Yes, the business world is shifting and the shift comes with many advantages and ease. Gone are the days when you had to have so much capital to run a business or be at the highest level of tech savvy to do anything on the internet. Somebody said that if you have a smartphone and you are still poor then there is something you are doing wrong. I agree with that because the possibilities and opportunities you have on the business platform are vast. The best part is that you can now start an online store without skills, products to sell or even money.
Apart from the fact that you will have full convenience in operating one, an online store will help you reach more people. How many hours do you spend online? When was the last time you searched something online before heading to the stores to buy it? The point is, everyone is online nowadays and the probability of your store being visible is high compared to a shop hiding somewhere at the corner of a street people barely visit. The next time somebody looks up an item on Google, who knows, it could be your store that will show up.
Having said that, the benefits are huge but that doesn’t mean that it is equally hard to set up an online store that will bring you profits, strengthen your brand and maybe have you listed on Forbes. Sound exciting, right? Right.
Here is how you can start your own online store the easy way:
First Things FirstYou cannot start a store without a plan and a strategy, otherwise, you will fail big. You will need to create a business plan first. This will help you know the costs that you will incur and what you will need to operate your business. You will also have to determine the product that you want to sell, the niche, a functional system that includes suppliers, distributors and the general procurement system. You will need to take your time researching to avoid flooding the market with what is already there. The best place to start is to look for problems that you will solve. This can be done by looking at what the competition is doing; especially what they are doing wrong. Don't forget to follow the state rules and register your business to avoid getting into trouble with the authorities.
Every business has to go through this first step if it to make any profits or see any light of day. Once you are done with that step, setting the online store will be very easy.
Start Your Online Store From Scratcha) Get a domain name, web hosting service, and an SSL certificate
You will need a domain name and a web hosting service. The domain name will be the name you will choose for your online store. The web hosting service is the space that your online store will occupy on the internet. You can buy these from service providers online including an SSL certificate that will make your website very safe. This is the foundation
b) Set up your website
This is the platform where clients will come to view your products and make purchases. It’s like the building itself. This is something that you can create for yourself by following the instructions on the internet or get somebody to do it for you. The idea is to make sure that the interface is easy to use for the clients, clutter-free and if you want it to be more functional you can add a few features that will help you market to your products. Like a pop up that will have clients inputting their email addresses.
c) Get an E-Commerce software
Once your website is ready, you will need a software that will be in charge of critical issues like payments, shipping information, and currency. It should be good enough to safely store and execute all transactions needed. The software should also have a way of boosting your marketing strategies. You can get it on the market after reading the reviews and information. Just let google be your friend.
d) Stock up your store
You can then add products to your online store. Ensure that you give enough information that will be relevant to the client. Information like what product description and why they need to buy it. You should also add images, price, promotions and discounts and even shipping information.
Just like that, you are already in business and you can start your journey to financial freedom.
There are other easy ways of owning an online store without having to go through all those steps. It is what we call setting up an online store in a few hours. For those who hate programming and having to remember setting, these ways can make your work painless.
Use Already Established SystemsIf all you have is thirty minutes, you can go to the net and search for all-inclusive e-commerce services. Choose one that suits your business model and just like that you can sign up and start running your store on an already established system. This will save you time and resources of having to hire somebody to create a website for you. The only problem is that you will have to pay the platform some of the money you make from your sales. Everything has a cost, right? It is better than having nothing at all.
Hosted E-Commerce ServicesThere are platforms online that will allow you to set up your store on their platform and also get your own inventory. They will help you to handle financial and marketing issues. For instance, the payment options and processors will be provided by them and the emailing system will also be theirs. If you want to know the number of people that looked at your product, offer customer support, or send adverts and promotional information on their e- emails, they have you covered. That is the good part pf teaming up with people who know the insides of the system.
Set up an Online Store on Social MediaAre you on Instagram or Facebook? These platforms allow you to create a page that will serve as your online store where you can sell any product that you have in mind. You can also market it and get client feedback on the same platforms. It will only take you around five minutes to have your store running on these platforms. The good news is that everyone is on social media; just target the right audience and you will be fine.
Affiliate Store ServicesWhat if you don’t have products and still want to get into the business? You can sign up with an affiliate store and resell products on their behalf using the links they will give you. These links will act as your product store only that you don’t have inventory. You will be paid commission for every buy through your virtual store. All you need to do is create content that seem to solve a certain problem, optimise it and let people be directed to the solution.
Starting an online store is just like setting up a shop only that you will not have to deal with the time it takes to construct one and its lack of flexibility. It can be done in just a day. What you do afterwards like SEO optimisation, marketing, differentiation, and branding will determine whether you will attract and retain clients long enough to grow your business.