As seen with my recent article about Starting an Online Shop, creating your own e-store is not for the inexperienced online seller. This can be very expensive or impossible depending on your resources and what products you want to sell.
There are many free e-commerce platforms out there that most people have never heard of. Some of these sites offer powerful features that cost no money to use!
In this article, I will go over some of the best free e-commerce websites and turn them into efficient selling machines for you. By using these services as both a buyer and seller, you increase your market exposure and knowledge of the industry.
These sites also provide a degree of security since they run their systems and networks off of other companies’ software. If someone were to steal all of your information, you still have a backup. Keep in mind that just because it's free does not mean it is totally safe. Use common sense when shopping here.
This article will help you find a great starting place if you are looking to get started in the world of Amazon sellers or start your own business overall. It will take you around an hour to two hours to fully master these services so please do whatever you need to do before beginning.
Creating your business’s marketing strategy is one of the most important things to do as an entrepreneur. It will determine how successful you are in the online shopping arena, and it can be fun developing it!
The first thing that comes up when people talk about marketing their products or websites is telling other people about them. A classic way to do this is through social media marketing.
By sharing information about your product on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you increase exposure for your brand and yourself. People who see these ads may come directly to your site to check out what you have to offer.
Another form of marketing that has become very popular is referred to as influencer marketing. This is where someone with a large audience creates content about your product and spreads word-of-mouth advertising for it.
Influencers are always promoting their products, so people watch their videos, read their articles, and buy from them to show support.
The next important element to have as an entrepreneur is product inventory. This includes ensuring there are enough of each item to meet your goal, having a variety of similar items so you can stock up during sales or clearance periods, and keeping an adequate amount in stock at all times.
As mentioned before, owning a business means investing in it. Investing in your business means investing in its future success. One way to do this is by making sure it has what it needs for survival – products.
You will need to make sure that you have enough of every item to satisfy customer demand which could fluctuate due to seasonality (summer vs winter sales, for example) or no-seasonal events like national holidays or significant company announcements.
Planning for seasonal and non-seasonal fluctuations
The best way to deal with changing demands is by being able to predict them. You can do this through various forecasting methods such as buying dry seasonsally, buying more during big events, and using historical data to get a sense of how things behave.
Starting from scratch can be quite daunting, but there are some great resources online that offer free e-commerce websites you can customize or even use as a base to make yours better!
Mostly you will need an easy to manage domain name (like www.yoursite.com), WordPress installed, and then you’re ready to start designing and developing your site!
WordPress is a very popular content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily create and edit pages, posts, and sites. It is completely free to use, which makes it a great option for most people starting out with web design.
There are many ways to go about editing and styling your site within WordPress, so do not feel limited by this article! Many top brands started off using nothing more than their own personal style before investing in professional looking themes and plugins.
A turn-key ecommerce business includes all of the components you need to run your online store effectively. This feature set is not typically included in shopping carts, which are usually limited to letting you add pages and categories.
Most turn-key businesses also include payment processing services like Stripe or PayPal so that you don’t have to setup an account yourself. Some even include web hosting as well!
There are many free ways to test out your website before investing in a paid plan, such as Google Analytics or Free WP Sites. By testing the waters first, you will know if this is something that works for you and can be invested in later.
But what about marketing? You would probably want to start promoting your site somewhere, right? Most turn key sites offer very easy to use tools to create content quickly, without having to invest in other software or resources.
Overall, most people who purchase a turn-key business already have their own computer and internet connection, making it more accessible to everyone.
Now that you have picked an e-commerce platform, designed a domain name, and signed up for an account, it is time to start designing your site!
Before getting too excited about all of the cool features that your platform has, one must first design their own site. You will need to pick a template or theme for the skin of the site. A template is like the skin or look of your site, while a theme is the content and style that goes into making your site feel complete.
There are many free templates available online and through various mobile app stores. The best way to choose which ones work for your business and personal needs is by experimenting with them. Some of the most popular free eCommerce themes include Shopify, Weebly, and Squarespace. All three offer trial versions you can use to check out before buying a premium plan.
The easiest way to create your store using one of these pre-designed sites is to connect them to your existing web hosting account via their apps. This way you do not need to go in as a beginner user to be able to set up your site. Many people now use services such as Amazon’s AWS to easily launch websites. There are several companies that offer this service for free during your trial period.
Once everything is ready you can then begin adding products and organizing pages and sections. Most platforms have easy ways to add products, show pricing, and edit colors and descriptions.
Now that you have chosen to start an eCommerce business, the next step is to set up your online store. This process can be tricky if you don’t know what you are looking for, but there are some things you should make sure you look out for.
First, you will need web hosting – this is where your website can live online. There are many different types of hosting, so do not worry about which one you pick! Almost every major web host offers professional quality websites with shopping apps built in.
Many people also use WordPress as their platform of choice when starting an eBusiness. This makes it easy to find free or cheap web hosting that has plugins like Woocommerce pre-installed. You can easily add these yourself!
You will also want to consider your domain name. Make sure it is catchy and descriptive! Many companies offer domain names under their ‘dot com’ suffix such as www.shopify.com and www.woocommerce.com. Others may ask to pay a monthly fee per year for this.
A successful business owner does not have to spend hours each day marketing their store. There are many easy ways to promote your online shop that do not require much time or money. You can pick and choose which methods work best for you and your budget.
Running an e-store is a lot of work, so it is important to give yourself a break now and then. Do some of the things listed here for a few days at a time to see what effects they have!
Some of the most effective ways to market your site include: blogging, social media, website advertisements, promoting on other sites, and creating a free giveaway. All of these services provide a way for people to spread your message with very little effort on your part.
Blogging is a great way to generate traffic to your site. If you would like more exposure, you can start writing about related topics and posting them on blogs and forums. Your followers will be able to read your new posts on their device (mobile phone, computer, tablet) without having to visit your own site first.
The next step is to create a financial plan for your business. This will determine how much money you need to start up and run your online store effectively. It can include things such as website design, shipping and logistics, marketing materials, inventory, etc.
It’s important to be realistic when creating this budget. Online sales don’t usually make a lot of cash, so do not expect yourself to spend big money on advertising or packaging unless you have that extra money saved away!
Many sellers begin their venture with low budgets due to them spending time designing their site and finding products they want to sell before getting into the more expensive areas of running an e-store.
By being aware of these factors, you'll be able to avoid going overbudget in those initial stages.