3 Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Online Store 

From planning and managing, to marketing and sales, running a business generally requires loads of work. Setting up an online store may be more convenient, but it still involves careful planning and operation. A successful online store, just like a regular store, requires thorough network research, detailed marketing plan, and systematic operating procedures.

Online Store

You might have decided on setting up your online store, but what do you really need to know prior to actually launching it? Here are some things to consider:

1. Know your target clientele.

Prior to starting up your business, you have to do your market research. You may start by asking – who are my potential customers? What do they need? What items are they currently buying and using? This way, you will be able to make intelligent decisions on what products to offer them, and how can you be of advantage to similar online businesses.

2. Know your flagship product by heart.

While it is not an absolute necessity, it’s still a major advantage to have a flagship product and know it by heart. Your lead product will be your identity, and once established, expect your consumers to be loyal to it. Developing your flagship item will help you decide on marketing strategies, and will eventually help boost up your sales. A store, whether online or not, will most likely be known by a single popular product. This will also make you focus on a single product or product line that you would want to improve or update in the future.

3. Know your advertising and marketing strategies.

Now that you have decided on what to sell, and who to sell it to, the next step is to plan on how to sell it. Most online stores would have a soft opening run where they will sell their items at a discounted price. This is a good tactic to jumpstart your business, especially if your goal is to introduce yourself to your target market. It may not immediately have profit returns, but still an intelligent strategy to put your business out in public. Promotions and advertisement on social media is also a very effective scheme, as people nowadays are almost always online, searching for stuff to buy and use. Knowing who your competitors are is also a must, as this will help you strategize better for your own online store. Choosing an effective selling platform is also very crucial to your marketing process. While there are several commercial selling websites you can use, it is still most advisable to create your own website where, aside from the items you sell, details about your store or company name may be found. This will create a better recall of your name and product. A well designed website is very crucial, and some business owners hire the best web design professionals to help them not just with the look of the website, but with maximizing advertisement as well.

Online stores, just like regular ones, require careful planning and effective strategies to be a success. While it is very popular, it is still continuously changing and evolving by the day. When you decide to open an online store, keep in mind that no matter how convenient it may be for you and your consumers, it is still a business that constantly need skillful managing.

Why Branding Your Business is Important 

Branding is defined as a strategy to create a name that identifies your product from others. It is a crucial part of marketing that can make or break your business. Your brand carries your business name, and your business name carries your vision. Simply put, your brand is a promise you make to your business and your customers. Knowing your brand, your customers will have an idea on what you offer, and how different are you from your competitors.

When you have decided on what to sell, who to sell it to, and how to sell it, you must establish your brand. This will add quality and trust to your products, which will eventually lead to your consumers’ loyalty. When developing your brand, you must be consistent with your company’s mission and vision. If the core purpose of your company is to offer high quality products, your brand must scream it. Branding strategies include witty tag lines, eye-catching logos, and overall template. An example would be Nike, a well-branded company. It uses the one-line slogan, “just do it”, which is not only memorable, but also has a stir to the emotions of their consumers. The swoosh logo goes very well with it too. Aside from just selling the features of their product, they also advertise them through famous athletes. These strategies are consistent with what they sell, and have a good recall to the consumers. Hence, the Nike brand sells. Other companies with well-thought branding include Apple, Coca-cola, and Google.

Branding your business is critical not only to your sales, but also to you as a business owner. If you are well guided by the main objective of your business, you brand will inspire you to work towards it. The same is true if you’re working with employees, as they become motivated to works towards the company’s goal.

Products with notable branding almost always make the sale. Your brand must define, support, and sell your products. It must add worth to the products you offer as it is the name that very well represents your company.

5 Reasons Why Starting an Online Store is Nifty 

In this day and age when literally everything we need is a click away, shopping is no exception. From clothes and accessories, home decors and appliances, to the latest of gadgets, everything can already be purchased online. Buyers appreciate the convenience of having to look for stuff they need without leaving the comfort of their bedrooms. Of course, online sellers and stores enjoy earning money and expanding their business in front of their computers. Online selling has definitely boomed a ton in the last five years, and why, you may ask?

1. You don’t have to pay for an actual physical store.

Remember when online shopping isn’t a thing, and you have to look for a specific item in ten different stores, only to find out that none of their branches carry it anymore? Or maybe the nearest one that has it is a 2-hour drive? Oh, the hassle! Having an online store provides your consumers the convenience of shopping (or window shopping) without the drive and tired feet. Of course, as a seller, you provide yourself savings by not renting or paying for a physical store, because hey, your computer IS your store.

2. You can sell all day, everyday.

While actual stores in the mall have specific store hours, online stores don’t. You may still assign a fixed store schedule, when you respond to queries, ship items, or update new items to be sold, but generally your buyers should be able to cart the items they want anytime of the day. When your online store is available 24/7, it gives you more sales opportunities, especially from international consumers.

3. You can run the business all by yourself.

If you are starting a small online store, you can choose to save your sales profit by opting to work by yourself. Yes, if you have an online store, you are the CEO, operations manager, seller, customer service representative, and everything else. It may sound tedious having all these roles on your hands, but if you’re starting still, it will save you a lot of money instead of hiring employees to work for you. Hiring employees will only be advisable once your business has a more established income and clientele.

4. You can choose which selling platform to use.

There are a ton of selling platforms that you can use. Some requires minimal fees to be paid to the platform, such as listing fee, payment processing fee, and transaction fee such as etsy, while others are completely free. Some sellers even choose to sell on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, while some choose to build their own website to cater specifically to the items they are selling. Choosing your platform will depend on your own personal choice, and how you think you will reach your target clientele better.

5. An online store is perfect for the business minded seller who’s not a fan of face-to-face interaction.

Whether you’re an introvert, having a bad day, or just generally not a people person, you still can be a successful online entrepreneur. One of the perks of online selling is you can answer consumer queries via chat or e-mail, send invoices, accept payments, or ship orders without leaving home or talking to anyone. Okay, maybe you need to talk a little but that’s still better than having to actually talk a lot and sell them something, right? Online selling doesn’t need a lot of people skills, and although you may need some eventually, at least you have the time to improve yours while already doing your business.

The presence of online stores has definitely changed consumers’ shopping game. Both sellers and buyers prefer online transactions mainly for convenience, but for entrepreneurs, online selling is much more than the convenience. Online selling has also proved to be actually profitable and expandable, reaching buyers in all parts of the world.