How to Start an Online Retail Store?
Whether you own an existing traditional retail store or want to start from scratch, selling online is a must for success in today's world. In our article, you will find detailed instructions on how to open your online retail store and make it successful.
If you have a physical point of sale. 2020 has shown that even the average small corner store is better off having an online storefront to keep its business safe from the «The impending retail apocalypse». An online storefront will help you survive the quarantine, and, moreover, this is the only way to attract the younger generation of shoppers who are used to shopping online.
Furthermore, such an online retail store does not have to be something high-budget or special. It is enough for it to perform 3 functions:
The audience is analyzed through market research. For example, here is an analysis of pet owner purchases in the USА. This page contains information about which products they buy. You can also find information about food products, clothing, cosmetics and other popular retail categories there.
The next step in our guide on how to open your online retail store is finding suppliers. The easiest option is to search on Amazon. At the end of 2019, the retail giant published a list of its nearly 1,500 suppliers, listing the names and addresses of the companies in one document. Supplier listings can also be found on Alibaba and AliExpress.
In addition, supplier listings are available on SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands or Wholesale Central, Oberlo and Doba. These are online platforms for bulk purchasing, where you can not only find a supplier, but also place an order. As a rule, they are paid or require transactions through their system, which increases the price by 1-10%.
Marketplaces. Usually, aspiring entrepreneurs with a small list of products sell them on sites such as Amazon, eBay, LetGo, Craigslist and OLX. It is much easier, faster and cheaper to create your own online store website. At the same time, this way you can immediately get access to the client base of the largest trading platforms in the region without advertising, SEO and SMM.
The weak point of this approach is the inability to stand out among other sellers in any way other than with a lower price. And even this does not guarantee that the products will be in demand, since start-up entrepreneurs have a zero reputation, which is why most buyers ignore them. In addition, such sites usually have a listing fee or commission for each sale.
Personal online store. When people want to create a website for an online retail store with a unique design and / or the ability to work well with a large flow of buyers, the site is usually developed from scratch. To do this, an outsourcing development company is hired, which takes over the organizational and technical components of the development process.
Estimated cost of developing an online store website from scratch:
Here is a list of the most popular e-Commerce platforms:
It would be more correct to establish a limited liability company that protects the personal assets of the entrepreneur (house, car, deposits) in the event of lawsuits or business bankruptcy.