Since online shopping is already a norm, there’s no better time to start an ecommerce business than now.
The global ecommerce market is estimated to reach $6.3 trillion in 2023. So, how do you get your share of that numbers? Simple. Put up an ecommerce website that makes purchasing easy and convenient for customers.
The market will continue to grow in the next few years and potentially reach $8.1 trillion by 2026. So, investing in an ecommerce website isn’t just about meeting your 2023 goals; it’s also for the future of your business.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to create an online store in 7 simple steps.
How to Create an Online Store
Whatever you do – selling handmade crafts, retail, wholesale, drop shipping, or anything else – having an ecommerce website helps you easily sell online.
To get started, you need to:
1. Choose your niche and understand your target audience
So, what’s a niche? It’s a specialized market segment for a particular product or service. Let’s say the market is “pop music”; its niches are American pop, K-pop, P-pop, J-pop, and so on. It’s simply the subset of a larger market – something specific.
The people you want to reach are just as important as your niche. You want to ensure that they’re interested in your products so it’s easier to make a sale.
When choosing your niche, consider if they’re profitable, in demand, and if you’re passionate about it.
Here are a few tips for finding a business niche for your ecommerce website:
- Consider your interests
- Find issues that you can fix
- Focus on interested individuals; not everyone will buy from you
- Experiment and explore
- Get valuable insights from feedback
- Check your competition
- Identify your unique selling point
- Test ideas
- Reevaluate your niche
2. Pick the products to sell
Once you find your niche and identify your target audience, you can start choosing the product or service line to sell. This step can be challenging, but make sure you’re not selling a product that no one is interested in buying. On top of that, ensure that you have the resources, such as shipping and storage, to accommodate your products.
When you pick a product with established competition, ask yourself the following questions before starting its production:
How do you set your product apart from the competition, especially if it’s a product that’s already well-liked?
Is it possible to enhance an existing product?
How will you ensure that this product is available only from your online store?
3. Choose the name of your online store
One of your first chances to impress viewers is through the name of your online business. It’s a way to show your company’s identity while building trust in your brand.
Customers will mistrust you if you choose a name that doesn’t match your products, personality, target audience, or values. It can also become the reason customers leave you for other brands.
4. Register your online business
Even though you can run a business without registration, it’s best to do so as your company grows. By registering your business, you give it official status with the government and ensure that your personal and business assets are legally protected.
So, make sure to register your business. Not only does this give your personal liability protection, but you also get legal and tax benefits.
5. Pick the platform and hosting to build your website
Aside from a website’s design, usability, and efficiency, consider its long-term purpose and required resources. Many business owners overlook the long-term purpose of a website until they run into problems.
For example, as your business grows, your site traffic increases. If your site can’t handle it, you’ll waste many potential customers. So, ensure that your hosting service can accommodate the growth in your traffic. Otherwise, you’ll end up migrating your website to a new host – which can be a tedious and complex task.
Another thing to think about is website management. After your website goes live, when you make changes to improve the website or correct misspelled text, how easy is it for you? You wouldn’t want to always contact a developer to make minor changes, right?
The good news is you can use content management systems (CMS) to build your website. CMS, like WordPress, lets you customize your website through plugins. It’s user-friendly but can sometimes require a certain level of technical know-how to add specific functions.
As an alternative, you can use a drag-and-drop website builder. It’s an intuitive tool that lets you create a website from scratch without writing a single line of code. It includes ecommerce features, such as marketplace selling, ecommerce reporting, payment options, and more.
6. Promote your online store
Of course, you need to promote your online store!
A website that doesn’t generate leads is useless. The whole point of a website is to attract revenue-generating leads. With this comes the need to strategize your marketing game.
There are a lot of things you can do to promote your online store. Here’s a list of a few of them:
- Build and utilize your email list
- Use social media
- Use paid ads
- Optimize your website for search engines
- Create engaging and useful content
7. Build a good business relationship with customers and promote loyalty
Customer loyalty makes the difference between a one-time sale and a customer who comes back. One-time customers help your reach your short-term sales goals, but loyal customers help create a sustainable stream of business revenue.
Taking care of your customers is important for many reasons. Think about these:
- Repeat customers spend more than newer ones
- Loyal customers have better conversion rates
- Retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring a new one
- Loyal customers regularly shop
- The question now is, how do you build a good relationship with your customers? We’ve got you covered with some tips below:
- Get to know your customers
- Offer a customer loyalty program
- Start a referral program
- Stay true to your brand values
- Engage with your customers
- Always ask for feedback
What Ecommerce Products to Sell and How to Utilize Landing Pages
What do I sell online? Which products are ideal for ecommerce?
For first-time or aspiring entrepreneurs, these are the questions that naturally arise. While it’s true that any product can be sold online, some products do better than others.
When creating an online store, it’s always important to plan out the products that you’ll offer. You can choose the right products to sell by taking notes of these tips:
- Check product popularity (selling trends, SEO trends, consumer preferences)
- Avoid market saturation
- Pick products that sell within your budget
- Sell products that you’re passionate about
After choosing the products to sell, utilize product landing pages to increase your conversion rates. Ecommerce product pages can make or break a sale. So, pay attention to the details included in them.
There are several elements to include in your product pages, and each of them help provide customers a great online shopping experience.
A product page that sells includes the following:
- Product title
- Product description
- Product images
- Return policy, if applicable
- Shipping details
- Customer feedback
Customers who shop online expect ecommerce sites to be convenient. Successful retailers understand the expectations of their clients and design their websites, including product landing pages, accordingly.
How much does it cost to start an online business
To achieve long-term success in the ecommerce industry, creating a budget that provides you with what you need and allows you to generate business revenue is necessary. Naturally, it requires some trial and error and might not always work immediately.
You can start an online business for as little as $300 or as much as $1,000. That is significantly less than building a brick-and-mortar store, which mostly requires a few thousand to several hundred thousand dollars.
Figuring out how much it will cost to start an online store requires tedious work. It’s because you have to consider many different things and assess what your company needs. So, to help you know how much you’ll need, here are a few items to note:
- Hosting platform
- Site fees and other expenses
- Product sourcing (supply chain)
- Product images and videos
- Inventory management (storage facility)
- Shipping fees
Once you determine the initial costs of starting an online business, take into account the cost of product renewals. This helps streamline your budget and avoid hurting your business revenue from unexpected fees.