Follow these Steps to Set up an Online Store

There is no better time to set up an online store for your business than now. The percentage of buying and selling transactions happening over the internet keeps increasing exponentially. 

To assist the process of how to set up an online store, here are some steps to follow or consider in setting up an online store. After you researched the demand for the products you intend to sell, analyzed the target market and product marketing.

Online store

Acquiring a Domain Name

A domain name is that part of a web address that identifies your store name. www.google.com and www.facebook.com are examples of domain names. Picking a domain name is just as important as choosing the name of your store. 

However, getting a domain name is not as easy as just picking any name. It involves consulting with any domain seller platform (Hostinger, Shopify, Wix, etc.) buy and find out if the domain name is available, or use a domain name registrar such as domain.com. Be sure to make your domain name unique but also memorable.

Building eCommerce Website 

There are two ways to go about building a website for your online store. They are, by using an eCommerce website builder or building a custom eCommerce website. 

Some companies prefer the first option and this due to the following reasons:

  • Custom websites might not be necessary for the level at which the company is at. Some business owners might just need a website for marketing purposes, i.e., a simple landing page. 
  • Generally, they are faster to set up, are cheaper to build, as some cannot afford to spend that much on a custom website.

Some examples of eCommerce website builders in the market are BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Shopify.

Despite being more expensive, custom websites do have their advantages and can be the most suitable option for some companies because: 

  • Business goals and needs have overgrown those provided by any website builder, e.g., your website traffic is more than the website host can handle.
  • Also, the specific type of features or integrations needed by the business cannot be offered by the website builder.

Note that none of the two options is superior to the other. As the determining factor is which of the options is more suitable for your business.

Setting Up Payment and Shipping Methods

These steps are crucial in how to set up an online store, as defines the shopping aspect of any online store – otherwise, it’s just an online catalog. With eCommerce website builders, this aspect is already optimized, and they can connect you with multiple payment options like Mastercard, PayPal, Visa, Stripe, etc.

After payment methods come the part where the products are delivered to customers. There are multiple shipping options available it is advisable to get acquainted with them as you set up the store. Options include Dropshipping, real-time carriers (post service, FedEx, DHL), Fulfilment Warehouses, local delivery, etc.

Customer Support

From time to time, technical and logistics problems occur with an online store, it is pertinent to provide customers with an avenue to ask for clarification and assistance. Meaning, you would need to have a customer support service for your online store. This can include FAQs, chatbot, Live Chat, email/phone support, etc.

Finally, before launching your online store, it is advisable to run previews and a series of tests on the website to catch any errors or bugs. Also, set up analytics to track how your business is growing through the online store.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.