You're probably wondering why I'm writing about this subject instead of how to mix acrylic paints, or some how-to's in Photoshop, trust me those days are coming. I chose this topic because it's a fresh topic for me.
There are many things you will need to do later once you decide to open your online store. These include up selling, subscriptions, discounts, BOGO's specials, and more to lure in your shoppers. I'm simply saying you will need a little time to keep your business running, and promote it, or you can hire someone to do it for you, it's all up to you. The best decision I made was starting it and running it myself, it gives me self-awareness on what I like or dislike about my store, what to promote and more. Plus if something not right on my store, i can fix it on the spot instead of waiting for someone else. Trust me it's worth it. With the wealth of knowledge from YouTube, eCommerce instructions or many blogs you can learn on your own time and be up and running in no time. Without further delay, let's get started.
- Ask yourself what do I want to sell, in other words, know your niche.
This requires knowing your audience, and your product. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs don't put much thought into this and spend more money than they are making simply trying to find the right audience to sell to. There's many links out there that give you ideas on finding your e-commerce niche, I've provided one here for you.
- Your Brand.
You need an online store. Find the right name for your brand, nothing so crazy that others can't spell or even pronounce. Make it simple, original, and don't name it after just one of your products, give it some specificity relating to your brand. I sell art, my daughter sells art, hell my whole family is talented, so i came up with a witty name thefamilyartists.com which stuck with me. Before you are comfortable with that high-speed name, make sure it's available for your domain. You can check out domain hosting companies and decide on the one you like.
- Create Your Online Store
Create your website and establish an online presence. Now we're getting somewhere right. Ok, remember when I said check out the domain hosting companies, you can go that route and add the third party domain to your store or, you can buy and register a domain name straight through Shopify domains. When you buy a domain through Shopify, your domain is automatically configured to work with your primary domain. I had a domain already I simply used it.
- How To Sell Your Product
Maybe you already have your niche or brand and know exactly what you want to sell but don't know-how to get it to the masses. This is where drop shipping or warehousing your own product comes in. Since I'm an artist and can't possibly paint every time a client orders something, so I use print on demand/drop-shipping to distribute my art, and I love it. I simply create art, upload it and sell. Yeah, it's a bit more complicated than that but you get the point. For artists you are creating, naming, uploading, resizing, and pricing, while using Shopify back-end apps. Yes, you can download a dropshipping app to your Shopify backend connect it to your store and let them handle everything from product sourcing to local fulfillment and global drop shipping, leaving you free to focus on running your business. Let's stick with the basics for now. There are major advantages to dropshipping, you don't need a lot of money to get items in your store, there are zero risks on listing items, no warehousing, picking, packing, or shipping. They do all the heavy work for you. The downside to this is that you don't control any fulfillment, the fulfillment team does the work and gets a chunk of the profit once you make a sale. Warehousing has its perks too, better profit margins for sure, you did all the work (creating, warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping to your customers, you get all the money.
- Choosing A Template For Your Store
Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about choosing Shopify templates. Shopify has so many professional-looking free themes for any occasion that you really don't need to buy one but the choice is yours. Choose your theme and start customizing your store, upload your products, and start selling. Personally, I recommend starting with a free template, then after becoming familiar with running your online store, then you can switch to another if you'd like. I have been running my store with their free templates for a year and it's worked fine for me Here's a great YouTube video on how to customize your theme.
Obviously, there's a lot I didn't cover in this blog but I wanted to glaze over this topic and give you some pointers. I hope this gets you pointed in the right direction on how to get started opening your store. You will run into a few bumps along the way but remember there's always a good YouTube video or blog to help you out. I've also provided some helpful links below to get you started. Good luck on this fantastic online store journey.
Finding your niche
Domain Hosting Companies