November 1, 2017
Are you the type of person who enjoys shopping online? Have you come to realize that there are many others who share your passion? Are you ready to put this to work for you by launching an online store?
While there are many business opportunities out there, an online store could be perfect for you. There are many benefits of this, including the fact that you don’t need a physical storefront in order to reach your goals.
Here’s an interesting passage from the Pew Research Center regarding the growth of online shopping:
“The survey finds that roughly eight-in-ten Americans are now online shoppers: 79% have made an online purchase of any type, while 51% have bought something using a cellphone and 15% have made purchases by following a link from social media sites.”
In other words, there are a lot of people out there shopping online. As an online store owner, this puts you in position to attract a large number of buyers.
If you’re ready to get started, there are a few questions you should first answer. Here are five that you need to address:
1. Where will you get your products?
This is the most important question, as you won’t achieve success with an online store unless you have enough products to sell.
Some people manufacture their own products, while others find at least one supplier they are willing to do business with:
Note: You could also opt for a drop shipping arrangement, meaning that you never actually touch the products you sell.
2. How many products will you sell on your online store?
Unlike other online businesses, such as individuals who provide tutoring, you need to have a good understanding of inventory.
This leads to the question of how many products you will sell on your online store. Some people feel that more is always better, while others would rather focus on the products that their core audience is most interested in.
You can take either approach, but it’s essential that you make up your mind sooner rather than later.
3. What type of store design is best for your company and industry?
You need to play around with a variety of ideas to ensure that you settle on the right design.
Look at what your competitors are doing, move things around on your own, and track every last piece of data that is available to you.
You may find that little things can have a big impact on sales. For instance, maybe you need to create a new logo. Or maybe you need to change the way people add products to their cart. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
4. Does it make sense to add a blog to your site?
While your online store is where people make purchases, there is more to a business than that. You may want to use a blog as a means of informing buyers and attracting search engine traffic.
LoveProm.com is a perfect example of a blog that isn’t overpowering, but still does a nice job adding something of value to the site.
5. Have you perfected the checkout process?
People don’t want to jump through hoops when checking out. They want to add items to their cart, pay, and then wait for them to arrive in the mail.
If you have yet to dissect the checkout process, you need to do so in the near future. Don’t make the mistake of adding one last challenge before a person can complete his or her purchase.
When you answer these questions before launching an online store, you’ll find it much easier to settle on a design and strategy that you feel good about.
Final tip: You will need to adjust your approach as the days turn to weeks and the weeks turn to months. What works today may not work tomorrow, so don’t get lazy in regards to updating your online store.
Do you have any experience running a successful online store? What types of things do you do to beat out the competition? What types of challenges do you try to avoid? Share your online store experience and best advice in the comment section below.
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