5 Easy Steps to Setup an Online Store For Your Retail Business
Are you currently running a retail business? If yes, building an online store is a fantastic way to expand it. The good news is, you don't need a lot of money, time or technical expertise to build an online store.
A recent report reveals that overall ecommerce sales account for 17.2% of all retail sales with that online shopping itself is 13.7% growing over year on year. That said, this is the right time to own an online store along with your brick & mortar store.
You can choose any type of online retail business including drop shipping, selling products, wholesaling and warehousing, private labeling, etc.
In any case, to make your online store more profitable, you should create and promote your online store in a strategic manner. In this article, we highlight five main steps you should make to accomplish your idea of creating an online store for establishing a successful ecommerce business.
Build Your Ecommerce Store with the 5 Easy Steps
1. Choose the right product to sell
Search and find the "right" product to sell is crucial to the success of your store.
However, by "right", we're not talking about the quality of the product, we’re talking about the "uniqueness" of the product.
When you set up an online marketplace for your store, you're racing with a large number of hugely popular ecommerce sites, just think of the Amazons, Flipkart, etc.
To run a successful online shopping store, what you need to do is to "find your niche"- identify a product that is not being sold by other online retailers, but for which there is enough demand prevails in the market.
For example, if you’re about to sell clothes, it would be great if you are an expert in this field or already running retail apparel business. You should be a professional fashion designer or have your own experience in different kinds of selling and manufacturing clothes. All of these skills would be helpful in launching an online store.
It is always better to avoid choosing a product that you know nothing about it. Because it would be difficult to distinguish between the quality one from duplicate one.
2. Use a keyword research tool to find your niche
Keyword research will help you identify a wide range of potential keywords including distinct terms that could potentially drive traffic and sales. Since this website is a new endeavor, you don't yet have historical data to influence as a predictor of future performance. So, you need a good container of potential keywords to drill down on.
For choosing the niche, you're going to do some keyword research. The simplest way of identifying a niche is to:
Use the keyword research tool like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Explorer to find a niche market
Need to do some research to find out what sort of competition exists in those markets
Keyword research tools allow you to find out the search volume per month for a particular keyword. The secret is to find the product for which there is a moderately strong level of demand but with relatively a few online stores selling them.
3. Pick the right software platform to fit your business
There are many options for choosing an ecommerce software and with so many ecommerce service providers around. However, it would be difficult to find the best ecommerce platform builder who satisfies your business requirements.
This process is going to require an arduous effort, but by examining some of the latest ecommerce software you can find an appropriate solution.
At first, you've to decide what kind of ecommerce platform you want to build for your business. There are three options available as discussed below:
Option 1: Purchase a domain and hire developers to build your site from scratch
This option will allow you to build your online store exactly as per your specifications and have complete control of everything. You will also get the option to develop your add-ons modules and other additional features when required. The main drawback with this option is, it incurs a huge cost for hiring expert ecommerce developers.
Option 2: Purchase a domain and use an open-source ecommerce platform
This is a good option for people who possess basic knowledge of building a site. So, they can purchase a domain and then leverage the benefits of using an open-source ecommerce platform in creating an online store with a lot of built-in integration.
Option 3: Purchase an ecommerce platform
This is the best available option if you're looking for a complete service with regard to building an online store as well as having complete control over it.
Compared to the above options, this is an optimal solution where you will get a customized or standard ecommerce platform as per your need.
Purchase Commerce is a next-gen ecommerce platform that has hundreds of built-in integrations you need to build your ecommerce store.
Your website storefront encourages self-confidence in your brand or makes a potential consumer. For this purpose, a good ecommerce platform provider offers features like professional themes, mobile-friendly interfaces, and blogging tools.
A modern shopping cart software offers high-level security features like SSL certification, accepting all kinds of credit cards & also other payment gateways, calculating shipping charge & other taxes.
Apart from these features, it offers additional features like abandoned checkout, where you can automatically send emails to the customers who failed to complete their purchase.
Running an online store can be a complex task. Thankfully, most of the ecommerce platform offers integrated management solutions, like customer profile and account creation, order fulfillment, refunds, email newsletters, etc.
4. Pick a template that reflects your brand
"Don’t judge a book by its cover" is a well-known phrase we’ve all heard. In most cases, this fact remains true. However, in order to achieve success in the ecommerce business, it is necessary to make your online store more attractive in terms of layout, design and overall look and feel. Because the visitors to your online store estimate your brand based on the cover (web design & layout).
Readymade ecommerce website templates from sites like Theme Forest, Purchase Commerce, etc, are in great demand and are available for a reasonable price. For this purpose, choose the design template that resonates with your brand. The below list is the reason why a readymade template might be a good idea:
- They're modern, clean and easily customizable
- Up-to-date technology used to build and design
- User-friendly and available support
5. Promote your store
Once you are done with setting up your online store, you will have to carry out effective marketing strategies to improve product sales in the targeted region. Moreover, it is highly recommended to adopt a few digital marketing strategies as suggested below to promote your ecommerce store.
Blogging is a crucial part of any ecommerce storefront. Blogs that are written clearly with well-informed content enhances your brand’s presence and make you as a thought leader in your specific domain. It informs potential customers of your business by rendering impressive and enlightening content. Well, as the saying goes, content is the king on the internet. So, if you master it, your store will be benefitted from added advantages.
If you want to bring in more leads, you will have to opt for online advertising by spending additional money. It is a fact that your business will need an advertising budget at some point to ensure profitable growth. Campaigns like SEM and display ads help you to spread your brand awareness and keep your brand popular among the potential customer base.
Once you build a strong customer base, make sure you often engage with them through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Posting regular updates with a mix of content formats like images and videos are a great way to win the hearts and minds of social media followers.
Also, leverage user-generated content from your customers to promote your brand by integrating your online shop with major social media.
It's time to launch your online store
I hope the above-discussed steps provide you with the necessary starting point to launch your online store with the aim of successfully running the ecommerce business.
Running your own online ecommerce business can be an extremely satisfying and profitable enterprise. Modern ecommerce website builders like Purchase Commerce offers a pack of features to build a professional site.
Like anything else in life, the only limit to your success is yourself. So, what are you waiting for now? Get started today!