Humans, as a civilization, have come a long way. We may not have flying cars yet, but we do have the liberty of buying a banana or a garment from any part of the world without even having to get up from our beds. Monetizing the laziness of fellow humans? Genius.
Why Create An Online Store?
When it comes to shopping, customers love to have a conflict of choice. They want to assess their options before making a purchase, and Online stores help them do this at their convenience. Lately, almost everybody has preferred online shops over offline ones. Even the boomers!
Businesses are besties with the concept of online stores! Online stores allow businesses to increase their customer reach. A small business based in Michigan, USA, could generate most of its sales from London, UK. All thanks to online stores.
Research conducted by Tidio predicts that e-commerce sales are set to increase rapidly over the years. If your business doesn’t have an online store, it’s time to act fast on creating one. You can
But setting up an online store must be such a hassle, right? What if I told you otherwise?
Steps To Create An Online Store
Here’s how you can set up your very own online store:
1: Create A Business Plan
You need to have a comprehensive plan! Your planning process could look something like this:
- Identifying Your Niche: You must first determine what you would be selling or what niche you would be catering to. You cannot be a clothing brand trying to sell groceries.
- Market Research: Once you’ve identified your niche, you need to find Industry gaps and work on narrowing them down. To do this, you might low-key stalk your competitors’ social media and amazon products to study the reviews left by the customers. This will help you identify problems and create possible strategies to improve your sales.
- Know Customers: Understand the preferences of your customers and give them what they want. Studying your customers’ demographic and psychographic data will help you optimally cater to their needs.
- Determine Business Model: You can determine your business model by asking yourself a few questions; Are you selling to retailers and wholesalers? (B2B), Are you selling directly to the customers? (B2C) or are you passing on order fulfilment responsibilities to a third party? (Drop shipping)
- Decide Payment Portals: There are several online payment services available today. You must choose the right ones. PayPal is one such portal that is used in several countries.
- Refund Policies: You must clearly define your return and refund policies.
2: Choose A Domain Name
A domain name is a unique IP address that represents your business. Choosing a right domain name is one of the most important decisions to make. Your domain will be a unique identifier for customers. Let your domain name be unique and short. Also, try to avoid Unfamiliar words. And according to XplorMedia, Symbolics.com is the 1st domain name on Internet.
3: Picking An Ecommerce Website Builder
This is the most crucial step of the process. One would automatically choose the cheapest ecommerce website builder. In this regard, Bluehost has an affordable website builder with advance features. However, as tempting as it may be, it’s always advised to think about the long-term benefits over costs.
Consider the following factors before investing in an ecommerce website builder:
- Potential for Growth: Will the platform be able to grow along with your business?
- Features: Verify if the platform provides all the required ecommerce features. If all the necessary features aren’t available, try to figure out how much you would have to spend on an extension.
- Mobile Optimization: Maximum amount of online shopping occurs via smartphones. Hence you need to choose a platform that can provide a stellar shopping experience on mobile.
Research conducted by Nielsen showed that most phone users use their devices for shopping.
4: Webpage Designing
Web design is a complex subject. Make your webpage as attractive as possible. Let your webpage be a visual treat. People tend to buy things off the internet when they like what they see. Don’t forget to include all the important details like return and refund policies.
5: Add Products
Categorize and add all your products to your webpage. Add pictures along with descriptions of the products. Let the descriptions be to the point and not too lengthy.
6: Shipping Policies
Now that your products are added, you must determine how you intend to ship these products to your buyers. Hence, the necessity of shipping policies. Here you must ask yourself if you are willing to ship internationally. If you are a new business, you might want to begin international shipping to your neighbouring countries and expand from there on. Choosing a reliable shipping company is advised to carry out the process smoothly.
Imagine going through all this trouble and getting zero visitors. Hence, marketing. Make the best use of e-commerce marketing channels and develop a phenomenal pre-launch promotional plan to maximize your reach. Use paid advertising and social media influencers to create a buzz in the market.
8: Store Optimization
This step plays the crucial role to promote your store. No matter how good your store and product are, if it is not optimized to get higher rank on search engines like Google then it is hard to reach to customers. In this regard, SEO is absolutely vital to the success of any ecommerce project.
9: Launch Store
After ticking off every step mentioned above, you can finally launch your online store!
It might seem like a lot, but launching an online store could be fruitful for your business. Online stores have changed the game. FashionNova, a clothing brand launched in 2006, has an annual turnover of around a 115million$. They witnessed a huge increase in sales after opening up their online store via Shopify. Get online, and you could be the next success story.
We hope that this article helped you. If we have missed something in this article, you can comment below. Also, if you have any queries or suggestions, contact us.