• Colin Lewis

This course is part of the Fundamentals of eCommerce ExpertTrack

How to Get Started in eCommerce

Discover the basics of eCommerce and develop frameworks to boost your chances of success when selling online.

Business owner using laptop
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 1 of 4
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Understand the eCommerce basics and get started in online retail

eCommerce is one of the fastest growing industries globally, booming like never before. It’s an extremely exciting industry with a lot of potential and many opportunities.

On this course, you’ll get a rundown of the basics of eCommerce and getting started in the industry. You’ll cover everything you need to know about how eCommerce works, from where to focus your business, how to structure it, and where to get started with selling.

Discover the five main eCommerce business models

You’ll learn about five key business models that are used in eCommerce, assessing their pros and cons. You’ll also look at trends and focus areas within eCommerce for an insight into where you can adapt to get the best results.

Explore the frameworks for success in eCommerce

Building an eCommerce store can be an overwhelming task with many different decisions to make. That’s why it’s important to have a framework to take control of the entire process in a logical way.

You’ll assess what makes a good framework, covering topics such as goals and strategies, policies, and tools. When mapping out your framework, you’ll discuss the 9Ps and 4Cs of eCommerce, useful tools to make sure you address all the key decisions in a cohesive manner.

Compare different platforms to develop your business

One of the biggest decisions you need to make on your eCommerce journey is which platform to use to set up your online store and sell online. Luckily, there are now exceptional capabilities with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce.

This course will guide you through what makes a good platform and how to identify the best one for your business. You’ll then assess and compare different platforms, as well as looking at the role of marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay in eCommerce.


  • Week 1

    Discover the basics of eCommerce

    • Welcome to this ExpertTrack

      This is the first week of the 12-week programme called Fundamentals of eCommerce. This week we will explore trends in eCommerce and show you the main eCommerce business models.

    • Trends in eCommerce today

      eCommerce is rising in importance and is now part of society’s wider trends. Consumers have shifted their spend online - for good. What has happened to drive this huge acceleration and what does it mean?

    • Know the major eCommerce business models

      eCommerce is not a 'one-size-fits-all'. There are different ways of building an eCommerce business and different ways to operate one successfully. This activity is where we get to understand the different approaches.

    • The importance of frameworks

      Frameworks are useful tools that help structure our thinking and guide us when we wish to grow and accomplish our eCommerce business goals.

    • Weekly wrap up

      This week we introduced you to the world of eCommerce. We covered a lot of ground - so let's go over some of the ideas one more time to reinforce them.

  • Week 2

    Platforms, projects, payments and performance

    • Welcome to Week 2

      This week we are going to get into the detail of four of the 9Ps that we are using as our framework to create your eCommerce strategy: 'Platform', 'Project management', 'Partners' and 'Payments'.

    • Understanding and using eCommerce platforms

      An eCommerce platform is a software application that allows online businesses to manage their website, marketing, sales and operations. They are very powerful tools for eCommerce businesses.

    • Projects and partners

      Whether you are building a skyscraper or an eCommerce store, there are two things that are required: a project plan and partners to help you build it. Let's find out why.

    • Payments and performance in eCommerce

      In this section we are going to look at eCommerce payments - how to get paid for all our efforts. We are also going to introduce the concept of how we might measure and benchmark our performance.

    • Weekly wrap up

      This is where we reflect on what we have learnt this week and give a flavour of what we can look forward to next week.

  • Week 3

    Use the power of marketplaces

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Marketplaces offer a great channel to market for an eCommerce store. This week we going to find out how to access a wider base of customers and make it easier to enter international markets with marketplaces.

    • What exactly is a marketplace?

      Marketplaces are a unique form of eCommerce channel to market. Marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay are a great way to reach more shoppers - but you have to understand these platforms to know how to be successful on them.

    • Selling on Amazon

      Amazon pioneered marketplaces. They are the biggest by far. Amazon needs a few sections on its own as it is the largest - by far - of all the marketplaces. But what do you need to do to win on Amazon?

    • Selling on eBay and other marketplaces

      Consumers like marketplaces because they have a much wider selection of products than most retailers. eBay, Etsy and other marketplaces have a huge base of shoppers for eCommerce businesses to tap into.

    • Course wrap up

      We have covered a lot in Course 1 of the Fundamentals of eCommerce ExpertTrack - trends in eCommerce, business models and frameworks to understand eCommerce. We looked at platforms, payments and marketplaces.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Define what is an e-commerce platform
  • Apply the 9Ps of eCommerce: the discrete activities that underpin every aspect of an eCommerce business
  • Identify eCommerce platforms that you need to power your store
  • Compare some of the payment mechanisms that you need to get paid by your customers
  • Evaluate what exactly is a marketplace
  • Explore selling on the biggest marketplaces, Amazon, and eBay and others

Who is the course for?

This course has been designed for anyone responsible for eCommerce in their organisation. If you’re new to the role, this is a great course to develop your expertise.

It’s also a good opportunity to upgrade your skills if you’re a small business owner looking to develop the eCommerce channel in your business.

Who developed the course?

Colin Lewis

Multi-award-winning author, speaker, investor and eCommerce expert, Colin has over 25 years of hands-on international marketing experience. An adviser and active investor in eCommerce, Colin ran his first eCommerce site in 2006 and been teaching eCommerce since 2011.

About this ExpertTrack

Whether you’re starting up or scaling up, discover the strategies, tactics, tools, and platforms to grow your eCommerce business.

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