Do you think that online stores are only about showcasing your products to customers?
That’s not all.
A fully functional WooCommerce store handles nearly every process involved in transacting with a customer. It handles payments, facilitates checkout, and updates orders.
Whether you’re looking to move your brick-and-mortar store or start a new business, an online store will help scale your business and grow revenue.
Even if you have closed your physical store due to the pandemic, you can still serve your customers with their shopping needs.
If you are having a hard time understanding how to open an ecommerce store or feel that it’s too much to handle, we have got you covered.
Read on to learn how to start an online store for your business.
Ecommerce Store 101
An ecommerce store is an online business platform to sell products and services over the internet.
It enables customers to purchase products and services without leaving homes or offices.
You can sell anything you want — from physical goods like shoes and jewelry to digital products like ebooks and music. Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and AliExpress are some prominent examples.
Start an Online Store
- 1. Understand Your Niche
- 2. Determine Your Product
- 3. Determine Your Source for Products
- 4. Think About Your Budget
- 5. Name Your Business
- 6. Register Your Business
- 7. Apply for Permits and Licenses
- 8. Define Your Brand Identity
- 9. Choose an Ecommerce Platform
- 10. Choose a Website Host
- 11. Showcase Your Products
1. Understand Your Niche.
A niche is your intended market audience. It includes the people you would sell your products to — your prospective customers.
To convert these potential customers into your clients, you need to:
Recognize your customers’ needs.
Find out the target audience’s desires.
Understand your audience’s values.
An easy way to do this is to identify your competitors and check on what they’re up to. Analyze their strategies and understand their whats, whys, and hows to develop your business plan and marketing strategy.
When deciding your niche, avoid overcrowded and brand-dominated niches. While competition lets you know that there is an existing market for your product, a crowded market does you no good.
2. Decide Your Product.
To start a successful online business, you need to decide the products you want to sell.
You can sell:
Digital products — software, ebooks, apps
Courses and subscriptions
You can perform further research on your competitors to decide the range of products you can sell.
Research their business models and their trending products. Find out what you can emulate and pick actionable ideas.
Also, look for social proof for your business ideas. Go to popular online stores and see which items sell better in your niche.
You can also try Google trends for brainstorming product ideas.
Nonetheless, pick a product you’re interested in and are familiar with. It will make it easier for you, as a business owner, to relate to your customers and deliver the best products.
3. Ascertain Your Product Source
Depending on what you’re selling, you need to decide your sourcing for your products. You can opt for:
Buying in wholesale — and operating as an online retailer.
Partnering with a manufacturer.
In-house manufacturing — for new products.
Dropshipping the product.
4. Set a Budget
Before you create your online store, you need to plan your finances upfront.
Depending upon the niche and the nature of the business, it can cost you between $100 to $100,000 to set up your online store.
Plan your budget for:
Plugins and extensions
Business licenses and permits
Payment processing costs
5. Name Your Business
Your business name should fit your business. Either go for a unique name that stands out in public or a relevant name that describes your business.
For example, business names like Target and Yahoo stand out. In contrast, names like Diehard Batteries and MyFitnessPal let the customers know what they are about.
You can also try a business name generator to brainstorm names for your business.
Once you have selected a business name, get a domain name — the permanent online address to your ecommerce site. It allows customers to find you on the web.
6. Register Your Business
While it depends on local rules and regulations, it is usually better to register your online business.
It helps you with credit card processing and product sourcing. Also, it lets the buyers know that your startup is operating legally.
7. Apply for Permits and Licenses
Depending upon your location, you may require business permits or licenses to operate your online business.
The exact permit depends upon the ecommerce business and the business regulations in your state and country. It is better to get legal consultation.
8. Define Your Brand Identity
Everything from your business name to your web page design should be consistent with your brand.
For that, pay close attention to:
9. Select an Ecommerce Platform
It’s time to choose an ecommerce platform and create your online storefront.
While there is a wide range of ecommerce platforms to choose from, you need to consider the budget, ease of use, and features — like templates, tutorials, and support for SEO and social media — to decide the one that is best for you.
As a feature-rich ecommerce platform with low costs, Nexcess’s StoreBuilder with WordPress is a great choice to create and manage your store.
10. Choose a Website Host
In your quest of how to open an ecommerce store, a good website host is vital.
While the domain name points to your shop, the strength of that shop — how many visitors it can support, how secure it is, and how fast it is — depends upon the website host.
If you are working toward a secure, fast, and high-performing WooCommerce store, check out Nexcess managed WooCommerce for free.
11. Showcase Your Products
You have reached the final step of our guide to how to open an ecommerce store and have built your online shop.
It’s time to configure your product pages:
Write engaging product descriptions
If you chose Nexcess to create your WooCommerce store, you can create your product pages and publish your store easily without doing things from scratch.
Final Thoughts: How To Open an Ecommerce Store in 11 Steps
You know how to open an ecommerce store for your business. Don’t postpone this opportunity and take a step to launch your ecommerce website now.
All you need is to determine the right product for the right market. After that, you can develop your online store without coding.
Ready to open an online store for your small business?
Start your journey today with StoreBuilder — a powerful website builder.