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How to Start an Online Shop

 
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Category : > New Business Setup
Posted On : Thu Oct 20th,2016

 
An ultimate guide to open an online store
 

What is an online shop?

An online shop is an electronic commerce platform that allows customers to buy services or good directly from a seller using the internet.

 

What is B2B Online shopping?

When an online store sets up business to business purchasing, it is called B2B shopping.

What are the advantages of starting an online store?

In opening an online store, you do not need to set up a physical shop as there is no rent to pay and you can attract millions of customers online.


What do you need to open an online shop?


You are required to implement following points:

  • Attractive and user-friendly eCommerce website with a merchant account
  • Quality products or Services
  • A comprehensive marketing Plan
  • Legal matters including business registration and licenses

 

What do you want to sell on your online store?

You can sell any type of product or services online. You can receive money online through a merchant account or cash on delivery to avoid charge back. Selling online is the fastest way to grow and reach out the maximum people are interested in your products of services.

 

How to build and design a website to start an online shop?

  • Create a dynamic ecommerce website to upload products and services

  • It should a responsive and user friendly

  • it should have a complete check out system

  • Make sure that the developer has a reasonable experience of developing eCommerce site, because business sell depends on the website.

  • Make the navigation same and clear on every page

  • Good and Unique contents are the key of any website to bring relevant customers.

  • You must have reliable developers and designers for the daily mainteance of your website.


How to be in competition in online store business?

You cannot start selling your products without visiting your competitors and consumer behavior. Always focus on compelling products to be in competition. Good Customer Service, Reasonable Prices and your commitement is a key to stay in the market. Normally, the profit margin is very thin in online business due to the high competition.


How can you be distinctive in an online shop business?

Provide your customers the finest quality products so they will advertise you if they have good experience with the product.

  • Deliver the complete information about the product. It will give your customers a trust and decision-making skill
  • User-friendly purchasing process plays a Vitol role in online shopping. Once a user tries any inconvenience, mostly he avoids to visit your site.

 

How to make a business plan to set up an online shop?

A great business plan helps you to take an organized step in the further business process. It plays an important role to make your business successful:

  • Website maintenace cost
  • Advertising Cost
  • Merchant account cost
  • Shipping costs
  • Employee wages
  • Taxes
  • Reserve your web hosting and domain name


How an e-commerce software helps you in online shop business?

e-commerce software ensures a safe and secure purchase. It stores the customer account and other relevant information.


Why setting up a merchant account is necessary for an online store?

Setting up merchant account helps customers to pay through their credit cards.


Why online shop owners prefer PayPal?


Going with a bank is an expensive method so owners like to go with PayPal as it is a cheaper option as compared to banks.
It is economical, inexpensive and no monthly fixed maintenance cost for the online checkout proces.

 

How to promote an online store?

  • Using social media platforms can bring a robust change in advertising your business because people like your product and share it too.
  • Online paid and free directories
  • Write good content to create backlinks and search engine optimization
  • Create Pay Per click campaigns on Google, Bing and GetConnected360.com. It is a most effective and cost control process to advertise online. You only pay for the relevant customers only.

How should determine shipping costs in an online store?

Affiliating with major carriers can give you an incentive of free shipping. It is better to provide the facility t your customers to remain in the competition.

 

Should you allow social sharing and reviews in an online shop?

  • Getting trusted seal consumer report can give you an edge to meet your customers’ requirements.
  • If you are satisfying the needs and standard of your customers, then there is no need to hide something.
  • Online customers, check your reputation online through rating agencies, such as the Better Business Bureau and GetConnected360.com . So, it is necessary to buy rate and review seal to show your reputation online by using a third party's portal.
  • It gives a trust to your customers to feel easy and deal with you.


How to handle returns?

Returns and replace items can be assessed quickly through e-commerce vendor built-in tools that help you in easily replacing funds and products.

 

What are the rules and regulation to conduct an e-commerce business?


You may contact FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to get detail information. Following points is an overview:

  • Protect your customer privacy
  • You need to follow Digital and advertising laws even if you don’t sell anything
  • Privacy Policy and Disclaimer agreements

  • You can contact with an attorney for the guidance because it is a very sensitive business.


Does Sales and Use tax apply on selling products online?

Sales tax does apply to online sales, if applicable . Sales tax registration and collection from the end user is a very complex issue in online business and we highly recommend to retain a consultant to advise according to your state laws for the sales tax license.


How to register an online business name?


  • Setting up an online business has more formalities than a store front.
  • It is a very demanding business and need decent investments and technical knowledge.
  • It is a low profit margin and high volume business.
  • Tax process is also very complex and highly recommend you to retain a professional, who has a reasonable experience in this area.
  • It is a highly risky business and recommend you to file Corporation, Limited Liability Company or Limited Partnrships.It must be registered with the secretary of state or the Division of Corporations.

 

  

Khizar Hayat

The Author of this article is a M.Phil in English Literature


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