How can I build an online store in 2021?

Have you been thinking about creating an online store? Are you finding the information over-whelming? We are experienced e-commerce sellers here at Accomplish Etc and we know that starting your own store can be confusing. So we have simplified the process for you in this article below:

  1. Decide The Products And Services You Are Offering – From beauty, fitness, lifestyle, mother-and-baby, home & kitchenware to digital products like e-books and courses – the choice is yours. You can choose to sell products that you’re passionate about or go with whatever is trending.
  2. Research The Type Of Store You Want – Do you want a general store, a 1-product store or a niche store? A general store will enable you to sell (potentially) many products across various niches; a niche store will have fewer products but in a related speciality and a 1-product store enables you to focus on a single product.
  3. Select Your E-Commerce Model – Are you private labelling or drop shipping?
  4. Find The Best E-Commerce Platform – There are many platforms to choose from depending on your needs. Wix, Squarespace, BigCommerce are well-known for both big and small online stores. Shopify is user-friendly and popular with private brands and drop shippers. WordPress is flexible and ideal for building any type of website.
  5. Design Your E-Commerce Store – Shopify and Wix monthly paid plans but also 14-day free trials, during which you can select from a wide range of themes (both free & paid), apps (both free & paid) and customise your store with branding, logo, colour palette, products’ names, prices, weight and descriptions. WordPress is free to use from the get-go but some themes and plug-ins will incur a cost. Whichever platform you use, you will need to consider the features you want on your store and how that relates to (a) the products/services you’re selling (b) your customers and (c) the message you’re sending about your brand.
  6. Get A Domain – This is a URL which identifies your store name. It’s important for branding and creating trust with customers and visitors to your store. ionos.com has domains from $1 / £1 . If you purchase via Shopify expect to pay about $14 / £11. If you’re designing your online store on WordPress, then you can get hosting via BlueHost which usually comes with a free domain.
  7. Consider Your Payment Method/s – Online stores come equipped with various payment gateways which you will need to set up.For instance, Shopify has Shopify Payments as well as standard payment options like PayPal, Visa, MasterCard etc. If you are selling on WordPress, you’ll need to have WooCommerce plug-in, which enables you to set up PayPal as well as other payment gateways. Stripe is popular on both platforms. Klarna and ClearPay continue to be popular because of the ‘buy-now-pay-later’ option which customers love. So decide on the best gateway for your business needs.
  8. Intergrate Your Store’s Social Media Pages – Ensure you have already set up social media profiles for your products/services and link them to your store. Make it easy for potential customers to find you and your business by utilising the power of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube and LinkedIn. Being on social media creates brand awareness but also builds trust.
  9. Test Your Store – Check grammar & spelling; ensure that your store is mobile optimised; test all links & functions to ensure they are working properly; go through the purchasing process the same way a customer would i.e. add products to cart, checkout and enter payment details. Correct any glitches at this stage.
  10. Go Live – Remember to pay attention to customers’ feedback about your store and continue to make amendments where necessary. Continue learning and make use of the wealth of information available on Google, Facebook groups and courses. Enjoy the journey and if one e-commerce platform is not suitable for your business needs, try another.

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