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The Beginner's Guide to Starting an Online Store

The Beginner's Guide to Starting an Online Store
April 25, 2018

The Beginner's Guide to Starting an Online Store

Apr 25, 2018
Sonal Sai
Sonal Sai is a Digital Marketing Professional.

It’s 2018 and today, there are a lot of creative and promising ways to make money. One of such ways is to start your own online store. Now, I get it that reading this might get you perplexed. But contrary to what you assume, starting an online store is easier than you think. So without much ado, let me start explaining in the simplest of ways as to how you can start your own online store.

A. Starting an Online Store

Step 1: Decide on the Products that You Want to Sell

This is the most important step that needs to be taken care of before starting an online store What is your online store going to be about? Will you be selling a single type of product, or a varied range of products? Does your product need shipment, or can it be sent via the Internet? Would you be having your own inventory, or would you opt for dropshipping? Ensure that whatever product you’ll be selling has market value and is popular and useful enough

Step 2: Get a Niche to Sell Your Products In

This is the reason why it is important to choose the type of product you’ll sell Any product that you sell belongs to a niche. So make sure you look for the right niche to begin your store with Think from a customer’s point of you- what makes your brand and your products better than the competitor’s products? Be original. Customers love it when they are offered with original products rather than rip-offs Make sure that your customers feel a certain level of expertise from your brand, which makes them want to buy from you

Find Your Niche- Digital Ready

Step 3: Don’t be Afraid to Start Small

It’s always better if you start your online store on a small-scale basis That always helps you to check and experience the market as well as the competitors out there It also gives you a knowledge of the type of audience visiting and buying from your store Do not forget to test the various prices and plans you’d be offering your customers and see what works best The good thing about starting small-scale is that in case of anomalies, you can easily correct and go forward with improved results

Start Small Scale- Digital Ready

Step 4: Do Not Forget a Business Plan

Planning out a business framework is a crucial step as based on that, your online store will either rise or fall in due course of time Chart out the costs that might be involved If you are collaborating with suppliers, make sure the products that would be sold are of good quality List out employee wages, if incorporated

Business Plan- Digital Ready

Step 5: Register Your Online Store

Here comes the most awaited part- registering your store online But prior to that, make sure you have a thorough understanding about the internet and the state laws before registering It’s important that you have a knowledge of the legal requirements involved

Register Store- Digital Ready

B. Setting Up Your Business

Step 1: Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name is the most important part when it comes to your online store Make sure you choose a domain name that is relevant, clear and resonates with the audience Also, make it easy for people to pronounce and remember Do not shy away from creativity. Think out of the box You can register your domain on domain providers like GoDaddy, Wix, BigRock, BlueHost etc

Get Domain Name- Digital Ready

Step 2: Choose a Hosting Service

Once you have registered your domain name, it’s time to opt for a web hosting provider It’s important that you choose a good hosting provider, as it serves as the base for your website Choose a web host that offers the best possible options at the most optimum price Make sure you are able to customize your website whenever required A good web hosting platform helps you provide the required experience to your customers

Web Hosting- Digital Ready

Step 3: Optimize Your Website

It’s important and ethical that your online store offers a look and feel that impresses the audience and makes them want to shop from your store Design your website in an aesthetic way. You can either design it yourself, or get a web designer to work for you However, do keep in mind to make the website look creative, but professional

Website Designing- Digital Ready

Step 4: Set Up Your E-commerce Software

Given that you are starting an online store, it’s seemingly wiser to also add an online payment option Research and analyse the various types of E-commerce payment softwares available Make sure that you do a thorough research before deciding on an option Since the software will store the billing information of the customers, do a thorough security check to avoid future troubles There are a number of payment softwares available, such as BillDesk, CCAvenue, Citrus, PayUbiz etc

Payment Gateway- Digital Ready

Step 5: Set Up Your Merchant Account

With a merchant account, your customers can pay you via credit cards as well The best way to do that is to go with an E-commerce gateway such as PayPal

C. Market Your Store

Step 1: Go Social

Social media is the 21st century synonym for an information hub As of 2017, as many as 2.5 billion people on a global level are registered on social media websites Undoubtedly, social media platforms are one of the best ways to advertise your online store With the vast audience present on such platforms, it is highly likely that your online store will be noticed by many people, who might later be your customers Be updated with the various trends that are being followed and also offer your own creativity

Why Go Social- Digital Ready

Step 2: Blogs are Important

If you’re wondering what good it is to add a blog to an online store, then there’s a lot you need to know about that Irrespective of whatever your online store sells, it is important that you add a blog to your store’s website A blog holds a collection of content related to the products you sell This gives your audience and the customers a better insight about the various product industries It also offers them updated news about the concerned industries Apart from that, you can also let other bloggers guest blog on your website and you can do the same on theirs. This increases trust and credibility from the audience’s point of view

Add Blogs- Digital Ready

Step 3: Email Marketing Always Works

While there are quite a number of ways to generate leads, email marketing is undoubtedly one of the oldest and the most effective lead generation techniques The great thing about email marketing is that you can use your own contact list to promote your store Send out newsletters, offers and discounts. This helps in reminding the customers about your store. However, make sure that you don’t do it extremely frequently, because then, your recipients might blacklist you Email marketing is also a great remarketing strategy, as it is often seen to have made customers reconsider brands that they earlier didn’t want to go ahead with

Email Marketing- Digital Ready

Step 4: Do Not Forget SEO

  • There are hundreds of thousands of websites and online stores. So how do you stand out from the rest of the crowd?
  • If your online store is not visible on the SERPs, then it hardly makes sense to start an online business, let alone expecting a steady sale along with swarming customers
  • That’s why it is important that you perform a thorough SEO
  • Work on your on-page strategies and also optimize your off-page strategies
  • Make sure you also analyse what your competitors are doing and based on that, try to be ahead of the race
  • Also check your own reports and see what tactics are working and what need to be improved
  • It is also vital that you carry out an in-depth keyword research. See what keywords your audience is using, what your competitors are using and which LSI keywords you can use for a relevant search
  • Make sure your HTML and CSS codes are well optimized as well for easy crawling by the search engine bots

Like I already said, setting up an online store is pretty easy, especially in the fast technological era that we are living in. If you follow the discussed steps neatly and systematically, it won’t be long before your online store booms and becomes a household name. To get an easier explanation, check out this video by Effective Ecommerce.

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