Whether you want to sell unique handcrafted products or create a wholesale or drop-shipping business, you will need to learn how to create an online store that will be successful. Starting an online business is now easier than ever, thanks to the many drag-and-drop website builders available. This article will teach you how to create an online store website in simple steps so that you can make your online business a success.
How To Start an Online Store
1. Choose a Specific Niche and Identify Your Target Market
The first step in launching an online store is identifying a niche market to service. This is one of the major mistakes new startups and business owners make. They fail to choose a specific niche to serve. You must choose a profitable niche to focus on and identify your target market. You don't want to find yourself marketing products people are unwilling to buy. You must ensure you settle this aspect before any other thing because this is pivotal to the success of your online business.
2. Select Your Product Line
After choosing your specific niche and target audience, the next thing to do is choose your product or service line. This might be the most difficult aspect of launching your online store. You want to avoid offering a product that is either too expensive or that no one is looking for. When choosing a product line to sell, you need to consider factors like storage and shipping. These factors will greatly affect the product's price in the long run. For example, if you choose to market a product already in circulation, what marketing strategy will you adopt to ensure you are the go-to store for that product? These and many more factors are what you have to consider when choosing a product line.
3. Create Your Brand Identity
Once you have decided what to offer, the next step is to select a brand or business name and build brand assets such as a logo. This phase may be relatively easy for some and difficult for others. Businesses frequently sort through name ideas by visiting a domain name registrar, such as GoDaddy, and looking for available domains. This is because your domain name should preferably match your business name. Once you get a suitable business name that matches the domain name you want to use for the online store, you can go to a site like Canva to design a free logo.
4. Register Your Online Store
You will need an EIN (or employer identification number) to receive payments for your online store. To obtain an EIN, you must first register your online store in your state as a business. While you can register as a sole proprietorship or a corporation, most small companies file as LLCs (or limited liability companies), which protects your assets when you get sued.
There are also tax advantages to registering your business; so consult with your tax professional to see whether an LLC is the right option. The procedure of registering your business will differ from state to state, so it's best to contact your state's Secretary of State for further information. You can also utilize a business registration service, such as LegalZoom or ZenBusiness.
6. Select an E-Com Platform
The next step is to select an e-commerce platform. This is where you will create and maintain your online store. There are several excellent e-commerce platforms to select from, including Shopify, Squarespace, WooCommerce, Square, and so on. However, each platform has its own set of features that determine pricing, capability, and user-friendliness.
Here are some of the top e-commerce platforms for creating an online store:
Shopify is the best e-commerce platform for starting a drop shipping business. Plans begin at $29 per month with the purchase of a premium theme for roughly $250.
This platform is ideal for web design newbies who want to simply create a gorgeous online store with built-in marketing capabilities for as little as $14 per month with yearly payment.
This service is ideal for individuals on a tight budget, as it provides free options, as well as those who wish to sell in-store and online.
7. Create an E-commerce Website
Once you have resolved which e-commerce platform you want to use, you need to go to that platform, create an account and start building your online store. While the process for creating the website may vary based on the platform you are using, there are some general steps applicable to all.
Here is how to create a website for an online store:
- Create an account using your preferred e-commerce platform (e.g., Square).
- Select a domain name (typically included with a plan–if not, purchase separately).
- Choose a template or theme.
- Include your company's name and logo.
- Personalize your homepage and all other web pages.
- Create product listings by adding your items.
- Install a payment processor.
- Configure payment options (e.g., tax or shipping calculators).
8. Advertise Your Online Store
You must advertise your online store once it is operational. This is because no one will know your online store exists without advertisement. Marketing your products and services will help in attracting more potential customers to your site.
Here are some ideas for promoting your online store:
- Consider using word-of-mouth marketing.
- Online marketing (e.g., Google Ads or Facebook Ads).
- Loyalty or referral schemes.
- Participate in an affiliate marketing scheme.
- Create social media profiles and engage in them.
- Use influencers for marketing your brand.
- Use content marketing to increase the visibility of your website on the internet.
- Make use of press releases (if you have highly unique or groundbreaking products).
- Include your company's name in web directories.
Your company and the products or services you offer determine the ideal strategy to market your online store. Experiment with a few different approaches to determine which ones work best for you.
Here we have it: How to create an online store. We hope this article helped you gain more insight on how to create an online store website. If you are searching for freelance web developers to help you design your online store website, then you can hire a professional e-commerce website developer on our site.
Updated: 03 March, 2023