How to Start Selling Online in 7 Simple Steps

By Team AmeriCommerce Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Setting up an online store can seem daunting at first, if you've never done anything like it before. But once you do have everything up and running, you'll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Check out our 7 simple steps on how you can start selling online today...

1. Devise your business plan

You can't go head first into selling online until you've got a business plan sorted. Your business plan will ensure you're hitting all of your targets, and that you aren't going over budget. Think about how much your online store is going to cost, take into account funding from investors and map out a marketing strategy so you don't go off course.

Ask yourself:

How much are my production and shipping costs?

How much tax will I have to pay?

Do I need to pay employee wages?

How much will my domain name and web hosting cost?

How much will I put aside for marketing?

2. Set out to be different

So chances are there will be plenty of competitors out there selling similar stuff to you. What you need to do is stand apart from them. Prove to your customers that you are different and give them a reason to buy from you instead. There's no harm in checking out the competition to see what they are doing and try to find that gap in the market. Check out the Texas Beard Company for an excellent example of being different. They've taken beard grooming to a whole new level and it's worked wonders!

Ask yourself:

Why are people shopping with my competitors?

What is so special about my product?

Can my service be tailored to make it unique?

Does my expertise make me stand out?

3. Test the likability of your products

Before you set up your online store, it's a good idea to see how people react to your products on a low-cost scale. Think about selling your stuff on eBay or Craiglist and then use customer feedback to find out if you need to change anything. This is a great way to test the waters before you go ahead and make a huge investment on your online store. You can even set up a quick survey to find out more useful information that will help you in the future.

Ask yourself:

Who is buying my product?

How much do my customers want to pay?

Do my customers have any negative feedback?

Can I change my product to help sell more?

4. Choose a domain name and SaaS Ecommerce platform

When it comes to choosing your domain name, try and think about one that is short and memorable. It doesn't necessarily have to relate to your product, (Amazon being a fine example) but Google needs to be able to find it so the name has to be good for SEO. Take a look at websites like GoDaddy to help you find out if your domain name is taken.

When it comes to web hosting, you need to make sure the provider you choose matches up to your specific needs. The last thing you'd want is your sales to suffer, so be wise with your choice. As a SaaS Ecommerce platform, we provide so many different tools, features and benefits - meaning we're fully prepared for the growth of your store!

Ask yourself:

Does my domain name work for SEO?

Is my domain name memorable?

Does the web hosting service offer space for business growth?

Does the web hosting offer customer support in case anything goes wrong?

5. Choose an Ecommerce platform

Choosing an Ecommerce platform is so important to the success of your business, so now would be the perfect time to tell you that we can help with this! Have you checked out our features? From custom design tools to match your brand, right through to driving conversion and social engagement, we give you everything you need to manage your online store. We also offer a dedicated customer support team and our pricing plans have been created to suit every kind of budget.

Ask yourself:

Does my Ecommerce software provide all the features I need?

Does my store match my brand?

Can I integrate with third-party tools?

Is my ecommerce platform safe and secure?

Will I need to run multiple stores?

6. Set up a merchant account

This is a pretty important part of setting up your store, as clearly you'll want to be paid for your products! The most popular option is to set up an account with a bank so you can process transactions online through credit or debit card. And because payments are instant, your customers can expect to receive their purchases quicker! If you don't have a lot of money to spend on going with a bank then independent sales organizations like PayPal. Or, if you want the cheapest option around then check out our merchant services !

Ask yourself:

How much will my merchant account cost?

Do I have to pay annual fees?

Have I researched independent sales organizations?

Do I need multiple options that include PayPal as well as standard credit cards?

7. Get selling!

Ok so once you have everything set up and ready to go then it's time to get selling! Go back to your marketing strategy and think about how you want to promote your store. Building up your brand on social media and your blog is really important, and it will help attract more visitors to your website. To get started, think about running different sales promotions to help sell your stuff. Another great way to bring more attention to your brand is to run a competition and promote it on social.

Ask yourself:

How do I want my customers to perceive me?

Am I regularly updating my blog?

What types of promotions can I run?

Can I afford to offer any giveaways?

Just do it...

We hope that our article has provided you with some food for thought. Setting up an online store is an exciting adventure and as Ecommerce experts - we'd love to help you along the way!

Don't forget to share this article on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and let us know how you get on. Good luck! 

About the Author

Team AmeriCommerce

AmeriCommerce is an ecommerce software platform serving over 5,000 merchants since 2005. Whether you need one online store or multiple stores, AmeriCommerce has the tools to help you Sell Stuff! By staying passionate about selling stuff online and fostering a loving and deep partnership with our customers, AmeriCommerce is the ecommerce software that simply cares more. Learn more about AmeriCommerce at www.AmeriCommerce.com

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Comments
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David Adams
August 20, 2014 7:09 AM
Great tips. I think being different is one of the best tips on the list as pretty much every thing else is self explanatory, at least to me. I mean, people like different and when they see it, they like to explore it. It's how the world of commerce works. It gives a consumer something new to check out and it's usually always fun!

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