An online shop is a fantastic way to make some money on the internet. Many savvy entrepreneurs have made a small fortune by tapping into a niche market. The shopping process has been revolutionised in the last ten years. High street shops have struggled to stay open while market giants like Amazon have taken over. You too can take advantage of this shift, and find your small corner of the internet.
If you think an online store is something you could take on, keep reading. We’ve pulled together some basic advice on getting started. It’s easier than you think, and you’ll soon reap the rewards.
Find your target market – Your first task is finding the right audience. That means choosing a niche and chasing it relentlessly. Identify a gap in the market and aim to fill it. As a new store, your best opportunity is to offer a small range of products in a specific area. It makes it easier to market your product and find the perfect audience. Once you’ve established yourself, you can grow outwards.
Choose your platform – There are plenty of options when it comes to opening up a store. Many existing platforms have a built in audience of shoppers just waiting for you. One example is Etsy, who are perfectly set up for unique crafts and personal shopping items. Another option is Shopify, who are great for clothes. On the other hand, you could build an integrate a personal store into your existing website design.
Keep control of costs – Just like any other business, an online shop needs strict cost controls. In the early days, in particular, money will be tight. You’ll have to select the right inventory, sell at the right price, and monitor your outgoings. Take the time to learn some rudimentary bookkeeping and Excel spreadsheet skills.
Retail software – As your online presence grows, you may begin to experience large sales numbers. If this is the case, you need a point of sale solution to handle your orders. Good software will automate your orders, keep track of stock, and monitor SKUs. It will help ensure quick delivery and generally make your process more efficient.
Deliveries – You are responsible for your product and service from the first order to final delivery. Your job doesn’t end when you drop the parcel at the post office. You should be tracking the delivery and providing real-time updates for your customers. As the business grows, you will need to find a full-scale, logistics solution for your deliveries.
Customer service – Finally, you need to provide excellent customer service. Make sure your website and social media platforms are friendly and approachable. Actively seek out feedback and engage with your community. Good customer service is a chance for you to build a reputation and relationship with your community.
There you have it, folks. That’s the basics of setting up and running your online store. From there you can get creative with your sales. Use your marketing channels wisely and build your new empire!