So you're ready to get into the world of ecommerce and create an online store! You have done your research, figured out what to sell online and you've crunched the numbers, so what comes first? Your next step in how to start an online store should be choosing a platform.
Will you be selling on a third-party website such as Etsy or eBay, or will you be hosting your own storefront? What host will you use? What shopping cart software will you use and how will you take payment? Once you know how you are going to sell your product, you should spend time developing certain basics when you build an online store but before making the site live.
Shop name/Domain Name
"What's in a name?" Shakespeare famously had Juliet ponder. The answer, especially on the Internet, is EVERYTHING. Before you learn how to open an online store, you need to choose the right name. A catchy store name is all well and good, but before you print up business cards, make sure the domain name you want is available. Searches default to .com addresses, so settling for a .net because your .com is taken is not a smart idea. Adding underscores or extra words are not good either, as they make the URL too cumbersome and difficult to remember. Have you noticed that most of the new businesses online these days have names that are only four letters long? Keep it simple and easily typed.
Your logo is your identity on the web. Unless you yourself are a logo designer by trade or are good friends with one, it would be smart to invest some money for a professional design. A good designer will work with you to create a logo that represents your business and philosophy; they will also make sure that is appealing to the eye and most importantly, memorable to the viewer. This same person or another designer will then help incorporate that logo into an overall design where elements such as color are repeated on the website page. An effective logo is a recognizable logo.
Good or bad photographs of your products can mean the difference between a sale and a 100-percent bounce rate. Have you ever clicked through to a search result for a product you were interested in only to find a poorly lit, slightly blurry image? Of course you wouldn't consider purchasing something you cannot get a good look at! This is another area where it is worth the expense not to skimp when you build an online store. Think about it: the more appealing your product looks, the more likely it will sell. Simple math, right?
When you think about setting up an online store, it is worth it to spend time and money at each phase before jumping in with both feet before feeling the water. When you are browsing the Internet, take note of websites that catch your eye and think about why they do so. Ease of navigation is something to pay attention to during the design process. Clean, simple designs are in fashion right now, but will you be able to easily change your look in the future? Smart decisions now will make for a more successful business later.