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How to Start an Online Store in 4 Simple Steps

In January 2022, internet sales in the UK shared 27.1% of total retail sales, which only proves how well-developed the UK online market is. Many see the advantage of opening an eCommerce shop, but not all know how to start an online store from scratch. If you're looking to start your business on virtual platforms, look at our simple guide on how to do it successfully. 

Studies predict more than 85% of UK citizens will shop online in 2022 - now is the right time to open your eCommerce store

Step 1 - Determine Which Products You Want to Sell and to Whom

Customers tend to believe more in those who seem experts in a certain product type than those who sell a little bit of everything for everyone. That is why it is highly recommended you choose a particular niche, possibly with highly trending products. Clothes, shoes, smartwatches, fitness items, and baby and pet equipment are all in high demand when it comes to online selling for many years in a row. At the same time, you must also think about targeted audiences. Sometimes it can even be a determining factor in choosing the type of items to sell.

Find the Right Supplier for the Products

The amount of money you'll earn doesn't depend solely on the items you choose to market. If you want to become a reseller rather than make a product yourself, you must find the right supplier. For all those who are only starting to explore the world of online selling, local thrift shops and yard sales could be excellent beginnings. At the same time, look for a wholesaler that can offer you the best deal.

Step 2 - Choose the Right Multi-Vendor Marketplace Platform for Your E-commerce Business

As an online (re)seller, you can make your own independent website or use an existing marketplace platform as software for selling online. On an online marketplace platform, a product can be marketed, seen by customers, and sold. Consider some of the best UK marketplaces and opt for those most suitable for your eCommerce business. For the best results, the website needs to be user-friendly, both for you and your future customers. 

Remember that greater visibility can often positively affect your sellings, so trying out tools for posting on multiple platforms can be a good choice. The right multi-channel listing software can help sell products on multiple platforms much easier.

The more visible you are, the easier your customers will find you

Step 3 - How to Start an Online Store? Consider Your Business Structure and Create a Plan

You need to come up with the business idea, name, and logo before you start marketing the products. You want to create something that will stand out from other offerings and draw the customer's attention to what you're selling. It's a part of the process that will demand serious brainstorming, so take all the help you can get.

At the same time, you need to select a business structure you want to pursue. You can opt between different models, like:

  • Sole proprietorship,
  • Partnership, 
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC), 
  • Corporation.

Step 4 - Set Up Your Website 

There are many things to do when setting up an eCommerce business, from adding items to the chosen selling software, over managing prices, to getting the wanted website domain. Take a look at the following substeps and learn how to open an online store on a chosen platform.

Step 4.1 - Start Marketing Your Products and Determine the Prices

You can't run a shop without anything to buy in it, so it must be one of the first items on your list of things to do. How you will do it can depend on whether you want to make money with Vinted or you decide to start selling on Depop or any other online marketplace. 

Make sure each of your items has a suitable product description, where you'll emphasize the product's benefits and provide all the necessary information for your target audience. You also need to use photos, video, and other media forms to accompany the product - the more professional it looks, the better. 

When it comes to prices, you need to count in all the supply and tax costs and platform fees to make sure you're actually earning money. However, in order to attract customers, they need to stay competitive

Step 4.2. Choose the Right Payment Provider and Shipping Options for Your E-commerce Business 

Since your customers should be provided with different payment options (credit and debit card, PayPal, and the like), you must find the right payment provider for yourself. Payment gateways are often offered by online marketplaces. If you decide to sell online with Shopify, for example, all you need to do is set up an account and provide necessary banking and business information. Of course, you can also choose a third-party payment provider if you wish. 

While people come to you when owning a physical store, all e-commerce shops demand you ship the products to your customers. The best solution for beginners is to partner up with a dropshipping company that will take care of everything, from the manufacturing process to shipping the goods. That way, you can focus on marketing and branding products. 

Step 4.3 - Make a Custom Domain for Your Store

While brick-and-mortar stores use physical space, online shops use a virtual one, so you must have a unique web address prepared before launching the store. Many online selling platforms will provide you with a default URL based on your business name. However, you can customize it by buying a new domain at name register companies like Namecheap and make your domain branded. 

Before you flip the virtual open sign and let your website go live, take a look at the video below for excellent tips about which domain to use in 2022:

Combine Best Online Selling Platforms With the Help of Our Crossposting Software for Marketing 

While some people like to shop on eBay and Etsy, others prefer Shopify or Depop. The best way to reach them all is to create listings in all of them and sell on multiple platforms at once. However, managing all of them at the same time can get challenging. Zipsale is a cross-listing software that can help you manage your products easier and faster by using one central interface. Sign up to our cross-posting app now and start a free trial- Zipsale will help you save time and increase your sales simultaneously. 

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