10% of all retail sales happen over the world wide web. That might not seem like a big number but it’s a number that’s going up every year at a rate in which experts predict that e-commerce will eventually overtake brick-and-mortar retailers.

Pursuant to that fact, many people have been desperate to try and break into the e-commerce space in order to get their piece of the pie. Fortunately, given the increasing intuitiveness of the internet, launching an e-commerce prescience is easier than ever.

Below, our team walks you through simple steps covering how to start an online store. If you follow them closely, you’ll be selling in no time!

1. Register Your Business

All businesses start with a name. What’s yours?

Coming up with a business name can be a daunting task. Frankly, though, it doesn’t have to be.

You don’t need to be some branding genius like the person that helped launch Nike to be successful online. Keep your name simple and true to what your business’ ambitions are.

If you can’t think of a name, here’s a nifty name generator that you can use.

Once your name is hatched, head over to the IRS website and register for an employer identification number.

2. Select a Domain

You’re an e-commerce business so you’re going to need a website. The first step to getting a website is to register a domain name.

There are hundreds of domain name registrars online that can help you do that. Namecheap is our favorite registrar but you’re free to explore other options as well.

Keep your domain name short and always opt for a .com address since any other extension can cause confusion for consumers.

3. Pick a Platform

Unless you’re a skilled developer, your how to start an online store ambitions are going to rely heavily on your ability to work with an intuitive website building platform.

WordPress, Joomla!, Shopify and Squarespace are all popular options. We personally like opensource content management systems like WordPress and Joomla! because they end up being more flexible for business owners in the long run.

Platforms like Shopify tend to be a little easier to use out of the box though, so if you’re not very tech-savvy, that may be the way to go.

4. Subscribe to a Web Host

If you choose to opt for an open source website platform like WordPress, you’ll need to bring on a web host to house your website on the internet.

Be wary of web hosts that are offering too good to be true deals. Most web hosts will sign you up to a 1 to 3-year contract at a great price and then, once your contract lapses, gut you by raising your rates by as much as 100%.

If you can, look for web hosts that offer price locks, great customer service, and high speeds.

5. Decide on a Niche

With your website all figured out, it’s time to figure out what you’re going to sell. This can be the hardest (and is often the most important) part of the how to start an online store process.

Our recommendation is to aim for a product niche that is in demand, commands a high per-unit price, doesn’t have too many variations (sizes for example) and is light enough that shipping expenses won’t become an issue.

Can’t decide on a niche? Take a walk around your community and keep an eye out for the things that you’re seeing people doing.

Maybe everybody is wearing a Bluetooth headset or is sporting a particular clothing accessory.

Those small bits of insight can get the wheels turning in your head in regard to what could be worth your time to sell.

6. Find a Supplier

After you’ve developed an idea of what you’d like to sell, it’s time to find a manufacturer that can create that product for you in-bulk so that you can resell the product online at a higher price.

Popular manufacturing websites that you can check out include Alibaba, DHgate, Global Sources, and others.

Once you’ve located a prospective manufacturer, ask for a sample to be shipped to you as possible. Then, negotiate your per-unit price in order to inflate your profit potential.

7. Select Sales Channels

As an e-commerce seller, you shouldn’t limit your sales channels to just your website. This is especially important during the early days of building your brand.

To ensure that you’re able to sell consistently and enjoy as much exposure as possible, spread your sales channels to eBay, Amazon, and others.

Sure, 3rd party sales channels will skim some of your profits. You can counterbalance that skimming by charging a slightly higher rate though.

8. Sustain and Scale

At this point, you have a business, a website, a product and channels to sell through. You’re already 90% of the way to being successful.

All you have to focus on now is sustaining yourself and continuing to scale.

Doing small things like marketing, onboarding a good task management platform and hiring employees can all work to expand your e-commerce store’s footprint. Just scale sustainably so that your rapid growth doesn’t harm your quality of service.

Wrapping Up How to Start an Online Store

We hope that our how to start an online store advice has made the prospect of jumping into the e-commerce arena more feasible for you. If you should need more direction on business or technology going forward, our content on Florida Independent should be able to help.

Browse more of our newest tech-focused write-ups today!

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How Apps Can Help Your Business Thrive

There are many things you can use to help your business thrive, but apps are certainly up there. They represent how powerful technology has become, and how much it matters to our businesses. So, check out how apps can help your company thrive and grow as much as possible.

Connecting with more people

As a business owner, you should always be looking for ways to connect with as many people as possible. And the way to do this is to ensure that you use apps to your advantage. For instance, you might consider creating a business app.

This will allow you to interface and connect with a whole new set of customers. You will be able to appeal to them through their smartphones wherever they may be. And this is an excellent way of raising brand awareness, and connecting with more people.

Do work on the move

When you run a modern business, you’re going to find you’re a busy person. You will be moving around a lot and traveling quite a bit. And this is where you need to make sure you have plenty of apps.

You see, there are certain apps these days that allow you to work remotely. No matter where you are, you can still be sure you’re running your business.

And this is vital for ensuring you are always connected and constantly evolving. Working on the move is a vital part of contemporary business, and you need to make sure you do it as much as possible.

Payments

One of the best things that apps can do to help your business thrive is through payment methods. The best businesses are the ones who offer the most amount of payment methods.

Customers hate having to wait around to get what they want. And the fact is that you could easily lose sales as a result. So, you need to use any sort of small business app that can help with payments.

That way you can process multiple transactions at once, and increase the sales you make. Instead of simply enjoying a lot of leads and a few sales you will be able to convert every lead into a sale on the spot.

Marketing

It’s vital to look at every possible avenue you can to market your business. That means you need to think about using apps to help you promote and advertise your brand.

There are so many things you can do in this respect, and it’s really a case of deciding which to use. The best thing to do would be to get social media apps on your laptop or smartphone. Things like Twitter and Facebook are vital for marketing the brand.

And you can use the apps for instant connectivity and interaction. These allow you to update and promote your business at any time of day or night, wherever you are.

The good thing about owning and running a business these days is that there is so much out there to help you. Indeed, technology has developed to such a degree that we can use it to help our businesses so much.

If you harbour ambitions of developing a successful and thriving brand, you will need to make use of technology. And smartphone apps are one of the best formed of technology you can use these days.

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