If you’ve always wanted to set up an online store, you’re not alone! Many entrepreneurs launch websites dedicated to selling products in a specific niche such as toys, shoes, clothing, and jewelry. It’s a great way to break into the world of online business.
Below, we’ll discuss how to set up your online store to make money online from the comfort of your own home.
Setting Up Your Website
If you’re going to create an online store, you’ll need a platform built to handle a large volume of traffic to your site. Just as a physical retail store needs a large amount of square footage to handle the floods of customers coming through the door, so too does your website need a website hosting solution as well as a reliable theme that is completely customizable.
We highly recommend using WordPress to host your site, and use Divi Builder by Elegant Themes to create a unique shopping experience for your customers.
(If you’re interested in having us create your site for you, click here.)
Choose A Store Hosting Solution
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to have an online store – at least, one that’s fully functioning – without some kind of plugin unless you know how to code from scratch.
Luckily, we have quite a few options to choose from.
Known as one of the best online store solutions for WordPress, this definitely tops our list as your best option to create a native online store. From soup to nuts, your customers will be able to visit your website, click on “Add To Cart”, and check out with a secure payment process.
Shopify is the equal competitor to WooCommerce, and is also one of the best platform to sell products to anyone, anywhere. If you own a retail store, you can integrate it with your in-person customer experience (e.g., your customers order t-shirts online, and then pick them up from your store).
An industry leader with a comprehensive set of standard ecommerce platform features and some extras on top. The Standard plan is quite affordable at $29.95 per month, and the rich feature-list makes it a great option worthy of your consideration.
Make It Unique
If you’ve ever shopped online on any website other than Amazon.com, then you’re probably aware that there are standard ways that an online store is set up. There is usually a Cart button at the top right, whether it’s the word “Cart” or the shopping cart icon. All of the products are neatly categorized and easy to find, and every detail about the products are usually available before the customer makes a purchase.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t play with the style a little bit!
Your “brand” is what people see, and a website is all visual. So, you need to maximize your brand recognition to your customers – when they visit your website, they KNOW they’re on YOUR website, and what to expect.
Use special fonts that are easy to read but not common, and choose colors that best represent how you want your customers to feel based on color psychology (e.g., red is exciting, blue is calming, green suggests trust, etc.).
Take Advantage of Customer Service
Your website is essentially a customer service system, designed to automate the ordering process so you don’t have to lease a big retail building and hire cashiers, stockers, and janitors. If your customer service is awful (i.e., your website is hard to navigate, your checkout system doesn’t work properly and all devices, etc.) then you’re bound to fail.
Offer a web chat to ask if your customers have any questions, and be available as much as possible to answer customer questions. If you’re making a lot of money, we highly recommend hiring someone to handle live inquiries on your behalf.
Also have a phone number available to call if your customers have any questions – preferably a dedicated business line – so that your customers can ask what they need to and buy your products. Make sure to add an email newsletter opt-in, and a functional contact form to allow email inquiries for your less satisfied customers.
All customers matter, because at the end of the day, they’re funding your business. The more thought and care you put into your ecommerce store, the better your business will be!
If you’re looking to start your own website or need help with marketing online but you don’t know where to begin, contact us.