Building and online retail store can be hard work. But when established, it can be a good source of revenue.
If you’re starting an online retail store, it’s important that you have an idea of what you really want to achieve. Do you want to sell a niche product or you want to maintain a variety store? who is your ideal customer? Identifying your target customer base can be a helpful way to find your niche
1. What’s Your Business Strategy?
Ask yourself why you’re starting this online retail business in the first place?
Ask for your friends’ input during these beginning stages.
- Are they more likely to purchase from an online business based customer reviews?
- How much are they willing to spend on a particular item, given their income level?
2. Source For Products
The whole idea about an online retail store depends heavily on products. So focus on the products you want to sell. Learn the ins and out of the products. Ask yourself:
- which products are hot selling?
- Where will they come from or who are your suppliers?
- Will you invite vendors to sell on your store or are you going to be the sole seller?
- How will you handle shipping?
To find answers you’ll need to study different stores to see what they are doing.
3. Build an Online Store
Are you designing your website yourself, or are you outsourcing it? Make sure you are using a content management system that not only has pre-designed themes, but gives you full control of customization.
The centre part of your online store project is your website. You want to build a website that stands out from the competition. Remember that even the most beautiful products will fail to convert customers if they are sold through a poorly designed website.
Make sure your your online store is visually appealing. Also make sure that it is easy for customer to navigate. Make your online store to be colourful and stylish, easy-to-use, and project an air of trustworthiness to customers. Make sure the product categories are well-organised, and the checkout secure.
Never Underestimate The Importance Of a Secure checkout.
If you want your website traffic to actually buy something from your online store, you need to win their trust. This is a standard best practice for all businesses, but it’s also an important first step towards building a strong connection with your customers.
4. Determine Your Inventory Limits.
Inventory is an essential component of your online business’s success. You definitely will not benefit when you stuff your home with hundreds of shoes before you have sold a single one. Keep just enough inventory to meet anticipated consumer demand. From there, you can re-order, produce more, or change up your offerings.
If you under-stock products, and customers will become frustrated and you may loose them to other online stores. If you over-stock products your financial resources will be strapped. You want to keep things in the balance.
Keep record of popular items and make sure you have plenty in stock. Check back regularly to prevent items from dipping too low.
5. Get the Word Out
Another crucial step you must take is to advertise your online store. Ask yourself, “What will attract customers to my site?” There are a number of tools you can use to grab the attention of your customers?
Social media has become a huge field of marketing and you can use it to get more eyes on your online business. For instance, Instagram is photo-based; it provides a way to easily display the products of your online business.
If there’s a new product you want people to see, post a picture on Instagram. Show the products in different contexts. Use Instagram stories to feature happy customers using the products.
Facebook may not be as essentially visual as Instagram, it’s very commerce-friendly. It’s also the single most popular social media platform. Facebook makes your business accessible. You can easily manage your business, chat with customers, and even create and run ads with Facebook.
Vlogging is another visual way to advertise your online store. This allows you to connect with your customers more personally and in-depth. Talk about your products. Show off certain brands and product combinations, and get your followers excited for new products.
Other ways of getting the word out include catchy hashtags, Google AdWords, Content marketing, email marketing, etc.