How do I make an online webstore ?
From a while, searching for new sources of information on the e-Commerce niche, I’ve met thousands of topics like: “I want to make an online store,” “in which areas it’s worth investing in an online business“, “How do I start an online store“, “where do I start / what are the steps for an online store“, etc.?
Although the information is available at one click away, i have’nt yet found any complete educational material that meets the needs and demands of these entrepreneurs.
Therefore, i decided to develop a guide for beginners for the first steps in eCommerce webstore. This guide is divided into three main chapters: “How do I build an online store?”, “What are the steps to launch an online store” and “How can I grow my online business – strategies.”
Our loyal audience, who posted on the posts of blog, will receive this material exclusively on the e-mail address during the build-up of the guide.
From the start, I am confident that this guide answers the general concerns of those who want to invest in an online business. The truth is that there is a lot of detail, which depends on the success of this type of business, and it would take at least a few years and thousands of pages to encompass everything. Even then, something new would appear, because the eCommerce niche is constantly developing.
For this reason, i intend to offer educational materials gradually through specialized articles published on the platform’s blog, about which you will soon find more details on the blog.
There is no flower in your ear to build, launch and grow an online store. If you have no idea what to eat, my advice is to train you thoroughly, even for a few months. Do not think it’s easy, the effort made for an online store may be even higher than the one deposited for a physical store. In principle, you need to know aspects of commerce, then just ask yourself what you need to know to make an online store.
I will start the first chapter of this guide, answering the question “How do I build an online store?”.
1. How do I create my own webstore
- Think at what you gonna sell
Too few entrepreneurs can boast that they were simply hit by a brilliant idea to start a business. Most need to think about thousands of possibilities to discover a functional idea. It’s hard because it looks like everything has already been done.
In online you are not like the market, although the Internet can be considered a mega world market. Here you do not present the same tomatoes and cucumbers, stealing the neighbor’s speech and hoping the customer will choose your products. On the Internet, Penguin and Panda are waiting for you to make a mistake, the competition busts you in the products you are trying to sell, and the customer runs into the open arms of the big brands, no matter how small you are. You will understand these aspects throughout the guide.
Therefore, the first decision you make is what type of products and services you want to make available to the customer. Identify opportunities, choose a product that meets some of the following criteria:
- Choose a niche that you can add educational value to – customers feel indebted to the stores that help them solve their problems. For example, if you sell components to assemble an audio system, you will be loyal to the public through educational materials that teach them how to assemble, maintain the system. You can follow the example of other entrepreneurs who have started their business with a blog but it is certain that the existence of a blog is mandatory for loyalty to customers.
- Target the exact type of audience you need – for example, did you see a passionate fisherman who does not spend on hooks, hooks, baits, etc.?
- Those who have a problem – does the car have a problem with the ignition and must change the separator cover urgently? You have the product on stock and offer it fast.
- Demographic criteria – your audience is segmented by age, gender, and location.
Choose products for girls, women, or men, etc. from certain geographical areas, locally or internationally. Creates the client profile you want to address.
- Product type – Choose the type of product depending on the trade mark, the profit margin, the requirements of manufacturers and suppliers, the ability to create quality content to support the product, etc.
- Sell products that need accessories – after the customer orders a product from your store you can send a customized offer with accessories and related products he needs. So you can increase your revenue with less effort and marketing budget. It’s simpler to sell something to existing clients than to attract new customers.
- Choose quality producers – no matter if you make the products, buy them from the country or internationally, be sure to have quality producers and suppliers. The public began to understand that it is more important to get quality products at higher prices than unnecessary products at nothing. Remember! Your goal is to get a faithful audience, to sell them repeatedly and to trust you. If you want to make a rebate on quality, you better leave it.
- Sells small products – I mean as small as it is more reliable for delivery. Large and heavy products include high prices for delivery.
Think of something hard to find locally – drones, international sweets (eg Australia), jewelry in Thailand, medieval armor, etc.
- Products you’re passionate about – it’s true that you do not have to start an insect business just because you have this passion and, in fact, the audience you are focusing on is not interested in it. There must be a demand-supply relationship between you and the public and, at the same time, be interested in the niche you are working on. For example, we are in the barbos trend, so if you sell oils, conditioners, brushes for facial hair care, you may be successful pretty quickly.
- Choose a consumable product – if you offer quality supplies (eg batteries, glue), customers will return to the webstore to purchase them again. Moreover, they will become ambassadors of your brand, recommending the products of friends and family, and they will act similarly in a continuous, beneficial cycle for you.
2. Make a business plan concept
Any action (and here I mean even in life, in general) should start with a plan. You do not know what you are expecting and what steps you have to follow, who you are addressing, what you really want, what the costs are, if you do not have a plan to guide you. Or yes, you can start your journey without a plan in this area if you want to lose in second.
The business plan includes the research and documentary stage, the messages and the target, the tactics and strategies, the timing, the budget, the evaluation and the B plan for your business success. These phases are known for those in the PR field, being the standard steps for designing a campaign plan.
An online business plan should include the following:
- ROI estimation (Return On Investment) – revenue and expense per month
- The losses that you allow – eg. defective / damaged / lost / stolen merchandise, returned merchandise, etc.
- Budget and promotion strategies
- How to attract customers to the store and increase conversions
- Reserve plan for suppliers and unserious courier companies, etc.
Budget is, of course, your main concern. The truth is that I can not estimate a specific budget, costs range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of euros, depending on the niche, the information system and the webstore ‘s eCommerce platform, but also how you negotiate prices with suppliers or advertising agencies.
In principle, in the business plan you have to go through everything, even the costs that seem impossible, otherwise, the plan is overhead and you are tempted to quit. To remember! Do not expect to launch a perfect business, just in time you have the opportunity to achieve perfection. Ideal is to be enthusiastic and eager for new challenges and these features will also define your business.
3. Evaluate the viability of your idea
Predicting demand at the target audience, for one product or another requires a lot of market research. In online, you have at your disposal some useful tools with which you can keep track of aspects of your product idea, starting with the market demand, the evolution of this application, the competitors and the geographical location of the target audience to which you have to present:
- Google Trends – tracks the evolution of interest for the product you choose, what is the start of the event, how this trend has evolved, where the audience is searching for the product, etc.
- Testimonials and Negative Reviews – customers’ dissatisfied opinions about existing products are basically a gold mine. You can follow these steps to understand which aspects you have to make sure the audience chooses you. You can find them in existing online webstore, in price comparisons, forums, etc.
Evolution / fluctuation of keyword searches – you can find out what this evolution is, seasonal and calendar fluctuations using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, a tool available in your AdWords account that you create for free. After adding the relevant keyword group to your idea, discover what evolution they had, etc.
- What kind of content ranks in Google – the relevant and quality content will drive you to the best positions in the search engines. This is the process by which “ranks”, is sorted out as valuable content. Good positions in Google are more visible, more important and more likely to be converted. Check out what type of content, what style, and what topics the articles of existing online store owners have. Depending on this, you will know if you can bring something new to the industry, to promote you effectively.
- Social Media Mentions Importance – These help you get to know your clients, find out what type of language is used to get to their emotional side as quickly as possible. If you have a few notions of commerce, you probably already know your goal is not reason but emotion; people buy if your products solve a problem, instill a sense or revive a memory. A first step in this direction is the analysis of the pages of your future competitors: what social networking sites account for, where and how they are active, what kind of posts they do, how often feedback gives their fans or followers, etc.
4. Competition and product availability locally
To build a business and to evolve, it’s essential to know how competition works. It’s hard to develop intelligently if you do not know who your competitors are, how you can differentiate yourself from them and what you can bring in addition for the audience to choose your products.
What to watch when spying on webstore competitors:
- What is their organisational mission?
- What are the prices compared to what you have proposed?
- What are their payment and delivery options?
- Where are their call-to-action buttons and what impact do they have?
- What is the quality of product images and what are the descriptions?
- Are they optimized for mobile?
- How and how are they on social networking sites?
- What platform do I use?
- How does it interact with clients?
As far as local availability is concerned, I will only give the example of home electronics. The market in Europe for example is crowded with online stores selling this type of products and it will be quite difficult to dethrone the heavyweights of the charts. I recommend you to go to less crowded niches, where you have the chance to build a brand. Here are some examples of niche and profitable products: car parts, games, phone cases in a certain style, eBooks, airplane tickets, etc.
5. Register your startup business
Depending on which country you live, there are different ways to register your company on electronic commerce states that in order to open an online webstore and to trade in the virtual environment, it is mandatory to mention the registration data from the Trade Register in the site. In other words, you need a pre-registration, otherwise it is considered a contravention. So a small personal or family business startup should be easy to do, less bureaucracy and more cost effective..
The second option is the opening of a LLC (Limited Liability Company) company, which involves more monthly costs, an initial investment ceiling and is much harder to suspend or radiate. If you already have a business, you can add an additional options, which refers to virtual commerce.
So, disclosure for your company should appear on your webstore
Regardless of the choice you make, you are required to issue a fiscal receipt to individuals who pay with cash. The alternative of the cash registers are the following:
– money transfer through bank transfer
– money collection by card payment
– cashing through a courier company that issues a receipt based on the invoice issued by you
To avoid sanctions from controllers, your online webstore must contain the following:
- Your branding name or your business webstore
- Full identification data (No. Reg., etc)
- Prices of products and services put up for sale
- You need authorization from the National Authorization for Personal Data Processing Supervision in your country
- If the activity is subject to an authorization regime, it shall mention the identification data of the competent authority.
In the idea that you want to develop and evolve towards a brand, a big business, I recommend you to open a company L.L.D.
Customers have more trust in a business, plus if you are doing large imports/exports inside the European Union on the individual, the customs staff retain your cargo until you present a company invoice; it is mandatory to have a business name if your offer includes warranty products and if you want to make contracts with courier companies, suppliers, card processors, etc.
6. Choose the right eCommerce platform for you
If your target audience is in your country only, experts and my recommendation is to choose a highly customizable eCommerce platform. Do not run green horses on the walls – the perfect eCommerce platform – it does not exist. I made an article HERE in the past for why is better to create a dedicated custom platform instead of a click and open business store.
It is ok to open the website on a click and go platform, but you have limited options and features, plus, you gonna spend a lot of money monthly bills.
So, a dedicated custom platform for e-commerce it can cost less, you do not have to pay monthly bills, especially if your business have a static products/services with low database products. Once you set it, your website will work for years without your care.
It is harder at beginning, until you set it. If you are not skilled you can search for a FULL STACK DEVELOPER to hire. I offer these services but i have a limited programm.
Ask me anything in comment section below.
7. Choose your domain name, and hosting
Your chosen domain name symbolizes your online identity and your choice can be a real challenge. Think of this: If you build a profitable online business means war, choosing a quality name for your domain is half the battle. It will ensure your place in the virtual world and will be the main keyword for search engine positioning through which customers get into the store and convert.
I can help you by giving you some ideas on how to choose your domain name:
- Be short, attractive and memorable – Choose an easy-to-pronounce name that sells and allows you to grow, transforming yourself into a brand well known to the target audience.
Buy a specific domain for your target – .ro? .com? The choice depends on the market you are targeting. .ro domains are useful for a business in Romania, while .com are more visible globally, but it’s difficult to find a name that has not already been taken.
- Be careful not to be accused … or to jail. It is important that the domain name does not cause any legal issue. For this reason, before completing the online store, you need to do a documentary search about the existence of similar, identical or similar trademarks. See if your chosen name on .ro is not used by other online stores on other domains. I also recommend that you register your domain name / store as a trademark in your country, you certainly do not want to wake up in a few years that you have to give up.
- Be Creative – Use word crosses, compound words, articulate or conceive a unique name to represent you.
It is not recommended to use a domain name made up of keywords, you may be penalized by Google.
Most specialized companies offer both domain and hosting packages with SSL certificates for data security.
For the hosting company, I advise you to make a local choice because the servers are in the country and the information should not go as long as it would be needed in the case of a provider in Australia, for example. These should provide you with optimal upload speeds, 24/7 monitoring and support included to solve problems that will be realistic at some point.
8. Take a look at everything that you can do with web design and logo
Once you’ve chosen your business and domain name, it’s time to get interested in the site’s design and a representative logo to get you out of the world.
In this step you have two alternatives: either choose cheap or free solutions that do not guarantee you much, or turn to graphic design professionals. Ideal would be the second option, but not everyone has an ample budget when they want to set up an online business.
Why is the logo so important? Because people remember more easily your store. The visual impact is evidenced by the fact that people remember 80% of what they see and do, unlike 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read. Basically, the logo is the face of your business and can be used to promote both online and offline.
A logo must be:
-simple and easy to understand. without too many elements that have no logic for the consumer’s eye. When created by a professional designer, the public will never know how much work has put into research, conceptualization, a process materialized in years of learning and work
-suitable for your business webstore. If you want to sell baby items, you will certainly not use a dead head or similar symbol. The logo must first define your business and make sense to your customers.
-timeless. It must have the same impact over several decades, be resistant to the climbs and downs of the organizational image, like an anchor in which you can rely on keeping yourself in the same place. Thinking about your logo, customers will return to the store
-brightly coloured. Colors positively influence the mood of the users, depending on what you choose. I will not go into a discussion about the communication connotations of each color, it is certain that they even have some impact. Make sure your logo looks good and black and white in the event of printing parcels or promotional products in the coming campaigns.
9. Understanding SEO Importance
Some say SEO has died and it’s no longer necessary to invest in it. Total fake, SEO works perfectly, and Google charges you a breeze every time you make a mistake.
In order to set the foundation for an online business, it is vital to understand the role SEO has for the right positioning of your business. SEO – Search Engine Optimization includes activities aimed at improving the display of business results in search engines. Yes, normally, everyone is heading first in Google, and it’s ok to do that too, but do not expect wonders from the first days, months, years.
SEO means optimizing metas, titles, images, is creating quality content on the store’s blog, means advertizing on other sites on your niche, with authority, means creating a strong profile of backlinks (pages and domains that do site reference) etc.
The first step you make is the discovery of the keywords you need to insist to start the optimization process. Keywords are those phrases that your customers search for a product or service in search engines. You are interested in ranging as high as you can because, as you say, you can hide a corpse on page 2 of Google that no one finds it. People have no time or patience to haunt sites that do not appear on the first page of searches. They want a fast, efficient response that will give them exactly what they need.
You can discover the keywords, short tail or long tail that are representative of your business with … family and friends. Ask them what their product would look for on Google if they did not know you. Of course I also provide you with professional tools for making keyword lists. These include Google’s Keyword Planner Tool or Ubersuggest.org.
Remember! SEO activity and keyword search is a continuous process that does not stop after the first optimization. Things are changing fast online and you have to adapt differently … you will not be forgiven.
10. Build your online website start-up
Perfectly, you’ve crossed the main steps of building your online store. Now you have to go over to assemble it to get it ready for release. If you have chosen a quality eCommerce platform to provide you with the easy management of the store, the process is half finished.
In the site you need to list your products, arrange them and fill them with exactly what you need for best start-up. Guess what? SEO! You need to be very careful about the quality of titles and descriptions for product and product categories and optimization of images for search engine robots.
For webstore meta-optimization, here are some tips:
- The customer profile must be the template after which you make every decision to sell.
- Emphasize the benefits – show the customer the benefits of the product, not technical specifications and functionalities that he would not understand. Tell him what he can get in addition, choosing your product.
It creates the imagination of the reader – creates a story and urges him to imagine how he will feel once he has the product.
- Provoke customer imagination – people are sneaking up with advertisements and not trusting in an obviously advertised text. Personalize, create stories: where the product comes from, how you tested it, how it came to the idea of making that product, etc.
- You can seduce clients with words that define a sense – they use words that cause their senses such as sensory adjectives. Be careful, in metas they do not really have a place but if you use them in context to reach the public’s emotions, they are more than welcome. For example: chocolate with crispy cream … or velvety taste of caramel.
- Give proof – show them the personal opinions of people who have tried the product. Testimonials have a positive impact on the credibility of the product.
In principle, it makes descriptions easy to read and understand. As for pictures and multimedia items such as product images, videos, or gifs, be sure to be quality and properly optimized. Some useful tips? The images should not be too large to be easy to load, complete the description of the images using keywords, do not use the same description for all, fill in the Alt attributes for each image and the caption descriptions to help both the search engine and the client , to find you faster.
In the site structure, you also mention current inventory information, accurately display prices, product search filters, payment and delivery options, call-to-action buttons, etc.
These are the steps you need to take to build an online store and the tips that they can offer you to achieve performance. Of course you can complete and you will probably be faced with other questions.
That’s why you can use comment section below. Ask me anything regarding webstore build
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