How to Start an Online Store

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Having an e-commerce or online store has become quite a trend these days. Considering technological advances, anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset and spirit can now start an online store more quickly and easily. Consumer behavior also continues to evolve that a lot of consumers are already online. In fact, according to research, the number of U.S. online shoppers is expected to reach 300 million by 2023. This makes individuals and existing businesses with brick-and-mortar stores more interested in setting up online stores.

While some might call it jumping on the bandwagon, it’s actually making the most of what cyberspace has to offer. Through this platform, you can launch your brand, attract your target market, and increase your customer base, sales, and profits. If you’re now considering having an online store, these practical steps and tips shall help you get started.

Identify Your Niche Market

To get off to a good start, you must first decide on what products you’re going to sell and who you’re going to be selling them to. It’s great if your niche market is something you’re really interested in and good at. However, consider what is popular, in-demand, and profitable, as well. It’s also important to understand what influences consumers’ decisions. This is where market research comes into play. So, it’s best to invest your resources in this to reduce risks and increase your chances of success.

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Name your Store

Picking a store name can be a bit challenging. Because you’d want to make sure that it reflects your brand values and grabs your target market’s attention, you simply cannot rush it. But don’t obsess over it, too. Give yourself a deadline for this then go for the name that appeals to you the most.

Furthermore, think about how the name would fare when you purchase and register a domain for your online store. According to statistics, the number of newly-registered domain names continues to rise every year. There’s a possibility that your chosen domain name is already taken. Thus, it pays to have a catchy, creative, and original store name.

Choose a Platform

Nowadays, there’s an abundance of e-commerce platforms and software solutions for you to choose from. Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and 3dcart are among the best e-commerce platforms that you can consider. Check their features carefully, then choose the one that fits your budget, SEO and marketing goals, and design preferences. It has to be the right platform for your online store, so choose wisely.

Customize Store Design and Settings

One of the good things about using online store platforms like Shopify is that they have ready-made themes that you can easily apply and customize depending on your brand’s design aesthetics. You can start with the default theme then play around with it. Add your logo and other graphics and use colors that represent your business identity. It’s a good idea to check out the store designs of your competitors or take inspiration from stores of big brands. Make sure you also customize the settings and include your business address and email address, set shipping and payment options, and add account and privacy details.

Here’s an example of a Shopify theme for an online store selling electronic products.

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Photo credit: themeforest.net

Add Initial Products

Pick and add the first products that you want to sell in your online store. This step should be easy as e-commerce platforms give step by step instructions on how to do it. Ensure that you provide the name, description, price, image, and other necessary information about the product. This improves your customers’ shopping journey, which is a big plus for your business.

Solidify and Implement Marketing Plan

To completely launch your online store, you need to have a solid marketing plan. Most online store platforms are SEO friendly and have social media tools that you can leverage. Input main keywords in your product description and add meta description for better SEO. You can also maximize content marketing, social media marketing, and Google ads to promote your store. Do marketing right and you’ll increase your online visibility and bring in more customers (and eventually profits!).

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Embark on your online selling journey! Take note of these simple steps and tips on starting an online store. With proper market research, the right platform, and a strong marketing and overall business plan, you can have an online store that drives growth and success.

You can delegate tasks to our virtual assistants, so you can finally launch your online store. Contact us to find out how we can work together!

Pepper Virtual Assistants is a business solutions firm that specializes in virtual administrative and personal assistance, online marketing, customer support, and copywriting. We are known for reliability through our managed services, responsive client handling backed by extensive training, and rockstar virtual assistants hired for their skills and expertise.

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