How to build an eCommerce MVP

Posted by
Nate McGuire in Business category

Getting your eCommerce business up and running can take time, and without the right strategies, growth can take too long. It’s important that you consider all of your options, and MVPs should be one of them.

For building and testing your eCommerce startup, we recommend using Shopify to get your MVP off the ground quickly and easily.

There are plenty of examples where eCommerce MVPs have paid off – take Amazon, for example. What used to be just a small online bookstore, is now one of the most widely-known businesses in the world.

That alone should be a great example of why you should be considering an MVP for your online marketplace, but the real question is how you should go about it.

Building your MVP

For you to build your MVP successfully, you need to decide on what you want to achieve with it, and how much time you’re willing to spend on it. The goal, of course, is to release it as soon as possible so that you can start working toward the feedback that you receive.

Finding where your business belongs

If you’re eventually just working towards the same product as one of your competitors, an MVP isn’t going to be all that successful for you. You need to find somewhere your product can succeed – which will involve a lot of market research. Try not to reach for the same things as other businesses.

Managing your time

Your online marketplace needs to have at least some functionality, but you need to decide on what’s best for your brand. Releasing your MVP with just one feature, but with a lot of work put into it could lead to successful results. As mentioned before, Amazon’s main focus was selling books, and it wasn’t until later that it branched out to everything else.

With that said, if just one feature isn’t going to be enough, it might be worth dividing that time into adding more features, with a lot less time put into developing them. This can give your audience a good idea of the scope you have planned, and how much you’re willing to offer.

Backend functionality — dashboards, reporting and more

With Shopify, you have a built in way to easily manage your entire eCommerce store. No other out of the box solution makes it so easy to get started, not even WooComerce (since you need to set up a WordPress site first). Shopify is our top recommendation for getting started, but as you scale it may not be the best option — you will run into issues with customization and custom functionality at some point. Depending on your business, we’ve seen this start to happen at $10m/year in revenue up to $25m/year in revenue where a custom solution might be better and cheaper for your business.

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