Lots of us dream of spending our days on the beach, whilst our exceptionally creative products sell like hot cakes all over the internet. Sounds like bliss right? The actual fact of selling stuff online I completely different it's hard work and you have to put a lot of time and effort in. Whilst you might get to that beach one day, you need to to work your way there by first getting that ball rolling. So how do you actually go about setting up a shop online? Let's take a look at what steps you need to go through and some of the platforms you can set up on.
What Are You Selling?
The first thing you need to decide upon is what you're going to be selling. There are loads of things you could go with from personalised books to t-shirts with quotes on. These are things that sell well online but perhaps it's a new invention you've come up with, a completely individual product which the world needs to see. Figure out what you're going to be selling on your online shop. Will it be one amazing product or a range of different things that can attract a broader range of customer? There are ways to find out what products sell best on the likes of eBay and Amazon. This is well worth a look if you simply want to sell items and make money.
Decide On A Name & Buy Your Domain
The next thing you need to do is conjure u a name for your business. What impression do you want to give customers about your brand? What's it going to look like as the header of your website? Or on your business cards? What logo design do you want? So many businesses live and die on their name or their logo. Come up with and create something that people want to buy into. You also need to double check that you preferred name is actually available, along with the domain name you'd like. If you can, maybe grab both the .com and .co.uk versions of your domain. That way you have them both and can direct them to the same website.
Would Drop-shipping Help?
The next decision is one about the wonder world of drop-shipping. This is where you as the seller don't actually handle any of the stock. Instead you work with a drop-shipping company who then send the product directly to the customer. The third party business can either store your products and send them out or simply create your products on demand if they are posters and printed t-shirts, for example. This retail fulfilment method can take away from of the stress of running your own business. You won't have to find space to store products, package them up or deal with having to stand in a post office queue.
Create Your Website & Online Store
The next stage is why you clicked on this link in the first place. You want to know about setting up a shop online. There are various different ways of setting up an shop online and managing your store. You might feel a bit confused about the amount of eCommerce store builders out there. Which one is for you? Which one is the best? What are the differences and which will work best for your business? This is where you need to do a little research. You may have heard of some of the potential builders, such as Shopify, BigCommerce or Wix. They all have different pricing structures, features and some of them offer a free trial. When you've looked at some different potential builders, get creating your online store.
This is often as easy as simply dragging and dropping titles, logos and products onto a blank page before hitting publish. Of course, you'll need to have a way people can pay you for your products which might mean setting up a new PayPal account for your business. It's worth noting too that if you choose the drop-shipping method above, you can usually connect your site to the drop-shipping company. This connects everything up and makes the work flow much easier.
Promote & Market Your Site & Products
Once you've got your website up and running and have some beautiful images of your products on there, now is the time to start promotion. Promote on social media sites, get the word out via family and friends and budget for some ads on Google and Facebook so you can target your demographic. Use those images on your website to grab people's attention and include links so they can click and move over to your website. You can even join online marketplaces like Etsy which will take a small commission of what you sell. However, if you're on there, people will also take the intuitive and search for your own website after seeing your branding. Your products won't sell ten million units overnight but with every sale you'll find yourself doing a little happy dance.
Opting for a more traditional route of packing and shipping out orders has its advantages, including that personal touch presented in custom-printed boxes. You can adopt a modernized approach that gets your orders fulfilled and shipped cost-effectively and efficiently. Options such as this take care of the small things so that you can focus on the big ones.
Take Your Current Bricks & Mortar Business Online
Maybe you have a bricks and mortar shop but have decided it's time to offer your products online too. If we look back to the start of lockdown, a lot of high street businesses had to close their doors. To get around this lack of customers, many of them set up online. There were pubs now offering to deliver booze, even bakers delivering proper Cornish pasties by post. These outlets all needed an online presence in order to achieve this and they all found ways of setting up a shop online to help diversify their business and keep it going.
What Are You Waiting For?
You've read up on how to begin setting up a shop online, now what are you waiting for? Figure out your niche products, or find a way to offer an absolute bargain price for those products that are constantly online best sellers. Find the name of your business, your branding and try to stand out from the crowd. Then all you have to do is get your online store looking how you want it to, fill it with items and get those customers purchasing from you. Sounds wonderful to me! Good luck setting up a shop online.