How to Build an Online Store
Online stores are the latest trend in sales, predominantly so because they do not include the high costs associated with setting up of regular shops while still enabling a business to reach far and wide. Also customers find online stores more convenient.
Steps to build an online store
- The first step to build an online store is to decide on the products you will be selling through that store. Towards the beginning, when your budget is low, one drop-shipping is a good option. This involves selling other people’s product without really having to maintain your own inventory.
- Alternatively, you can sell something of your own or maintain your inventory of branded or other goods, say electronic appliances, however here you must make sure to research the products you plan to sell. Remember, that customers are more likely to purchase such products from the already well known online stores.
- A solution to this above mentioned problem is to work on a niche market for your website. That is, instead of focusing on a wide array of products, you need to focus on any one specialized product and thereby build up your own customer base. For instance, in place of selling cell phones, if you focus on selling just the cell phone accessories, you stand a greater chance of finding your particular customer base.
- The next step would be to arrange for shopping-cart software which will enable your visitors to get details about your products and thus purchase it by completing the payment process.
- Invariably, the next step involves setting up of an effective payment system. For accepting credit card payments you need a merchant account. But towards beginning it might not be a good idea, as you will have to pay an exhaustive mandatory fee, irrespective of whether you make a sale or not.
- Hence, PayPal can be a good alternative. There are no monthly charges, and you’ll pay only when you make a sale, and it is quite a trusted online payment medium. Your customers will not be worried about the legitimacy of your store, if you’re using paypal.
- Lastly but almost certainly, you’ll need a dedicated IP address, which is an absolute necessity for creating a safe store and for accepting online payments. For this reason, you need a hosting company that can handle e-commerce.
Setting-up an online store is not a big deal; getting a steady traffic is what’s more cumbersome. So once you build the store, do make sure that you market it well.