Are you at a stage where you are wondering how to start an online store? I would really say that you are on the right path. Because if you notice the current digital era. Now It is better and easy to start an online store than anytime before. Rather than thinking just about the concept of starting a local shop. It’s a new digital age to start your online store today.
Some people think if they are not tech guys they can not start their online store. This is not the real truth. Nowadays building an online store is much easier with the help of available tools like Shopify and WooCommerce with WordPress.
The operation on the online platform is much easier than ever before. Through online small business tools and integration on platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
I would here clarify that starting an online store has two viewpoints on this business.
Firstly, Someone can build their own product and start selling online. Second, someone can create a dropshipping model where they can list down the supplier products and start selling them. I will tell you these in detail in this post.
This post is going to be the ultimate guide to starting an online store.
I am going to discuss and cover all the essential points that are must-know for digital entrepreneurs this year.
- Six Important Steps By Step Process To Starting An Online Store In 2022.
- What Do You Want To Sell Online? Decide And Determine Your Targeted Buyer Personas.
- Go With A Dropshipping Partner. If you are really a beginner and want to know how to start an online store fast.
- Payment Method Integration For Your Online Store.
- Buy Domain Name And Hosting For Your Online Store.
- How to start an online store with the help of WordPress and WooCommerce?
- Grow Your Online Store Through Online Marketing.
Six Important Steps By Step Process To Starting An Online Store In 2022.
I am going to share six important step-by-step processes that are really helpful for beginners who want to know how to start an online store and become a digital entrepreneur
What Do You Want To Sell Online? Decide And Determine Your Targeted Buyer Personas.
This needs to be the first question in your mind before thinking to start an online store. It is really important to think about what you want to sell online and what is your specific category or product you want to choose to sell online. Select your own niche to go with.
Choosing a niche-oriented product or category helps you to figure out these relevant queries ( What do you want to sell?, Who are you going to sell it to?, Why would they buy it? ) in your mind.
This is crucial when deciding what things to sell, the design of your website, marketing strategies, and shipping requirements. If you already have a product idea, use it to figure out who the item’s ideal buyer would be. However, if you’re launching an internet store from scratch, think about who you want to reach.
This is thinking about your buyer persona that really helps you to successfully create, sell, and market your products to your ideal customer.
One way to choose a product as per your buyer persona and another way are to choose your product whatever it is just satisfying your needs. For this you need to keep some important points in your mind I am telling them here.
Tips for choosing any products to sell online:
- Keep an eye on the current trends. – Follow the trendy item or product to sell. Check what’s going on in the present scenario of any field like fashion, cosmetics, or any product category.
- Case study on the well-known product.- Check the product that works well in the market and read the case study of the brand or product. Do market research on it.
- Make sure you’re going to make a profit.- Check your competitor’s pricing and accordingly make your product pricing competitive. You must take care that you are making a good ROI (Return of Investment )of it.
- Sell things that are simple to transport. – Try to sell the nonmagnetic products because it will affect your shipping or it becomes complicated while you deal with battery or magnetic products.
- Keep an eye out for an underserved market. – Try to get the idea of the product that is not already on the market. Try to solve a pain point among a specific target audience with your unique product idea. That should be your USP (Unique selling proposition) of the brand too.
- Consider the manufacturing procedure.- If you want to sell your own product then you need to find the manufacturer of the product.
- There is another important aspect you need to consider like understanding what you’re looking for, domestic vs. overseas manufacturers, types of suppliers, factories, wholesalers, trading companies, verifying your manufacturer’s quality, and so on.
Go With A Dropshipping Partner. If you are really a beginner and want to know how to start an online store fast.
One can launch an online store and start selling quickly through dropshipping business. It is not only easy and quick to set up but you can also cut down many upfront costs, inventory management, and order fulfillment. It comes with the benefit that you don’t have to keep an inventory by yourself.
Due to this, it cuts down the cost involved to make the product and storing it. Dropship only deals with the profit model. You only have to pay the supplier once the order is booked from the customer end.
Understand What Is Dropshipping And How It Works As An Online Store?
In simple words, Dropshipping is an easy and fast way to start an online retail business method where the retailer does not have to hold a product, manage inventory, or ship the product while selling it to the customer.
Instead, the retailer or seller purchases the item from a third party and directly sent it to the customer from the supplier. The seller or retailer does not have to handle the product directly.
Dropshipping business model works by linking your eCommerce website to a dropshipping supplier’s catalog and selecting things to sell to your consumers from there. You have control over how these things are priced, marketed, and offered.
How it works in simple words, You choose the product to sell, tag the price on the product, and then market it, on an online platform or through a search engine. Buyers get notice of your online store and product and purchase one of the products and pay on the site. You forward the customer order to the supplier and pay the supplier, now supplier ships the product directly to the customer.
Payment Method Integration For Your Online Store.
If you are starting an online store the most important factor that needs to consider is how you take payment from customers. How easy for the customer to pay in their convenient ways.
This is most important to consider that your business runs a smooth and secure payment process. First of all, you need to decide what payment methods you want to add to your online store. Some useful and common payment methods are PAYPAL, Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Transfer, and In-person Payment.
Every transaction for your business, such as consumer payments, is processed by a provider. Keep in mind that whichever option you select will be the one you use to process all credit card payments. To start collecting payments through your eCommerce website, you’ll need to get verified by your provider.
Buy Domain Name And Hosting For Your Online Store.
Now it’s time to build your online store before building any online store. You need two-three important things to buy. It is necessary to start your online store presence online.
- The first thing is Domain Name- Choose the name of your online store. Buy a domain name for it you can take a domain name extension with (.com) or
( .online) for example “ blogemania.com”. I would recommend Namecheap will be the best option for buying a domain name.
- The second thing is the Hosting Plan-Choose the best and fast hosting provider. It should handle your online store and fetch the data fast for the customer.
You can buy a domain from Namecheap and host your domain with shopify.com. Starting at $29 per month, you may get a fully hosted eCommerce solution.
Or, you can go with the Best one the BLUEHOST which offers a free domain name and SSL certificate for the first year if you buy a hosting plan from Bluehost. This will be good if you start your online store with WordPress Wih WooCommerce.
- The third important thing is the SSL certificate- SSL Certificate helps you to secure your website and hosting with a Padlock mark with your domain that enables HTPPS (AllowSecure Protocol for Web). You can buy it from Namecheap.
How to start an online store with the help of WordPress and WooCommerce?
Now I think, we all know the important aspects, it’s time to start setting up the online store. For this, it is a really a questionable topic on which platform we have to start an online store.
There are two easy methods, that can use by any online entrepreneur. It does not require any technical coding skills.
The first method is by using Shopify. The second is using WordPress with woo-commerce.
I am going to discuss here the best-recommended method which is WordPress with Woocommerce.
If you really want a store and you are serious about it then this method will be worth it for you.
First, you need to buy a domain and a hosting plan, an SSL Certificate for your online store to make a presence in this online world if you did not buy it until now. You can think of the best suitable name for your online store. While deciding on the name I would recommend that you can check it with the domain name availability checker tool.
I would recommend you check your domain availability with Bluehost. But do not buy it now if it is available, I am going to tell you the best offer about Bluehost by that you can get your domain name totally free.
Get a web hosting plan with Bluehost and get a domain name free for the first year also you can get a free SSL certificate for 1 year.
Guide For A Domain, Hosting, And WordPress Set Up.
I am going to guide you in buying your domain name, hosting, and SSL with Bluehost. Let’s get started.
Click to go to the Bluehost website.
After reaching the Bluehost website you will see a get started button or a host your website button click on that.
On the next screen, you get the option to choose the plan, you can go with the basic or the recommended one as per your need.
Once you select the plan you will be asked to create an account with Bluehost. You can feel all the details and create the account or you can simply use your google account to sign in.
After creating your account with Bluehost, you will be prompted to choose the domain name. Select the ( Create a new domain ) box and click on next. This is only if you did not buy your domain name with Bluehost or any domain name provider.
But if you have already bought the domain with Bluehost or any other domain name provider then just fill the domain name on another box with the option (Use a domain name you own) and click next.
You will get the package information where it shows the package you selected and the things that come with it or you can add on.
Once you complete your purchase you will get a notification over your email. This is the email that was used to create the account or the google account.
The email contains all the information related to your log-in to your Webhosting or Cpanel Dashboard. This is the main control center you can control your hosting and all the website data, SSL, and all.
When you get the login details and URL to log in to your web host dashboard or Cpanel. You can a screen like this.
Nowadays Bluehost is providing a dashboard with WordPress installed already.
You only just need to log in to your WordPress account. It will be redirected to WordPress Dashboard which looks similar to this.
Now, this process completes the installation of WordPress and setting up hosting and domain.
Guide for WordPress and Woocommerce Set-Up.
Once you get your WordPress dashboard it’s time to configure your WordPress for an online shop or store.
You need to first check the WordPress setting. Go to the general setting for the website name tagline and URL with HTPPS. You already get your SSL installed on your website by Bluehost. It is necessary that your website opens with HTTPS enabled.
Use your URL with HTTPS instead of HTPP.
Now you can go to the plugin option of the WordPress dashboard and click on Add New.
Type WooCommerce in the search box and then click on install. Wait while it is installing and show an Activate button, then activate Woocommerce plugging.
As soon as you activate the plugging the woo-commerce plugin opens up its own setup wizard and welcome page. First, you will be asked to enter your basic information for the online store like address, country, and region.
After entering it click the next step you will be asked to choose the store industry niche like the image shown.
In the next step, it will ask the type of product you will be going to sell on the online store. If you deal with products that need shipment then you must have to choose the physical product category else you can choose others like download, subscription, and membership.
Click on continue then it will ask you business details like how many products you plan to sell and are you selling elsewhere.
In the same box, there is another option free feature where you get the option to click on the check box if you want to be recommended to preinstall a business feature to your online store.
You can uncheck the eCommerce plugin that you do not need. After all these questions you will be asked to choose a theme for your online store site. You can also select the theme later and more options will be always available.
Guide To Setup Payment Option For Online Store.
It is really the most important thing that we need to select payment gateways or online payment options that are secure, fast, and reliable WooCommerce comes with various payment methods integration. You can select from PayPal Standard, Cash on Delivery, Checks, and Bank Transfers.
You can enable and disable the option that you need or do not need. When you scroll down you will get the option for PayPal, stripe, and woo-commerce payment. I will recommend you to go with PayPal and stripe these are the most popular and best and most secure payment options.
For every payment option, there are integration setup buttons to set up the API for each payment gateway. Like you can enable stripe and enter Stripe Payment API keys. You will get an API key in your stripe account.
After completing these click on the save button and your payment option is not set to take payment on your online store.
Guide To Setup And Customise Your Products On Your Online Store.
You can check the products option in your woo-commerce sidebar of WordPress. Select Add New option in the product option to get your product listed.
You need to add a product name in the title or say the title of the product and in the description are some brief descriptions about the product.
On the right side of the column, you get multiple other options to add a category of the product that really helps customers to navigate the product through categories. By scrolling down you will find an option for product data where you can provide product-related info like pricing, shipping, inventory, attributes, etc.
Through the product data box, you can enter all the relevant information that you want to show to your customer on your online store so the customer can get aware and take buying action by getting the right info for the right product.
After completing it you can simply repeat the process to add other different products that you need to add to sell online or want to list on your store.
Now it’s time to check how all these look on the front end of the website or online store so you can say these process customization of your online store.
If you already selected the theme you will check the store in preview mode. You can check your theme just head over to the Appearance menu of WordPress. Go to the Appearance » Customize page.
Select the theme you like or want for your online store that works well on your desktop and mobile. It is necessary to choose the best theme that really works both on mobile and desktop.
Grow Your Online Store Through Online Marketing.
As you know now a day it is easy to reach customers through digital media networks. Either through search engines or social media. There is two option one is organic which is free. The next one is paid marketing.
I am going to list the option that you can choose to market your individual product or brand or the online store.
- SEO – Search engine optimization is the organic way to reach the customer. You can target the keyword and rank your website top of the first page of the search engine.
- Social Media- You can reach social influencers over social media for your product promotion. Or you can use paid social media marketing like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, etc.
- SEM- In search engine marketing you can run ads on the product keywords with the help of Google ads or bing ads.
- You can add an affiliate marketing option to your product so affiliates can market your product for a small commission for selling your product through their niche-generated audience.
I think this will be the best post from my end on the topic of how to start an online store as a beginner. This will really help you to understand and start your own online store by getting attention to the detail of these ultimate guideposts.