Trading is an inherent character of man; directly or indirectly, people exchange money for value and services. Both parties gain from this process. Before now, trading had been restricted to market places; where people converge from various places with different commercial intent.
In fact, in some parts of the world, a particular day is designated for trading. This day, varieties of goods and valuables are displayed for potential buyers; the market is not restricted to the locality alone, people from various places ply down to the market place.
This has been the traditional way of trading; it has several pros and cons; one of such is the insecurity of live and property. Marketers are often exposed or vulnerable to various baleful occurrences, especially the fairer sex. It is not always reliable; at times, people might travel down for a particular product but unfortunately, it would not be available in the market. Hence, leading to waste of time and resources.
However, as the world grows, several innovations develop; these innovations are indeed for the betterment of humans. Part of which is the provision of the facilities to effect buying and selling online. Online stores are really leading the global market. The fact that the world has gone digital and people do not longer go online, rather they live online has made the store a very relevant and economically viable business. Online store allows buyers transact at their ease; it requires no physical movement, it is secure and safe. The most fascinating feature is that people from various parts of your locality can reach out to you easily. There is no threat to life and properties as we used to have in the traditional way of trading.
Starting an online store requires some processes; you need to set up the platform in a way that it doesn’t give you any future debacle. Remember, it must enhance trading in a convenient way; this appeases users. Below are the steps required to start an online store.
- Develop your business plan:
It is important any business have a feasible business plan; the business plan is the document that contains detailed information about the business and answers all the questions the business will demand. Questions like what to sell on the store, targeted location and audience, mode of payment, necessary structure and facilities to enhance the trade, mode of delivery and other myriad of questions of the business. It is your business template and a guide to always put you through as you grow in the business.
- Register your business:
It is very important you register your business; it imbibes some sense of trust and confidence in your business. Find a lucrative business name and register with the appropriate authority for approval.
- Get a website:
This is where the trading takes place; it is your shop and place of work. You need a user friendly website that is easily accessible by any user. A website that is professionally designed to serve the purpose of your online store; such website is called ecommerce website. This website facilitates online trading and payment; it is designed such that users can make payment of their purchase online. It allows customers view your products and secure payment. This is done with the aid of the ecommerce software installed on the website; the software further stores both the customer and financial information. Another important factor you should consider before launching your website is the host company; ensure you use a very good and highly reputed host company to host your website. Your host company determines the accessibility of your website; I’m sure you would not want your website to have an epileptic access. Then host with a reputed company with ecommerce facility.
- Open a merchant account:
Payments are made through the website; there is a special account where the payment is remitted, it is called a merchant account. This account allows payment through the credit card and not cash deposit. You can open your merchant account with any bank of your choice or use third party platforms like PayPal.
- Promote your business:
Here is the beginning of your sojourn as an online store owner; promotion is prominently done using the social media, you can promote your business online by telling your friends and family online and other avenues. Ensure you devise a quick response ability, where you hasten customers request or complains.
- Retain your customers:
This is very important for the success of your business. A customer treated warmly will invite more customers. There are ways you can retain your customers; one of which is through promo and discounts. These excite customers and build a more cordial relationship. Also, the nature of your service will keep your customers at hand always; time is a key factor here, always keep to the stipulated time of delivery. It builds trust and proves your business greatly.
With these, you will definitely have a successful experience in your online store business. It is one of the ways people make money nowadays. The fact that it is convenient and trade can be carried out within a twinkle of an eye make people crave for buying items online. Build your audience through intermittent promotion and warm customer relationship. With diligence in operations, quest for improvement and convenience of your customers at the back of your mind; the sky is your starting point.