A online store for your business is a must these days. The number of customers buying online is increasing day by day. In the first quarter of 2018 itself, ecommerce sales in US grew by 14%. You don’t need too many other stats to indicate that e-commerce is really on a growth spree. So, if you are selling something, you need to set up an online shop. Here is how to start an online store from scratch.
E-commerce is growing rapidly. You need to learn how to start an online store and get going
Products To Sell
If you are already selling offline and just need to add an online store to your profile, this point is not for you. If you are just thinking about how to start an online store and have not yet decided on which products to sell, it is time you decide the products. Ecommerce is not easy. If your online business does well, you may need to process and ship orders regularly, day or night. So, you need to make sure that you are passionate about whatever you are going to sell. The product must not be something that you don’t like. It is not a must to produce or design the product yourself. You can also go for dropship delivery. You just need to select the right provider.
Most Suitable Ecommerce Solution
You will need an ecommerce solution or service to build a store. An ecommerce solution helps to bring alive an online store with all the features of an online shop in place. But there are a number of ecommerce solutions. How do you know which one is most suitable for you? To know more you must explore all the available types of ecommerce solutions.
- Hosted Solution: These services offer integrated ecommerce solutions including hosting on their own servers. They also provide all the web-based software needed to build as well as power an store online. If you are a beginner and have no knowledge about designing and programming, this may be the best suited for you.
- Licensed Solution: These are ecommerce platforms which you need to install in your computer and then start designing. You can get a host of excellent themes and templates in such platforms. However, to implement an online store using these solutions, you need to be a bit geeky about technology. You need to find a hosting service provider yourself. You may also need to choose security protocols, which may become tricky for beginners.
- Open Source Solution: Open source solutions are open for customisation. You can continue to customise the templates until they meet your expectations. You can download templates and designs for free and customise them. That can produce excellent results. However, you need to keep in mind that you have to build the website from scratch. If you are adept at web designing and design customisations, such solutions can be excellent for you. Otherwise, you need to hire a designer. In that case you need to bear the cost of hiring too.
This means that if you are a beginner and just wondering how to start an online store, the best way to go is to adopt the hosted ecommerce solution like Shopify. If you are adept at programming and designing and love to customise open source designs, you can get the best results with open source ecommerce solutions.
Building The Store
Selecting the products and an ecommerce solution is just the first step in your quest to setting up an online store. Now it is time to build the store. Building a store is not just designing the pages. Surely, there are a lot of pages to design in an online store. There is the product page, the content or blog page, the home page etc. You need to set setup every page and its contents meticulously. However, the most important part is the integration of functionalities of each page with the page itself. In fact, it is the functionalities that these pages will be known for in your online store. So, you need the ‘add to cart’ option and make sure that the cart functionality is working smoothly. You need to add the products and make sure that the product selection feature is working as desired. You also need to add the payment gateway so that customers can pay for your products using credit cards, PayPal or any other services.
Picking Up A Domain Name
To host the store, you need to pick up a domain name. If you are not confident about this aspect, you are better off with a hosted service provider. The domain name should be a short one and should describe your business in a nutshell.
Once you have all these elements in place, your online store is ready to go!
Image: Businessperson’s Hand Shopping Online On Smartphone From Andrey_Popov