Today it is unthinkable to open a business without having an online presence. For many startups, having an online store is not an additional channel for their sales, but rather the main source of income for their projects.
If you want to create your own virtual store , below you will find a guide to achieve it in an easy and simple way. The best of all? You do not require advanced programming knowledge to achieve this. Let’s get started!
What is it an online shop?
Also known as a virtual store or online store, an online store is a web page that allows visitors to browse through a catalog of products, add them to a shopping cart and pay for them at the time they so decide, making an order and generating a purchase order, which will be available for the business to dispatch in the following days.
When talking about the ecosystem that surrounds ecommerce, the online store is one of the most useful tools to concentrate the operation of a business, becoming the digital heart of a brand, since it allows the seller to sell their products available for sale. the user 24 hours a day.
What is an online store for?
An online store is used to sell any product that is in the catalog of a brand. However, although we have already outlined it a bit in the previous section, a virtual store can be used for more than the purchase and sale processes and meet different business needs such as:
- Digital catalog of a brand.
- Transaction hub site for the sales team.
- Record of daily, monthly and annual sales.
- Digital presence tool.
- Purchase method for remote or wholesale customers.
And it can be used for many other things! The uses that a company can give to an online store depend on the needs of the company, since being such a flexible tool, they adapt to the process of operating a business. How? Through the applications and integrations that you can add to the operation of your virtual store.
Advantages of having an online store
In case there were no reasons to create your own online store, here we show you some of the main advantages of having your own virtual store . Take note!
- You can sell 365 days a year.
- You will reach a larger universe of potential customers.
- You will expand the scope of your business.
- You will reduce costs in relation to a traditional business.
- You will provide more shopping options to your customers.
As you can see, the benefits of an ecommerce are multiple and at different levels, making it not only a tool in favor of your business, but also in favor of your buyer, a fact that allows an omnichannel shopping experience, that is, it enables the purchase processes to adapt to the tastes and preferences of your client.
How to create an online store?
Now that you have a clearer understanding of what an online store is and its main advantages, let’s see how to create an online store in ten easy steps. Click on each point to go to each section.
- Create a business plan.
- Get the necessary permissions.
- Study your customers and the competition.
- Work with reliable providers.
- Choose the ideal e-commerce platform for your business.
- Take professional product photos.
- Develop your product descriptions.
- Design your graphic materials.
- Create your online store.
- Promote it through social networks.
Let’s talk about each of these steps to avoid doubts, do you think?
1. Create a business plan
The first step is always to lay the foundations of your company. A business plan will help you achieve this as it will make you focus on defining your business model. Think of it as the treasure map that will lead you to the reward. If you have no idea where to start, I recommend you use this Business Plan Template .You will see that it is very easy to use and best of all, it is free.
2. Get the necessary permissions
With a strategy in hand, the next thing to consider is to comply with the necessary permissions. Each country has specific regulations on ecommerce, in addition to procedures that must be carried out to have the operation of your company in order. Find out about these points, what you need to operate and how you can start selling without fearing legal obstacles.
In Mexico, to sell online it is necessary to be registered with the SAT with an RFC with a homoclave, one of the main requirements that every entrepreneur needs to meet according to the legal and fiscal regulations of our country.
3. Study your customers and the competition
If you already sell in a physical location or in some other channel, it is likely that you already know the consumption habits of your customers and recurring buyers, in addition to having located two or three competitors that can maintain a similarity with your business. If this is not the case and you are in an early stage of your business, it is recommended that you meet and observe your clients and the competition, since both profiles will give you a very good idea of what you need to do to provide added value to your brand. .
4. Work with reliable suppliers
Regardless of the business model you have, working with suppliers that not only provide you with good merchandise or raw materials, but are also formal and committed, is a blessing. More than just suppliers, they are strategic allies in shaping your company. If you already have them, congratulations. If you are building your supplier base, I recommend that you take into account price, quality, materials, and delivery times.
If you dedicate yourself to dropshipping, this point is even more important, since they have a preponderant role in the development of your company, because in addition to supplying you with photos, videos and samples of your products, they are the ones who will send the items to your customers. , taking a strategic role in what the buyer knows and knows about your brand.
5. Choose the ideal ecommerce platform for your business
Once you have resolved the previous points, it is time to investigate ecommerce platforms and choose the best one for your company. Some of the most popular and used platforms are:
Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, since they have different costs and requirements. My recommendation will always be Tiendanube. In addition to its ease of use, it does not require an extra installation like WooCommerce, nor does it cost as high as Shopify. You can start selling from day one, and they even give you 30 days for free to test the platform and see all the possibilities it offers your business.
6. Take professional product photos
Regardless of the ecommerce platform you’ve chosen, you’ll need amazing product photos. Whether you take them yourself or enlist the help of an expert for the photo session, your shopping cart website will require eye-catching images that encourage users to make their purchase.
When selling online, you must consider that buyers do not have the possibility to see, touch and try the product, so it is necessary that you include photos that show them the article in its entirety, inside, outside and even with examples of use. If you want to add a short video showing your product, you can also add it to the product file.
7. Develop your product descriptions
Not only love is born from sight, coupled with the visual element, you must develop the descriptions of your products. These will be the complement in each of your product files. Usually these texts must be persuasive, encouraging the user to add the item to the shopping cart, in addition to giving all the details that potential customers may require about the piece they are purchasing.
Details that you can include in the description of your products
- Measurements and dimensions
- Weight and grammage
- Materials with which it is made
- manufacturing method
- Suggestions for use
- Washing and cleaning instructions
You can include in this space the aspects that you think are relevant for the customer to make their purchase. The more knowledge you reflect about the product and its characteristics, you will clear more doubts from your buyers and give them greater certainty that the item in question responds to what your user is looking for, also helping to lower the merchandise return rate.
8. Design your graphic materials
In addition to photographs, you will require other types of graphic materials to dress up your online store, such as banners, GIFs, and videos. These elements will give character and personality to your website with a shopping cart. To make them, you can use some additional images you have of your products, as well as other design elements to make them more attractive and eye-catching.
To create them, rely on banner templates like the ones you can find in the Venngage editor. You will achieve professional results in a matter of minutes. Do the test!
9. Create your online store
With all the above elements in hand, you will see that creating your virtual store becomes very simple and easy to do. You just need to put the puzzle together. You can create your product files one by one or use automated loading, in case you have many items available in your catalog.
In this video you will find step by step the process to create your online store. It’s easier than you think.
If you prefer reading and going step by step, we recommend this super guide on how to create an online store. It is full of valuable tips and recommendations that will give your website an extra boost.
10. Promote it through social networks
The last step, but not the least important, is to create a campaign to promote and launch your ecommerce. You can rely on discounts, advertising on social networks, search engine ads or dynamics such as giveaways. Find out what the ideal strategy for your business is and put it into practice.
Other ideas that you can apply for the launch of your virtual store are:
- Positioning campaigns with influencers.
- Alliances with other brands.
- Product kits at introductory prices.
- Free shipping over a certain purchase amount.
- Free gifts with every purchase order.
To choose the ideal strategy, keep in mind the objectives of your business and what you want to achieve. Is it brand awareness? Incentivize purchase? Try any particular product? Having the answers to these questions will help you find your way to promoting your new online store.
Create your online store!
Now that you know the process to create your own virtual store, the only thing left is to get to work. As you can see, there are alternatives to have your website with a shopping cart that do not require advanced knowledge in programming or digital design, you just need to rely on the correct tools to achieve impressive results.