It might not seem fathomable, but literally any and every skill in the world is marketable and therefore profitable. If you learned how to make delicious meals using only a microwave and a crockpot in college, you can take that knowledge and create an online store. Perhaps you make great hand stitched doll clothes. There are millions of kids and adult doll collectors who would be happy to place their own custom orders. Knowing what kind of online store you want to create might be tough but physically getting an ecommerce business is even more trying. The many ways to start an online store consist of the same initial steps. You need to know what you are going to sell and what to name your website. Next, is the hard part where you have to figure out how to market your goods, find customers, and manage the store itself.
How to Get an Online Store Started
Only two things are needed to start up an online store – you need things to sell and somewhere to sell them. Buying a domain takes online second, but actually getting your online store setup with a functional shopping cart is a factor that you really want to take your time thinking about. You can use Paypal to process credit cards or get a merchant account with a local bank. Do you want to sell your items through a platform like Etsy, or do you want to process all of your orders through your own website? There are good reasons to sell on platforms like eBay and Etsy, mainly because they have a lot of traffic. At the same time, you’re going to have to pay processing fees on each order, which means that your profits will shrink.
What Happens When Your First Orders Come In
You might have your grand opening for your online store and not even get your first order until weeks have passed. In fact, you might be surprised to see your first order and not know what to do. Well, first you need to send your customer a personalized message thanking them for their patronage. After that, you need to fulfill that order as soon as you can so that the buyer is more than happy with the way they are treated. It will more than likely be kind of slow at first with incoming orders, but you can also use your spare time to connect with your very first customers. If they feel like their interaction with your company is good enough, they’ll refer more customers to you.
How to Keep the Sales Coming
Introducing new products, offering discounts, and of course, using social media is the best way to go when you have a new online store. In addition to an online store there needs to be a blog so that customers can find the most current information on your business. The same goes for using social media. Sending out a tweet here and a snap there will encourage you to have a dialogue with potential and existing customers alike. More people will be privy to the latest sales you’re having at your online store if you use social media to promote them. Spending time interacting with consumers will also be helpful when you need to decide on how to market yourself professionally.
When You Can Tell That Your Online Store Is a Success
Do you wake up in the morning to dozens of new orders and emails from customers telling you how satisfied you are? Are you constantly running out of items that you had in stock, or are consumers dying to know when your next ebook is going to be released? Some entrepreneurs think that their online stores are a success when they bring in a particular amount of money, month after month. Then there are other online store owners that consider themselves successful online when they make enough to quit their day jobs.
It takes next to no time at all to setup an online store, thanks to the power of content management systems like WordPress. As long as you have something to sell you won’t have to wait long to get your online store running and for the first sales to come rolling in. Figure out what the public has a demand for and then market a product or service that is truly unique. Your online store might start off as a humble side project and then quickly grow into a well-known and respected household brand.