How to Start an Online Store

Establishing an online store may seem intimidating at first. However, with proper tools and guidance, creating one can become profitable and fulfilling. An online store allows your business to expand globally. The demand for eCommerce retail stores has leaped over the past few years, making the work easier for retail stores and platforms. 

Here, we will guide you through every stage of starting an online store, from selecting an ideal platform and website design to successfully launching products. With this comprehensive instruction manual at your side, your journey toward successful store ownership should begin shortly. 

Step By Step Guide For Creating Online Store 

Step 1: Define Your Target Audience

When starting an online business, one key consideration is who will buy from you; knowing who that audience is is critical to creating a thriving venture. Your chances of making a flourishing venture increase considerably if they live nearby (your target audience).

If you already have an idea for a product or service to offer online, use that idea as the foundation to define who your ideal customer would be. Otherwise, focus on an audience you know well: what products do you regularly use and enjoy using, or which brands would you most like to reach out to via marketing initiatives? Finally, choose what to sell online before taking steps toward selling online sales.

Select Products for Online Sales: Beyond considering your ideal audience and conducting competition research, ask yourself some key questions: What brands are prevalent online, what specific issues need solving, and how will your products get out to market?

Step 2: Starting an Online Business: Select Products Available Now

Enhance an already popular product: Start with what works and improve it further, like big retailers do when offering private brand items—they research what’s selling online or in-store before designing their variations based on that data. Use tools like Jungle Scout to create checklists like Amazon Top Sellers for yourself; review reviews to identify any missing brands as possible candidates for inclusion or exclusion from such lists.

Keep an eye out for untapped markets: Have you been frustrated in your attempts to locate products online that don’t impress, or heard someone mention a fantastic idea over food? A fresh perspective could make all the difference when creating new opportunities. There’s nothing quite so inspiring as an original thought!

Know Your Trends: Trending products come from necessity or issues that have gone viral; therefore, we must develop systems for understanding what drives their success, the timeframe for continuing this trend, the marketing requirements necessary to keep the momentum rolling along, and the need to commit before becoming obsolete! Be wary of committing too soon to products that will quickly fade in popularity!

Step 3: Determine a Business Structure

Now is likely when you feel prepared and raring to go! However, before officially registering your company with authorities, you must consider several legal matters when looking for eCommerce Development Services. However, eligibility for funding sources, personal protection plans, and taxes due are legal requirements everyone needs to focus on. First and foremost, when starting any company, it is necessary to determine how it will be structured. Here are a few commonly utilized types of organizations:

Sole proprietorship: As its name suggests, this business ownership form connects you and the company financially and legally, making it the most accessible form for starting up quickly while remaining unencumbered from being an employer; you instead run and manage it independently.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) allow you to separate personal and professional assets when setting up a company, significantly decreasing risk. They’re relatively straightforward and can even bring additional tax benefits.

Partnership Agreement: When starting up a business with more than two co-workers, an official Partnership Agreement should be drawn up that specifies how you’ll divide obligations and profits among yourselves. It should outline each partner’s roles, responsibilities, investments, rights, etc.

Corporation: When discussing corporate structures, “corp” refers to any established business with employees and shareholders formalized through incorporation. Various kinds of corporations can be formed. A person alone or multiple people working together can establish one.

Formal procedures won’t be needed to set up your firm if you’re starting as a sole proprietorship. Instead, all applicable permits and licenses must be secured; contact the US Small Business Administration for advice.

Step 4: Determine an Online Platform for Your Business.

Once you know which products to market and how to get them, half your journey has already been taken. Next, create an online presence by listing your offerings. Your website is the gateway for people to see and interact with your company—this is also where payments and key tasks will take place. An all-in-one solution that handles marketing, sales logistics, cost management, and procurement needs simultaneously is available!

Your website must be hosted to select an appropriate eCommerce solution. Don’t be seduced by flashy platforms with flashy promises; ask the proper questions before choosing.

Things to Take into Consideration When Selecting an eCommerce Platform

Features: The fact is that all platforms are unique. Specific platforms, like WooCommerce, are blank canvases but require an expert developer’s assistance in setting up and maintaining. Other platforms, such as WixCommerce, don’t need previous coding knowledge. Instead, you can pick from existing templates, blocks, and applications to create an online store without hassle. Moreover, connect with your preferred payment platform, keep track of inventory, automate sales tax, and much more. Learn how to set up your online store using Wix.)

Specialty companies: Do you intend to sell CBD or have a unique business idea? Verify that your platform can help you run your business.

Mobile Friendly: Does your site builder work well on mobile devices? Can customers easily browse your website on their smartphones? Can you accept mobile payments? Given how mobile commerce has revolutionized the world, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly is crucial.

Scalability: When it comes time to upgrade, re-platforming is an issue, and you’ll need to choose a platform that can help your business today and in the future. Consider upgrading your plan quickly to gain access to more tools for professional use, such as advertising, pre-orders, or discounts. Ensure you’re not taxed for your accomplishments (e.g., you must pay substantial commission fees for sales that increase).

Internet security and reliability: It’s often a secondary concern or something that businesses consider only after being the victim of a catastrophe. In actuality, security and trust must always be at the forefront of the list. What can you do to avoid an online store crash if the sales spike suddenly? How can you protect your store from fraudulent transactions and possibly chargebacks? Ensure your eCommerce platform has a public critical certification, SSL, or TLS. 

This gives your website https as the first character of its domain name and increases the credibility of your site and prospective customers. It is also essential to ensure that your hosting provider has efficient and secure hosting that can handle an influx of traffic and give you the best uptime possible.

SEO: You would like your website to rank on Google. To do this, you must have a solid technical SEO base followed by tools to optimize your site as you’d like. For instance, Wix lets you customize your meta tags, URLs, structured data markups, and more. Find out which Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features your platform offers.

Step 05: Partner with a Dropshipper (optional)

If you’re looking to begin selling quickly, consider dropshipping. Dropshipping businesses offer essential advantages, such as the most minor upfront cost and ease of administration.

If you operate a dropshipping company, you must work with an organization that handles manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping for you. This is a rundown of the process:

  • You select the items you wish to dropship from your supplier’s catalog.
  • Then, you list the products on your dropshipping site and set your price.
  • The customer buys the product and makes payment through your website.
  • You will forward the customer’s order (plus the payment) to your supplier. 
  • The supplier will hand over the product directly to the address on the customer’s doorstep. 

Step 06. Connect a Payment Service

It would help if you chose how you’ll be paid to make your first penny from eCommerce. It’s always beneficial to provide a variety of payment options. Think about that last time when you went into a shop or restaurant. You expect them to accept credit cards or Apple Pay. However, you might occasionally walk into an establishment that only accepts cash. In this situation, you’re either in the wrong or not in.

How to begin an online store. Connect to a payment processor. The same principles apply online, and you can provide payment options such as:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • Electronic wallets (like PayPal)
  • Transfers to banks
  • In-person payments (if you own a brick-and-mortar store)
  • Buy now and pay later solutions
  • NFT

There are many payment channels (aka provider or processor of payments) from which to pick. They are the ones that assure a secure and successful transfer of money. Specific gateways are better than others, based on the location you are in and your business nature. Whatever you decide to use, your service provider needs to confirm your bank account before you can take home the earnings you earn.

Step 07. Name Your Store and You will be Granted the Domain

Finally, it’s time to start thinking about your branding. Begin by deciding on an appealing name for your company. A memorable name will give you an advantage in your market.

Think of words associated with your business, product, and values or your distinctive selling point. You can also use the tool to generate store names and get some ideas.

To guide your choice of name, think about SEO. Find the terms consumers use to locate digital or physical items like yours. You can utilize Google Trends or keyword research tools, such as Semrush, to help you in this field. Additionally, go through our SEO guide for more strategies.

Stating the product’s category or kind in the name might not be bad. It will let customers know what you have to offer immediately. For instance, if your business sells hats, you must include the words “accessories,” “fedoras,” or “caps” within your name. 

Above all, you must ensure that your company’s name is distinctive and isn’t being employed. 

This can be done in a variety of ways:

  • Research your direct competitors
  • Name ideas for your search on Google as well as on social media
  • Find your local business registration service.

Once you’ve settled on an appropriate business name, select your website’s most appropriate web address from the domain name registrar. Make sure to match your store’s name precisely. This will make it easier for your customers to discover and remember your brand online when any domain is most likely to cost between $10 and $15 per year.

Create a Sales-Optimized Online Store: When planning to create an online shop, think about a custom eCommerce website that is user-friendly and attractive. Keep an eye on the following points:-

Use an eCommerce template: Instead of creating a brand new store, choose templates for building an e-commerce website already created by platforms like Wix. These templates can be customized and comprise all essential features for your online store.

Make sure your website is organized: Learn from the big brands regarding how they structure their sites. Maintain simple navigation and ensure your products are accessible within just three clicks.

It is essential to define your products clearly. Your customers should understand what you offer from the first moment they visit. Create distinct headings, menus for searching, and images that represent your products. Also, update your website’s metadata to reflect your store’s identity.

Create clear calls to action (CTAs ): Guide your customers through the purchasing process by providing clear icons and prompts. Ensure they know what each button does, such as “Add to cart” or “Explore more products.”

Write compelling product descriptions: Don’t just copy-paste manufacturer descriptions. Original descriptions will improve SEO and establish confidence with your customers.

Use high-quality images: The quality of your product images can determine the success of an offer. Make investments in professional photos and videos that showcase your product’s features effectively.

Step 08: Make Your Store Online for Sales

This is a part where your creative side will shine. The trick is to design an attractive and optimized shop to convert. Customers should not just be impressed with the design and layout of your shop; they should also discover your products and make purchases confidently.

Pointers for designing your site

Use an eCommerce-friendly template: You do not need to create a new one. Wix has a wide selection of templates for online stores and modifies them to make them distinctive. In addition, the templates include the most important features your store needs, so you don’t need to build it from scratch.

Consider your website’s structure: Observe how other major brands and retailers utilize navigation menus, breadcrumbs, filters, and shopping carts to provide an enjoyable user experience. Be sure to keep your navigation bar and web page user-friendly and focus on search behaviors and terms that resonate with your customers.

Use the three-click principle: As a general rule of thumb, your items should be available within three fewer clicks. That means it should be simple for customers to navigate your home page (or another landing page) to the desired page. They shouldn’t have to sift through your website to find what they’re seeking. Be sure to include critical links, such as your shipping details, returns policy, or contact information that could be placed on your footer.

Be specific about the products you sell: Your visitors should know the products you offer when they arrive. While your on-site and off-site advertising and marketing efforts will aid, you must reinforce your knowledge using clear page headings, search menus, and vivid images. 

Write clear calls to action (CTAs): At every step of the buying process, your customers must know what to do next. However, design button text in such a way that it is easy to understand and enticing. The user should know where each click takes them (e.g., “Add to cart” or “Explore more products like this”). Learn from these high-converting pages for products.

Don’t be stingy with your product descriptions: It’s easy to get lazy with your descriptions, mainly when your manufacturer already provides the content for you to utilize. In the absence of original descriptions, you are missing a significant opportunity. Your product descriptions could affect your return rates and visibility, affecting SEO and brand trust. Learn how to write strong product descriptions.

Be careful with your photos: We don’t need to inform you that product photography is crucial to selling online. People often look through pictures first and rely on the images you provide to help them determine the purchase. Use professional-looking photos and videos to show the product’s appearance, feel, dimensions, usage, and more. 

Step 9: Create a Strong Branding Strategy

Branding is a significant component of online success. As most consumers are willing to purchase from brands they’ve not had the pleasure of meeting, you must have an effective online brand strategy that makes an impression. Branding includes everything from your company’s name, logo, favicon, typography, color palette, and voice. Your brand’s image should strongly reflect the kind of business you operate and the mood you wish to convey.

Create your brand’s palette: Blues or greens can complement your eco-sustainable water bottles; brighter colors can create an energetic, optimistic mood. Whatever you choose to do, ensure that you have a rationale behind why you choose your brand’s colors rather than arbitrarily choosing them. Keep three to four hex color codes that you can use to guide your move forward.

Create an enticing Logo with the help of an artist or logo maker: Your logo must be memorable, solid, and distinctive from others and depict the brand. An excellent example is the Nike Swoosh. (Would you be shocked to find out the fact that Nike founder Phil Knight initially reacted to the logo, saying, “I don’t love it, but maybe it’ll grow on me”?) The enduring appeal of the logo is undoubtedly due to its symbolism of the speed and motion characteristics of the athletes to whom Nike sells its products. It is important to note that you are looking for something other than an image that speaks to your taste. You’re trying to find a logo that reflects your target audience. 

Communication Style: It is essential to consider this when writing descriptions of your products, social media posts, and other communication. Should your tone be lighthearted or severe? What kind of conversation would you have with your potential buyers if you spoke to them in person?

All these branding elements will be crucial when creating content to promote your brand. These include:

  • Your site
  • Emails
  • Invoices
  • Product packaging
  • Shipping materials
  • Marketing campaigns

Consistency is the key to creating a brand with credibility customers will likely become attached to.

Step 10: Start your marketing campaign

Your store is now prepared to begin selling. Now is the time to shout about it on the streets and use different marketing strategies to bring customers to your store online.

You need to use proper marketing tools for the organic market that can include:-


Once you learn about building an e-commerce website, it’s time to apply it practically. It is possible to sell everything on the internet, including handmade items, groceries, educational materials,  digital goods, and anything for which you want to start your online business. If, at any point, you feel like this can’t be handled individually, then you can hire an ecommerce development company like AddWeb Solution to help you create a successful online store by connecting with your potential customers through the right messages and products they’re searching for. 

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