How To Start an Online Store

How To Start an Online Store

Starting an online store can be a difficult task, but with the right tools and guidance, it can be a rewarding and profitable venture, too. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, creating an online store can help you reach a wider audience and grow your business.

Decide on a target audience

A target audience is the group of people your marketing efforts are focused on. When starting an ecommerce store, knowing your ideal audience is critical. It helps you find new customers easier and attract interested buyers to your website, resulting in higher conversion rates and more sales.

Find a business idea and choose your products

One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is finding profitable products to sell. Coming up with product ideas is a bit tricky, but if you have an audience in mind, you’re one step ahead. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to find products to sell, whether you’re manufacturing, reselling, or dropshipping.

Choose an ecommerce platform

When you’re learning how to start an online store, one of the biggest decisions is which platform you will use. An ecommerce platform lets you build and start an online store experience, make sales, and fulfill orders.

Determine your business structure

You’ve finished all the fun parts of starting an online store: choosing your name, building your site, finding products, writing product descriptions. But before you launch, you want to make your new business legal.

Design your brand

Before you begin designing your ecommerce website, you’ll need to consider branding. Create a brand identity and develop brand assets to use throughout your online store and across other channels. Be sure you’ve developed the following elements to plug into your store design.

  • Brand values and mission
  • Business name
  • Logo
  • Lifestyle and product photos

Set up your ecommerce website

Now you’re ready to start building your ecommerce site. Follow these steps to make sure you’ve completed every task on your ecommerce checklist before you launch.

Add your products

  • writing product titles and descriptions (knowing audience, highlighting incentives, anticipation of common questions or objections, making text easy to scan)
  • uploading product photos or other media (high-quality images, same aspect ratio maintenance, using tools, adding necessary details)
  • setting your price
  • managing your inventory (SKU, bar code, quantity)
  • setting shipping details
  • adding product options
  • organizing and tagging your products (product availability, product type, vendor, tags, collections)
  • grouping your products into collections
  • setting search engine listing details

Create key pages for your online store

  • about page
  • contact page
  • policy pages (return policy, privacy policy, terms of service, shipping policy)
  • FAQ page

Create an online store that’s completely customized

  • choosing an ecommerce theme
  • designing your homepage
  • customizing your navigation menus (main and footer navigation, search)
  • setting brand colors, typography, and other design elements
  • customizing your checkouts (customer contact, form options, order processing, abandoned checkouts, customer accounts)

Establish shipping settings

  • offering free shipping (for bigger orders)
  • charging real-time carrier rates
  • charging a flat rate
  • offering local pickup or delivery

Set up taxes

Connect a payment gateway

  • chosing payment options
  • selling in multiple currencies
  • setting your payout schedule
  • toggling extra fraud prevention measures
  • customizing how you appear on your customer’s bank statement

Get your store ready for launch

  • adding a custom domain
  • installing relevant sales channels (point of sales, social networks, marketplaces, Google)
  • customizing your email and SMS notification

Launch your store

Market your online store

  • social media marketing
  • search engine optimization
  • analytics

Create a successful online store today

Now that you know how to start an online store, you’re ready to put your knowledge to work! You can sell anything online, including handmade products, merch, and digital products. Your ecommerce business will be a work in progress as you grow. Build a profitable online store by reaching your target customers with the messaging and products they’re looking for.