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Want to start an online shop but have empty pockets? No problem! Thanks to advances in technology and the internet, gone are the days of needing a lot of capital to start a store.
Now, with determination, a great product, marketing know-how, and our guidance, you can start an online shop of your own without having to spend a cent!
Choose What to Sell
Before you start your store, you need to know what you’re going to sell. This can sometimes be a difficult task if you haven’t already decided. Here are a few ways that will help you determine your product.
- Browse other stores – One way to give you an idea of what you should sell is to check other stores. That way, you can see what their best-selling items are and analyze if it meets the needs of your target market.
- Check what’s easily available to you – If you’re planning on importing a product from overseas, you might end up losing money instead of making a profit. It’s best to check what’s available locally to avoid extra shipping costs and delayed orders. Plus, you get to support your local community.
- Find out what’s trendy – Some products surge in popularity for the most random reasons. (Case in point, fidget spinners). Do your research and find out what’s trendy. Using information-gathering sites like Pinterest or niche marketplaces like Fancy will allow you to know what the hot items are in a particular category.
Launch a Basic Store
Okay, now that you have an idea of what you’re going to sell, it’s time to start an online store. With the right tools, you’ll have your store up and running in no time.
- Create an online shop for free – Firsts things first, you need a platform. E-commerce platforms like Shopify offer free tools that grant you control over your store’s customization. You can then set it up in a way that highlights your product.
- Choose a store name and logo – Pick out a name for your store to give it identity. Here is where you have complete freedom. If you find it difficult to come up with a great name, there are only tools like a business name generator that can help you out. The same goes for making your store’s logo, there are logo-making tools you can utilize as well.
- Make sure to have all the standard pages – What are standard pages? These are pages that are necessary for every store. Pages include: Terms & Conditions, Privacy & Returns Policy, Shipping & Delivery Information, About Us, and Contact Us. This makes it easier for your customers to get the information they need before they make their purchase.
Market Your Store
Since you won’t have a physical store that people can just stumble upon, you will have to market it to give it a better online presence. This can be done in various ways.
- Blog Partnerships – Partnering up with bloggers is one way to increase awareness of your product online. Find bloggers who have audiences that you want to target. You can offer the blogger your product in exchange for their promotion or do contests to get their audience involved.
- Social media – Sites like Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram are great tools that can be used to give your store more online exposure. If you produce content that is interesting, unique, and original, it is likely for your post to gain a lot of traffic which you can then direct to your store. Just try not to sound too promotional. With Facebook and Instagram, there are bound to be pages and groups dedicated to the category your product is in. It would be wise to market your product there to give your store more visibility.
Now that you have a roadmap to follow, all you need is a little hard work and a lot of patience. Don’t give up the moment you have to go through an obstacle. Remember, businesses are not built in a day.