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1. Decide what you’re going to sell
Before you start doing anything, think of the concept itself. You have to have a clear image (at least in your head) of what items you are thinking of selling, what prices you are going to offer and who is your ideal customer.
2. Choose if you’re going to hold your own products or use dropshipping
Carefully decide and calculate if you are thinking of buying your goods in advance. Why? Because you may find that it would be more reasonable to choose dropshipping. How does it work? When you sell a product, you purchase the item from a third party and they ship it directly to the customer. In this way you don’t have to manage your stock and handle the merchandise yourself.
3. Brainstorm your business name and buy a domain
It make take you awhile to come up with a unique name for your brand or service. Try to keep it as simple as possible. Customers engage in labels that are easy to type and remember. When you are finally satisfied with the name, you need to buy a domain to make your website look professional. You can find many different providers online (I used Webhuset.no). Take note that it may take up to 24 hours to confirm your domain. After that you can easily connect it to your website.
4. Find a platform to create your website, the one which suits you best
The most popular ones are Shopify, BigCommerce, Weebly, WIX or WooCommerce. I guess Shopify is the most popular one this year, but personally I like WIX the most. It is modern, simple to use, and it has way more tools and plug-ins than the other ones. But feel free to explore and compare your options!
5. Set up the most necessary features
Your main page is going to be judged like the cover of a book. Keep it simple, neat and easy to navigate. Browse your favorite online stores to see how others do it. You might also find inspiration for other features!
Don’t forget to set up your contact form. It’s extremely recommended, since it makes it easier for potential buyers to ask questions and for you to give them an outstanding customer service. You may also use a live chatbox. In that way you can answer questions even faster.
Implement payment methods. Credit card payment is a must have, since it’s still is one of the most used paying methods in the world. For this I recommend using Stripe. Don’t forget to add the popular PayPal or whatever payment method is popular in your country.
6. And last but not least: your marketing plan
It’s time to find out how you are going to bring traffic to your website and turn your visitors into customers. I highly recommend using e-mail marketing. It’s easier to attract someone’s attention by promising them awards. For example offer a discount or a free shipping and in return, ask them to sign up to your mailing list. My advice: do not spam people with e-mails, cause it takes only one click to unsubscribe. Your efforts might go nowhere.
Also, consider writing a blog. It helps boosting SEO. Blog posts that specifically use a variety of SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site.
Congrats! You made it through the checklist. Don’t forget to keep your site up to date. Good luck!
Thank you for reading,