A frequently asked question that we get from our friends and website visitors is – “How do I build an online store?”
We wanted to build an online store to kick start a side business with the dream of growing it into a full-time income.
But when it came down to actually getting the ball rolling, we had absolutely no clue where to get started!
Today let us show you how to build up your online store step by step! These are generated based on our 10 years’ experience creating eCommerce sites for others and running our own eCommerce platforms.
Step 1: The Business Plan
Would you open a business without a business plan? You need one to start an online store, too. A business plan is critical to developing the roadmap and framework to establish a successful business. you should include the approaches in your business plan such as
– supply chain
– sales channels
It should also establish a clear idea of how it will reach success. If you need funding, you will also require this business plan to get venture capitalists on board with your ideas. These elements don’t become any less important just because you’re saving overhead on facility costs.
Step 2: Design & Build The Structure
Once you had a plan, you will need to choose an appropriate business structure. If you are unsure of the structure that is best for your company, consider the tax benefits and requirements of each. Singapore ACRA and IRAS website can help you with this decision. After making this decision, you will be able to file all of the documentation to make your business and its name legal. This is generally the end of the offline process. Now, it’s time to take the steps to get your store established online.
Step 3: Choose the Product You Want to Sell
While your business plan probably outlined the general types of products you want to sell, this step entails a much more thorough list of your offerings. You should include the different products, as well as their unique colors, sizes, or other features. In addition to deciding on the types of products, you will also decide how they will be manufactured or supplied. In general, if you’re not producing your offerings yourself, you will need to get a supplier or find a solution that allows you to distribute through reselling or drop shipping.
Nowadays, it’s easier to find the supplier/manufacturer online via different search engines
Step 4: Choosing a Domain Name & Hosting
First, you must choose a hosting site. You also have the option of purchasing a domain name and setting up a site yourself. However, this requires an understanding of technical processes that many business owners may not have. At HOOPSTUDIO, you don’t have to worry about this, you just have to decide the name, we will take care of the rest! Good thing about using the opensource shopping cart platforms is that they are having a strong support from the community and they will keep on upgrading to introduce new features and functions.
Step 5: Building the OnlineStore Catalog
While your site is being built. You will also need to organize your products into categories, and decide whether you want to include sections such as About Us or a company blog to attract customers to your site.
Step 6: Building the Shopping Cart
When you do set up a cart, it is often beneficial to use hosted shopping cart software. When you choose self-hosted software, some potential customers may turn away from your business because they are unsure of the security of your site. This is a big factor to consider when establishing your online retail store.
Step 7: Getting Bar Codes for Your Products
To legally sell products to consumers through an online store, you will need UPC bar codes for each item you are selling. Does your product come in different sizes, colors, or patterns? You will need a separate barcode for each product, with each combination of features. Luckily, purchasing barcodes can usually be done easily online. You can even buy large batches of consecutive codes at a discount through online services like Speedy Barcodes.
Step 8: Building Inventory
If you are just establishing yourself online, you will need to have a decent sized inventory of products. This is true regardless of whether your ecommerce store is your only storefront or if you have multiple marketplaces to sell your products. Nothing can make an online business lose money quite like having a surplus of backed up orders. In addition to establishing your inventory, you will need to make decisions about storage. The good news is that even if you do not have the money for a warehouse yourself, many companies will store your items and ship them out as orders come in for an affordable rate.
Step 9: Launching and Marketing
Once your website and catalog has been established and tested, your products are ready for sale, you are ready for the official launch. This is an important day for your business, so be sure to advertise it well using tools like social media, email lists, offline marketing materials. After the launch, you will need to work hard on your marketing to grow your base of loyal customers.
Step 10: Maintaining the Business
Once everything is up and running, the final step is maintaining your business. This includes taking care of technical aspects, such as working out any bugs on the site. It also includes continuing to manage the company inventory, make decisions about new and discontinued products, and providing customer service that will keep customers coming back for more. Finally, this will require you to market using techniques such as promotions, sales, emails, and more so that your business continues in its success. There are few instances where you can “set-and-forget” so make sure you do everything you can to make the best of a good start, so as you can see, it’s not an easy job to set up and run an onlinestore, but with HOOPSTUDIO, we provide you an one stop solution for this, we want to make sure you are able to focus just on the development of your business, and we will take care of all the heavy works at the backend