With so much going digital these days, many people are deciding to sell products online to make money. Known commonly as e-commerce, this type of online business is easy to set up and get going. However, it’s important to follow a few crucial steps first, which we outline below.
Choose Your Products
If you have an idea for an e-commerce store, you’ll want to choose your products carefully rather than randomly selecting them. Not only can that lead to an unfocused brand identity, but it can also result in excess inventory. Instead, choose a niche and be selective about what you’re selling. This requires some market research to find out what people are buying and why.
For example, if you want to sell handmade games merchandise, you’ll want to investigate what types are selling the most and whether it fits with your interests. Whether it’s custom DIY games like Alabama cornhole boards or handcrafted Jenga blocks, you’ll want to assess your market carefully. One suggestion is to start broad and then narrow down the niche. Being specific will help you stay competitive.
Pick a Domain Name
This might sound like a trivial step, but it’s an essential one. Your domain name is your URL, so you want it to be simple, clear, and memorable. An easy way to do this process is to name your business and domain at the same time. Be sure to select something that describes your business while not being overly complicated. You also need to perform a search to make sure your domain name isn’t taken.
Build Your Store
Once you’ve identified your niche and domain name, it’s time to start building your store. While setting up an e-commerce website can seem daunting, it is quite easy as there are platforms you can use. However, before you get started, you’ll need to choose between hosted or self-hosted options.
Hosted essentially consists of using another site to sell your wares, much like renting a property. Self-hosted, on the other hand, involves more legwork as you’ll sell your wares on your own website. Hosted platforms such as Shopify, for example, allow you to set up shop using their in-house templates and site builders.
If you’re a bit more tech-savvy and prefer to go self-hosted, platforms like WooCommerce allow you to run their software on your own site, such as WordPress. While hosted is easier, self-hosted gives you more freedom in terms of choosing exactly how you want the store to look and where it’s located.
Promote, Sell, and Ship!
Lastly, you’ll need to promote your business, sell products, and get shipping! As soon as your site is up and running, you should start marketing right away. This could be a systematized campaign that includes social media, email marketing, paid advertising, and more. Whether you hire a professional marketing company or do it yourself, promotion is key to finding customers.
In terms of selling, you’ll want to make sure you’ve set up a secure and efficient payment system on your site. Hosted sites make this easy for you, but self-hosting requires that you set up the safest methods such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more. Once you’ve got paying customers, you’ll also want to ensure you’ve implemented cost-effective shipping methods with options for free shipping, expedited shipping, etc.