Thanks to technological achievements, it’s possible for virtually anyone to start an online business. However, just like brick-and-mortar businesses, you’ll need to plan and set relevant strategies for your online business to thrive. So how can you build an online store without any experience?
To build an online store, you should start with product planning. Afterward, you can choose the website builder or e-commerce platform to set up your site. Next is choosing the name, logo, and preferred color scheme before adding the products. Afterward, plan your advertising strategy.
Looking to build an online store? If so, then you couldn’t be in a better place. Read on as we take a look at 7 beginner-friendly steps to observe when setting up an online business.
Before you build and run an online store, you need to know what you really want to do first, as it’s a major decision that you need to think through.
You need to ask yourself a few questions:
- What kind of business do you want to start?
- Who will be your target audience?
- What platforms will you use?
- What expenses will starting the business involve?
- How much time can you set aside for your business?
To begin planning your business, you need clear and detailed answers to these questions. The following are crucial steps to observe when looking to launch your online business successfully.
1. Plan your product
Once you’ve decided on the kind of business you want, you can start planning everything about the products you’ll offer. This doesn’t mean simply picking something to sell; it means considering all the factors around the product: demand, profitability, target audience, and more.
If you already know your target market, you can start from there and brainstorm ideas. For instance, you may want to sell products to new moms, hobbyists, people living in cold climates, etc. Start thinking about the demands of your chosen group and how you can enter the market with an advantage.
Finding the right product requires extensive research. As such, you should search for market trends related to your idea and determine potential competitors or partners.
2. Choose the e-commerce platform
Once you’ve planned everything about the product you intend to sell, you can start with the practical issues. The store website will be central to your business, so you should plan every detail carefully.
You can use a website builder to list your products and accept payments. However, e-commerce platforms are much more helpful as they provide you with all the information needed to run and manage your online store.
Comparing different e-commerce platforms is highly advisable, especially if it’s your first time building an online store. We recommend Shopify as it’s easy to use and comes packed with several useful features that’ll make it easy to run your online business.
3. Choose your branding graphics and color scheme
To get started on the platform, you need to have a good idea of your preferred website appearance. This means you need to know the business’s name and, preferably, have a logo ready.
Appearance makes a significant difference for online businesses, so spend some time considering the suitable color scheme and branding graphics for your store. Consider the placement of the logo, the product photos, and your site’s overall layout.
Shopify offer & sell a number of themes that you can utilize to help build your online store.
Once your website is in good shape, you can start uploading the product images.
4. Get content of your products and marketing words
You must have photos, names, and descriptions for your online store to be attractive and successful. While you can be creative or funny with the name (if the product allows it), you should always include an accurate description and additional information if needed.
Try to find marketing phrases for the description that will attract customers. Take high-quality photos from different angles as it gives potential clients a good glimpse of the product on sale. You can just take pictures with your smartphone since most modern ones nowadays can take good-quality pictures.
5. Begin building your online store
You can start building your store by adding the products. If you’re on Shopify, the process is straightforward: you write the product’s name and description, upload the pictures, and set your preferred price.
If you’re simply using a website, adding the products will be enough, but Shopify also includes features that can help you easily organize and manage your business. You can add more information about shipping, inventory, taxes, etc.
6. Think of ways you are going to advertise
No matter how good or unique your product is, you’ll only be able to sell if you advertise it properly. Thanks to the technology that allows you to open the business in the first place, you can reach thousands of people with just a couple of clicks.
Here are some advertising methods you can try:
- Social media posts (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter): Simple social media posts are especially useful for building hype and spreading the word about your products.
- Facebook ads: Facebook has a good ad manager that lets you control your reach and the target audience.
- Instagram ads: Instagram’s ad manager is relatively easier to understand and use.
- Local search engine optimization: Local SEO helps businesses become more visible in local Google search results.
- Search engine optimization: SEO is basically the same as local SEO but broader.
- Email lists: There are plenty of email tools online that can help you spread the word via email; just make sure to draft a friendly and enticing message.
7. Preview and launch
Once you’ve uploaded the product and created a marketing strategy, you can launch your store. However, it would be a good idea to preview your website and see if everything works as it should. Check out the product entries and look for any mistakes in the description or prices.
After you’ve ensured that your online store has no issues, you’re ready to launch the store online and start selling!
How do I choose the right product to sell in my online store?
To choose the right product for your online store, consider factors such as market demand, profitability, target audience, competitive landscape, and your own expertise and passion.
What factors should I consider when selecting an e-commerce platform for my online business?
When selecting an e-commerce platform for your online business, consider aspects like ease of use, customizability, pricing, available payment options, and the availability of integrations and plugins.
How important is branding and visual appearance for an online store?
Branding and visual appearance are crucial in building a strong brand identity and creating a positive first impression for your online store. Make sure to invest time in designing a suitable color scheme, logo, and overall layout.
How can I create engaging and informative product descriptions for my online store?
To create engaging and informative product descriptions for your online store, ensure they are accurate, provide essential information, and incorporate marketing phrases that appeal to your target audience. Use high-quality photos taken from different angles to give potential customers a good glimpse of the product.
How does search engine optimization (SEO) help my online store gain more visibility?
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your online store gain more visibility by improving its ranking in search engine results. This makes it easier for potential customers to find your store when searching for related products or services.
Can I use my smartphone to take high-quality product photos for my online store?
Modern smartphones usually have high-quality cameras that allow you to take good product photos for your online store. Ensure proper lighting and use different angles to showcase your products effectively.
Starting a successful online store may seem daunting at first, but by following the outlined steps and paying close attention to detail, even beginners can create a thriving business.#
From carefully selecting the right product and e-commerce platform to developing a visually appealing brand identity and implementing targeted advertising strategies, each aspect contributes to the overall success of your online store.
Remember to stay adaptable and continuously improve your store based on customer feedback and market trends. With dedication and persistence, your online store can become a profitable and fulfilling venture.