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The Simple Way to Start Your Online Store: A Checklist

Person sitting on a bad looking through packaging

You’ve had it.

Enough with the long morning commutes, endless meetings, and stale office coffee (seriously, who buys that stuff anyway?). 

Luckily for you, right now couldn’t be a better time to make a move in the world of eCommerce. 

Before, if you wanted to run a business online, you’d need to be the ultimate jack of all trades, including knowing how to code and design. 

Now, if you’re looking for a simple way to start your very first eCommerce shop, you’re in the right place.

We’ll talk you through the ins and outs of how to decide on what to sell, whom to sell it to, and where to sell it. 

Ready to get your eCommerce website launched? Let’s get started

✅ 1 – your niche (my what?)

It may sound like a silly buzz word, but it’s actually used to define what your particular specialty or focus is. Picking a niche will help you to create a strong brand that stands out.

Still a bit vague? Don’t worry, let’s tackle this with a real example. 

A niche in action

Let’s say you would like to set up an online clothing shop. You’ve loved fashion since you were a kid and your friends think of you as quite the fashionista. 

You could launch a clothing shop that sells anything and everything related to fashion. 

The downside to this is that if anyone were to ask you why they should buy at your shop, you don’t really have an answer, do you? 

But, if you launch your business and focus on maternity clothes, you could tell them that your shop is the ultimate destination for all mums-to-be.

So by having a niche, or a particular specialty, you can stand out from the crowd.

Better to excel in one thing than to do many things at an ‘alright’ level.

White desk with a laptop, keyboard and a book

✅ 2 – A plan for world domination (aka your business plan) 

So, you have an idea of what you want your online shop to specialize in. 

Next, you need to think about how you’ll conquer the overstuffed market. 

You should think of all the important things, like: 

  • What products do you want to feature and sell at the start?  
  • How much will it cost to get your eCommerce business off the ground? 
  • How much money are you willing to invest at the very start? 

Knowing all of this creates order in the chaos that is eCommerce business planning. 

Treat your business plan as your road map. It will show you what you need to do in order to get where you want to be.

Person in a big room opening a parcel

✅ 3 – All about branding

You want your brand to be consistent, easily remember, and stylish all at once, don’t you? 

When you’re planning the visual look of your business, think about:

  • The name of your business. Pick a name that’s easy to pronounce, easy to remember, and easy to spell. No compromise here.
  • Your logo, the color scheme, and the fonts. The overall visual style of your brand is the ultimate first impression of your business both online (your website) and offline (your packaging). Nail it and your customers will keep on returning to your store.
  • Your domain. Preferably identical to your business name.

✅ 4 – Who’s buying?

To sell anything, you need to know who you’re selling to. 

Thanks to the digital revolution and data collection, you will know more about the people who buy your product than the very best market researchers in the 00’s. 

Here’s why: 

  • Access to data. Using data to create reports and trends of customer behavior make it possible to segment your customers. Knowing that helps you approach your chosen target audience in a very granular way.
  • Accuracy of data. With the right tools and tactics, you can find out small details about your customers’ shopping habits (are they a Nike or an Addidas person?) and their various preferences on lifestyle choices (do they get a tea or a frappucino at Starbucks?). 

The better you can segment your customers and offer them personalized products and services, the more they will like and trust your brand. 

One dollar bill on a table

✅ 5 – Your online home 

Next, you should decide where to make your home on the internet.

Look for an eCommerce platform that: 

  • Easily manages and tracks inventory. Whatever you do, don’t spend your nights manually updating your item stocks. 
  • Supports multiple payment options. Make sure your customers finish the order now and not later (or never). 
  • Automates the admin. You don’t want to be sucked into an endless circle of paperwork. You deserve better. 
  • Gives you full control over shipping and delivery. Have precise information on all your orders, all of the time.

These are some big promises that every platform makes, but only a few keep. Zyro is one of the champs that wants to make eCommerce easy for everyone. 

Watercolors on a desk with a mug

✅ 6 – Dazzle everyone with your ads

You’ve put in the hard work to create a world-class business with a strong brand that both looks and does good. 

Now, let’s make some noise and have everyone join in on the fun.

Which marketing channels will you use?

  • SEO. Have your knowledge of your niche lead the way. Relying on search engines for visitor traffic can be time-consuming, because you have to write a lot of content for your website. However, once you find some keywords that work well, you could be flooded with orders from people who were already looking for your product or service.
  • Paid ads. Pay your way to the top of the search results with a paid ad. You’ll probably get traffic faster, but keep an eye on the costs. If visitors end up not completing orders, you will be paying for nothing.
  • Social media. You can either build a strong social media presence, pay for ad placement, or partner up with influencers. Running your own account takes time, and both ads and influencers can be expensive. Pick your battles to win the war. 

Create marketing materials (blog and social media posts, and emails to name a few) ready for your launch and keep some on standby for later. 

Person viewing eCommerce website on a tablet on a white table with plants

✅ 7 – It’s showtime

You’ve worked hard, had your mom tell everyone about your online shop ‒ and now it’s the big day. 

Raise a glass of bubbly and coo over your shiny new online store. 

Your eCommerce journey is just starting. 

You will have to keep working consistently, running marketing campaigns, and keep on adding new products to your store even after the launch.

It’s a lot of work, but don’t give up. Instead, imagine how it’ll feel to make your first 100th sale.

Make it work with Zyro.

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Written by

Author avatar


Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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