Thursday, August 23, 2018

Set Up an Online Store



Online shopping is a new generation shopping through which a user can purchase products or services directly from the seller.

The user is allowed to navigate freely through the online store and choose range of products from any seller. Once the user selects a product he needs to make payment through any of the available methods. The product is shipped from the seller within a timeline after the payment is received.
The complete process is managed by the e-commerce site from purchase to shipment of the goods and services.

The online shopping has grown extensively since the last few years. People shop online mainly due to the flexibility to choose from a wide range of products and massive discounts.

An online store is a platform where you can sell your own products or services and earn money online. An online store allows you to reach a wider group of audiences. If you are planning to setup an online store and earn money then you need to keep a few points in mind.

Firstly let's learn the difference between a hosted and self-hosted e-commerce solutions. A hosted e-commerce solution in simple words is a store which is built on a rented space digitally over the internet. Whereas a self-hosted  solution means building a store and running it from your own platform or system. In self-hosted platform you are free to customize as per your needs. You can even do the customization in hosted platform but with limited access.

You can create a free online store as well but remember that there will be limited functionality and tools. However if you purchase a premium plan you get plenty of tools to build your store and give a professional look to it. Here I will share about few sites where you can create an online store :

1) WIX : Wix offers drag and drop feature for an online store creation. You can choose from a wide range of templates and themes. You can easily integrate payment gateways, secure checkouts, taxing and shipping features on your e-commerce site.

Steps:
a) Go to www.wix.com and sign-up to create a new account or login if you already have an account.
b) Choose a template and add your business name.
c) Click "My store" and "Manage your store".
d)  Now you can add products.
e) Select "Business setup" and add payments, shipping and store settings.
f) Next step is to Publish your site. And direct to your domain.

2) WEBNODE : Webnode is being used by almost 30 million users worldwide. Webnode offers a very user-friendly and flexible platform for setting up an online store in just a few minutes. Managing orders is very simple in Webnode and you can easily track the performance of your store by connecting to Google Analytics.
You can tryout the services of creating an online store from Webnode for free. Later on you can upgrade to a premium plan as it offers additional features.

Steps: 
1) Visit www.webnode.com
2) Click on Menu at the top right hand corner.
3) Click on Online store and then on Get Started.
4) Enter website name, email ID and password and click on Create an account
5) Then choose a template and click on choose.
6) Choose to setup your online store
7) After this step you will get the dashboard where you can customize the store's look and feel as per your requirements.

3) SHOPIFY: Shopify is a renowned online store building platform which offers many advantages like easy drag and drop facility, mobile friendly sites, Optimization and promoting of store etc. It's easy to build and manage a store online with Shopify.
There are also many additional tools provided by Shopify for enhancing your business like logo maker, QR code generator, business name generator.

You can visit www.shopify.in for more details.

Once your products are added to the store the other important job is to setup a payment gateway. Many online store builders provide option to sign-up for the payment gateway from within their site. If this option is not available you can integrate your own payment gateway. I will highlight a few authentic payment gateways and the process to sign-up in my next post.

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