A web store is a good way to earn money providing products that you are passionate about. It allows you to reach consumers located outside your physical location and makes your products accessible to a wider market. E-commerce is an exciting prospect but most people have no idea where to start. Our guide to opening your online store and working a free web store builder should give you a proper introduction to pursuing an ecommerce business.
1. Decide on what to sell
First and foremost, you want to decide on what to sell on your web store. When it comes to choosing a product, you can either go with what is trending or what you’re passionate about. If it meets both criteria, then even better. Google Trends is a good place to start searching for inspiration on what people are looking for.
Whatever product you decide on, make sure it is something that you can sell. Understand the challenges of this product niche before you go and set up your site using a web store builder. For example, shipping considerations may affect your choice of product. If you have to spend so much on shipping because you’re selling bulkier items, for example, your operating expense can affect your bottom line in the long run. Scout out the competition. Who else is selling the same products you’re interested in? What makes your brand different?
2. Select an ecommerce platform
When it comes to building your online store, selecting a free web store builder might be the most cost-effective option especially if you’re new to ecommerce. It lets you set up your shop online without racking up exorbitant costs as compared to if you let a professional do it for you, for example.
A free webstore builder has a very low cost to entry - you can build your website for free. This is a great option if you are a startup with and you want to test the waters first before investing on an ecommerce site. You also don’t need significant design and programming know-how to work on a website builder. Strikingly, for instance, features a collection of mobile-friendly and professional templates that you can play around with. Its ecommerce solution, the Simple Store, also lets you set up your online store in just a few minutes.
3. Plan your content
With a free web store builder, all you need to do is plan your content and put it up on the platform and you’re good to go. Make sure you have all the right elements of an online shop before you launch. These include high-quality images of your product, detailed product information including the price and cost of shipping if it’s not included in the quote, payment options, and your information as the seller. Make sure that your content has everything your target consumer might look for when shopping around for a product such as yours. Many people shopping online would typically know what they are looking for before they land on your store. Your content should be able to persuade them to hit ‘Add to Cart’ and ‘Checkout.’
Make sure your website is user-friendly. The best thing about free webstore builders is that the templates are designed with positive user experience as a priority. Your online store’s navigation should make it easy for your customers to access information about your products and make a purchase. They shouldn’t have to go through several hoops just to process their order. Make the experience worth their time.
4. Test your website
Before you click, “Publish”, you want to test your website to ensure all the content is complete, there are no grammatical or typographical errors in the text and all the links are working as they are meant to. It’s also advisable to test accessibility on different screen sizes although with a free web store builder like Strikingly, you’ll probably have this covered because the template is designed to be responsive in the first place.
5. Market your web store
After launching your online store, the next thing to do is to plan your digital marketing strategy to get traffic going into the website. Post a link to your website on social media, continuously optimize your content for search engines and track the performance of your website on a regular basis.