An online store is the most rewarding venture you can start as an entrepreneur. 

You get to be your own boss, set your own hours, and create your own products. Plus, you get to help people all over the world by sharing your products with them.

But it’s no secret that starting an online shop comes with its challenges, especially if you have no prior experience. That’s why nearly a quarter of new businesses close after their first year in operation. By the fifth year, the business failure rate reaches 56.8%.

To help improve your chances of success, we’ve put together 18 essential tips for opening an online store. These tips will help set you and your online business up for success.

18 tips for opening a successful online store

  1. Find a gap in the market
  2. Validate your products
  3. Use a free ecommerce website builder
  4. Know who your ideal customer is
  5. Invest in great website design
  6. Optimize your product pages
  7. Create a solid marketing plan
  8. Take amazing product photos
  9. Create an About Us page
  10. Set up your email marketing
  11. Market your business on social media
  12. Invest in search engine optimization (SEO)
  13. Make a return policy
  14. Set up a blog
  15. Set up business tools
  16. Offer excellent customer support
  17. Partner with other brands
  18. Offer free shipping

1. Find a gap in the market

The first step to starting any business is to find a need and fill it. When it comes to starting an online store, you need to find a niche that isn’t being served or is underserved. This can be done by conducting market research, looking at trends, or even talking to potential customers.

You’ll be tempted to jump in without researching competitors or running a market evaluation. Take the time to develop a good unique selling proposition and understand how you’ll provide value in a competitive market.

Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy will always be competitors, but there are also hundreds of smaller brands you’ll be competing with. 

Read more: How To Find Your Niche in 6 Steps


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