In the 21st century, buying and selling products online has become a major part of everyday life. In fact, more than 50% of all retail purchases in America are now made via an internet connection. This makes it easy to sell products from anywhere with a laptop or smartphone. However, there’s still a lot of overhead involved in setting up your own store and getting everything running smoothly. That’s why we put together this handy guide on how to set up your first online store as quickly as possible!
Choose a Niche and Develop a Business PlanThere’s no point in creating an online retail business if there isn’t a market for it. Think carefully about what type of products you want to sell and how much other businesses like yours charge. If you already have a product in mind, look up the market prices and check out some other stores that specialize in selling the same type of item. If your product is significantly cheaper, there’s a chance you can undercut the competition and attract customers.
If you need to develop a business plan before giving it serious thought, that’s fine as well! It’ll help ensure that you don’t go into any major financial decisions lightly and make sure you’ve got a backup plan if things go south.
Pick Your eCommerce Website BuilderUnless you know what you’re doing, it’s best to pick an eCommerce website builder that makes things easy for first-time business owners. There are a lot of online store builders available on the internet and most offer free trials so you can test out their features before making a purchase. When using a Shopify developers service to build your website, chances are that the process would be quite easy for you. This is a great way to figure out what works best without any financial risks.
As a general rule, the simpler the website builder is, the fewer features it offers and vice versa. If you want to use your online store to sell products internationally, make sure that your chosen website builder supports different currencies and languages. Also, keep in mind that some eCommerce website builders offer one-page websites instead of full-length domains.
Choose A Domain Name And Web Hosting AccountOnce you choose the type of store you want to build and find out how much it’ll cost, head over to Brandisty.com and register your desired domain name. Make sure that the spelling and any punctuation you use are correct before submitting your registration request; otherwise, you might end up with an unavailable domain name that someone else snagged while you were busy.
Afterward, pick the hosting plan that works best for your individual needs. If it’s just an online storefront and nothing more, there are plenty of cheap web hosts available with some offering free domain names for a year or more. If you decide that you want to expand your online business and add some custom features in the future, it’s a good idea to find a host that offers some customer service guarantees and unlimited data storage space.
Design The Look of Your Online Store
Keep it simple! Nobody wants to look at a cluttered web page that’s hard to navigate. If you’re not good with graphic design, find someone who is and see if they can whip up something for you in exchange for some of your future profits. With the right graphics, even the simplest website will look like an attractive place to shop.
If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can come up with a theme on your own and use online tools like Canva to add in any text or images that you need. Make sure that whatever scheme you pick is memorable, otherwise, customers might end up ignoring your advertisements and going straight to a competitor’s website.
Add Products To Your Online ShopAlright, so now it’s time to actually start selling some stuff. While you might be tempted to upload tons of different products and fill your webpage with pictures of everything you have for sale, that won’t necessarily attract customers. If your website looks messy or unorganized, people will assume that your store isn’t worth their time and go elsewhere.
Instead of cluttering up your webpage, stick to a few select products that best display your company’s brand and sell things at reasonable prices. Customers will appreciate what you have to offer if it’s relevant and they won’t mind waiting a day or two for the items to arrive. Don’t forget to offer a wide range of payment options and take advantage of any discount sales you can, too!
Set Up Shipping, Payment & Contact InformationThe last thing you want is to have your entire webpage finalized and then realize that you haven’t provided a way for people to contact you or pay for their orders. It might seem tedious, but take the time to set up all of the information that customers will need in order to get in touch with you or make a purchase. Even if you’re outsourcing your web development, be sure to come up with an initial plan for how everything will work.
Once your website is up and running, it’s time to let people know that it exists! Send out emails to friends and family members who might want to purchase items from your online store. Print out referral cards and leave them at your place of work so your co-workers know about the products you’re offering.