Thanks to the pandemic, the lockdown, and the development of technology, more and more people have shopped online in the last couple of years. The advantages of online shopping are many. Some of them save the time necessary to go to the physical object and look at the goods without the limitation of working hours.
If you want to create an online store, do research first. There are a few steps that you need to follow to succeed in your business.
Choose a Product Niche
Maybe you ask yourself, How do I sell online? Start with a product niche you want to work in. Focus on the specific target audience and goods. This is the way to stand out from the competition. Examine the market to see if the clients would have an interest in the products you will offer. Thus, you will form the vision of your future shop and the general image of your potential audience.
Platforms for Online Shops
Check which platform suits your needs, budget, and desires while providing the options and functionalities you want for your shop. Many software decisions allow you to create an online shop without having deep technical knowledge. Some of them are Shopiko, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc.
Shopiko is an easy-for-use platform, conceding various themes, designs, and other tools. It offers built-in support for payment methods and delivery providers and integration with multiple platforms, such as Google Shopping and Facebook. The downsides are limited controls, extensions, and customization.
This platform for creating online stores proposes a convenient and easy interface. It is designed for smaller and medium businesses who want to start their online business as quickly as possible. One of its main advantages is the mobile apps it offers. With them, you will be able to manage your shop from any device. Just like Shopiko, Shopify has support for suppliers and payment methods. The disadvantages of this platform include the monthly usage fees as well as the limitations available when customizing your online store.
WooCommerce is an extension of the WordPress platform. It has open-source code that you can modify and extend as you need. It gives you complete control over the design and functionality of your store.
WooCommerce is free to use and allows you to customize your payments, shipping, and products. A major disadvantage is that there is a need for self-hosting the website.
Magento serves to manage electronic trade, and it is meant for bigger stores. The advantages include the possibility of supporting an enormous amount of products and a powerful system of managing the content. However, working with Magento requires more complex setup and maintenance than other platforms.
Software as a Service, or SaaS, is software presented as a service. The program covers a wide specter of functionalities and goes with a hosting service. These kinds of programs are flexible and easy to use. SaaS programs save time and resources, allowing investing more money in the advertisement because of the optimization of your expenses.
Registering a Domain and Providing Hosting
Choosing an easy-to-remember domain name that is relatable to your business is essential. Take the time to think about it because the name is what your customers will recognize and remember you by. Depending on what audience you want to reach, choose whether the domain extension will be .com or .bg, depending on how you will limit yourself to a local audience, or choose a broader market. Ensure you also have hosting to store your website.
Another step that you can take to be successful is to build your site to be the “face” of your online shop with the help of designers. They can create a fully bespoke version or customize the above platforms to your needs and expectations.
Pay attention to the following factors:
Design – the right template is essential for your brand and the customer experience you will offer your clients. The design has to reflect your business ideas, be well organized, and not have redundant elements.
Easy navigation – your clients must use the site seamlessly. Provide them with clear and intuitive navigation by including a menu with categories and subcategories, a quick search engine, and filters for easy product discovery.
Item information – add a detailed description of the products offered, their technical features, price, and availability. Make sure the information is written in language that is accessible and understandable to users. Add clear pictures.
Shopping cart and payment – offer different payment options: credit cards, bank transfer, cash on delivery, PayPal, etc., to make it easier for your customers. Finish the process by implementing a convenient method to add products and complete the order.
Mobile optimization – ensure your site is adapted to any mobile device. This is an important factor to consider as more and more people are shopping on their phones. This will improve the user experience and help you compete successfully in the market.
The creation of an online store does not guarantee success. Building and completing a marketing strategy is essential to attract potential customers and turn them into your clients.
Online ads – their usage will help you to reach more people. Work with tools such as Google Ads and the ads in social media like Instagram and Facebook. Define your target audience’s demographic information and interests to attract potential clients. If you are having difficulty with the process of properly creating and setting up your online ads, you can turn to specialists to help with the process.
Social media – taking care of the profiles with regular content posting is useful for the customers. It is a wonderful way to build a society corresponding to your brand.
Blog – creating and supporting a blog with interesting and useful articles connected to your product niche will help you become an expert in your field. Apart from that, texts and keywords will attract potential clients coming from search engines like Google.
SEO optimization – it improves the visibility of your site in your organic results of the searching. SEO optimization includes examining keywords, optimizing metadata and headlines of the pages, and creating high-quality content. SEO requires time and patience because of the complexity of this kind of optimization. If you want to achieve great results, you can choose an SEO service from a professional digital agency. It will take care of the optimizations and regularly check the on-page and off-page parameters of your site.
Stock and Delivery
You should research the different stock management choices if you want additional information about how to set up an online store.
It is a good idea to employ a warehouse management system that enables you to keep track of product availability, automatically report diminishing stock, and track arriving and outgoing products to carry out the shipping process effectively. It’s crucial to integrate such a warehouse system with your website. Therefore, hiring seasoned engineers to handle it is the best course of action.
When it comes to shipping, do your homework beforehand to choose a reputable shipping partner for what you offer. Make sure you establish clear and competitive delivery terms and the ability to track shipments. Communicate plainly with your clients about the timing and method of delivery of their orders. Most e-commerce platforms offer the option to integrate a courier company module. This allows your customers to choose the most convenient provider, timeframe, and method of receiving their shipment.
Additionally, you need to develop a clear idea for returning products. Create an easy-to-understand refund policy for your clients. Be ready to respond to inquiries or handle any returns. Make sure you are well-prepared to provide suitable solutions for delivery or product quality issues.
Optimization and Development of the Site
The desires and needs of clients are changing, and you have to adapt and improve the services you offer according to this factor. This can happen if you constantly optimize your store.
Analyze data – use data analytics tools like Google Analytics to understand your users’ behavior. Analyze traffic, conversions, user purchase path, and other elements to find weaknesses in your online shop and take the necessary measures.
Test and optimize – try out different design options and decide which will best fit your headlines, colors, purchase buttons, etc. That way you’ll know what works best for your users.
New products: expand the product range you offer by keeping an eye out for the latest trends in your niche. Be sure to research the needs of your target audience. This is a very important step in the process of setting up an online store.
Customer service – focus on customer service. Try to respond quickly to questions and inquiries. Adding a direct chat option that can be implemented on your website will help you in this task.
Learn from the competition – check out what competing brands are doing in your niche to learn from them.
Recommendations and Reports
Feedback from your customers plays an important role in the success of your online shop. Encourage customers to write reviews about their purchases. Positive reviews and responding appropriately and quickly when negative ones occur will help you build client trust.
Make sure that your website allows customers to rate the products they have purchased. The rating process should be easy to use, accessible, and visible to customers.
Increasing Online Orders
There are different techniques you can use to raise sales:
Free delivery: this is very tempting because it prompts customers to make another purchase to get free shipping above the price you set.
Buy two for the price of one — promotions of this type are very successful. Internet surfers are often tempted to shop more when they think a product will come for free or at a significant discount.
Bundle offers: offering bundles is a winning strategy for your online store. Through bundle sales, you can again hold out promotions. Keep in mind that bundling items into sets will take time.
In this article, you learned what variants you can choose when you decide to create an online shop. To begin your own business is a good solution, and if you want to implement it successfully, you need to be adaptable to the changing desires and demands of users on the Internet.
Keep in mind that you need to spend a lot of time building your brand, as an online store is constantly running, no matter the time or day.
If you need professional help and a team experienced in creating successful online stores, CreateX is here to help.