The establishment of a successful online store is a great investment step in our current era, with the increasing use of technology and the transformation of the world into a digital economy, anyone can benefit from this digital revolution and achieve great profits, and the world of e-commerce is witnessing remarkable growth, as it is expected that the volume of e-commerce will reach $13.4 billion during the current year, with more than 30 million Arab shoppers.
Therefore, if you want to realize your dreams and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity, then launching an online store is the first step to achieving this, and in this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to creating an effective and distinguished online store, so that you can benefit from this digital revolution and make great profits .
What is the online store?
The online store is an online platform on the Internet that allows companies and individuals to display and sell their products and services via the Internet. It is an advanced digital alternative to traditional stores, where customers can choose products and add them to the shopping cart and complete the purchase process easily and safely. Some online stores provide logistics services such as service Delivery and shipping to homes or offices. This type of store is characterized by ease of customization and management, and the ability to reach a larger audience of customers.
The difference between a store and a website
The main difference between the online store and the website is that the online store can carry out buying and selling operations via the Internet, and this is because it is specialized and supports electronic shopping operations.
While the website only allows displaying information and content without the ability to complete purchases and sales, as it is used to display information, services and products, but does not provide direct shopping features, usually websites are designed for advertising, marketing and communication with the public, while electronic stores are designed Primarily for buying and selling operations.
Features of the online store
We all know that the world of e-commerce is moving towards continuous development, however, some people overlook the importance of the digital presence of their trade through the establishment of a successful and effective online store, and therefore these are the most important features of the online store :
- Reaching a large number of customers, which increases the chances of selling products and making profits.
- The online store has lower costs compared to traditional stores, as it does not require a large number of employees and does not require a large space to display products.
- The online store allows customers to make purchases easily, at any time and from anywhere, which saves time and effort for customers as well as for you as a business owner.
- You can analyze the store’s data and statistics to see the performance of products and customers and make the right decisions about progress and development.
- The ability to easily manage the online store through an easy-to-use control panel, allowing you to update products and manage orders quickly and efficiently.
- The online store operates around the clock without interruption, allowing customers to make purchases at any time they want, thus increasing profit even when you sleep.
- The online store offers a unique buying experience to customers, by offering safe and fast payment options, and providing shipping and home delivery, which attracts more customers and increases their satisfaction.
- Creating your online store provides social interaction with customers, by communicating with them via social media, and receiving suggestions, complaints and feedback, which increases customer satisfaction and helps improve the quality of products and services provided.
- Expanding in different markets and reaching new customers in different places around the world, without the need to open new branches everywhere you want your business to be located.
How to create a successful online store
We realize how many questions you have in your mind now, how to create an online store? And what is its cost? And what do you need to be successful, effective and competitive in this rapidly evolving digital world? Let us take you on a detailed tour of all the steps of creating your successful online store .
The first step: selecting products
Determining the type of products that will be sold in the online store is the first step and the most important cornerstone before its creation, as the selection of products directly affects the success of the project, so it is necessary to select products that suit the target segment and are in line with the needs of the market.
Although there are millions of goods and products available, finding the right products requires research and study, so many different factors should be taken into account such as the interests, needs, and purchasing tendencies of potential customers, in addition to the availability and cost of products and the competition of the market in which you will enter, so time and effort should be devoted to exploring Market analysis, trends and demand forecast before making a final decision on the products to be sold in the online store . There are a number of factors that help you select products correctly, such as:
Availability of products
I start researching which products are in high demand by looking at the lists of the most popular and selling products in supermarkets, as well as checking the reviews of these products very carefully to see if there are any problems associated with them and if you can solve them or offer an alternative .
price and profit
The price of the products plus the profit margin is calculated by determining the total costs of producing the product, including the costs of labor, raw materials, supplies, transportation, storage, insurance and other production costs, then the desired margin is added to achieve the required profit.
For example, if the cost of producing a product is 100 riyals and the desired profit margin is 20%, the selling price will be calculated in the following way:
- Selling Price = Production Cost + (Production Cost x Desired Profit Margin)
- Sell price = 100 + (100 x 0.2)
- Selling price = 120 riyals
Thus, the price of the product is determined based on costs and the required profit, and startups must take into account that increasing the profit margin can increase the final price of the product, but at the same time it can affect the ability of the online store to compete with others in the market.
Step two: choose a brand name
Choosing a brand name for your online store is a very important step, as it represents the official identity of your business and helps in introducing customers to you and your products, so you should pay attention to some of the following points when choosing a brand name:
- Choose a name that is easy to remember and write, and it should be simple and not contain any complications.
- The name should be available to obtain as a domain name and username on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as this makes your online store easier to find.
- The name must reflect the identity of your business and products in an appropriate manner, and it must clearly and accurately express the products you offer.
- The name should align with the brand’s vision and values, for example, if the brand has a focus on environmental and sustainable products, a name that reflects that focus can be chosen.
- You must ensure that the name does not infringe other intellectual property rights or trademarks, and this must be verified by searching and checking the availability of the name before use.
Step Three: Choose a domain name and hosting
The step of choosing a domain name and hosting to create your online store takes a lot of time searching for a suitable name for your brand, and you can search for a domain name for your online store by following these steps:
- Visit domain registrar sites like GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost, and more.
- Enter your preferred store domain name in the search bar on the site.
- You will see search results that include the availability of your chosen domains and their annual cost.
- Select the domain you want and follow the steps to complete the purchase.
You can also use the free domain search tools provided by some sites, as these tools provide suggestions for available domain names that match the idea of your online store, and you can search in these tools and select the name that you like and that matches the brand name and the concept that you want to represent for your online store.
Fourth step: building the online store
The fourth step is the actual work step, but not many people have the skills to create an online store and enter into the details of e-commerce professionally, so there are several ways that you must decide which way to go to build your online store professionally.
- The first way is to seek the help of a specialized web developer because he has the ability to build a professional online store that includes all the technical and technological features that you want in your store.
- The second way is to build an online store by using online store building platforms without the need for programming knowledge such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Zed, Basket and many others, but these platforms differ in cost and available features, so it is advised to check each platform and its advantages and disadvantages before making a final decision .
- The third way is to subscribe to an online marketplace such as Amazon, Noon, Nice One, and eBay.
Fifth step: designing the online store
The step of designing your online store needs to work perfectly on all components of the store to be attractive, unique, and offer a great shopping experience to the audience, and these are the most important pages that any online store should contain:
- The home page: This page is the main interface of the online store, and it contains information about the products and services offered by the store, and it can be designed in an attractive and interesting way.
- Products page: Displays all products available for purchase in the online store, with detailed descriptions of each product and high-quality images.
- Cart page: displays the products that have been added to the shopping cart, and allows the customer to modify product quantities and delete them if necessary.
- Payment page: Shows order details and total amount and allows customers to choose their preferred payment method.
- Confirmation page: Displays the order confirmation, order number, shipping and payment details.
- Contact page: Provides company contact information such as address, phone number, and e-mail, and can be used by customers to communicate with the company in case of any inquiries or problems.
- Blog Page: Displays articles and topics that are useful and valuable to customers, and helps to raise awareness about products and strengthen the relationship between the company and customers.
- Help Page: Provides answers to frequently asked questions and provides assistance in case of technical problems or any other questions.
Sixth step: electronic payment gateways
Payment gateways are among the main factors in the online store , as they allow customers to complete purchases in an easy and safe manner, and significantly modify the shopping experience in the store. Payment gateways in online stores include several options, such as:
- Payment by credit cards: Customers can use various credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and others, to complete the payment process.
- Payment by digital credit cards : It is one of the easiest and fastest methods of payment, and it enables customers to conduct financial transactions through an electronic wallet, such as PayPal, STC Pay, or Apple Pay.
- Payment on receipt: where payment is made upon receipt of the product from the shipment, and this option is suitable for customers who do not have credit cards or prefer not to use them.
- Payment via express services: Payment is made through various shipping companies, and this option can be used in countries where the electronic payment option is not available.
Step Seven: Securing the online store
Online stores are exposed to hacking and fraud, and all existing data is exposed to risk. Therefore, there are several measures that can be taken to secure the online store from hacking and fraud, including:
- Install protection programs for the online store to protect it from malicious attacks, viruses and other security threats.
- Use strong and complex passwords and change them regularly. Avoid using easy or common passwords.
- Update the online store software regularly, including the operating systems and software used on the site, in order to correct security gaps and errors.
- Use reliable and well-known payment gateways to secure financial transactions and avoid fraud.
- Install SSL certificates on your online store to secure communications and sensitive information, such as customer data and payment details.
- Maintain a backup copy of the database and important files periodically, in order to avoid data loss and exposure to electronic attacks.
- Conducting a regular security audit of the online store, checking for security holes and other problems, and correcting them immediately.
Step 8: Try the online store before launching
Testing the online store before launching is a very important process to ensure that the store works properly and provides a good shopping experience for users. The store can be tested before launching by creating virtual user accounts, making purchases and payments, and looking at the various pages to ensure that the process is running smoothly.
Tools such as “user simulation” can be used to experience the store from the user’s perspective and ensure that the shopping process, payment and order completion are smooth, and automated testing tools can be used to check the site’s performance, ensure that there are no errors in the code, and identify and fix potential problems.
And the user experience in the online store must be easy and smooth, and it ensures easy browsing and easy access to products, fast downloads, and a safe and reliable payment process, so it must work to improve the user experience before the actual launch to ensure its success.
Step nine: Marketing the online store
How does the audience know that your online store is already there to sell products or services to them? Through marketing, of course, so marketing plays a crucial role in the success of the online store , and there are several ways to market the online store, such as:
- Search engine marketing: The online store website can be optimized to rank higher in search engines such as Google, and paid ads in search engines can be used to reach a wider audience.
- Social media marketing: You must take advantage of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to market the online store and increase the number of followers and customers.
- Email: Sending marketing emails to existing and potential customers, including promotions, downloads, and notifications of new products and events.
- Paid Ads: You must take advantage of paid ads on the Internet such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads to promote the online store.
- Partnerships and collaborations: Working with bloggers and influencers on social media to promote the online store has effective results. It is also possible to work with other sites and platforms to display products and make offers and discounts to the public.
- Content marketing: Creating unique and useful content such as blogs, articles, videos, and images, and publishing it on the online store’s website and on social media is one of the effective ways to market any online store.
Important tips before creating your online store
Creating an online store requires good planning and a clear strategy to achieve success, and because the success of your e-commerce is important to the Third Partner team, these are some important tips that you must consider before starting to create an online store by experts specializing in this matter:
- Choose products and services that are in demand and appeal to a wide audience.
- Study competitors and determine what distinguishes your online store from them.
- Choose the right online store building platform for your needs and budget.
- Define the pricing policy and set the profit margin you want.
- Rely on reliable shipping services to deliver products to customers.
- Develop an effective marketing plan to attract visitors and convert them into customers.
- Rely on safe and reliable payment methods to achieve customer satisfaction.
- Create a clear return policy for customers and define refund terms.
- Choose a domain name and brand that is easy to use and remember.
- Plan for future updates and e-store development .
In conclusion, we can say that creating a successful online store requires a lot of work and planning, but if it is implemented correctly, it will have a significant impact on the success of your business in the world of e-commerce, by adhering to best practices, using appropriate tools and platforms, and providing a great shopping experience for customers, Anyone can build a successful online store and increase their business revenue, so feel free to start building your online store and enjoy the benefits of e-commerce.