Important Factors to Consider When Setting Up an Online Store

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Access to the internet is so easy now that more and more people are using it to start their own business. If you are thinking about setting up your own online store, there are certain factors you should consider first. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize what is involved and this can have a huge impact on the success of a new online business. Below are some of the main factors you should seriously consider before setting up an online store.

Man holds miniature online store basket
online store shopping basket. Photo by stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net

Finance

Setting up an online store can be expensive, so you need to have access to enough funds before you can start to trade on the internet. You should have enough money available to cover the website design costs, stock costs and any surprise fees associated with starting your new venture.

If you can finance the business yourself, it is not as much of an issue, but many young business owners are not in this fortunate position. Some new business owners have to borrow this initial start-up finance. However, many of these business owners find it difficult to obtain loans through traditional lending institutions. Crowdfunding and similar methods are now being used to generate the money needed to start many of today’s online businesses and this is something worth looking into.

Branding

Branding plays a huge role in the success of an online store. You want all of your marketing and sales material to portray your products and services in the best light possible. Your branding message should resonate with your target audience. Typical branding messages tell shoppers that they are buying luxury items, while other branding messages will tell your customers that they will get value for money if they purchase your products and services.

E-Commerce Solution

When you set up an online store, you want it to run as smoothly as possible. The e-commerce platform you choose is central to this objective. It should be easy to navigate, maintain and update. All of the main features required in a modern e-commerce platform should be available in the system you choose.

It’s a good idea to look at live e-commerce solutions, that are currently being used by similar companies. For example, if you are in the fashion industry, research some online boutiques and find out more about their e-commerce systems. If possible, contact the website owner and ask them questions about their experience using a particular e-commerce solution.

Marketing

You could develop the best online store on the planet, but if nobody knows about it, it is of little use to you. This is why online marketing is so important. You want to send as many shoppers to your online store as possible. You can achieve this by adding lengthy, optimized product descriptions, blogging about your products and interacting with your audience and potential customers through social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Images and videos of products are particularly popular with online audiences, so you should make sure they are part of your marketing strategy for your online store.

It’s never been as easy as it is now to start your own online store. However, many of these ventures fail and can be an expensive mistake. Before you enter the online retail world, make sure you address all of the factors mentioned above.

Bryce Dalziel is a business, gadgets and ecommerce writer who gets some of his best ideas when going out for a morning run.