There has never been a better time to invest in online businesses. We live in a new and exciting economy, which is why its scope and size has changed our perception of the traditional ways of doing business.
Multinational companies such as Amazon and Ebay are good examples. They now dominate areas which were previously dominated by traditional businesses.
Small and medium businesses are getting great benefits doing business online.
In this sense, online businesses are some of the most profitable and competitive. The business model isn’t complicated and minimal investment is required compared to other businesses.
Remember: online businesses are an excellent way of receiving passive income.
Want to find out more about online stores? We will tell you everything you need to know about this trending business model.
Advantages and disadvantages
Firstly, let’s discuss the pros and cons of these business models.
- Minimal investment. You don’t need to rent offices as you can manage your business from anywhere.
- Easy setup process. There are different alternatives (E-commerce platforms) that will help you create a store in very few steps.
- There are many management options you can choose from depending on your needs e.g. drop selling.
- You must invest some money in domains, web hosting and web development.
- If you decide on an e-commerce platform, keep its functions and settings and work according to its guidelines. On some platforms, you must pay a subscription or one which is more advanced.
- Being online, there is no direct contact with customers. Keep an eye on ratings and maintain a good relationship with the customers (social media, newsletters, etc.).
There is no huge risk attached to creating an online store. While it’s true that detailed work must be done and studied, how do we increase the chance of success?
How to create an online store in 10 steps
Is it easy to create an online store? The answer is yes. The most complex thing is probably developing it with a solid foundation for success.
Let’s discuss the steps you need to take.
Define your business model
One of the key points for business success is the definition of the business model.
With online stores, a lot of the business model will be defined by how the products are sold. Some options are: own manufacturing, wholesale and drop shipping.
It’s important to be very clear about what the focus of your online business is going to be and how you’re going to make a profit.
Set the price range
The price will mark your profit per sale. But not all prices work. It’s important to be very clear about the types of products you’re selling (brand, design, etc.).
It’s also important to know the online context and its wide range of prices. Although it’s possible to sell anything at any price, you must take the competition into account, as well as its price range, in order to set a natural price for the product.
Experts say that the products that sell the most online range from €25-50.
Choose the name and domain of your online store
This is one of the most important business decisions you can make.
The name or domain which future customer type into Google will affect the brand, visibility, search ranking and much more.
Because of all the competition, it must be a well thought-out name. Some of the most important tips are: short phrases of 2-3 key words that are easy to spell, pronounce and remember, as well as carrying out quality research to find out about the competition.
Choose a good web hosting service provider
Hosting is essential for our online store and to avoid problems.
A good web hosting provider must offer features that help maintain the website professionally, among others:
- High traffic allowed.
- Good storage space allowed.
- Security and SSL certified.
- Database for different versions.
- Email account service.
- Technical support.
Select the most convenient platform
We spoke about the need to use an E-commerce platform to develop the online store in the best possible way, in addition to being an easy and effective process.
There are a wide range of E-commerce platform possibilities: Prestastore, WooCommerce, Magento, osCommerce…
The best advice for selecting the most convenient platform is knowing the features, sales and disadvantages of each one. This way, it will be easier to identify the one that best suits your needs.
Add all the possible payment methods
One of the big factors that increase the percentage of the bounce rate (visitor abandonment rate) is the inefficient number of payment methods available.
How do we avoid this? You just need to add all the available payment methods. Imagine losing sales for not being able to take payments via PayPal?
Photographs and descriptions
With online stores, the storefront will be the screen. Show well-categorized products. Intuitive, easy access is vital.
As well as this, show a variety of high quality photography with well written descriptions using keywords.
We can’t attend to the users, so the content of the description must respond to the most frequently asked questions which may arise from the product.
Remember, competition is high, so a good description can give you the necessary advantage.
Set your delivery and returns rates
Important! Delivery and returns rates are factors which can deter possible customers. You can partake in offering some discounts by volume of purchases or loyalty rewards. In this regard, review market prices and think of a good strategy that could benefit you.
Create a blog accompanying the store
Online businesses must be put out a fresh image and constant updates. A blog is the perfect resource to let your imagination run free, motivate users and boost brand image.
Together with social media management will be the basic tool to attract and retain your customers.
Create online publicity campaigns
Due to its nature, it’s necessary to develop online advertising campaigns to publicize our store, brand and products.
It’s a valuable option to improve positioning and reach the desired audience.
Creating an online store is a simple process with minimum investment. However, it requires a professional market study and analysis to reach the best position and continuous, dedicated work to compete with the competition.