Some of the most interesting entrepreneurship blog posts are the ecommerce case studies detailing step-by-step how someone else built their online business. Understanding the thought process and decisions someone else took to build their business isn’t just motivating, but it can help serve as a framework and blueprint for others.
Over the last few years, there have been some great case studies from various ecommerce entrepreneurs on how they built their online business, detailing literally every step of the process, including selecting a product, evaluating it, testing the market, building the storefront, getting initial sales, and scaling it.
In this post, I’m going to highlight the top 7 ecommerce case studies. Each of them give you an unparalleled behind-the-scenes glimpse into the process, details and decisions they used to build, launch and grow their business.
The Top 7 Ecommerce Step-By-Step Case Studies
Fresh off the press. In this post, a former co-worker at Shopify built a ecommerce business that made $2,416 in the first few weeks selling selling spacial glasses for gamers. He took a product that already existed on Alibaba, developed a unique brand for it, imported it from China, and sold it in his online store.
In this post, Corey will take you through the entire process of coming up with the idea, finding a supplier, importing products, private labeling them, building his online store, and making his first sales.
As a bonus, Corey also did an interview of his experience on the Shopify Masters podcast. If you’re interested to learn more about how to built this business, check out the interview here.
As many of you know, I was on the Shopify Growth Team for about a year and a half. Near the end of my Shopify journey, my team and I built a ecommerce business selling Matcha tea. In just a few short days, we came up with a product idea, sourced a dropshipper, built our online store, and sold nearly $1,000 in product.
This was the first case study Shopify published from internal employees and was my final piece of writing for the Shopify blog.
In this post, we literally spare no details. We show you exactly what we did, and how we did it, right down to creating the logo and labels for the Matcha tea cans.
Tucker is one of my favorite ecommerce entrepreneurs. I had the privileged of working with him for nearly a year at Shopify. He was always up to something (in a good way!) and is as clever as they come. After the success of our Matcha tea business and the case study we published on it, Tucker wanted to see what he could do with a t-shirt business.
Targeting the dog lovers niche, Tucker created a line of apparel and raked in $1,228.90 in just the first 3 weeks. Again, in this post, Tucker shows you absolutely every detail of creating a t-shirt business from scratch.
Tucker isn’t the only one building t-shirt businesses. In 2014 I built a t-shirt business in 24 hours that made $347 the first day.
Literally one night while I was working on my main ecommerce business I decided to take a break. Now you should know my idea of a break is working on other businesses (I’m weird like that). So, for my break, I decided to give myself 24 hours and 12 cups of coffee to build and launch a t-shirt brand.
My initial goal was to just make a dollar the first day, but blew past that on launch when I was featured in a local online publication.
In this post, you’ll learn how I built my t-shirt business, how I created my designs, my logo, found a dropshipping printer, connected it with my online store and made my initial sales.
#TheGreatBuild was a several month long case study on one of my new businesses. Wait, me again? This blog post is totally rigged.
Regardless, over 14 chapters, I take you through how I came up with a product idea, evaluated it, sourced a manufacturer, negotiated with them, then completely changed directions, rebranded, and finally launched.
Tomas Šlimas built a million dollar ecommerce business and now is the founder of a Shopify App that allows you to quickly and easily import products from AliExpress into your Shopify store. In this case study Tomas shows you how to build and launch a Shopify store in 30 minutes, step-by-step with videos.
Noah Kagan is well known for building online businesses and sharing the results. In this 24-hour challenge, he came up with the idea for a subscription service selling beef jerky. After quickly evaluating the marketing for it, he pre-sold over $3,000 in jerky.
On course, he documented every step of the process so you can see exactly how he did it.
Bonus Reddit Posts
The /r/entrepreneur subreddit is a gold mine for online business owners sharing how they built, launched and have grown their businesses. Make sure you take some time to stop by and read the top posts from /r/entrepreneur.
Here’s some of the best posts on building ecommerce businesses from Reddit:
- The Inner Workings of a Subscription Box Company: From $4k-$100k in Less Than 6 Months
- How I Literally Started an Amazon Business In 1 Month for $1K
- I created DicksByMail.com, went viral, and sold the company before even shipping out my second round of orders
- 516 days ago at 20 years old I quit my job, dropped out of school, and founded an online hippie shop. This is how it turned out
The biggest takeaway from all of these case studies is the massive action the entrepreneurs took to move a project from a simple idea, to a fully functional ecommerce business. Many first-time entrepreneurs get hung up on the details and think that every step needs to be laid out in front of them before they can move forward and start something. In actuality, just getting started is the best thing you can do since every step you take will lead you to the next. From there, it’s just a matter of problem solving to be able to take the next step.
What did I miss?
I know there’s other great step-by-step case studies out there. If you think I missed one of the greats, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check it out and add it to this list.