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Thursday, September 23, 2021

How to Start an Online Retail Business in 2021

You already decided to start an online business, but you are not tech-savvy, and you don’t know the first thing to do. Don’t worry. Creating an online retail business is not as terrifying as you think. You have to do your best to get the best results in your future business.

In this article, we are going to introduce all the steps you need to start an online retail business in 2021.

Step 1: Create your business and decide the store name

First, you have to find what products you’re going to sell. After finding the product to sell, do research. Find your competitors and think about how your business can differ from others.

The next important thing you are going to do is decide your business or store name and, of course, decide on a domain name.

Finding the ideal domain name is very important. It has to express your brand’s identity. Think about what your customer is going to feel after hearing or reading your domain name. Consider choosing a memorable domain name that represents what your business offers. 

Step 2: Do a domain name search

After you decided on your domain name, you have to check if the domain already exists.

To check the domain’s availability, you can do a  domain name search. It is possible that the domain name you want won’t be available, but you should check if it is available with a different domain extension (for example, .net instead of .com).

The next step is making sure that other businesses are not using the same name. Here are the ways how to check:

  • Do a trademark search: You can use USPTO.gov to search the trademark database. You will see if anyone registered the same or similar name.
  • Do a social media search: Searching on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others, will also be helpful when creating social media accounts. 
  • Do a Google search: Just type the name you decided to see are there any sites close to your domain name.

Step 3: Starting the business

After choosing the business name and registering the domain, you have to create a logo. Your business also needs other attributes. Pay attention to:

  • Product descriptions: They have to be captivating. 
  • Product photographs: Always put beautiful product shoots to attract your customers.
  • Attractive landing pages
  • Select color palette
  • Create legal stuff: This includes shipping and returns policy, privacy policy, terms, and conditions. 
  • Establish shipping considerations: For instance, rates and zones.
  • Establish the checkout page and payment gateways.

Step 4: Understand and improve your SEO

To properly structure your site and pages for search engines, it’s very important to understand the basics of search engine optimization. 

Every online business owner’s main goal is getting more traffic. SEO ensures your product page appears among the top organic search results. 

Here are the three main factors of SEO you have to improve to get better results: 

  • Keyword research: Pay attention to the commercial keywords that tend to show buying intent.
  • Site structure: The structure of the pages of your site affects the search engine rankings. 
  • On-page SEO: Here you have to pay attention to optimizing your two highest value pages: product category pages and product pages. 

Step 5: Find potential customers

Remember it’s not very simple to find potential customers, get them to visit your online store, and, finally, convert them into paying customers.

Start with understanding who your ideal customer is. Find the pain points and the needs of your customers. To succeed, your business has to solve the needs of the customers. 

If you want to find your customers easily, you can use Facebook’s Audience Insights tool. It’s a great resource with lots of user data and targeting capabilities.

Also, there are other market research resources:  D&B Hoovers, Nielsen, and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Step 6: Create a marketing plan

The marketing plan may cost from 0 dollars to millions of dollars. But if you want to start your online retail business without money, that’s not a problem. There are a lot of free and low-cost ways to start.

  • Email marketing: You can easily build continuing relationships with your followers. But pay attention not to spam them with your sale announcements.
  • Influencer marketing: First, choose micro-influencers, as they are inexpensive partners. For instance, micro-influencers can do attractive posts for your business. In this case, you have to send them three test products, plus do a photoshoot with them. Instagram is a fantastic channel for influencer marketing. 
  • Social media marketing: Social media marketing is a great way to help build brand awareness and increase conversions. It is also a way to engage with your customers and keep them interested and updated about your products. If you use it right and make sure to communicate with your followers, social media will be a huge help to you! 

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Josie Patra
Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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