Running an online store is no different to setting up a bricks and mortar one. There are still things you need to do before you “go live” as it were. As with anything in life, preparation is crucial to a successful outcome. What you shouldn’t do is just dive in and open an online store without doing plenty of research first.
All too often, people assume they can make their millions by selling online. Of course, they end up disappointed when they can’t even break even. Are you thinking of setting up an online store? If so, let me share with you some strategies to help you build an impressive one that makes you money!
Draw up a business plan
Let’s face it; if you’re going to sell products for profit, you’re running a business. As with any business, you need to develop a solid business plan. In a nutshell, it’s a document that provides a “roadmap” of what you wish to achieve and how you’re going to do it.
For example, it will have details on the products you wish to sell and your target market. It’ll also describe how much profit you estimate to get from your efforts.
A business plan isn’t just something to help you borrow money for your business. It also makes sure you focus on what’s important and not fragment your goals.
Use the Internet to source your stock
Next, you’ll need to find some suppliers for the products you wish to sell. The Web is a great place to achieve that goal, as you can find all kinds of trade and wholesale suppliers online. Aim for ones that offer the best trade prices so you can make more profit.
Invest in a reliable ecommerce platform
Next, you’ll need to turn your attention to where you sell those products online. Without a doubt, you’ll wish to do so from your own website. The problem with using marketplaces like eBay is that you end up paying lots of fees. It’s cheaper and more flexible to sell through your website instead.
Depending on your technical expertise, there are two ways of doing this. First, you can use an ecommerce agency if you want someone else to handle the technical side of things. And, second, you can go down the DIY route and set up the site yourself.
If you’ve got limited IT skills, I recommend going down the agency route. That way, you won’t waste time and money getting started.
Investigate an appropriate payment gateway
You need to accept payment on your online store. Most people will want to pay with a debit or credit card, such as Visa or MasterCard. You might find others that wish to use a service like PayPal.
The good news is that there are plenty of payment gateway services out there. Examples include WorldPay, Barclaycard and Authorize.net.
Pay someone to sort out your product descriptions
In fact, you’ll need to hire a few people. A copywriter is a must for text that packs a punch. A photographer can take amazing product photos. And a video production agency can create compelling demo videos of each product.
Unnecessary expense? Not if you are serious about building an impressive online store that makes you money!