Learn How To Start An Online Store In 2024

Starting an online store is every aspiring entrepreneur’s dream today. But the question is, how to get started? This guide will answer all your questions in detail, so keep reading.

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In a world where the eCommerce sector’s experiencing an unprecedented boom, it is important aspiring entrepreneurs are equipped with all the knowledge they need to build an online store. This guide will do just that by taking you through the different steps of starting an online store.

Most entrepreneurs experience a lot of overwhelm during the store-building process due to the costs and confusion involved. There are so many to-dos to follow, that they either give up before starting or fail while trying.

The main reason behind this is that there are a lot of steps involved, and if you don't know how to build an online store step by step, you might just get lost in the process. But that’s what we are there for, so don’t worry!

In this detailed guide, we will take you through all the steps of how to make an online store idea come to life, so that you have your business up and running in no time. Whether you want to build an online store from scratch, or you’re planning on creating an online store for your brick-and-mortar business, this guide will help you go about it.

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Here’s some great news before you proceed!

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Built by the team behind .Store Domains, Elevate.store is driven by the sole purpose of helping you save money and cut out any confusion or overwhelm getting in the way of your success.

Here’s the perfect pack of deals to set up an online store.

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Let’s dive right back into the steps to starting an online store.

Steps 1:

Define Your Niche

The first step in how to create online store is defining your niche. If you blindly try to dive into the world of eCommerce, then things might go haywire, and you will end up with nothing but a failed eCommerce business.

When you pick your niche after careful analysis, your business will stand strong in its foundation. For instance, if you have a great interest in tech products, have always been aware of the latest gadgets, and now plan to build an online store for it, it could do really well.

It is because you are well-versed in that niche and already know it in and out. On the other hand, if you are not tech-savvy and try building an online store for tech products, you might fail your business due to a lack of knowledge and information.

There are also other factors that play a role in picking a niche. For instance, if there are a lot of educational institutions in your locality or city, you could consider picking a niche that caters to students.

Or if your city's climate is extreme in nature, then you could pick a niche that could go well with the demands of people that are created due to the climate. If your town is a popular holiday destination, then your niche can be something that tourists would be into.

Picking your niche is a very subjective thing and requires careful analysis. You need to look at it from all angles, try to assess what could work and what not, and only then finalize your niche.

Steps 2:

Choose Your Products

Once you have picked your niche, you need to choose the products that you want to sell in that niche. Even though it might seem like a casual thing to do, the right product can make your business, and the wrong one can break it.

For instance, if you chose a product that is already very popular, you might find it really hard to sell. Or if you choose something that’s rare, then does it even have the required demand to be sold and suffice a business?

Is the product too expensive for your target audience? Do you have the resources to store and ship the particular product? There are so many IFs that you need to carefully answer before picking your product, and here are a few things you can consider:

  • Profitability
    You want your products to be profitable so that you can generate a return on your investment and create an online store that is profitable. A product that is too expensive to buy in bulk or manufacture would have a low potential for profitability. Or if a product is expensive to ship, it would be more suitable for a brick-and-mortar store than an online store.
  • Searchability
    One of the most important aspects of eCommerce is searchability. People search for the products they want to buy on search engines like Google, Google shows them the online stores selling them, and they pick a store from there and buy. If people are not searching for the products you are selling, who are you going to sell to?
  • Passion
    Being passionate about the product you sell can come in handy, as you might be able to answer the questions of your customers better. Your knowledge of it will also help you have an edge over your customers. And sticking with your business during tough times will seem less tough if it involves your passion.

Steps 3:

Pick Your Website Builder

Just like you need a brick-and-mortar store to sell your products in the traditional form of business, you also need a storefront to sell your products in the eCommerce world. Your website is not just a website but also your online store, where you display all your products and allow your customers to buy the products, and pay for them there itself.

Besides that, your website needs to have a lot of other features that can attract visitors, encourage them to buy from you, and provide them with a smooth checkout process. These require your website to be SEO optimized, have cross-promotion features, various other essential plugins, and an efficient payment gateway.

Now that you know what an important role the website plays in starting an online store, you know you don’t need just any website builder, but the best website builder for an online store. There are a lot of good website builders out there that can help you create your website, with added features to run an eCommerce store, but we would recommend Wix as the best website builder for online stores.

A great part about Wix is that it is not solely an eCommerce platform and an eCommerce website builder, but a general website builder with a huge bunch of comprehensive eCommerce features. This gives you the freedom to create any kind of website you want, but at the same time use it as an online store for your business with tons of eCommerce plugins. You can also create separate landing pages for your online store with the help of Wix.

What sets it apart is that it is a free online store builder, and creating an online store won’t cost you a single dime. Of course, additional benefits like having your own domain name, selling products, and accepting payments won’t be provided for free. But before you are ready to sell your products, you can always create a website for free and use it for various purposes like marketing, presentation, and so on.

You can create an online store for free, go on making changes, and finally when you feel it’s completely ready, you can pay for the additional features. Even the paid plans are reasonably priced and pretty easy on the pocket when compared to the other website builders out there.

This is why Wix is highly suited for small eCommerce businesses, as they don’t need to go over the budget any more than they need to, for building online stores. But the highly professional features that Wix provides as an online store builder, make it the best website builder for online store for big businesses as well.

Wix is known for its ease of use, and anyone with zero knowledge of coding or website building can create a professional website using Wix. There are more than 800 design templates that you can pick from, and then simply need to start adding and editing elements with the help of its drag-and-drop tool.

The template designs are so modern and appealing that they can match or even surpass any websites manually created by professional coders. And the drag-and-drop tool is so easy to use that you can create the whole website by simply clicking on elements, and dragging them around.

It allows you to add your own pictures and videos to your website, include any external clickable links, integrate your social media accounts, and so much more. If you want a 10% discount on your Wix eCommerce builder, get Elevate.store’s coupon.

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Steps 4:

Get A Domain Name

Another important step in how to start an online store is getting a domain name for your store. Just like a brick-and-mortar store needs a physical location and an address where the customers can reach, your online store needs a domain name.

A URL is the complete web address that a user needs to type in on their browser to land on your website. And the part of the URL that represents your business name and identity is the domain name.

For instance, if the website URL is “www.mywebsite.store”, then “mywebsite.store” is the domain name. Your domain name is not just a random part of the URL, but your brand’s name and identity, and it should be picked carefully.

A domain name should be aligned with your brand name so that your customers don’t get confused. Imagine your brand name being “Funky Kicks” but your domain name is “coolwear-shoes.com”.

You can’t expect your customers to connect the two, and they would simply go to the next online store they find for funky shoes, and buy from there. Don’t you think that having the domain name “funkykicks.store” would make it much easier for your customers to find your website and know that it's your store so that they can quickly make their purchase?

The reason why we are stressing about this so much is that finding your unique domain name is not so easy anymore. There are over a billion websites on the web, of which millions are just online stores, and all are standing on unique domain names.

Since a domain name has to be unique, you might not be able to find the exact domain name matching with your brand name, and that’s where the problem arises. Moreover, since more than half of the total websites in the world are created with the oldest TLD (top-level domain), “.com”, it’s almost impossible to find a domain name of your choice using that.

This is why we recommend that instead of settling for your third or fourth choice on .com, you get your first-choice name on a .Store domain. Which will not only have greater availability of domain names for your brand, but will also tell your customers that your website is an online store. A domain name ending with “.Store” straight away gives the users the first impression that this is not a regular website, but an online store, unlike non-contextual TLDs like “.com” or “.co” and others.

And not just users but even search engines like Google will get the idea that your website is an online store, and it will help in its ranking when people want something you sell. Now if your brand name is Funky Kicks, there is a high chance that you will find the domain name “funkykicks.store” on .Store domains.

Register your first .Store domain name at a whopping 93% off discount on Elevate.store.

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Steps 5:

Plan Your Branding

Branding is not only about selecting a brand name but creating a brand image that will be imbibed into the heads of your customers so deeply that they will straight away think of your brand if they come across anything close.

Brand Name

The first step is obviously choosing your brand name. As we mentioned above, the brand name and domain name should be aligned, so both steps should be done simultaneously.

If you pick a brand name first, finding the exact domain name might be a challenge, so do this process together. Think of a few brand names that represent your business the best, and then look for those names as domain names.

Select the one that you find in the domain names as well. There are a few other criteria that you should consider before finalizing your brand name.

Make sure that it’s easy to remember, write, and speak out loud. You don’t want a brand name that customers can’t even recommend to their friends and family.

Go for something out of the box, that gives your customers a feeling of something unheard. If you sell shoes and your brand name is “Stylish Shoes”, how do you expect it to stand out from the huge competition of other brands selling stylish shoes that may even have similar names?

Brand Logo

It’s not just that name that helps customers in remembering your brand, but also the look of it. When we say iPhone, do you not automatically think of the bitten apple, or when we say Nike, does the tick mark not cross your mind?

Of course, they do, and that’s what we are talking about! A well-designed logo will create such a strong visual memory of your brand in the minds of your customers that they will straight away think of you when they want to buy the products that you sell.

A logo is not just a sign or a symbol, but your whole brand’s visual reflection. Many entrepreneurs hire professional logo makers, explain their requirements, struggle with them, and still end up not finding what they exactly want.

There is usually a huge gap between what is on your mind, and what is on the logo maker’s mind, and you have to end up with something you are not completely satisfied with. But not when there is an AI or artificial intelligence that can convert your thoughts into a logo, just how you want it to be.

Tailor Brands' logo maker uses AI technology to create such unique and appealing logos for you. You need to fill in the information specific to your brand and your styling preferences, and it will create something completely unique for you that will also match your requirements perfectly.

If you want to create an online store for free, then Tailor Brands is perfect for your logo needs, as it creates your logo for free as well. It generates unique logos for your brand for free, and you have the option of adding your own inputs to it and creating customized logos as well.

You need to pay only when you are completely satisfied with a particular logo and want to finalize it for your brand. Use it to create a logo that will effectively communicate your brand values and help in building loyalty and memorability in your customers.

Brand Colors

Another important element of branding is brand colors. Yes, colors!

If you feel that this doesn’t make sense, think of the color that comes to your mind when you hear Coca-Cola. Or which color do you think of when you hear McDonald's?

You know what we are talking about! Colors play a very important role in defining what your brand is all about, and those colors should be uniform throughout your branding.

Pick colors that represent your brand values, its vision, the brand voice that you follow, and so on. Once you have such colors with you, use them in your logo, your website, your packaging, your social media, and so on.

This will help create a strong memory of your brand in the minds of your customers with those particular colors, and it will be easy for them to remember your brand in the future.

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Steps 6:

List Your Products

The next step in how to make an online store is listing your products on your website. Your visitors have landed on your website to buy your products, and if your product page is not up to the mark, what is even the point of owning the online store?


Product Descriptions

When listing your products on your online store, you need to give thought to how you will make your product description stand out. It will play an influential role in showing the customers how your products and your brand are unique and different.

Instead of using technical jargon or cliché terms, use power words that address the problem directly and strike the right chord in their minds. Just by reading your product description, they should understand how your product is going to solve their problem and make their lives better.

Product descriptions also count for SEO, so make sure you write them carefully and include your primary and secondary keywords. The more SEO optimized it is, the higher your chances of showing up on the SERPs of your potential customers whenever they are searching for similar products.

Product Categories

Product categories don’t seem like an obvious necessity, but they definitely help in increasing your conversion rates. Categorizing the products makes it easier for your visitors to find the product they need, else they would just keep scrolling through your product page, and leave even before they find something they like.

The first way to categorize products is by their type like if you are running an apparel brand, you can categorize them as shirts, t-shirts, dresses, jeans, skirts, and so on. If you are running a shoe brand you can have categories like formal, casual, sports, sneakers, slippers, flip flops, and more.

If there are any new releases, products that are currently on sale, stock clearance items, etc., you can create categories for those as well. This just helps in directing the customer’s attention to exactly what they want and boosting your sales.

Product Pictures

When buying from an online store, the customer does not get to look at the product physically, touch it or feel it, and the only thing they rely on is the picture of it on the website. This quite explains how important a role the product pictures play when running an online store.

Here are a few tips to make sure that your product pictures are professional:

  • High quality – Use only high-quality images and never use blurry or small with fewer pixels.
  • Uniform size – If you use different sizes for different products, the customers won’t get a good idea. Maintain a standard size and use it throughout.
  • 360-degree view – Since this is the only place where your customers can look at your product before making a buying decision, give them a complete view from 360 degrees. Put up pictures from all the angles, so that they get the best idea of how it looks from the top, bottom, front, back, and both sides.
  • Variations – If there are any variations or colors, give them the option of looking at the product in those variations and colors too.
  • Zoom feature – Add a zoom feature, so that if your customers want to look at it closely, they can.
  • Product Video – Even though this is not completely necessary, this could give you an edge over your competitors. A video that gives a complete 360-degree view, covers the product from all angles, zooms in on necessary elements, etc. provides a much more personalized view than any image can. And it will only help in increasing your chances of conversion.

Unless you are a professional photographer yourself, clicking product pictures yourself is a big No. We have already stressed on how important they are and you cannot risk losing customers just for the sake of saving a few bucks and get poor pictures.

However, we empathize with small online stores, and getting a professional photographer on board might drive up your budget. Hence, our recommendation is Soona (with our great free deal), for all your product photography needs.

Soona is the first virtual product photography studio in the world, and besides saving you money, it also saves you a lot of time and hassle. You don’t need to spend time and effort looking for a product photographer, and then go to them, as Soona makes it all happen virtually.

You can pick from the different options of photographers, join the shoot in real time virtually, review the pictures, select the ones you like, and pay for only the ones you want to buy. You don’t actually have to pay for the whole session, but only the pictures you want, and that is as economical as it can get for any online store, big or small. Get a great deal for free on Soona at Elevate.store.

Steps 7:

Register Your Business

Just like a physical store, for starting an online store also, you need to register your business. Physical or online, a business is a business, and to run it and make money from it, you will have to fulfill the necessary formalities to legalize it.

If you are a solo entrepreneur, you can register it as a sole proprietorship, and if you have partners, you can register it as a partnership firm. But for either of the cases, we recommend registering it as an LLC or limited liability company, as it also gives you tax benefits over other business formations.

While you are liable to pay your business debts with your personal assets in the former two models, an LLC protects your personal assets from business debts. This means that in the event of your company getting sued or you having a huge liability to pay, only your company assets can be used to pay off your debts, and not your personal ones.

And to hire employees, you need to get an EIN or employer identification number, which you can get after registering your business. Depending on what your business is about, there also are a few permits and licenses that you might need to obtain that can vary from state to state.

Registering your online store as an LLC might seem like a complicated process, and you can take the help of business formation companies like Incfile and CorpNet, which take care of it all for you without you having to run to different government offices.

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Steps 8:

Get Productivity Tools

You would need a bunch of productivity tools that can streamline the functioning of the business of your online store. When working with a team, especially when everything is online, you would need to create a process where everyone is connected and working with each other, even from different cities.

The best thing for that is Google Workspace, which not only offers productivity and collaboration tools but also provides you with a branded email address aligned with your domain name. The tools help in the efficient execution of business tasks, and the branded email address helps build credibility for your business and makes it look authentic.

Apps like Docs and Sheets let you work remotely and create documents, Gmail lets you use and manage emails, Meet lets you host video meetings and virtual conferences, and so on. The pricing is pretty affordable and depending on your requirements, you can pick the plan that suits your needs and budget the best.

You can attach large files to its Google Drive that your team members can jointly access and work on, convert images to text with its File Scanner, and use Voice Typing for creating documents. You also get the option to plan your week using Google Calendar and send out automated responses when out of office or whenever you need.

In total, the applications that Google Workspace offers are Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Meet, Chat, Drive, Calendar, Slides, Keep, Apps Script, Forms, Sites, Cloud Search, and Jamboard. Moreover, it also includes a few security and management apps like Endpoint, Admin, Vault, and Work Insights.

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Steps 9:

Set Up Your Banking And Accounting Systems

The next step in how to create my own online store would be for you to set up your banking and accounting systems. If you create an online store, you do it to sell products and make money, and for that, you need a bank account and an accounting system in place.

You will need to manage the accounts for the money you spend to buy or make the product, towards other expenses, the salaries you will pay, the loans you will take, and the money you earn for the products you sell.

Mercury is one of the very few fintech banking stacks that was created keeping online stores in mind. As an online-first offering for credit cards and checking accounts and with zero monthly fees, it becomes the ideal choice for whoever is starting an online store for the first time.

Having a separate business bank account can help you track your business expenses, file for taxes, accounting, and protect yourself from any personal liability. All you need to set up a bank account with Mercury is a registered business and a valid EIN or Employer Identification Number, along with which you can also get multiple debit and credit cards.

Mercury in itself is not a bank but a fin-tech or financial technology company that provides banking services through banks like Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust. Since these banks are FDIC insured, your deposits are also insured for the FDIC limit of $250K.

The best part about it is that it can help you in raising money through Venture Capitalists, as it was created with the intent of helping out small businesses and online stores with their financial needs. And if you want to invest and grow your business wealth, you can do it through Mercury Treasury, an automated cash management account, and invest in the U.S. Government securities and money market funds.

Besides banking, you will also need to have a proper system for your business accounting, so that you can manage all your inflows and outflows. Quickbooks is a great accounting software that can help you manage all of that, and even file for taxes and get necessary insights.

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$150 Cashback
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Steps 10:

Figure Out Packaging

Many entrepreneurs, while building online stores forget to think about packaging. What many of them consider mere boxes in which the products go, the successful entrepreneurs look at opportunities to establish their branding.

When a customer buys from you, you don’t want them to feel that they have received a product but that they have received your product. How you package your products plays an important role in providing them with a satisfying shopping experience, and also in building your brand.

Let’s say a customer bought shoes from you and received them in a plain carton box. On the other hand, they received their shoes in a funky box with your brand colors printed on it, and your logo and brand name printed visibly - “Funky Kicks”, along with a small “Thank You” note.

Which of the two do you think will bring a smile to their face and make sure that they buy from you again? Since this is the first point in the whole customer journey where the customer gets to tangibly touch and feel your product, you need to create an impression that can last, and that happens through good packaging.

If you don’t know how to get packaging that can make a difference, you can go with Vistaprint. You will get branded packaging with your logo on all your bags, boxes, stickers, labels, etc., and get your online store noticed.

Vistaprint lets you design your packaging items in consistency with your branding elements virtually and does the rest for you. Its design tools are easy to use, come with Vista Guarantee, and its packaging is reasonably priced.

Its printing quality is extremely good and besides printing your packaging items, you can also print your business cards and other branded merchandise with it. What’s even better is that it sends you free samples that you can have a look at, and then place your final order.

$15 OFF
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Steps 11:

Streamline Your Order Fulfillment Process

When you build an online store, you need to figure out how you are going to deliver your products to your customers. It’s not like a physical store from where the customers can carry the products along with them.

How efficient your order fulfillment process is, will decide whether your customers are happy with the experience and if they will buy from you in the future. If they have to pay a lot for shipping, if they receive the products too late, or are in a damaged condition, they will jump to another store in the future.

Imagine a customer buys a product from you to give it to someone on a particular occasion, use it for a particular party, or just casually for personal use, and they don’t receive it on time. It’s going to give them a bad impression of your brand.

Receiving the products in a damaged condition or a condition that they had not expected is even worse. Forget about buying from you again, they will even ask their friends and family to never buy from you again.

When building an online store, order fulfillment becomes of utmost importance, because your customers solely rely on your shipping to receive their products timely and in good condition. And you can’t afford to compromise that just to save a few bucks.

In fact, you should work on streamlining your order fulfillment process as much as you can, so that your customers are satisfied with your shipping. Let’s have a look at how you can charge for shipping from your customers, without burning a hole in their pockets, so that you don’t end up losing money either.

  • Free shipping - Everyone loves things for free, and that goes for shipping too. You can either absorb the shipping cost in the product price or set a minimum limit beyond which customers will get free shipping, which will help in boosting sales.
  • Flat rate shipping - In this option, you charge a flat rate for shipping irrespective of what or how much they buy. This could be good when you have to ship small or lesser products but cost you more when the products are bulky or a lot in quantity.
  • Real-time quotes - Many online stores follow this option, where customers enter their destination, and based on the size, weight, and quantity of the product, and the destination, your online store gives them a quote. This showcases transparency and honesty and helps in building customer trust and loyalty.

Now that you know what and how to charge for shipping, you need a proper system in place to actually help you with the shipping. ShipStation is the fastest and most affordable way for shipping your products and is being used by more than 130,000 online stores currently.

ShipStation helps you in importing, managing, and shipping orders from the ShipStation hub, and in coordinating with multiple carriers and between multiple online sales channels. It provides you with a branded tracking page and discounted shipping rates of up to 88% with top carriers like UPS, USPS, and DHL Express.

It comes with a mobile app that lets you ship orders from anywhere on the go. And not only does it help you in speeding up your shipping process, but also in managing your inventory, printing shipping labels, offering valuable insights, and most importantly keeping the whole thing reliable and affordable.

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Steps 12:

Promote On Social Media

Once you have completed all the above steps of starting an online store, your online store is ready. But who is going to buy from you, if they don’t even know that your brand exists?

The most important step of any business is promoting the business, and in today’s world, most of it happens online. Even brick-and-mortar stores rely a lot on digital modes of marketing, then imagine how much an online store would have to market itself digitally.

There are a lot of ways to promote a business online and one should try doing all of them. But the biggest of them all is social media promotions, which is why we will talk about it separately.

Social media had started off as a means to build a social network online, connect with friends and family, but today it has turned into a huge means of promotion for brands and businesses. Almost everyone uses some form of social media to consume content, and businesses don’t want to miss out on that huge opportunity to bring out their brands in front of them.

The thing that differentiates social media promotions from the other modes is that here you don’t necessarily need to be promotional. Many people don’t like to look at ads, and anything that comes across as promotional comes with the risk of chasing them away.

But social media is about consuming content and engaging with other accounts. If you create attractive and valuable content, your audience will itself want to consume it, and even engage with it.

Without any realization, your audience would be so deep into your brand, that even they won’t know that the next time they buy a product, it’s going to be from you. But to make it happen, you need to design and create content that is good enough to attract your audience and even get them to engage.

Hiring a professional designer might get expensive, and if you want to create an online store for free, you can go for Canva. Canva is a top-notch designing tool that lets you create graphics and content that you can use on social media and even elsewhere like your website, emails, and so on.

Its design software is heavily loaded with great designing features that let you create graphic content with little or no designing skills at all. It comes with a highly efficient drag-and-drop tool, and a plethora of templates, stock media, and fonts, that you can use for your designing purposes.

Canva is a great app to begin with when you build an online store since it’s free, but anything that is free has its own limits. As and when your designing needs increase, or if you want highly appealing designs from the very beginning, you can opt for Canva Pro as well. Even though paid, Canva Pro is pretty easy on the pocket, and considering the features that you get, it’s more than worth it.

Steps 13:

Create A Digital Marketing Strategy

The last and final step in how to start an online store is to create a strong digital marketing strategy that will help you tell the world about it. Besides social media promotion, there are a lot of ways to market your brand, and you should include all of them so that you don’t miss out on any kind of potential audience.


When starting an online store, start a blog along with it too. Blogging lets you create valuable written content that your potential audience might want to consume.

You need not necessarily talk about your brand as you can write about anything related to your industry and your audience will just like to come to you for your valuable information. You can optimize your blog for SEO, so when people search for something similar, your blog would show up, and they might end up converting into customers.

Online Ads

Online ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram are an excellent way to market your brand if you have a few bucks to spare. Even though this mode is not completely free, the amount of return that you can generate against your spends is manifold.

The best part about online ads is PPC or Pay Per Click, which means that you don’t pay for showing your ads, but only for the actual clicks it generates from the users. That way, you have already filtered out the non-potential audience, and this becomes a rather great marketing tactic.

Influencer Marketing

Another great way to market when you are creating an online store is through social media influencers. Influencers are individuals with a huge following and the ability to influence their followers with their choices.

Tie up with influencers that belong to your industry, get them to promote your products on their social media handles, and the results you see might be unimaginable. Since the influencer belongs to your niche, a large number of their followers would also belong to your niche, and you would be directly tapping a huge potential customer base.

Email Marketing

One of the most traditional forms of digital marketing that give excellent returns to date is email marketing. You simply need to build an email list by getting them to sign up for your email newsletter, and you have to keep sending emails to them from time to time.

This allows you to have a direct personal connection with your audience, make them feel that they are valued customers of your brand, and make sure that your brand is on their minds. You can inform them about new releases, special offers even before they are out, referral benefits, coupon codes that are specifically created for them, and so on.

When you tell them about these things that are not there for the general public but just for them, they are bound to feel valued and will want to buy from you. You will need an email marketing tool like Mailchimp, that can automate the whole process for you.

Mailchimp has been one of the leaders in the email marketing industry since 2001, which lets you create well-designed branded emails and send them to your email subscribers. It also lets you adapt to customer behavior and send customized and automated emails that fit your business goals.

It comes with three paid plans, and depending on your needs, you can pick any of them. The plans are priced quite reasonably which makes them highly suitable for someone who is building an online store for the first time.

Loyalty and Referral Programs

Another effective way to market your brand is through loyalty and referral programs. Nothing works more organically than word-of-mouth marketing.

When someone hears good things about a product or a brand from their friends or family, they feel like trying it for themselves too. And that’s what loyalty and referral programs help you do.

All you need to do is provide special benefits, rewards, discounts, etc. to your customers for posting about your product on their social media accounts. Or you can also come up with referral schemes where both the referrer and referee get benefits and that way you can build a chain of customers that keep spreading the word about your brand.

Steps 14:

Setting Up Your Online Store on an Online Marketplace

In the digital age, launching an online store on platforms like Amazon, Etsy, or Shopify represents a pivotal step for entrepreneurs aiming to carve out their niche in the vast e-commerce landscape. These marketplaces offer a unique blend of opportunities, from accessing vast customer bases to leveraging sophisticated logistical support. However, venturing into these online bazaars requires more than just listing products; it demands a strategic approach that encompasses understanding platform-specific guidelines, optimizing product listings, and mastering the art of customer engagement. This introduction serves as your gateway to demystifying the process of setting up a successful online store, guiding you through the initial steps, and offering insights into making your mark on these popular e-commerce platforms. Whether you're a handmade artisan, a vintage collector, or a savvy supplier, the journey to establishing a thriving online business starts here.

How to Set Up a Shopify Store

Setting up a Shopify store is a streamlined process designed to help entrepreneurs quickly launch their online business. Here's a concise guide to get you started:

Sign Up for Shopify: Visit the Shopify website and create an account. You'll be asked to provide basic information about your store and choose a plan that fits your needs.

Customize Your Store: Once your account is active, access your Shopify dashboard to customize your store. You can choose from a variety of free and paid themes to find a design that aligns with your brand. Customize the theme with your colors, fonts, and images to make it uniquely yours.

Add Products: Navigate to the "Products" section in your dashboard to start adding your products. Include high-quality images, detailed descriptions, prices, and any variants (such as sizes or colors). Be thorough and clear to help customers make informed decisions.

Set Up Payments: Shopify supports various payment gateways, including PayPal, Shopify Payments, and others. Go to the "Settings" menu and choose "Payments" to select and set up your preferred payment methods. Ensure you understand the fees and transaction costs associated with each option.

Configure Shipping: In the "Settings" menu, find the "Shipping and Delivery" section to set up your shipping rates and methods. You can offer local delivery, free shipping, or set rates based on weight or price. Consider your margins and logistics to choose the best shipping strategy for your products.

Test Your Store: Before going live, test your store to ensure everything works smoothly. Place a few test orders to check the checkout process, payment gateways, and shipping settings. Adjust anything that doesn't work as expected.

Launch Your Store: When you're satisfied with your store's setup, remove the password protection under "Online Store" settings to go live. Congratulations, your Shopify store is now open for business!

Market Your Store: With your store live, focus on marketing strategies to attract customers. Utilize social media, SEO, email marketing, and other tactics to drive traffic to your store.

Remember, launching your store is just the beginning. Continuously optimize your product offerings, marketing strategies, and customer service to grow your business and stand out in the competitive e-commerce space.


How to Set Up an Etsy Store

Setting up an Etsy store is an exciting venture for creators and sellers looking to reach a global audience with their unique, handmade, vintage, or craft supplies. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:

Create an Etsy Account: Go to Etsy.com and sign up for an account. If you already have a shopper account, you can use it to start selling.

Set Up Your Shop: Once logged in, click on the “Sell on Etsy” link and then on “Open your Etsy shop”. Follow the prompts to choose your shop preferences such as language, country, and currency.

Choose Your Shop Name: Your shop name should reflect your brand and be memorable to customers. It must be unique on Etsy, contain 4-20 characters, and cannot have spaces or special characters.

Stock Your Shop: Add listings to your shop. For each item you plan to sell, you’ll need to provide detailed information including high-quality photos, a clear and descriptive title, an accurate description, pricing, and shipping information. Remember, your listings are your opportunity to convince customers of the value and quality of your products.

Set Up Payment Methods: Etsy offers various options for accepting payments, including Etsy Payments (which accepts credit cards, debit cards, Etsy Gift Cards, and more), PayPal, among others. Select the payment methods you want to offer to your customers.

Configure Shipping Options: Determine how you will ship your items, including shipping carriers, costs, and processing times. Etsy allows you to set shipping profiles to streamline this process for multiple items.

Preview and Open Your Shop: Before going live, Etsy will allow you to review your shop. Take this time to ensure everything looks as you want it. Once satisfied, click “Open Your Shop”. Your Etsy store is now live and accessible to shoppers worldwide.

Promote Your Store: Utilize social media, SEO, and Etsy’s own promotional tools like Etsy Ads to drive traffic to your store. Engaging with the Etsy community and using social media can help increase your shop's visibility.

Remember, successful Etsy selling is not just about setting up the shop but also about continuous engagement with your customers, regularly updating your listings, and optimizing your shop based on customer feedback and Etsy analytics. Good luck with your Etsy journey!


How to Set Up an Amazon Store

Setting up an Amazon store is a significant step for businesses looking to expand their reach on one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms. Here's a brief guide to help you get started:

Create an Amazon Seller Account: Visit Amazon Seller Central and select the “Sign up” option. You'll need to choose between an individual or professional account. Individual accounts are best for sellers planning to sell fewer than 40 items monthly. In contrast, professional accounts are designed for higher volume sales and offer additional selling tools for a monthly fee.

Complete Your Account Setup: Provide your business details, including your legal business name, address, and tax identification information. You'll also need to enter billing, bank, and tax information to set up how you’ll pay Amazon fees and how you’ll receive payments from sales.

List Your Products: Once your account is set up, you can start listing your products on Amazon. If you’re selling products already on Amazon, you can add your offer to existing listings. For new products, you’ll need to create new product listings. This involves providing product details such as title, description, images, price, and available stock. High-quality images and detailed, accurate product descriptions are crucial for attracting customers.

Choose Your Fulfillment Method: Decide whether you will fulfill orders yourself (Fulfillment by Merchant, FBM) or use Amazon’s fulfillment service (Fulfillment by Amazon, FBA). FBA handles storage, packing, and shipping on your behalf, as well as customer service and returns for Amazon orders.

Manage Your Inventory: Keep a close eye on your stock levels to ensure you can fulfill orders promptly. If you choose FBA, you’ll need to prepare and send your products to Amazon's fulfillment centers following their guidelines.

Optimize Your Listings: Use relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions to improve visibility in search results. High-quality images and competitive pricing also help attract customers. Consider using Amazon’s advertising tools to increase exposure.

Review Amazon’s Policies and Requirements: Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s selling policies and performance metrics to ensure you maintain good standing on the platform. Compliance with Amazon’s policies is critical to the success of your store.

Launch Your Store: Once everything is in place, you’re ready to start selling. Monitor your sales, customer feedback, and Amazon’s performance metrics closely to understand what works and what might need adjusting.

Selling on Amazon requires ongoing effort, including optimizing listings, managing inventory, and providing excellent customer service. By staying proactive and responsive to customer needs and Amazon’s requirements, you can build a successful Amazon store.

Final Thoughts:

Well, that was our answer to your question - “how to create my own online store”. We have guided you through the whole process step by step, and even recommended some of the best tools out there that can make your job easier.

After going through our detailed guide, you know everything about how to start an online store, but the real thing starts now. You need to go through each and every step carefully and start executing them one by one.

Our guide is there to show you the way, and it won’t let you go astray if you just keep following the steps as mentioned above. Starting an online store is not difficult, but many of them fail because they don’t know how to go about it.

They get so overwhelmed by the whole process and everything they need to take care of, that they either give up too soon or end up taking the wrong routes that over complicate the whole process. Well, that’s not going to happen to you!

However, building an online store demands utmost dedication and focus. If you do it half-heartedly without being absolutely certain of it, you are bound to fail even with our "how to make an online store" guide.

When you find a problem that you are really passionate about solving, find the right target market, build your brand, fulfill all the formalities, and market it well, no one can stop you from starting the online store of your dreams. Just remember that all things said and done, your customers should be happy.

If in any way, you are creating a bad experience for your customers, they are not going to buy from you or recommend you to anyone else. Execute every step keeping in mind how you can satisfy your customers, and create a team that can solely focus on your customer satisfaction.

Your team should be able to provide your customers with great customer service, solve their queries and concerns timely, and compensate for any bad experience they have with you. Once you can sort this out, along with all the above-mentioned steps, you will be absolutely ready to start an online store that can rise above its competition and succeed. Good luck!

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