How To Start An Online Store In 10 Steps
Starting an online business is so overwhelming and daunting at the same time. As the online sales graph continues to rise globally, extensive e-commerce opportunities […]
Starting an online business is so overwhelming and daunting at the same time. As the online sales graph continues to rise globally, extensive e-commerce opportunities are available for new entrepreneurs. So, if you are planning to open an online store, go ahead – this is the right time to follow your passion.
Online business is not just about posting pictures of products on an online platform with their price tags and expecting buyers the next day. The following steps will guide you on how to proceed and what you must consider when starting an online business.
Decide On Products To Sell
First of all, be clear about what you want to sell. The rest will be scheduled according to the business niche/products you choose.
If you have a keen interest or passion for particular stuff, go with that. Also, follow the current trends that are least likely to fade over time. Keep the profit margin and people’s preferences in mind.
Products that are not age- or gender-specific will attract the maximum number of buyers. Likewise, choosing repeat purchase products, such as skin care essentials and toiletries, will hugely benefit your business.
Amid all this, consider the potential risk factors associated with the products you want to select. For example, fragile items are prone to damage during shipping.
Determine The Target Audience
Secondly, you should consider your target audience. The product category will also give you an idea about which audience it is most suitable for. Determine the gender, age, locality, and lifestyle of the people you want to focus on. This information will help you plan effective marketing strategies, decide on a pricing range, and introduce products closest to the most common choices and requirements.
Select The Best ECommerce Platform
When starting an online business, aim for a proper management system for sales, website, payments, order processing, and other business functions. As modern problems require modern solutions, choosing an e-commerce platform/software would be the best solution for this crucial task.
The internet will provide you with numerous options for an e-commerce platform. Keep a few pointers in mind to land the best deal. The software should be easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, and well-protected against cybersecurity attacks.
Make sure it offers multiple features and payment methods. Additionally, decide whether you want self-hosted or cloud-based software. Both have distinct pros and cons, so make a well-informed decision.
Decide On A Suitable Business Structure
Are you going to work as a business partner, or do you want to be your own boss? You can only answer this question once you are sure about the desired business structure.
Choosing a business structure is very important to sort out matters like who will invest and run the business. You can choose sole proprietorship if you do not want to share the profit and can run business operations without anybody’s involvement.
Similarly, partnerships and corporations would be safe choices for new and inexperienced entrepreneurs. Working as a joint entity divides profit and loss and reduces the chances of making wrong decisions. Limited Liability Company (LLC) is also a great option for online business startups.
Choose An Appropriate Dropshipping Solution
Dropshipping is a significant aspect of online business. So, it is better to address this matter as soon as possible.
Various dropshipping companies can be found on the internet. So, research them and choose the one that fits your needs and budget. Dropshipping solutions give you freedom from stocking, packing, and delivering the products on every order. The shipping continues uninterruptedly and enables you to develop a trustworthy relationship with customers.
On the other hand, managing shipping services yourself can be hectic and distract your focus from other essential tasks. So, leave this job to be done by a reliable dropshipping supplier.
Choose The Payment Method
Since this is your business, you will decide in which form you would like to receive the payment. While prioritizing your preferences, consider the customer’s convenience as well. It won’t be good if an interested buyer leaves the store due to the unavailability of the desired payment method. Therefore, allow multiple payment options to spread the convenience.
Digital wallets are widely used for online shopping due to their global acceptance. Similarly, many online buyers prefer credit/debit cards and bank transfers to pay online.
Finalize The Store’s Name
Now, it is time to give your business an identity in the form of a beautiful name. You might have thought of unlimited names for your store. Choose the one that is unique and catchy. Avoid hard-to-pronounce names. Instead, choose a short and simple name able to fit multiple languages, so people can easily remember it. A pro tip is that the name should indicate the product category.
If you are still confused about name selection, seek help from online name generators. Such tools suggest SEO-friendly and trendy brand names.
Create A Website
By this point, you should have an official website for your online business from where people can see your offerings and store details. Make the website attractive by choosing a good layout and decent themes. Keep the navigation and search menus simple and user-friendly. Include filters, CTAs, an FAQ section, and an About Us page.
Add product images along with product descriptions to engage visitors and turn them into customers. Create a classy logo to leave a good impression on buyers.
Register The Business
Make your business legal and official by fulfilling all the state and government regulations mandatory for new businesses. Giving your store an official status is also necessary to gain buyers’ trust.
Start Marketing Your Business
This step is all about launching your online store with powerful marketing strategies. The more successful you spread the word, the more customers you will have.
Avail of all marketing sources, including e-mails, social media sites, online ads, and influencer accounts. Introduce referrals, loyalty programs, discounts, and lucky draws to attract customers.
Opening an online store is a great decision to build a stable career in this digital world. Best of all, you do not need to do courses to start an online store. Instead, follow this step-by-step guide and launch an ideal e-commerce store without prior experience.