always wished to start a business that can be expanded or contained whenever she wants. Viewing her digital skills and interests she decided to go for an online shop.

Another factor that helped her in this decision was her extreme love for traveling. She wanted to start a business that she can govern without being actually present there.

From this sample business plan ecommerce you can see how the online business TradeE was planned and executed.

3.3 How the online store will be started

Before starting the business, the company owner will do research on which product line should be chosen to get the most recognition. The company will also collaborate with other online businesses to buy their products and sell them on the company’s platform.

Since the business will mainly sell toys, clothes, bags, and accessories, a storage room will be taken on rent to keep the things.

Following the making of business plan ecommerce template, the company will hire the required personnel. TradeE will seek the services of a web developer and IT specialist to create a website that fulfills the criteria of secure transactions, foolproof client database, and copy-protected access. It will be ensured that the web design is user-friendly and descriptive.

The business owner aims at hiring the digital marketing team and director two weeks before the launch so that ecommerce business marketing plan could be executed.

Ecommerce Business Plan - Startup Cost

Products and Offers

Deciding your line of products is the most important part of your startup as it depends on your surroundings, budget, and target customers as well. Rather than being just fashion ecommerce or specifically jewelry ecommerce TradeE has decided to introduce itself as a multiple product line company.

The large range of products offerings by TradeE includes:

Clothes: We will provide all departments of garments for men, women, and children ranging from casual dresses, suits, daily wears to sports & swimming outfits. All the dresses, shirts, T-shirts and suits offered by us will be branded and designer-made.

Bags & Accessories : We will offer branded bags and clutches and a range of accessories including wristwatches, jewelry items, hats, sunglasses, keyrings, mobile covers, socks, gloves, umbrellas, hair accessories, and stationery.

Household Items : We will offer small household items such as home linens, baking dishes, baby items, and kitchen essentials.

Gifts: We will also provide packed as well as un-packed gifts to be given to people of all age groups.

Downloadable Products: We will also be selling e-books, audio and video files, games, movies, stock images, etc.

Marketing Analysis of Online Retail Store

If you are planning e commerce business you must not ignore the fact that market analysis is equally important like all other aspects of a business. Before setting out for a new ecommerce venture, you must analyze where and how you can find the most people to turn into your customers.

Especially if your online business is based on physical products you must figure out which areas for delivery services will be suitable and which cities can help you in getting a maximum number of customers.

Analyzing and discovering your target people is also essential in the case when you are making decisions about social media campaigns. Your approach to promote your startup can only be effective if you know the age groups and the mindset of your target customers.

5.1 Market Trends

Ecommerce businesses are flourishing day by day because people found it convenient to have their favorite thing in their hands by a mere click. Another reason for increased sales is that many people avoid visiting shops personally after the pandemic has hit the earth.

The figures reported by IBISWorld supports the fact that one can’t be at a loss if they devise a comprehensive and workable ecommerce project plan before starting. According to the market research company, 234,699 online businesses are successfully running in the United States. A 10.2% growth rate in the ecommerce businesses has been observed in the past five years and a 6.9% growth rate has been predicted for this year that is 2020.

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

TradeE has categorized its target customers into three groups so that their corresponding choices, preferences, and needs could be thoroughly studied. It is advisable to also classify your intended clientele when you are writing a business plan for ecommerce startup.

Ecommerce Business Plan - Marketing Segmentation

The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:

5.2.1 Young & Adults: Our major target group will comprise of young people. They are expected to avail most of our downloadable products such as e-books, music, games. Moreover, we also believe them to be the biggest buyers of our clothes, bags, and accessories.

In addition, moms, the homemakers are also included in this category. Thus, we are confident that the major customer of our home items such as house linens and eating utensils will also be catered for in this category.

5.2.2 Senior Citizens: Our second target group comprises of senior citizens. They are expected to avail all of our services. The elderly persons will also purchase household items as they usually are devoted to homemaking.

Moreover, we expect this respectable category of our customers to be the biggest purchaser of our gifts, as grandpas and grandmas are the ones who want to make kids and grandkids feel special on various events.

5.2.3 Teens & Kids: Our third target group is comprised of children and teens. They are expected to purchase accessories such as wristwatches, mobile covers, stationery, and jewelry items. We also think that they could be the major consumers of our audio and video files and games.

5.3 Business Target

Business targets as specified by TradeE to be achieved over a certain period of time are given here:

  • To maintain an average rating above 4.65 throughout the year
  • To increase our marketing qualified lead by 30% every four months
  • To improve our lead conversion rate by 10% every month
  • To reduce the time we take for delivering items by 15% by the first six months
  • To earn a net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first six months
  • To achieve customer repeat rate of 40% by the end of the first year

5.4 Product Pricing

Our prices are in similar ranges as those of our competitors. However, we will keep on providing several discounts to our repeat customers.

Marketing Strategy

If you are going to start any ecommerce company such as an online boutique you must focus on your marketing plan because that’s what makes an ecommerce site successful.

Without a detailed and perfect marketing strategy, it would be very difficult for you to reach out to people who are most likely to purchase your products.

Considering its importance, TradeE will start executing its sales strategy plan two weeks before the launch.

6.1 Competitive Analysis

Our biggest competitive advantage is that we are providing a very vast product line so to increase the niches of our target groups. All our products will be authentic, and replaceable within 2 days. Moreover, we’ll be offering several discounts in the startup phase to attract more and more customers.

And finally, another thing that will be in our favor is that we will be able to deliver items fast as we are offering delivery services in the three cities that are really close to each other.

6.2 Sales Strategy

  • We’ll run a campaign through social media & ensure a strong web and social media presence
  • We’ll advertise our startup through local newspapers
  • We’ll send gifts to our first 200 customers
  • We’ll offer a 15% discount on every shopping above $60 for the first three months

6.3 Sales Monthly

Ecommerce Business Plan - Sales Monthly

6.4 Sales Yearly

Ecommerce Business Plan - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

Ecommerce Business Plan - Unit Sales

Personnel plan

Your planning for electronic commerce couldn’t be justified as ideal unless you include in it the ways you will adopt to hire the most competent persons.

Since most of the employees of TradeE will be freelance workers, the company will conduct rigorous online interviews to find the most suitable employee.

7.1 Company Staff

The company’s owner will perform the duties of CEO and HR Manager. The list of company’s required staff, as well as their jobs descriptions, is given below:

  • 1 Co-Manager to manage company’s store and delivery operations
  • 1 Digital Marketing Officer to manage company’s graphic team
  • 1 Social Media Manager to run company’s web pages and social media pages
  • 2 IT specialists/Web Developers to maintain and update company’s website
  • 1 Graphic Designer to create graphic for company’s site
  • 1 Content Writer to write products description and general content for website
  • 10 Drivers to ensure quick delivery
  • 1 Customer Care Representative to manage client’s requests

7.2 Average Salary of Employees

Financial plan.

One of the biggest advantages of online businesses is that even if you starting an ecommerce business from scratch you won’t need a huge amount to invest. Your major spending will be the salaries of your employees and rent of your storeroom.

So in order to analyze expected profits or future investments and identify the resources that are available or could be needed in the coming days, you must prepare a financial plan.

Your financial plan should also include the details of at what financial status you would prefer to contain or expand your product line or service area.

The financial plan for TradeE is given as follows:

8.1 Important Assumptions

8.2 brake-even analysis.

Ecommerce Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

8.3.1 profit monthly.

Ecommerce Business Plan - Profit Monthly

8.3.2 Profit Yearly

Ecommerce Business Plan - Profit Yearly

8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

Ecommerce Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

Ecommerce Business Plan - Gross Margin Yearly

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

8.5 projected balance sheet, 8.6 business ratios.

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OGS capital professional writers specialized also in themes such as quality retail business plan, stationery business ideas , corner store business plan , unique retail business plans , pharmacy business plans , underwear line business plan and many others.

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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