You’ve probably experienced the ease of shopping online: finding what you want, clicking “Add to Cart” or “Buy It Now,” and then waiting for the package to arrive. Most people do, and that’s because convenience is the primary selling point of shopping online.
Due to the pandemic, consumers are staying away from traditional retail outlets in favour of making their purchases online.
This suggests that, if you want to launch an eCommerce store, it would be wise to focus on creating an online presence rather than a physical one.
However, before you dive into the specifics of setting up an online store, consider these advantages. Hopefully they will help you feel more prepared to take the plunge.
There is no set time of day or night when people can’t browse products and make purchases on the internet; in fact, most eCommerce sites are accessible around the clock. For consumers, this means more convenient shopping, and for businesses, this means a significant edge in the market.
If you own a business, this means you can earn money even when you’re not actively working on it.
The ability to interact with customers in various ways is a key benefit of running an online store. Adding a shopping feature to a user’s social media feed is a breeze.
Potential buyers could discover your business via Google searches and make purchases at their convenience. With just a little know-how and an online store, you can automate your email marketing campaigns.
expanded sphere of influence: a brick-and-mortar shop can only serve local customers. Many online marketplaces reach customers all over the country and even the world.
The dropshipping distribution model allows business owners to sell more products without the overhead costs associated with maintaining a physical warehouse. This could be an attractive option for those looking to expand their product line without incurring additional rent costs.
Clarity in the purchasing process: At the present time, it is extremely difficult to determine how often a given customer visits a physical store before making a purchase.
In contrast, an online shop can monitor your every click to better understand your shopping habits and provide you with marketing opportunities (like abandoned cart emails) to persuade customers who are on the fence about making a purchase.
With the expansion of both the Internet and technological capabilities, a growing number of useful tools have become available for use in operating an online business.
You can get your online store up and running quickly and easily with their help. And you can save money, time, and stress with their assistance.
Step 1: Study the market
Market research can help your online store a lot by giving the business the important and necessary information and analysis it needs.
It gives you a full picture of the market situation, including the size of the market, the number of sales, and the sales prospects. This helps you understand your customers and competitors better than if you did nothing and started an online store on a whim, which can lead to losses.
When you do research, you can find out who buys the kind of product or service you want to sell, who doesn’t, what drives them, and if they are loyal enough to a certain brand.
Before you decide what to sell, you should know a lot about the market you’re going into and be ready to deal with problems and risks.
TIP: If you don’t know where to start, look at some shopping sites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Alibaba, and so on to see what’s popular right now.
Step 2: Choose what to sell
Before you open a store, you need to know what kinds of things you’ll be selling. As a beginner, you should sell things you already know how to do so you can make money quickly.
Here are some suggestions for product categories. Each one has clear characteristics that may help you decide what to sell in your store.
When it comes to seasonal products, there is a clear line between high and low seasons.
Products that everyone needs, like high-renewable commodities or must-have
The most profitable products are those with high prices or big margins.
Remember: don’t just jump into a product category because you’re interested in it. It might seem easier to sell something you know a little bit about, but it’s actually a trap.
Even if you like the things you’re selling, if they’re not very popular, it won’t be easy to boost sales, no matter how much time and effort you put into them. What people want to buy is what’s most important, not what you want to sell.
Once you’ve been selling online for a while, you can add products to your store that aren’t very popular but are slowly selling more and more. This will help you keep a steady growth rate.
Use tools to find out more about what kind of products to buy ahead of time. Google Trends is a cool little tool that can give you a lot of useful information. If you type the name of a product or a category into the search box, you can see how many times it has been searched for over time and find out if it is or could be a trend.
Google Trends for “hair growth oil”
From the search results, it’s clear that people in the US keep looking for “hair growth oil.” This suggests that it might be a good idea to keep it on your online store. But it’s just a reference; this isn’t solid proof that will lead to more sales and more money.
Step 3: Choose your method of selling.
Now that you know what you want to sell, it’s time to choose how you’ll get it to your customers. Dropshipping is the best and easiest way to start for people who are just getting started. Dropshipping is a way to fill orders that doesn’t require the seller to keep stock of the products.
Instead, the store sells a product and sends the customer’s order to a third-party supplier, which ships the product directly to the customer. The benefits are clear: There is no need for a physical warehouse.
The stores don’t have to pay money to rent storage space for their stock. So stores don’t have anything to do with shipping or delivery.
In the dropshipping model, suppliers send products straight to customers, so retailers don’t have to worry about transporting anything.
Since the products could come from different suppliers and be shipped separately, the shipping fee could be a little bit higher, no matter how much each supplier charges.
In a nutshell, dropshipping is easier for people who just started their online business or want to start one but have a small budget.
Step 4: Put together your online store.
As a business owner, it’s your job to keep track of your products, put them on display, promote them, talk to your customers, get paid, ship the products, and take care of your day-to-day finances and operations.
So, you will need some tools to handle each of these tasks, and it will take time and money to bring together all of these different systems and data.
Your business’s success will depend a lot on the eCommerce platform you choose for your store.
You can use a number of eCommerce platforms that don’t require you to know how to code. Some charge a fee every month, some are free, and some charge a percentage of each transaction.
TIP: Choose a platform that works well and doesn’t cost too much. Since there are many options, we chose a few to show you the pros and cons of each.
Shopify isn’t just a store builder or a way to sell your products, so it’s important to know that up front. Shopify is an eCommerce platform that lets you start your dream online business quickly and start selling to customers all over the world.
It helps keep the store’s layout organised by using themes (you can modify or change it any way you like).
It also offers payment processing services, so you can accept and receive payments for the products you sell. Its App Store has more than 6,000 integrations and apps that you can use to add more features and functions to your online store.
Shopify’s plans don’t have any set-up fees.
PROS: (1) Beginner-friendly (2) 24/7 support (3) Homegrown App Store
CONS: (1) Product and content pages can’t be changed much
It is an open-source eCommerce solution built on WordPress that gives you a lot of freedom. Both WooCommerce and WordPress are open-source software that can be used for free. WooCommerce is a plugin, so your WordPress site needs to be able to use plugins.
The first thing you’ll have to do is choose a host and a plan for your store. So if you choose WooCommerce, you don’t have to pay extra for hosting or a domain name.
PROS: (1) Sales Reporting (2) Processing eCommerce Orders (3) Integration with WordPress (4) Customized coupons
CONS: (1) You need to know how to code. (2) Prices are a bit high for beginners.
It is a cloud-based development platform with millions of users around the world that makes it easy for online retailers to make a beautiful, professional eCommerce store presence.
PROS: (1) Excellent templates (2) Flexible enough
CONS: (1) It’s hard to add tables. (2) Prices are too high for newcomers
There is information about how much each platform costs above.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce vs. Wix
Step 5: Choose a platform for supply
Once the store is up and running and a distribution model has been chosen, the next step is to choose and set up a supply platform to make the whole process of selling online as smooth as possible.
AliExpress is one of the most popular platforms for people who haven’t used a supply site before. AliExpress is a company that belongs to the Alibaba group.
Since its launch in 2010, it has become one of the eCommerce platforms outside of China with the fastest growth. AliExpress is more focused on international markets because it has English and 15 other languages available.
Read on to find out more about how Wish and AliExpress compare:
Dropshipping on Wish vs. AliExpress
Do you find it hard to choose the best dropshipping platform? Compare Wish and AliExpress in detail to help you decide which one to use.
AliExpress makes it easy and cheap for people who have never run a business before to start selling things online. You have a wide range of items to choose from for your customers.
You don’t have to pay anything until your customers start placing orders. This means that even if your business plan doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d like, the risk is still under control.
Your business is almost ready to go now that you have built your store and chosen your distribution model and supplier platform.
At first, you can manage your orders and products by hand. However, if you have 100 orders waiting to be fulfilled by hand, it would take a long time to handle each one individually. It’s almost impossible to do that, and you might make mistakes anyway. This is why it’s important to use some third-party tools or apps, and you should use them right away so you can get used to them. Try out the above-mentioned apps in the app store for Shopify.
If your supplier platform is AliExpress, you might want to use its official partner. which is an app in the Shopify app store that can send 100s of orders to AliExpress in seconds. It’s not just for Shopify also works with Wix and Woocommerce.
Step 6: Advertise Your Store
You could start your online business now that everything is set up. But before you do that, there is one more important step to think about: getting people to your newly opened store.
When a store opens or a new product comes out, it is very important to have good promotions. The Internet is now a part of our everyday lives.
People are always interested in new things that are eye-catching and interesting, so if your advertising works, you are already halfway to running a successful business.
Since you did market research first in these steps, it shouldn’t be too hard if you already know a lot about your potential customers.
You can reach your target audience with ads, blogs, links on your website, partnerships with other brands, etc.
Social media advertising is the most common and cost-effective way to get the word out about your store. It’s important to make sure the things you post on social media are interesting and appealing.
TIP: If your marketing budget is pretty big, you can try to find influencers who will run ads on their social media accounts. There are many ways to promote your business using marketing strategies. You can try them one at a time or combine them to reach your marketing goals.
There are 7.9 million retailers around the world and 2.1 million retailers in the US alone. This makes it hard to run an online store. Yes, it has a lot of potential, but you also need to be ready for risks you didn’t see coming.
You can try to reach your financial goal by shopping online, which can be a fun adventure. If you use the right strategies before putting your store online, you will set up your online eCommerce store for success.