Starting an Online Store: Five Basic Tips

182

If you are thinking about creating an online web store to sell your handmade or custom items, you will have to face a huge competition worldwide. With online retailers using Amazon, eBay, and Etsy to promote their products, you might find it difficult to reach your audience. If you have already found a market segment that has a huge demand and is currently underserved, you will need to get your operation set up and start marketing your site. Below you will find five tips on getting started.

starting online store
Licensed from Shutterstock – By Jane Kelly

1. Build Your Reputation

The first thing you will need to focus on is creating an online reputation. The easiest way is to set up a competition on one of the social media sites and provide free gifts for the winners. This way, you will get initial feedback on your prices and product, and get real reviews on your site and social media which will help you establish yourself in the market. Your future buyers need to start trusting you before they would open their wallet,

2. Create Your Own Brand

Branding is extremely important, even if you don’t have a physical shop. This is true for personal branding and product branding as well. Get a professional to design your logo and stationary, and use the same slogan and color combinations on all your emails and online communication. Adding a blog to your website can also help building your brand, as it allows you to connect with the audience on a personal level.

3. Show Off Your Skills

If you are a crafty person and create all your items yourself, you can easily differentiate your brand from others. Walk your customers through the process of getting their order ready, so they appreciate your work. This way, you can justify your pricing, and offer more than your competition. If you are a jewelry maker, create tutorials and give your customers advice on how to wear different items to make the most out of their looks.

4. Design Your Logistics

While selling items is the first step, you want to make sure that your items get to your customers safely and fast. Compare shipping costs, and use an online shopping cart software to automatically calculate the cost of insurance and shipment when your customers check out their basket. Get some unique pressure seal forms you can use when you post the items to customers. Make sure you thank them for their custom and attach a return label to make it easier for them to post the product back if they change their mind.

5. Stay Connected with Your Market

To remain successful in your market, you will need to stay engaged with your customers through social media, email, and your blog. The trends change, and your competitors might come up with a new offer that will endanger your profitability. Listen to your customers, and find out first about new sales opportunities.

When building an online store, you need to focus on creating a brand that your audience can connect with, and maintain your personal message through staying connected with your customers.