Have you ever thought about opening an online store? Since you have stumbled across this article, the answer is probably yes. And, you’re in luck, we’re here to show you how. The best part? It’s easier than you think!
Setting up an online store sounds daunting and complicated. In truth, setting up a store is fairly straightforward. As you’ll see in the following paragraphs, the mechanisms of building a simple shop are easy. The hard part is finding those customers, and turning it into a thriving business. Before that, let’s start with the foundations.
Choose a product
To set up an online store, you need a great product to sell. If you’re reading this, you probably already have an idea in mind. Before we get started, you’ll want to do some research around this product. Who is the target audience? Is there a gap in the market for this product? Now, there are two main options when it comes to products. The first is to make and produce the item yourself. This works for craft stores and other creative outlets. Or will you buy the products from a wholesaler, and sell them on?
Connecting with wholesalers
Most stores go the wholesaler route. In other words, you’ll buy the stock with the view of selling it at a profit. Connecting with wholesalers sounds daunting, and you’ll need a strong business plan in your hand. Make a list of wholesalers that dispatch the products you have in mind. Pick up the phone, and set up meetings with them all. Now, your job is convincing them to sell their products to you. As we said, a great business plan and a professional manner will be your best asset here.
Build a website
Without a website, you can’t sell anything! Of course, you can set up a marketplace shop on the likes of Etsy, Amazon or eBay. However, if you’re looking for a professional, long-term business, you need your own space. There are plenty of options for you here. One potential service is ‘Shopify’. They help you build a website designed around the shopping experience. If you’re more comfortable with WordPress, you can use their platform too. Make the design unique, but powerful.
Logistics and delivery
The last part of the foundations are your logistics and delivery system. After all, you’ve got to get your products to your customers in a professional way. In the early days, you can box up the packages yourself, and ship them one-by-one. But, as you grow larger, you’ll need a better solution. Start to think about your transportation logistics, and choosing a reliable carrier network. You’re looking for cost-effective, trustworthy, and efficient delivery here.
Finding your first customers
Before we go, we’ll leave you with a final note about finding your first customers. Without them, your online store will fail at the first hurdle! Start to build a brand presence across social media. Consider using advertising to get your products in front of the right audience. Use active marketing techniques to grow your business from the ground up.
We’d love to hear from any successful store owners. Let us know your story in the comments!