online retail

The majority of today’s consumers purchase their food, clothing and electronics online. It’s no questions as to why online retail businesses are experiencing rapid growth. As an entrepreneur with a passion for fashion and a drive to start your own business, this is a great industry to enter. You can start an online company much faster and easier than a brick-and-mortar location. Plus, online shops require less startup capital to open and operate. With the right steps, you can take advantage of the opportunities that the online retail industry provides. Read this post on how to start an online retail business.

Choose a Niche

Begin by choosing a niche for your online retail business. This is one of the most challenging steps for entrepreneurs to take. However, you can ask yourself key questions to find the right niche for you. Start by identifying your own interests and passions. Do you enjoy working out? Consider choosing workout clothing as your market niche. Do you have a passion for skiing or snowboarding? Sell snow clothing online for your fellow skiers and snowboarders. Are you a fan of dressing up for parties and special events? Choose to sell prom gowns or party clothes on the Internet. Consider your hobbies, likes and dislikes to select the best niche for your online retail startup.

Select a Domain Name

After you select a market niche to enter, choose a domain name. Your domain name essentially takes the place of what would be your brick-and-mortar store name. Therefore, it needs to be easy to read and short enough to remember. The best e-commerce store names also reflect the industry that they operate in. Opt for a name that tells consumers exactly what you sell before they even click on your page. Once you brainstorm a list of potential names for your new business, perform a domain search. This search will show you which of your name ideas are already taken by other companies. Select and register an available option to continue starting up your online retail business.

Pick a Distribution Model

Next, choose a distribution model for your online retail store. The two most common distribution model options include drop shipping and traditional inventory. Dropshipping is typically a less costly method. The model entails buying clothing from a third-party vendor. You sell the items on your online shop and rely on your vendor to ship products to consumers. In contrast, the traditional inventory model involves keeping and shipping products yourself. This option usually requires more capital due to additional inventory and shipping costs. However, it also offers benefits. For instance, you maintain full control over the shipping and delivery outcomes. You can fill orders as soon as they come in to increase customer satisfaction rates. Determine the best distribution model for your online retail business.

Build an Online Store

Another crucial step to opening an online retail business is building your virtual store. Since online shops take the place of brick-and-mortar locations, you need to make yours as user friendly as possible. Start by creating a unique, easy-to-read homepage. Then, build separate pages for each product category so consumers can find items easily. Add a search bar feature for easy navigation and ensure that your site is mobile friendly as well. Additionally, create collections for product merchandising on your online store. The best merchandising solutions allow you to create the ideal online experience for customers. Impress visitors by building an attractive online store for your new retail business.

Get Bar Codes for Products

Finally, get bar codes for your online shop’s products. This step is crucial to launch and operate your online retail business. In some countries, the law requires you to designate a separate bar code for each of the items in your store. Take note of the various sizing options, colors and patterns for each item. Create a different bar code for each possible combination. You can purchase UPC bar codes for your products right on the Internet. If you plan to sell large volumes of products on your store, purchase batches of codes. Find a reputable online service that sells batches at reasonable prices. Once you have the right number of bar codes for each product, you can sell online successfully.

Since a great deal of today’s consumers shop for their clothes online, starting an online retail business is a profitable venture. To start, choose a niche based on your hobbies, interests and passions. Use your niche and products to determine the best domain name for your new store. Then, choose between a drop shipping distribution model or a traditional inventory structure. Once you plan out your distribution, build an online store that meets consumer standards. Lastly, get bar codes for each product to operate your new business. Complete these steps to start an online retail business.

Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.

Online retail stock photo by Chumakov Oleg/Shutterstock