With the internet making it possible to market and sell to customers worldwide, starting an eCommerce store is no longer just a pipe dream—it’s a reality that many entrepreneurs are experiencing right now! But how can you start your own eCommerce store? This guide will show you how in eight easy steps.
1) Choose your niche
- List your niche.
- Write about why you love your niche.
- Explain how an online store fits into this niche.
- Outline the steps of starting your own online shop.
- Share some advice for succeeding with an online store.
- Answer the question, What is it like running your own eCommerce store?
- Provide a list of tools that will help you build and run an e-store.
2) Research your competition
Researching your competition is always a good idea. You’ll be able to see what works for them and what doesn’t, which will help you refine your own site. Plus, it’s always nice when you come across another store that has a niche similar to yours and can offer some tips or advice. Once you’ve done enough research on the competition, it’s time to set up an online shop with all of the necessities – like an eCommerce website builder. A free website builder like Wix should be plenty if this is your first venture into online business.
3) Find a profitable business model
The most popular eCommerce models are dropshipping, marketplace selling, and retail arbitrage. Dropshipping is when you sell products without having the items in stock. Marketplace selling is when you sell items through an online market like eBay or Etsy. Retail arbitrage is when you buy stuff at a local store for low prices and resell them on Amazon for higher prices. Once you’ve found your profitable business model, research it by reading blog posts about it and watching YouTube videos about it. Make sure you can do it before committing to any one idea because all three have different pros and cons. Choose a platform: There are two types of platforms: those where customers place orders directly with you, such as Etsy; and those where customers order from your website but place their order with a third party who ships the product to them (such as Shopify).
4) Choose the right eCommerce platform
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is one of the most important decisions for any startup. We recommend Shopify because it’s easy to use, can be set up quickly, and has all the features you need for a successful online store. The easiest way to start an online store on Shopify is by signing up for a free trial account and following their onboarding process. You’ll have your first website up and running in less than 15 minutes!
5) Design your store
The first step to starting your own eCommerce store is deciding how you want it to look. There are many different themes, layouts, and colors that you can choose from. If you’re not sure what will work best for your store, browse through various stores on a site like Shopify and find the one that speaks most to you.
After picking out a theme, the next step is picking some products to sell. Depending on what type of store you’re going for, there may be certain items that make more sense than others. For example, if you’re selling clothing then choosing high-quality photos of items would be ideal but if you’re selling digital downloads then showing screenshots would be more beneficial. Once you’ve figured out which items make sense to put up, the next step is determining where they’ll go in your store.
6) Choose your products
- Decide on your niche.
- Create a domain name and set up the website.
- Hire a professional designer.
- Find the best hosting for your site.
- Get products that will get people excited about what you’re selling!
- Be clear about how you want customers to order, i.e. PayPal, credit card, etc.
- Decide on shipping policies (i.e., free shipping, flat rate shipping).
- And last but not least, Ask yourself Do I know enough about this industry, or do I need some training?
7) Set up shipping and payments
We recommend using Shopify or BigCommerce to set up your online store. These platforms will allow you to set up a storefront, process payments, and ship your products. You can also use these platforms for marketing purposes by adding social media integrations and SEO-friendly URLs. Be sure to include secure payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Amazon Pay on your site so that shoppers can purchase with confidence. In the future, you may want to add an option for customers to pay with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin too.
8) Launch your store
- Create a product. What are you going to sell? When creating your product, think about the details that will go into making it and what your customers might need. If you can’t find an existing product, consider starting from scratch by creating something new or unique.
- Set up your website. This is where you’ll host your store and display all of the products for sale on the site. There are many ways to do this- Shopify has drag-and-drop templates that make it easy to get started with your own custom domain name and design. Other services include BigCommerce, Squarespace, Weebly, WooCommerce, WordPress, and Wix.
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