This article will give you some tips on how to start an online store. It is easy to make an online store, and the challenge comes with selling it. You can build your online store using Squarespace, WordPress, BigCommerce, or Shopify among others. However, you have to take some relevant steps that will make sure that your online store picks from the ground. You need to understand the best platform and software for creating a successful online store. Besides, you cannot succeed unless you cannot pick the correct products for sale. Here are some tips on how to start an online store.
1. Pick the Correct Products to Sell
The products that you select will determine whether your online store will succeed or not. The most important thing is to make sure that you are selling that to your target clients. The best online stores will pay close attention to the uniqueness of their products. The issue of quality comes in after you have chosen the right products. Remember, after you launch your online store, you will be competing with big brands like eBay and Amazon that sell everything that is under the sun. Therefore, you will have tough times marketing your site if what you are selling is readily available in the market.
Consequently, you have to start by finding the right niche for your online store. You need a product range that has sufficient demand to sustain the business. Sell things that are hard to find online but have a high demand. To identify the right niche, you have to do a lot of keyword search.
2. Use Keyword Research to Get the Right Niche
You need to carry out some online research to get the right niche. Using keyword research tools such as Ahrefs will help you to get the right niche markets. You also need to do some online searches to understand the kind of competition that is operating in the market. You will be able to understand the number of searches that are done on various keywords every month. The information will help you to know which products have a higher demand. However, you also need to think about the number of stores that you will be competing with to sell a particular product. A business can be more sustainable if it has fewer searches but with a minimal level of competition in the market. Avoid business ideas that have a lot of retailers selling the same product. If there is a high demand for the product in your local area, but with minimal sellers, you can go ahead and start selling that product. The trick is finding products that have a strong level of demand with few retailers who sell them.
3. Source Your Stock
When sourcing your stock, you can either decide to buy from a supplier and resell or drop shipping. Buying from a supplier allows you to view the products first hand and evaluate its quality before selling to your customers. However, you will need to have some reasonable amount of capital to buy these products. On the other hand, a drop ship is a fulfillment approach where you don’t have to stock what you are selling. All you need to do is order the product from a supplier, and he will send the product to the customer direct. Therefore, you act as the middleman between the buyer and the seller. You don’t need any upfront investment to use this method. The challenge with drop shipping is that it is highly competitive and hence may take you some time before you gain a competitive advantage in the market. Also, you may not get a chance to evaluate the quality of goods before they get to your customer.
4. Create the Online Store
After identifying your product niche and market, and know where you will get your products, you need to think about creating your online store. You could hire a freelancer or agency to help you in developing the website. However, they should implement a solution that allows you to manage the online store without having to go back to them once it goes live. You need to have access to the CMS (Content Management System) so that you can edit your website and add or remove products with a lot of ease. Therefore, you will not keep on paying a developer or webmaster to help you in managing the store.
However, if you are not good at computers or have minimal time, you can hire someone to help you with the maintenance of the website. Some of the popular eCommerce sites to choose from include Squarespace, BigCommerce, or Shopify. You need to look at the features of each of them before determining the one that will give you the best service. The good thing is that you can try all of them for free. Make sure you have a highly responsive site that your visitors will find easy to use.
5. Optimize the Website for Online Search
No eCommerce project will succeed without the right SEO in place. You need to use Keyword research tools to identify the types of searches that are available for the products that you are selling. Include these keywords in your URL, metadata, headings, product descriptions, and page titles. The most important thing is to make sure that your site is highly visible in the search engines.
You will attract traffic to your online store by blogging regularly on topics that are related to the products that you are selling. Make sure that you are posting high-quality and keyword-rich blogs that are related to your area of business. It will help you maximize the possibility of your online store appearing in relevant search results and display authority in your business area.
7. Advertise Online
It is good to run some online ads to promote the products that you are selling in your online store. The best starting points and Facebook ads and Google AdWords. In Google AdWords, you have to identify and pay for relevant search phrases that will advertise your products or store alongside the organic Google search results. The approach works best for relatively expensive products. On the other hand, Facebook will display your ads to people who have informed that platform what they would like to buy. These tips are beneficial to anyone who wants to learn how to start an online store.