7 Tips for Starting a Successful Online Retail Business

— March 19, 2017

Starting a retail business is a lot easier than ever. Thanks to the Internet, you no longer need to spend a lot of money on a storefront. When you open an online retail business, you can do it with very little overhead, so most of the money you make is going to be profit. But, you need to take your time to get everything right. If you don’t create something that people want, you aren’t going to make money. So, let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to make sure that you start a successful online retail business.

1. Create an Awesome Business Plan

The first thing to do is create a business plan. Just because you aren’t opening a brick and mortar store, you are still starting a business, and you need a plan. This is your roadmap to your ultimate goal, which is obviously a successful online retail business. Your business plan should clearly show how you plan to achieve success, if you need funding and how you will get it, etc.

2. Choose Your Business Structure

The next step is to choose an online retail business structure. If you do not know how to do this, check the IRS website to learn about the best structure types, tax benefits and requirements, etc. Once you choose your business structure, you can make the business and name legal with the government. Now, you can start getting inventory and start selling.

3. Take Advantage of Self-Storage

You are going to need to have an inventory, and you will need a place to store it. When you use self-storage, you can increase your storage space quickly and easily. This will give you the flexibility you need to be able to have plenty of goods to sell. The best part is, rather than renting a building space, you are not going to be locked into any long-term contracts.

4. Your Website

It is time to design your website. Make sure that it clearly shows your store name, location, and contact information. Even though you may not have a physical location, you can still provide basic contact information, including an email address and telephone number. Potential customers will feel a lot more secure when they know that they are able to contact you if they have a question or a problem.

5. Descriptions and Pricing

Customers should be able to find products and information about them, including pricing, without having to jump through a lot of hoops. If they have to work for it, they will likely go on to your competition. Make sure that your site includes descriptions that are easy to read, navigate to, and find, and don’t forget to include photos. Images will show people what they want to know so they don’t have to read more if they don’t want to.

6. Make Ordering Easy

If you want people to order from you, it is important to make the ordering process as easy as possible. Make sure that customers can find your ordering process easily. It should also be easy for them to use. Again, no one wants to have to go through a lot of steps when there are other websites that offer the same thing and are much easier to use.

7. Show Your Policies

Be sure that people can easily find your policies for returns, refunds, and warranties. No one wants to have to look for the fine print. If they can’t see something right up front, they may move on to another retailer. Not having this information right out there could mean that you are risking losing potential customers.

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Author: Kathleen Olson

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