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Hackernoon logoHow To Start an Online Store Without Taking The Knock by@faisikhan

How To Start an Online Store Without Taking The Knock

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@faisikhanFaisal Rehman

Freelancer, Systems Administrator and StartUp Blogger at softwarespice.com.

Pandemic has affected more than 200 countries throughout the world. It impacted the global economy severely and global stock markets have suffered drastic falls due to the outbreak. According to Statista, almost 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars have been lost in economic output. People got locked down in their homes and that was the only way to stay safe from the deadly virus. Stores, restaurants and shopping malls were closed and there was no business at all.

On the other hand, the biggest online stores like Amazon doubled its sales during the pandemic. That brought $5 billion dollars to the company as net profit because people had no choice except to buy online. Due to the pandemic, we learned E-commerce businesses and remote work as the new norms. The online stores survived and their profits increased as the pandemic pushed more shoppers to these retailers.

There are many opportunities in the e-com industry but it needs hard work, the right decisions and adapting perfect strategies to survive and to grow a profitable online store. To help, we've combined those checklists all together in this short guide to research, launch and grow your first E-commerce store.

1. Start Your Research about the Product

This is the first and foremost step bringing up your online selling adventure. It's really important to know about your products and it's features in-depth. This is a crucial step and hundreds of profitable niche business ideas will hit your mind. In order to get a detailed picture, we need to consider some of the key factors. For instance, market demand, target locations, selling price and product durability. I know it sounds overwhelming but the good news is Google Trends can help you a lot to narrow down the research process. You'll be able to see the trending searching around the world with detailed insights.

2. Validate the Product

After conducting the competitive analysis, it's time to finalize the business product and pick up the right one. There is no doubt about the competitors that have already grown. It can be discouraging and the first step is always the hardest.

Sell the product that people demand

It will definitely help you to generate leads for your store. The quickest and effective ways to validate a product are collecting pre-orders, crowdfunding and email collection.

3. Choose a Highly Responsive Theme

It is up to you to choose between Wix, Squarespace or WordPress. However, WordPress is more powerful and it has the best E-commerce and shopping cart plugins. So, after you get a hosting plan and install WordPress, choose a responsive and mobile-friendly theme. Your website must look impressive on mobile devices because you'll have more visitors viewing your site on mobiles as compared to laptops or personal computers. Google does not bring up those websites which do not pass the mobile-friendliness test. Therefore, choose your website theme carefully and wisely.

4. Start Adding Products with Features and Descriptions

Well, I hope you've visited Amazon and eBay stores online. We can learn a lot from these leading platforms but here are the key takeaways:

  1. Write a complete product name
  2. Categorize the products properly
  3. Write the best description
  4. Add meta
  5. Mention features, schemes, colors
  6. Write original price and discount
  7. Tell people about shipping— either free or paid
  8. Update product availability in stock
  9. Expected delivery time

Never forget about SEO— use Google to see how people are searching for a specific product. Longtail keywords can help your product pages to rank higher.

Do you want more? Well, read our exceptional guide to launch a product successfully.

5. Make Product Bundles

Creating product bundles is ultimately the fastest way to increase sales and boost revenue. Additionally, it reduces the whole budget spent on marketing. Let me give you the most common example of KFC burger deals. These deals never stop running though, you can get them anytime. They offer really smart packages like for instance, in a family bucket offer, you can have 9 chicken pieces, 2 coleslaws, 1 fries bucket and a 1.5L drink at an affordable price of $10 USD. It works every time, attracts more customers and multiple products are soled at one time.

6. Get the most out of SEO

It has become extremely hard to rank on Google against highly competitive keywords without proper SEO. Search engine ranking is the only way to get organic traffic. No traffic means no sales, period! One more thing to keep in mind that Google always keeps changing its search algorithms, bringing more fresh content on SERPs.

“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about partnering with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.”— Phil Frost

7. Add Payment Processors

People tend to be more interested to buy stuff when they have multiple payment options. If more payment methods are integrated with your online store, you will get more sales.

Interestingly, if your online store is running on WordPress— install WooCommerce plugin which integrates with 100+ payment gateways to accept payments.

8. Add Legal Policies

It is required to add legal pages on the store. You can find the templates or better to create them on your own. Some of the recommended legal pages are:

  1. Terms and Conditions
  2. Standard Privacy
  3. Return Policy
  4. Shipping Statements
  5. Refund Policy

Shopify offers great tools to generate terms and policies. It only takes a few minutes so, make sure to check it out.

9. Time to Launch our E-commerce Store

We are heading towards the final stages of launching the store. To be honest, all of the above strategies seem pretty complicated but if you are affirm and know the ins and outs of the product, it can turn out to be a great success. Before the launch, check for broken links and fix them right away. Ask your friends and family to open the website on mobile devices and get their feedback. Make some test sales to improve the user experience. Keep tweaking and fine-tuning the store by adding more collections. Additionally, create navigation links for the main menu and add the potentially best-selling products to your homepage.

Get going, get better!

10. Create a Marketing Plan

Marketing is about letting people know about your product. Stories play a key role in product marketing and more importantly, customers love products with interesting stories to back them up. Focus on the right targetted audience who are so choosy about brands. That means, your product needs a continuous elevation. Set marketing goals, build a marketing strategy and utilize the right marketing tools— for instance, social media, content curation, email marketing, event marketing, ad campaigns and so on...

Wrap Up

The coronavirus had drastic effects on the economy and the whole world suffered from an economic blow. Even the biggest economies are still struggling with the pandemic. During these trying times, only e-commerce seems to be in a pretty good spot. Prepare yourself, address the technological issues, improve the site's speed and optimize the checkout process. These small adjustments will make a big difference. Above all, stay focused, be positive and avoid over-thinking — success awaits you.

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@faisikhanFaisal Rehman

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Freelancer, Systems Administrator and StartUp Blogger at softwarespice.com.

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