Setting yourself up with an experienced web developer to help you build an online store may just be a thing of the past.
As technology gets smaller, faster and more powerful, things also tend to get a little easier to handle in the user experience (UX) department.
Today, platforms can be found online that help you achieve your dreams and fulfill your ambitions with minimum technical know-how.
A do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos is what drives many of the developments that make up the internet and now, you can easily build your very own online store from scratch.
Now, you can build your online store and save on startup costs. By spending less on setting up your shop, you get to channel funds towards other things like marketing for example.
Platforms like Shopify can effectively remove the need for e-commerce businesses to hire a web developer or other technical personnel.
Shopify is one of 2018’s top e-commerce platforms and lets beginners/newcomers with little to no experience create an online store in just a few minutes with a few simple steps. Loads of sellers use Shopify and if you want to test things out first before committing, you can even try Shopify for free for 14 days to see if it suits your needs. Shopify also has a checklist if you feel that you need some guidance getting started.
1. Visualize what you want your Shopify store to look like
Before you even begin, you should have a rough outline of what you want your online store to look like. This should include everything from the first page your customers will see to the sections your site will have (example: Do you want an FAQ/policies page? How should customers contact you?). You should also think about how you want people to navigate around your store and what payment methods you will utilize.
2. Sign up for Shopify and set up your store
When you sign up for Shopify, you will be asked what you’ll be selling and whether you have products. Having a unique store name is also important. What’s amazing about Shopify is that they have various themes for you to choose from, giving you the ability to customize your store’s look and feel. Upload logos, choose color schemes, select fonts and more!
3. Add and organize your products
Here comes the hardest part of setting up your Shopify store. When it comes to uploading and organizing your products, you may have to spend a little time learning how to do it right. Once you’re done, however, the next thing you’ll need to do is keep track of your inventory so that you don’t oversell your products. Overselling can result in a whole lot of unnecessary grief and even end your foray into the wonderful world of e-commerce prematurely. One of the best ways to track your inventory is to use a plugin like Stock Sync which is reliable and gels easily with your Shopify feed. Although it might seem intimidating at first, with a little practice, you’ll get used to it (you can watch the Stock Sync tutorial here). Using a plugin to manage your stock levels can be very very beneficial and can save you from a whole lot of issues in the long run.
4. Do a test run
Your shiny new store is now ready! However, before going live and promoting your online store, do a test run to make sure your payment/checkout mechanisms, as well as inventory, are all tiptop. It’s important to ensure that everything is running smoothly before your big launch. Shopify has a complete tutorial on how you can do a payment test run through the website. The last thing you want is for your customers to get put off if they face problems trying to pay for products bought from your store. A smooth, seamless and easy checkout process is one way to help keep your customers coming back for more!
5. Start promoting your store!
If you are confident that everything is running smoothly and looks good, now is the time for you to begin spreading the word about your online store. The internet is rife with media platforms where you can build a loyal following around your brand, foster communities and respond to customer comments and requests. As you acquire more customers, remember to ask them about the experiences they’ve had shopping at your online store. Use the feedback that you receive to improve your store, constantly refining and enhancing your customers’ experiences/journeys.
Remember to make sure you track your inventory and have a working payment mechanism! Because it’s automated, Stock Sync is a great tool to help you ensure that your inventory is always updated. Just make sure your settings are tuned to your preferences. The plugin supports multiple formats such as CSV, XML, XLS, XLSX, JSON, TXT, EDI, and HTML. You can even try Stock Sync for 14 days first to get a better feel of things before fully committing to it.
Stock Sync is changing the game for e-commerce inventory management. With a huge number of integrations, your e-commerce store can now sync stock from various suppliers and sources such as Etsy, Walmart, eBay and more. Your intelligent Stock Sync app gets all your stock nicely fitted into format and you can even set it to automatically download latest stock items from your suppliers via download links. There are plenty of other features and functions that you shouldn’t miss out on as well. Head on over to the Stock Sync website to get your online shop synced up with the future.