When we talk about to create an online store, the rules are a little different from a physical store due to the virtual communication environment, but online can also offer you a number of advantages if you know how to take advantage of its specificity. Online commerce has seen the fastest growth, given that most of us choose to shop using our laptop, phone, or tablet.
Just as setting up a business involves a thorough documentation process and knowledge of technical and legal issues related to the process of setting it up, so in the case of online commerce, there are a number of things you should consider in order to grow the success rate of your business.
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But without further ado, let’s find out together the most important things you need to know to create a successful online store.
Create an online store – 10 things you need to know
#1 Select the right niche for you
Before you create your online store, the first thing you need to do is choose a niche. We recommend that you choose either a sought-after field (video games, fashion, personal development, gadgets) or a niche that you are good at. For example, if you know how to create handmade jewelry, you can create an online store through which to sell them. However, it doesn’t hurt to do market research beforehand to see how that niche is positioned online and what chances you have to stand out.
#2 Choose the domain name
The domain name should be as suggestive as possible for the specifics of your business and not general. For example, if you decide to sell clothes online, a domain name that is too general would be fashion clothes.com. It is also possible that these domains have already been purchased by someone else. Another thing to consider is choosing the domain extension. If you are targeting an international market, a suitable extension would be .com
#3 Study the competition
Once you have chosen the niche that represents you and the domain name, the next step is to study the competition, to see how sites that sell products and services similar to what you plan to sell communicate, what their online stores look like, what are the features they offer them, etc. Good knowledge of the competition will help you improve your strategy, anticipate their movements, and come up with something extra for your business to differentiate yourself.
#4 Choose the right platform when you create an online store
We can compare the choice of the appropriate platform for an online store with the choice of a company’s headquarters. To create an online store, you have a variety of platforms – WordPress, BigCommerce, etc. A few things you need to consider to make the right choice are the size of your online store, the volume of products, but also the audience you are addressing, and what features you want from your site.
#5 Call on a team of professionals
If you want to get the best results, the way your site looks is fundamental, it is the key aspect that determines the conversion of a visitor into a buyer. We recommend that you turn to a team of professional web designers or experts in the field of online commerce.
Your website must be as attractive as possible, highlight the strengths of your business and products and be as easy to navigate for users. It must also have integrated online marketing elements (social media buttons, subscription forms, call-to-action, add to cart button).
#6 Define your target audience
Whether you have a well-established offline store that you want to “move” online, or you just want to do eCommerce, defining the target audience is essential. If you do not yet have activity on the market and do not know enough details about it, you can try to guess what your ideal customer profile looks like by analyzing the competition, but also your products.
For example, if you want to create an online store to sell women’s shoes at an average price, your target audience would be women in a certain age category (i.e 18-35 years), who make online shopping and have average earnings.
#7 Choose the hosting package
You need to choose a hosting package according to your needs, which will adapt to the specifics of the online store you want. You need to consider the resources they offer you (performance, space, security, stability) and consult with your hosting provider to choose the right functionalities for your site.
#8 Optimize your site
The loading speed of your site is especially important, especially in the case of online stores. Imagine how a person feels when standing in line at a physical store – he has the same feeling when he wants to buy something, and the order page of that product does not load in a timely manner. If you do not want to lose a buyer or even send it unintentionally directly into the arms of the competition, pay due attention to optimizing the loading speed of the site and pages.
#9 Don’t forget about SEO
Use as many keywords as possible for product categories and pages, and invest in relevant, quality content. At the same time, avoid excesses because you will be penalized. It is good for your online store to be as search engine friendly as possible, but avoid stuffing (using the same keywords in several places on the site). Instead, choose to make general descriptions by product category and insist on the specific benefits in describing each product.
If you don’t know how to choose the keywords that are most popular in a particular field, we recommend that you use Google Adwords as well.
#10 Promote yourself through online marketing
Newsletters, social media buttons, subscription forms, call-to-actions, all these are online marketing tools that can help you build an audience, build loyalty and increase your sales. No matter how well built and optimized an online store is, if it is not intensely promoted, people will not hear about you and your offer, that is why it is essential to invest time and resources in the business promotion stage.
We hope that these suggestions helped you to take the first steps towards creating and consolidating your online store.
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