January 23, 2023
How to start a fair trade online store

In simplest terms, fair trade represents a way of paying people in growing countries fairly for the items and goods they produce.

Today we’ll discuss what fair trade is, why it is important, which things you should consider when starting your own fair trade business, and how to open a fair trade online store.

To learn more, just keep reading.

What is fair trade?

Fair trade is a certified system of standards for producing and supplying a particular product. It aims to help producers in developing countries achieve fair and sustainable trade relationships.

It’s a global movement focusing on trading between workers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia with European and North American fair trade sellers and organizations.

Fair trade focuses on safe working conditions, workers’ rights, and better pay for workers and farmers. For buyers, fair trade is an arrangement that guarantees higher quality as well as ethically produced goods.

To summarize, it’s a global movement important for producers, certifiers, businesses, and buyers who consider the planet and people first. They have all come together to make sure they treat resources as limited.

The goal is to create products that benefit both the producers and the land where they grow.

Sell your products online, worry-free

Create your own online store with StoreBuilder — no design skills or code required

Start selling with StoreBuilder

What are some common fair trade products people sell?

Here are some of the examples of common fair trade products:

  • Cocoa
  • Herbs
  • Nuts
  • Oils
  • Wine
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Tea
  • Dried fruits
  • Sugar
  • Etc.

It’s not just items we drink or eat — flowers, gold, handmade baskets, jewelry, and rugs are also examples of fair trade products.

Why you should start a fair trade business

Owners of fair trade businesses support artisans, farmers, and other workers in growing countries. They buy and sell their products, crafts, food, and arts that meet the fair trade principles.

People who create the products don’t always get a fair wage. That’s why fair trade is so important — it’s a way to ensure they get a fair deal for their efforts. It’s also a good encouragement for them to keep the quality of their products at a high level.

As this movement grows, more and more global companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Starbucks, and others use fair trade ingredients such as tea and coffee.

Still, with the help of fair trade membership organizations and certifying bodies, anyone can start a fair trade business and make a difference.

How to start a fair trade online store

If you want to start a fair trade business, your best bet is to do it online, as opposed to a brick and mortar store. This is due to a number of reasons.

For instance, start-up costs for ecommerce stores are much lower than physical stores, and online stores can also reach much broader audiences.

If you’re ready to dive in, here are some key considerations to opening a fair trade online store or starting an ecommerce business.

Write a business plan

Do thorough research by visiting other fair trade stores. Determine how you can make your store different from others in similar niches. Offer additional products or focus on adding distinguishing features to your fair trade online store.

Be creative and put all your ideas on paper, so you can later clear the list and see which ones you will turn into reality and add to your ecommerce business plan.

Search for wholesalers to purchase your merchandise. Select a name and logo for your business that will draw the attention of your target audience. Set how much inventory and capital you need to start the company.

Buy sustainably and responsibly

Fair trade wholesalers are an essential part of your business because consumers want to know if you’re buying merchandise that improves the environment and society.

That’s something that differentiates your offer from others.

Plus, that’s something they’re willing to pay more for.

Get a business license

Request the proper forms from your local governing body so you can get an ecommerce business license.

Carefully check the documents you need to have, which will differ depending on the state in which you live.

Look for trusted certification

If you want to attract ethical shoppers, get product certification they recognize and already trust. Be aware there are a lot of online stores out there, so customers need to have something trusted that tells them if an item they want to buy is ethically produced or not.

These are only a couple of in-store and online retailers whose products are Fair Trade Certified. If you’re looking for products with the seal at your favorite coffee shop, local grocery store, or office, simply request it. It’s important to have open communication with brands and companies you’re buying products from to know what you offer to your customers.

Fair trade certified

Develop a social media strategy

Implement strategy for multiple social media platforms within your marketing plan. Social media is an excellent way for a company to tell its story, especially regarding fair trade brands.

Due to the nature of fair trade, people share an intrinsic interest in the background story, which is why they expect a business to present it. They want to know your contribution to making the world a better place.

And, as social media platforms evolve into social commerce platforms, your audience may choose to make a purchase straight from their feed.

Make it easier for your buyers to shop sustainably

Help your customers to shop fair trade. Bring their online shopping experience to a higher level.

You can do multiple things to boost your fair trade online store:

  • Make a mobile-friendly site: Most people search for things they want on their phones rather than on computers. Adjust your website so they can easily browse through your shop whenever and wherever they are, not just when they’re home in front of their laptop or a computer.
  • Add customer reviews: It’s easier for someone to purchase if they see someone else has already bought it and left a positive review for your product.
  • Consider a live chat option: If not, find another way where customers can quickly reach you with their questions. We live in a fast-paced world where buyers expect to get information immediately.
  • Choose high-quality photos: Show your visitors what your products look like from all angles. Ensure they see all relevant features, so they know what to expect.
  • Provide informative content: Blogs, videos, and other forms of content you offer to your audience can help them fully understand your background, values, and the products themselves.
  • Add site search: Visitors want to find exactly what they’re looking for. Add a search option so they don’t walk away thinking you don’t have something they want when they just couldn’t find it.

Start a fair trade online store with StoreBuilder

Your fair trade online store needs to be easy to navigate so customers can see what you sell. Yet, you probably want a little corner where your imagination can run wild.

StoreBuilder by Nexcess can help you get your fair trade business online quickly.

StoreBuilder makes WordPress easier and faster. You can get your fair trade online store up and running with custom integrations and optimizations in only a few clicks.

It offers:

  • Intuitive design features (without a designer or writing code)
  • Built-in performance tools and automated sales tracking
  • Flexibility and freedom to create a fair trade store according to your preferences
  • Live expert 24/7/365 support

Check out StoreBuilder to get started today.

Aaron Binders
We use cookies to understand how you interact with our site, to personalize and streamline your experience, and to tailor advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies and accept our Privacy Policy.