Setting up your first online store can be an exhilarating and fun process, but it can also create some challenges. Whether you plan to use the store as a side hustle or a major source of income, it is crucial to put certain things in place, so you can scale it over time. Consider the following tips, and your new online shop will be running smoothly from the start.
Pick your inventory
Selecting your inventory can feel intimidating. You may be worried that customers will not like the products or think the prices are wrong. However, every online store evolves over time, so it is best to start with a small amount of inventory and see how it sells. Pick out a few items and write excellent product descriptions for them. Then, watch how customers react and consider using surveys to figure out which items they prefer.
Figure out payments
One of the most important aspects of an online store is the payment system. You should have this figured out before putting inventory in your shop for sale. Not only do you need a secure system that protects customer data, you also need one that accepts multiple payment types and is easy to use. For example, Shopify’s point of sale system lets you accept a variety of payments online, automatically process refunds and track inventory. It is important to pick a multifaceted system with many functions built into it, so you do not have to waste time switching between different programs.
Focus on photos
Whether you are selling clothes or gadgets, the photos are a key part. Blurry or ugly pictures will not attract customers. Keep in mind that people do not browse an online store the same way they do a brick and mortar shop. They cannot touch, feel or smell things, so they rely on the visuals to guide them. You will need a decent camera and tripod, at a minimum. Also, consider investing in an image-editing program like Photoshop that can take your pictures to the next level.
If you cannot invest in software for your pictures, then try a free image program like Canva. Make sure the pictures of your inventory are clear and focused. An easy way to make any product stand out is to photograph it on a white, simple background. You also want as much natural light as possible, so the final photos do not look yellow.
Put it all online
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a complex online store to be successful. Many bloggers have started shops right on their websites by creating a separate page for them and using plugins. If have a WordPress site, you can use plugins from WooCommerce or WP Ecommerce to create an online shop. It is not much different from setting up any page on your website. You can integrate with payment systems and start selling your goods.
Starting an online store can be a great side hustle or full-time job. The key is to take it one step at a time and get the basics done before moving on to more complicated settings.