How to Quickly Start an Online Store with Confidence


01. Find an E-commerce template from a website provider

  • Pick a website provider
    • These are the most common: Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, and Shopify. Each requires a different setup that’s simple or more involved. For example, if you choose to use WordPress, you’ll need to use WooCommerce in order to start an online store. There are tons of free tutorials to walk you step-by-step through the process for whatever website provider you choose, here’s a great step-by-step WordPress guide.
  • Cost: 
    • This varies depending on the platform. There are hundreds, even thousands of paid and free WordPress themes, Squarespace online store templates, and Shopify options.

02. Setup your business’s domain name

  • Pick your Domain, hosting, and SSL.
    • Domain: This is your website URL address. For example, is my domain.
    • Hosting: Where your website lives on the internet. Every website is required to have hosting. 
    • SSL: In order to receive money online securely you need an SSL. It’s the little 🔒 (lock icon) next to your domain name. People like to know they’re visiting a secure site.
  • Cost: 
    • Normally, a domain costs $12.99/yr
    • Hosting: Around $7.99/mo
    • SSL: Normally, if you buy the domain and hosting from one provider, you’ll get a bundled discount.

03. Add products to your store + connect a payment processor

  • Pick a payment processor.
    • Some common options are PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay.  
    • Payment processor: This is a platform that allows you to accept payments online. The setup required will vary depending on the provider you choose.
  • Cost: 
    • Each of these three payment providers charges a 2.9% fee and $0.30 per transaction fee.

04. Customize your online store categories + content

  • This is the part you get to add the products you sell and customize how they will look on your site. This is really where the fun and creative part comes in.

05. Grow your online store w/ email marketing, social media ads, and SEO

  • This is the marketing step, or how you get customers to know you and your online store exist. There are only 3 ways to get customers: 
    • Pay for them by using advertising. The advertising options range from TikTok ads, print magazine ads, to Facebook and Instagram ads, and even billboards. You can advertise online for as little as $1 a day.
    • Partner with other brands that have access to your customers. For example, if you sell cookies, think about partnering up with a local coffee shop, since a lot of people like to eat cookies with coffee. Or you can partner with online influencers by gifting them your cookies in exchange for posting about it to their followers.
    • Build them: This is the organic (or free) route. This option is great if you have more time than money on your hands. But, it does require a longer time to grow. A lot of people will create posts or stories on social media, like Facebook and Instagram. Some will grow their customer list by creating an email signup form that lives on their website. And others will use a combination o
  • Cost: This varies depending on which paths you choose, how many options you decide to stack together. For a quick guide on how to get clients easily check out my previous article.

06. Ongoing maintenance + updates

  • As with anything online, you’ll need to update your site. Whether you’re adding additional products to your online store categories, updating some wording, refreshing the design, and even just minor plugin updates from time-to-time.
  • Cost: It really depends on what you’re comfortable doing on your own versus what you want a professional to do. Some companies and online marketers charge you hourly. Some will charge you a monthly fee that gives you a certain amount of hours each month, and if you go over that, you’ll be charged their hourly rate.

And that’s it. How to start an online store, even if you’ve never done it before.

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