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Planning to Open Your Online Store? Here are 6 Necessary Steps

These days more than 15% of all retail sales are done online and this share of the market increases exponentially every year. When we think of online shopping, we immediately think of retail giants like Amazon and eBay. There are many different ways to set up an online store and with such a huge market, the potential for sales is enormous with the right online business strategy. 

This article explains six essential steps you should follow if you are planning to open an online store.

1. Prepare Your Products And Branding


The first step you need to take when planning your online store is to prepare your product and create a unique, well-messaged brand. Your products are of course a huge factor in whether or not your online store is going to be a success or not. If you are selling your own products then there is not too much to consider except for the price point. Your branding needs to portray a strong message that your customers will connect to. A strong brand will add huge value to your online store and enable you to maximize your online customer traffic and sales. 

2. Decide What Business Strategy You Will Follow

The second step you need to take when planning your online store is deciding on your online sales strategy. You may decide to only sell directly from your website or to reach out to relevant partners to create an affiliate marketing relationship. The experts explained in that there are many questions you need to ask yourself in order to decide on a winning strategy. Have you considered the benefits of becoming an Amazon seller to sell your products? Would eBay be a suitable marketplace for your online store. Look at the competition that is selling products in the same area of business and try to deduce if any aspects of their strategy would work for your online store.

3. Build An Effective Website

The third step you need to take when planning your online store is to build an effective website. Your website will be the heartbeat of your online store so make sure it is informative, user friendly, and that it displays and describes all of your products effectively. Displaying the reviews and testimonials of satisfied customers can be a great way to show visitors to your site that your online store is reputable and that you deliver quality products and services.

4. Research Your Competition

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The fourth step you need to take when planning your online store is to research your competition to try and identify a gap in the market or a niche that needs filling. Unless you have a totally new product which no one else is selling, you are likely to have a lot of other online stores to compete with. Rather than being discouraged by this, use it to your advantage and build on their success. Check out the competition and see what is working for them and where you think you have an edge. Comprehensive market research is vital, especially in the early stages of a new online store.

5. Decide How To Ship Your Product

The fifth step you need to take when planning your online store is to choose your shipping options and start to build a relationship with your chosen shipping company. Shipping is everything for online stores and can make or break a business. People want speedy delivery, but what they also want is honest delivery times. Do not say that you can deliver in 1-3 days when you know that it will take at least 5. This will cause far more harm to your reputation than just having a slightly longer delivery time that you are transparent about.

6. Create A Social Media Presence

The sixth step you need to make when planning your online store is to use social media to your advantage to fully promote your online store. Social media is a great way to increase brand awareness and is an ideal platform to engage with your customers. Make sure you are on Facebook and Instagram and you should reap the benefits from the added exposure.

Opening a new online store can be a really fantastic way to make great money. Online retail has been growing at a ferocious pace in recent years and it is showing no signs of slowing down. With the right product, the right strategy and solid branding and online presence, online retail can be a hugely profitable business. Follow the steps laid out in this guide and you will be well on your way to a great online store.

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