Setting Up Your E-Commerce Store
Creating your online store is an exciting step for any entrepreneur or business owner. It can also be a time-consuming process, especially when you’re a perfectionist who wants to have everything look just right. While you may never be completely satisfied, you can make setting up your e-commerce store much easier when you follow a few steps.
- Find Your Product
Before you can set up a store, you need to know what your products are, how you’re obtaining them, and your pricing strategy. There are four common product models in e-commerce: making, manufacturing, dropshipping, and wholesaling.
Making means you create the products yourself. This option typically has the highest profit margin, but it’s also the largest time commitment.
Manufacturing means you hire a company to create your products. Products may be costly to produce, but you can still get a solid profit margin because you’re the only one selling the product.
When you dropship, customers order through you and you send those orders to your supplier, who ship out the product. This method is the safest, as you’re not committing any of your money to your products before your customers order, but it also has the lowest profit margins.
For wholesaling, you buy a large quantity of an item at discounted prices and then sell them for higher amounts. Profit margins are better than dropshipping, but lower than the other two options.
Ideally, you want products that fulfill an untapped market. Your pricing will depend heavily on the types of products you offer. If you have a unique, handmade product, you can charge more than if you’re buying cheap products in bulk.
- Create Your Brand
If you haven’t thought of a name for your business yet, you need one before you set up your website so you know what URL to register. This is also when you should create your logo. You may be able to tie your business name and logo into the product you offer, but this isn’t always necessary.
Business names can be difficult, so brainstorm as many as you can and then ask other people for their opinions. When it comes to your logo, it’s best if you hire a professional designer. Going the cheap route will leave you with a logo that looks generic or unprofessional. Your logo is how people are going to identify your business, so spend a little extra for a quality design.
- Set Up Your Site
When you have a name, a logo, and products ready, you can use those to set up your e-commerce store. The quickest way to set up a store is by going through an e-commerce platform, such as Shopify. However, as you’ve seen with your logo, the easiest or cheapest route usually isn’t the best. If you want a high-quality store, the best option is to hire a freelance developer.
When you hire a freelance developer to build your online store, they can set it up to your exact specifications. This means you’ll have a truly custom store that looks different than any other, instead of a storefront that has the same general layout and design as hundreds of other sites.
- Write Your Store’s Content
There’s more writing than you may think when you’re setting up an e-commerce store. You need copy on all the store’s pages, from the home page to product category pages. Every page in the checkout process also needs text guiding the customer on what to do next. All your products need descriptions, so if you have a large number of products, you’re looking at quite a bit of writing.
You may want to outsource some of the writing to a freelance copywriter. An important part of selling products is effective copy, and that’s a skill that takes years to master. Not only that, your copywriter could also use SEO techniques to help your store rank higher in search engine results.
It takes time to launch an e-commerce store, especially if you go the custom route. While you could conceivably build your store within a few hours, it’s a wise choice to take your time and hire professionals for certain important tasks, including logo design, site developing, and copywriting. It may not be the cheapest or the fastest option, but your store will be much higher in quality, which will give your business a far better chance at success.