Welcome, aspiring entrepreneur! You have stumbled upon the right place, haven’t you? Well, at least we think you did. You are looking for information on how to open an online store, right?
Well, if that’s the case – you have come to the right spot. So, just sit back, relax, and let us take you by the hand as we walk through this online store-opening process step-by-step!
1. Know What You Want To Sell
This is the first, and possibly most important step, in opening an online store – you need to know what it is that you want to sell! This may seem like a no-brainer, but trust us, it is very important.
You need to have a good handle on the products or services that you want to offer before you can do anything else (like learning how to start an LLC or LLP).
So, take some time to really think about what it is that you want to sell, and of course, what you actually CAN sell in the first place. Ecommerce is very competitive, so some niches are simply too hard to get started in. For example, tech might be tempting, but there are just too many stores that sell gadgets, so there’s no way you’ll ever make it past the big dogs.
2. Devise Your Business Plan And Model
The next step is to develop your business plan and model. This is an essential step, as it will determine the overall direction and strategy of your online store. You need to think about things like what your store’s purpose is, who your target audience is, what your unique selling proposition is, and of course, how you plan on making money.
If you need some help with this step, there are plenty of resources out there, just take your time to fully research everything or simply hire a business advisor. That’s up to you.
3. Pick A Platform To Start On
Now it’s time to pick the platform that you want to use for your online store. There are many options out there, but the most popular one is Shopify. It is user-friendly, has a lot of features and plugins, and most importantly – it comes with a free trial and is very affordable.
Of course, there are other options out there that you can explore, but Shopify is the number one option for most people. Why? Well, we won’t bore you with details, but if you want to find out why – just click here. Everything will be laid out for you over there.
And oh, we almost forgot – don’t stress about the domain name. While you won’t be able to change the one that you’ll choose when you sign up for the Shopify trial, you will be able to buy a custom domain, later on, so don’t stress.
4. Customise Your Shop’s Look And Feel
Now it’s time for the fun part – making your shop look pretty! This is where you’ll be able to let your creative juices flow and make your store look exactly how you want it to.
Of course, if you are not too confident in your design skills, you can always hire a professional or use one of the many templates, both free and paid, that will be at your disposal when you start setting up shop.
5. Set Up Payment Processing
In order to start selling, you need to set up payment processing. This means that you will need to choose and set up a payment gateway. A popular option is PayPal, as it is easy to use and most people are familiar with it. However, there are other options out there that you can explore.
The important thing is to make sure that you choose a payment gateway that is compatible with the platform that you are using for your store. For example, Shopify has its own payment gateway – Shop Pay – which is very convenient and easy to use.
6. Market Your Store Online
SEO, social media marketing, Google ads… there are many ways to market your store online. The important thing is to start somewhere, be consistent and have a clear strategy in mind.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on marketing, especially in the beginning. There are plenty of free or low-cost marketing strategies that you can use to get the word out about your e-store. Just make sure to do your research and be clever.
7. Legalize Your Business
Sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership – you name it. Once you have decided on your business structure, it’s time to make it official and legalize your business. This means that you will need to get all the necessary licenses and permits.
The process can be a bit daunting, but it’s important to make sure that everything is in order from a legal standpoint. After all, you don’t want to get in trouble down the line because you skipped this step.
8. Launch Your Store
After all the planning, designing, and setting up – it’s finally time to launch your store! Just hit the ‘Publish’ button in your Shopify admin panel and voila – your store is now live for the whole world to see.
Now all that’s left to do is sit back, relax, and wait for a few minutes for the first order to come in. We’re just kidding. You probably won’t see traffic for a few days, even weeks, but it’s important for you to be patient and let it grow organically.
9. Keep Track Of Your Progress
The last step is to keep track of your progress, which means monitoring your store’s performance on a regular basis. This includes things like sales figures, website traffic, conversion rate, etc.
There are many tools out there that can help you with this, but the most important thing is to pay attention to the numbers and see how your store is doing. This way, you can make changes and adjustments as needed to ensure that your store is always performing at its best.
10. Watch Your Business Flourish
Eventually, with a bit of hard work and a lot of patience, you will see your business flourish. Just remember to always be on the lookout for ways to improve and grow, and never give up on your dream of owning a successful online store!
Now that you know the basics of setting up an online store, it’s time to get started on building your own! Follow the steps above and you’ll be well on your way to opening up shop in no time! Good luck!