In 2021, retail sales through the internet amounted to $4.9 billion according to figures from Statista and are expected to increase to $7.4 billion in 2025, so setting up an online store has become essential to take advantage of the potential of this channel of distribution. The good news is that there are multiple service providers that make this task easy.

Consumption patterns have radically changed to the benefit of electronic commerce and everything indicates that this trend will be strengthened in the coming years.

Companies that already had well-positioned online stores in 2020 have had a great harvest in this distribution channel, while those that do not are quickly catching up.

And it is that global retail sales through the internet represented close to 20% of the total in 2021 and this proportion is expected to increase to 24% in 2025. Large retail companies such as Wallmart have quickly adapted to this new environment, but medium and small companies are still making the necessary investments to achieve it.

The advantages of an online store

The advantages of having an online store are many, starting with the fact that it allows a global reach to access new markets and reach a wide customer base.

For beginners, it is cheaper to set up an online store and maintain it than a physical store and marketing is faster as is the purchase process.

An online store is a channel that will be open 24 hours a day, allowing anyone interested to buy at midnight if they wish.

For small businesses whose brand is not yet consolidated, having an online store will offer a better customer experience, allowing easy access to the product catalog, making the required queries before the purchase and finally making the purchase online.

Other advantages include the ease of attracting new customers through search engine optimization, the possibility of offering various forms of shipping or direct communication with the customer through online chat and social networks. All of the above will surely be reflected in the increase in income.

There are more and more tools for creating online stores easily, but the following recommendations could always help.

Choose the product

The first thing is to decide what will be sold. Whether you are going to manufacture, resell or dropship, you should choose profitable products and preferably in an industry in which you have experience. Market research will serve as the basis for validating whether there is a demand for the products to be sold and the sales potential.

Determine the target

The target is the market segment to which the marketing efforts will be directed. The segmentation must include the characteristics of potential customers such as age, gender, profession, income level, but also other factors such as the lifestyle of the target audience and the geographical radius that the store intends to serve.

Choose the e-commerce platform

There are multiple e-commerce platforms and choosing one of them is related, among other things, to the size of the store you want to create. Some are more suitable for stores with small inventories such as those that offer solutions through the Internet, while platforms that involve only software are better adapted to handle large inventories.

Buy the domain

The domain name is the portion of the URL that highlights the name of the store and will be your brand on the internet. Obtaining a domain with the name of the store will help to differentiate itself from the competition, to transmit a professional image and to consolidate the brand.

Choose the forms of payment you will accept

A reliable payment gateway that guarantees the security of customer data is essential. In addition, an online store must have multiple payment methods such as credit cards, bank transfers or digital wallets (e-wallet), as this will mean a plus over other stores that only allow one payment method.

Design the distribution and delivery strategy

The decision to choose the shipping methods that will be used for the delivery of the products is perhaps one of the most important due to its complexity. Logistical variables such as product weight, packaging costs, shipping rates, etc. must be managed.

The most common options for an online store are to offer free shipping, paid shipping, real-time quoted shipping costs, and in-store pickup.

Launch and market the online store

At this point the store should be ready for launch. A proper marketing strategy should include social media promotion, email marketing, online ads (Google AdWords), content marketing, and an SEO strategy for search engines.