How to open an online store so that everything works out
Decide what you will sell
The online store is just a tool. It is much more important not how you will sell, but what. Let it be the most convenient site and excellent delivery, but if your product is not needed by people, the business will burn out. So you need to start by looking for an idea.
If you are producing something, obviously this point will be easy for you. If you intend to resell goods, you will have to thoroughly research potential competitors. It is a great success to find a free niche, but in the third decade of the 21st century it is not so easy to do this. Therefore, you will have to spend a lot of time to understand how you can stand out from peers. For example, suggest:
- a wider range of goods, if there is an opportunity to get everything in one order, people are happy to use it;
- faster and / or more convenient delivery;
- convenient return system;
- bonus system.
Until you fill in all the holes in the theoretical part, postpone the transition to the practical.
Register a business
If you are serious, you will have to legalize. You can register an individual entrepreneur or LLC. While you are not selling anything, but only getting ready, the tax authorities are unlikely to be interested in you. But it’s not her. You need an official status right now in order to establish cooperation with companies with which you will enter into contracts, suppliers, contractors, and so on.
If you don't make the product yourself, you have to get it from somewhere. So you have to deal with suppliers. In order not to overpay too much for mediation and reduce the risk of being thrown, it is best to contact the manufacturer or its official distributor.
But this is not always possible due to the volume of purchases. For example, if a plant only ships batches of 1,000 or more items, and you need 10 pieces, there is no point in concluding a contract directly for you. We'll have to look for intermediaries.
He doesn't need to lure customers: they'll come to him anyway, so he won't make it easy for you to search with intuitive sites and cleverly tuned ads. Or it will be, as luck would have it. But be prepared to spend a lot of time on the Internet, making phone calls, and even reading product labels for contacts.
At this stage, you need to think about one more thing, whether you intend to organize your own warehouse for storage or act only as an intermediary between the supplier and the buyer. The second option is also possible and it is called dropshipping. You take over the promotion of the goods, and the distributor delivers them from their own warehouses.
Both options work, you just need to determine the right one for you.
Choose the format of the online store
With a small assortment, you can limit yourself to well-designed social networks and an Instagram account. If you still need a website, think over its structure properly and make it convenient and understandable for customers. At a minimum, you will need:
- The main page is the first thing that a person sees when he gets to the site. It should be attractive and make the visitor who came here for the first time to stay on it. And the main thing is that the potential client immediately understands where he is and what you are doing here.
- Catalog , section with all goods. Come up with a convenient filter system, test them until you get close to perfect. Directory navigation should be simple and straightforward.
- A product page is essential for every product you sell. The client should be able to look at the product from all sides, read the required characteristics and descriptions.
- Search page , optimize it so the visitor can find what they are looking for. Don't forget about filters and sorting results according to various criteria.
- Cart , a page that shows that the customer is going to buy. Make it so that you can go there from any page.
- Working conditions , information about delivery, returns, contacts should be easily accessible, especially if it is there that your advantages are hidden.
You can create a website in a constructor service, or pay someone for it, order the creation of pages from scratch, or purchase a ready-made online store.
Begin with your budget and common sense. For example, it is not always advisable to do something anew, if you can use the constructor, and then, with the help of programmers, finish the pages to fit your needs.
Take product photos
For catalog photography, you need a white background, good light, and arms growing out of your shoulders. If you have all this, you can get by with a little blood.
Some products may require styling. For example, you are selling a leather skirt with an unusual cut. It will become much clearer and more attractive if you collect several images with it and demonstrate it on the model.
And here you may need the services of not only a professional photographer, but also a make-up artist, hairdresser, stylist. In general, go back to budget and common sense.
Register a domain name
No surprises here: the domain name should be easy to remember, fairly simple and short, with a clear extension. Let's say pudra.ru is much better than kosmetikaikisti.narod.hn.
Set up a payment system
To accept payments, you need an online checkout that can be integrated into the site's CMS. With its help, you will send customers electronic receipts that will confirm the purchase. You will also need to connect a payment system so that customers can transfer money to you. Now there are ready-made convenient solutions, thanks to which it is possible not only to embed a payment form into a website page, but also to issue invoices with a link sent by mail or in a messenger.
Sign contracts with delivery services
Choose reputable companies. If the goods arrive late or in poor condition, you will still be the last one.
Promote your online store
No matter how well you've done the previous steps, no one will know about your accomplishments without ads. You will have to think about a marketing strategy even at the idea generation stage. The steps required will depend on your product and your target audience.
Use the power of social media and advertise your online store there. Order ads from influencers. Raise the site in the search for keywords. Connect an email campaign. Lure customers with promotions and discounts. Do everything so that people know about you.
Improve your online store
It is unlikely that it will be possible to do everything right away so that no changes are required. There is a lot of work ahead to improve the site where problems will emerge. Listen to advice, guidance, and especially angry reviews. And also constantly analyze all the data in order to understand where the weak points are and what customers want from you.
An online store is a business. A working idea is most important. When they say that making an online store is easy, they mean the technical part of the question. And it really isn't that difficult. However, before you go directly to creating an online store, think through everything you can think of.