COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way businesses operate. The shift from offline to an online store is rapid, and people are putting in their blood and sweat to embrace the change. If you were ever looking for a hint, then this is a golden opportunity for you to embark on your online journey with your ecommerce store.
Even if you don’t have a huge budget or a ready inventory, you can still start an online store. To do that, there are some things you need to do and boxes you must check when deciding to start or shift your business to an online store.
Read on to know more about how you can start an online store without a huge budget or an inventory.
How to start an online store?
When Jeff Bezos started Amazon in 1995, he primarily focused on selling books even though his vision was to grow and develop Amazon into a general online store selling everything under the hood. To start an online store, you must have a clear idea of what you want to sell and how you plan to grow your business in the years to come. This will be a critical aspect of your business plan.
Mentioned below are five steps that can help you get started in building an online store that’s well-organised, conversion-oriented, and user-friendly.
1. Register your domain name
The decision to build an online store must immediately be followed by building its identity on the internet a.k.a registering a great domain name. This is one of the most overlooked steps of most ecommerce entrepreneurs. A good domain name can fight half your battles and significantly help in boosting your branding and marketing efforts.
The way to do it is to focus on the details such as the domain extension. When it comes to an eCommerce website, .store happens to be the perfect domain extension. The word ‘store’ means a place where you go to purchase something. For example, a domain name such as www.bettertravel.store communicates that it’s an online store that sells travel accessories.
P.S. – the .store domain extension is available at 96% off for the first year.
2. Create your website with an online store builder
Not everybody has the skills or the team or even a big budget to invest in building a full-fledged ecommerce website. This is why you have online store builders–applications and platforms that can help you get started right away without wasting much time.
Partner with UK2.NET and drag-and-drop your way to ecommerce success with our easy to use online store builder. Or, if you would rather, our WordPress hosting package has everything you need to utilise WordPress for your ecommerce adventure.
3. Adopt a dropshipping model
You can hold no inventory and still ship items and products to your customers. The dropshipping model allows you to take orders while the supplier ensures order fulfillment. You can be in one part of the world, and the supplier can be in another. It gives you the flexibility to work from anywhere and anytime with no additional stress of managing an inventory.
In the US and the UK, an example of this drop shipping service is provided by GoTen. The platform makes it easy for anyone to have inventory after they launch their online store. You don’t have to worry about having a warehouse or a space to store the products, delivery services, or any after-sales issues. Signing up on the platform is easy and can help you get started with your ecommerce business in a matter of minutes.
4. Register your company
You need to ensure you officially register your company and procure all your essential taxation and corporate registration documents. A way to do that is to contact your local or national corporate body that deals with the company registration of online businesses. Check this resource to understand the legal obligations of starting an ecommerce store.
Failing to register can bring up serious problems such as getting a notice to terminate operations right away. This can be troublesome especially if you have pending orders or if existing customers demand after-sales service. This whole experience will not only cost you money but also impact your brand’s reputation and customer experience. Therefore, register your company before launching operations.
5. Do a test run before marketing your new online store
Before you market your store, ensure everything is functioning smoothly. After all, you don’t want to impart a poor user experience to the visitors. The most important aspect of the test run is the checkout process. Perform a hypothetical test by placing an order. Right from product selection to payment completion, confirm you don’t face any glitches.
In addition to this, check out other aspects such as internal links, product details, buying guides, lead generation process, site speed, SSL certificate installation, site structure, and more to ensure everything is in order.
Doing this exercise is crucial before you market your store to the audience as a poor website can cause more harm than good.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak across the world, the ones doing best are the ones who adapted or already had a strong ecommerce foundation. If ongoing businesses want to survive through the shutdowns and stay-at-home mandates, they have to find a way to survive. If you’ve been thinking about starting an online store but haven’t determined yet, the answer lies in front of you.