A virtual store is a website designed especially to sell products or services. Although the Internet presents great opportunities for entrepreneurship, especially because of the low investment cost it requires, it can also be a set of problems if you do not know how to use it.
We present a basic guide to creating your own virtual store:
1. Choose a niche that you’re passionate about
Collect information about that special niche and take advantage of your passion and enthusiasm as a competitive advantage against the biggest sellers. If you choose the right category, you will have greater possibilities of enjoying the process of creation and management of your business, which will require patience and work.
It is important that you do a market study about the products and/or services that are successful on the Internet; not everything is sellable by this channel. Another aspect that you must take care of is the price since Web consumers also use this medium to find promotions and discounts. Set an attractive price for your client and profitable for you.
Keep reading: 8 Realistic ways to earn money online
2. Acquire an online service that provides the infrastructure for your store
Some of the available alternatives are Facebook Store, Conekta, Amazon.com, MercadoLibre and Flying Cart. Find the one that best suits your business and your products.
Another option is to install your store within a “gallery” or “mall” sharing services with other businesses. Here the equivalent would be a web directory and it is used if your store is smaller and resources too.
3. Create the inventory and enter your products
Try to be careful with the categories and where you place your products. Studies have shown that consumers are more attracted to products that are at the top of the page, so it’s a good idea to place your star products there.
Put yourself in the place of your customers and ask yourself why should they buy in my store? Try to make life easier, or deliver some other kind of value. Remember that the lower the number of clicks, the better.
4. Includes shopping cart
It is a software that assists the customer in his “virtual tour” through the store, noting the products he is indicating, calculating the final amount and allowing him to return merchandise.
A good “shopping cart” can be decisive when facilitating a sale in a virtual store. The greater the flexibility with which the customer can interact with these modules and the easier it is to use, the greater the satisfaction of the buyers.
5. Choose the payment methods
The security and confidentiality policies of customer data and transactions should be clear to everyone (customers and sellers) and of course always be consistent.
It is important that you offer different methods of payment, can be from the credit card, debit card or bank deposits. Lean on services such as PayPal, PayU or Mercado Pago.
6. Define your model
There are different ways to manage the inventory. Among them is the DropShipping which consists of the supplier making the delivery directly to the buyer, so you would be just a means of purchase. The second is that, once the purchase is made, the supplier will supply you with the merchandise and the Consignment, where you keep the product (either yours or from a supplier) in the warehouse from before making the offer until it is distributed.
7. Promote your store
This is a critical step to achieve success. You must make your site an attractive place because until now you are the only one who is interested in it. The first step to promote your virtual store is to add the address of your site. And content on Google, through the content site of the search engine.
Then you can consider expanding your content, from reviews of your products, related articles, or any material that serves to attract people to your site and upload your site to the search engine. Although the main thing to promote your virtual store is a good SEO strategy (search engine optimization). You can also support yourself in Google Adwords, advertising banners, and social networks.
8. Manage and supervise the store
Now that everything is up and running, do not you want to see the traffic that attracts your site and where it comes from? You only have to register to Google Analytics.
One aspect that you must take care of is customer service. So it is important that you have telephone lines and emails where they can contact you in case of any doubt or delivery.
9. Delivery mode
In a virtual store it is essential that you make delivery in time and form of the products and that it is made at home. You must first define which zones, regions or countries your delivery covers. And how much time it reaches the final consumer. This point is essential to achieve trust among your buyers.
We also recommend you to check this article: http://entrepbusiness.com/avoid-5-errors-e-commerce-business/