Why Start an Ecommerce Store?
You may have an idea to launch a new product that you've made.
Or maybe you've found products to import from overseas to sell in your local market.
What you need of course, is a website that showcases your products, and allow people to check out securely via credit cards, PayPal and other payment methods.
This article covers what you need to know about starting an Ecommerce Store and the technicalities involved.
Bonus: Join this FREE course on Ecommerce Store Creation where I'll walk you through step by step to starting your ecommerce store in mere minutes.
Whether you produce a physical product (e.g. home-bakers, handmade products), or you import products to sell, having an Ecommerce store is a great idea because the costs to manage it is so low compared to physical stores!
It's never been easier to set up an ecommerce store to showcase your products and accept payments.
How much did it cost Jeff Bezos to build Amazon in 1994?
Here's an extract from an interview with Jeff Bezos, from the Academy of Achievements:
“The first initial start-up capital for Amazon.com came primarily from my parents, and they invested a large fraction of their life savings in what became Amazon.com. And you know, that was a very bold and trusting thing for them to do because they didn’t know. My dad’s first question was, “What’s the Internet?” Okay. So he wasn’t making a bet on this company or this concept. He was making a bet on his son, as was my mother. So, I told them that I thought there was a 70 percent chance that they would lose their whole investment, which was a few hundred thousand dollars, and they did it anyway.”
How much does it cost YOU to start an ecommerce store TODAY?
There are many ways and platforms to build your ecommerce store today, and the best part is, you don't even have to rely on 3rd party programmers ($_$) to set things up.
You can either engage a developer to do it (usually costing 5 digit figures), or you can even do it yourself and only pay low monthly fees for the hosting.
But first, what are the requirements of an Online Store?
So what are the requirements to get started with an Online Store?
Firstly, ANY type of website, there are basically a couple of requirements:
A webhost is a company from which you rent a "space" online. This space is used to store your website, and served up to your website visitors 24/7.
You'll need to choose your website platform. There are numerous platforms out there, but I'll also share my most recommended with you.
To operate an Online Store, there are these additional requirements:
Even after setting a website, you'll need to have an "SSL certificate" which makes it secure to accept payments online.
You'll also need different "Payment Gateways" to accept Credit Cards and PayPal online.
You'll of course need a system to manage your orders, update the status, email updates, ship to the correct person etc.
Now, all of this sounds really complicated (which it IS), and you can certainly set up a website, and ATTEMPT to fix up all the above requirements.
Chances are, however, that you spend too much time, frustration and money in setting up the above, and not concentrate on selling your products. (many have tried, and moved on as well)
If you're not technical (and even if you are), I'll certainly recommend you go for a "hosted solution", which is an "all-in-one, all made for you" solution instead, so you can concentrate on selling.
My Most Recommended Platform - Shopify
The platform that I recommend for starting an online store, and the one which I've helped many people with setting up is Shopify.
Shopify is great because it is very affordable to start, really easy to set up, yet very scalable to large businesses, and tuned to every aspect of selling in the modern age.
Here are some examples of Shopify users...
Black Milk Clothing
From a startup to a stunning success, James Lillis of Black Milk Clothing has utilized the power of Facebook to grow his leggings from a humble beginning to a multi-million dollar business.
"Today, you can basically set up an online store for nothing." —James Lillis, Black Milk Clothing
Right Channel Radios
Andrew of Right Channel Radios used to operate and host his own online store on a different platform. After spending a ton of money, working with developers to fix seemingly simple issues, he finally took the plunge and migrated to Shopify, and never looked back.
Everest Bands makes handmade rolex straps, and have really found a niche in its market, by allowing people to customize their Rolex watches!
After a very successful kickstarter campaign, they have really rode on their success and grown their business to a huge following.
For those of you who love your Apple products, you may be familiar with Dodocase.
Dodocase makes premium tech accessories for Apple products, like iPads, iPhones, Macs.
Dodocase has really found a place in the market with its premium leather and wood protective cases.
If you've seen one of these watches floating around the internet, you're not alone.
MVMT watches have been very popular because of the minimalism and affordability. They certainly have crafted a niche that has a following, and I've received emails from friends who shared these watches with me!
An online store selling tea, based in Australia, Teatox managed to create a store selling health tea products, but also brought together a community of tea loving enthusiasts!
Hello Holiday is an inspiring woman-owned company headed by 2 young mothers. Their products live and breathe their belief in the power and confidence in women. Very awesome!
Be Active Wear
Be Active Wear is an online business selling sportswear which is a refreshing alternative to the Nike, Under Armour of the world.
Sell your products EVERYWHERE - Shopify Channels
In this modern world of ecommerce, selling doesn't just happen on your online store.
Shopify isn't limited to just being an Online Store, but aims to be your partner is all modern selling channels.
Here are the channels they support:
Shopify stores are simple to create, looks beautiful and easy to manage.
You don't need any technical experience at all, and you can set up a store in mere minutes.
Point of Sales (Brick and Mortar Stores)
If you also have a physical shopfront, you can seamlessly manage your physical and digital store.
All the inventory and orders are synced across platforms, so there's no duplicates.
One of the greatest benefit of Shopify is it that you can easily launch a Facebook shop and sell directly to your Facebook fans.
For all you out there who have a Facebook page of raving fans, this is the channel you don't want to miss out!
You can also easily manage your orders through their mobile apps on the go. Manage your shipping and order fulfilment with ease!
You'll think that with all these great features, Shopify would be really expensive to use.
Quite the contrary, Shopify democratizes ecommerce so that store owners of all sizes, from startups to large scale stores can leverage their technology to sell online.
For only $25 per month, you can run a full fledged online store, no need to set up any complicated technical details!
Great! So how do I start?
Even if you have zero experience, if you follow through with the steps below, you'll have your ecommerce storefront up and running in record time.
In fact, Shopify has a 14 day free trial, so I urge you to stop whatever you're doing right now and follow through the steps below.
Step #1 - Set up an account with Shopify
Go to the Shopify page.
Enter your email address.
Enter a password and a store name (these can be changed any time).
Just some final details..
This is what you see at the back end (admin area) to manage your online store.
And this is what visitors will see from the front end of your actual ecommerce store!
Pretty cool huh!
Do you want more? Follow my steps from A to Z and peek over my shoulder on building your first Ecommerce store.