Everyone seems to be getting into ecommerce and opening online stores. Success stories abound. Maybe you are also doing a good bit of buying online now. You may have some good ideas about products you can sell. You have a good supplier that you know or some products you can craft. But how do you open an online store, what are the mechanics, who will build it for you, how much will it cost? These are all legitimate questions that every entrepreneur seeks an answer to. The following will help you get educated on ‘How to start an online store’ and join the world of ecommerce.
The most popular reason for online shopping is the availability of choices and variations that you may not necessarily find in your local market. You can browse through hundreds of choices from multiple stores and decide on your own time. When ready, just a few clicks and a package shows up at your door a few days later. So whatever kind of products you decide to sell, make sure you provide the kind of options that may not be available in your local stores.
Other features to consider for your online store:
- Offer multiple shipping options. Some people are always in a hurry so make sure you have Next Day and Two Day Options available. Some companies have even started experimenting with same day delivery.
- The majority of users access online stores and do their shopping from their mobile devices. Make sure your online store is mobile responsive. However, this does not mean that you should ignore the users on other devices. People shop wherever is most convenient at any given time. So, reach the multi-device audience for greater profits.
- If you have decided to start an online store, follow the trends and do not lag behind. With so many different stores and options, customers can turn elsewhere in a matter of seconds.
- If you are wondering about how to start an online store, that is not that difficult. If you are tech. oriented and have setup a website before, you can do it yourself. But, if like most people you don’t have that kind of technical skills, do not despair. Reach out to a web development company like (Interloper Inc.) that specializes in ecommerce. They can help you quickly setup and tweak an existing template or make a custom site depending on your needs and time frame.
- If using a template, the site will look a bit cookie cutter but it will cost less and your store can be setup within a couple of weeks. If you prefer a custom design, a designer will put together a design that reflects your vision, targets the right demographic and also reflects the income level of the people you are targeting. If you are selling expensive items, then you must go with a custom site that does not look like WalMart. On the other hand, if you are selling cheap costume jewelry but your website looks like Nordstrom, you will scare away buyers.
- A good web development company will also make sure that your site has secure payments integrated, shipping API’s are setup correctly, transactional emails are in place and the site is setup for future SEO optimization.
- Social media plays an important role in promoting an apparel ecommerce store so make sure the developer integrates social media.
Tell your developer what kind of budget you want to stay within. Then let them show you some options within that budgetary range and you can proceed accordingly. Here are some sample ecommerce websites and their approximate investment:
- Budget: $1,000 to $1,500 http://khyberbazaar.com
If you are selling inexpensive products, such a site will be ideal. The presentation is simple. Categories are clearly identified. You can quickly see the items and if you like a few, quickly add them to your shopping cart and check out.
- Budget: $2,000 to $3,000 https://suncoastaudio.com/
Better suited for premium products. This is the type of website where people like to spend time, browse, bookmark some items and when the timing is right, go ahead and buy. A very good choice for high end items.
- Budget: $4,000 to $5,000 http://anjolee.com/
This is a higher caliber jewelry website. It allows you to customize your jewelry, select the type of stones you want to add, the type of jewelry you want, detailed help, information, guidelines and is an excellent example for a serious push into online jewelry ecommerce.
Sometimes you may be tempted to skimp a little but if a better site brings you an extra sale or two a week, it may be worth it. In absolute dollars a better website sometimes looks more expensive. Let’s say a premium site is $2,000 more than an average site. Spread over an average life span of 3 to 5 years for a website, that is barely a dollar / day over the life of the website. Your website after all is a vehicle to bring you more business. If a better website brings you one additional sale a week, think about how many times the better website pays you over and over and over again.
To sum up, if the idea of an online store intrigues you, this is the best time to get started. It has huge growth potential and compared to traditional brick and mortar stores, online stores cost significantly less.
We hope this article was helpful. Good luck!