Find Out Why Having an Online Store Makes Sense
In 2022, shopping is no longer limited to physical brick-and-mortar stores. With advancement in modern technologies, availability of faster shipping options, and the recent pandemic that limited the movement of people, more and more customers are shopping online. While there are third-party channels like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and more that allow you to sell your products on their website, have you ever considered opening your own online store?
An online store dedicated to your brand and products can be tremendously beneficial as well as profitable. However, to reap the benefits of an online store, you must be familiar with how to create an online storefrom scratch. The process might sound too technical and troublesome but it’s quite simple and straightforward in fact. Read on to know more.
How to Open an Online Store?
Here’s a brief rundown of the process which you can follow to establish your very own store listed online and ready to serve customers. The best part about opening an online store is that you don’t need a lot of experience or technical knowledge and there is a plethora of tools available that are made specifically to help you with this journey. So, if you were wondering how to create an online store, follow these steps.
- Step 1: Decide on your niche and what you will be offering the customers. Is it clothing, food items, appliances or something else?
- Step 2: Choose whether you will house the products on your own or use a drop shipping supplier to take care of the shipping.
- Step 3: Come up with a customer-friendly business name and register a domain name online for the website.
- Step 4: Select and list the products that you will sell.
- Step 5: Create the website for your brand. You can do it yourself, take help from an online store builder or even hire a developer.
- Step 6: Get a sales tax ID since you’re now a business and would need to pay taxes on your products.
- Step 7: Run marketing campaigns to get the products in front of your audience.
Benefits of an Online Store
Interested to know about the advantages of an online store and why it scores higher than a physical one? After all, most big brands have official stores and retail outlets for people to walk in, roam around, feel the products, and then make a purchase. While there’s no alternative to physical contact with the products, an online store can provide several other benefits.
- Enhanced Communication with Customers: Online shopping allows brands to capture in-depth customer information like their purchase history, shortlisted products, email address, shopping preferences, and more. All this information enables you to connect with your customers better. Targeted campaigns, special discounts, and notifying the customers when their shortlisted product is back in stock can increase the chances of completing a sale successfully.
- Better Shopping Experience: This is one of the key benefits of an online store. Shopping online gives a certain amount of freedom to customers that can’t be found in physical stores. There’s no salesperson following them around the store to make them uncomfortable and no queues for them to stand in and wait. All they need to do is browse through the website, select products they like, and buy them instantly with the click of a button. No fuss. No hassle. And no carrying things around the store.
- Reduced Costs: One of the biggest reasons behind taking your business online is the reduction in costs. Sure, you will be paying server costs, website maintenance costs, infrastructure costs and such, but they will be far lower than paying rent for a commercial space, hiring employees, and maintaining the physical stock as well as the store. The amount spent on marketing online can be as minimal as you like.
- Increased Market Access: This is another one of the top advantages of an online store. Selling products over the internet opens a wide range of possibilities that just isn’t possible with independent stores. Not only can you market to people worldwide, but third-party drop shipping and fulfilment companies like Amazon and eBay make it possible for the products to reach even far-flung customers. Setting up a shop is easy and can happen in just a matter of minutes.
- Master of your Own Finances: Since you’re not partnering with third-party channels and selling products from your store, barring the cost of advertisement, shipping, and other overheads, all the revenue, as well as the profit, is yours to keep. While selling on Amazon or eBay might feel like a good side hustle at the beginning, the earnings will stagnate over time even if your business is growing. Getting away from any third-party agreement frees you from these shackles.
- You Have the Final Say: Another online store benefit? You are not restricted to the selling metrics and strategies of other third-party companies. You have complete authority over every business decision like how it’s going to operate, sales and marketing strategies to generate leads, product presentation, pricing, and even the way the order is packaged and delivered. Customer service also becomes more streamlined and efficient.
- Convenient payment system: In case of an online store, if you join hands with the right payment gateway solution provider, accepting and keeping track of payments will become a piece of cake. You will be able to offer your customers multiple payment modes too, including debit and credit cards, net banking, e-wallets and so on. No matter where a customer is located, the funds will be deposited in your account quickly. Sending invoices and reminders will also become easy, helping you to focus more on core business areas.
Building a business from scratch and running the same is not easy, be it online or offline. Each has its own difficulties and comes with its fair share of roadblocks, but you don’t create a multi-billion-dollar corporation piggybacking on another company. Plus, there are several benefits of an online store over an offline one, as you read above. And if yours is a growing business that aims to stay in the game for a long time, futureproofing the business is vital. The world is going global and physical borders are no longer a constraint for brands trying to reach their customers. So, now is the best time to go online.