How to Start an Online Retail Business

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Start An Online Retail Business

Did you know that the Gen Z generation is taking over the world as the generation most interested in starting a business, more so than millennials and Gen Xers? 40% of students surveyed from grades 5 to 12 said they want to start their own business. And 24% said they had already started one!

If you are interested in learning how to start an online retail business, because you believe in becoming autonomous and independent and not answering to any higher authority, then you are in the right place.

In this article, I will give you the exact steps you need to follow to start your online retail business beginning today!

1. Decide on a Niche

There are dozens of different businesses you could start in the online retail space. That’s why, before you can start an online retail business, you need to figure out what niche you would like to focus on.

The ideal would be for you to find a small enough niche that would distinguish you from the others, but with a sufficient customer base, so you can make money from it. There’s no point selecting a niche for your online business, with very few or no customers.

Let’s look at fashion as an example. You could focus on selling summer bohemian dresses in your online retail store, or you could sell little bags that people can use to hold their reusable bottles as they walk around the city. These are both related to fashion, but worlds apart from each other.

Tip: This is your first business, and probably one of many that you will start, so don’t get into analysis paralysis. Pick a niche and stick with it.

2. Figure Out What You Would Like to Sell

Once you have a niche, you will need to understand what you wish to sell. This is important to establish from the get-go.

Stop getting distracted by all the shiny objects out there, and choose something that piques your interest, so that you won’t get bored of it in a few days and move on to something else.

Tip: Look at the online retail stores you spend the most time on, and try to emulate them. Always try to build something that you enjoy, rather than something that you think everyone else would like.

3. Find a Supplier

It’s easy enough to find a cheap supplier in Asia once you decided on what item you wish to sell. If you can’t find a supplier that manufactures your products already, then you can speak to different factories in China, regarding manufacturing your specialized product.

Tip: They could even build a prototype for you, in case you were interested in doing a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign.

4. Dropshipping or Not?

This is a big one. Do you wish to create a hands-off business and how far do you want to take it?

Do you want to travel across the world, while your business practically runs itself? Or do you want to be more involved in the day-to-day running of your online retail stores?

With dropshipping, you would be shipping your products directly from the supplier to the customer. In FBA, or Fulfilment by Amazon, you would ship all your items to Amazon and they would take care of fulfillment for you, including returns.

Or, you could do all the shipping yourself, if you are doing one-off products that require a lot more care and love in packaging and distribution. It all depends on what kind of business model you would like to follow.

Tip: You can always change this up in the future, so don’t worry too much, and choose one or the other.

5. Buy a Domain and Start Building Your Website

Now comes the fun stuff. Figure out what you would like to call your business, buy a domain (hopefully it’s available), and start building your website. You can use WordPress if you are familiar with it, or Wix and Squarespace, if you are new to building sites.

Tip: If you don’t want to bother with all this, you can even hire someone on Upwork or Fiverr to do the building for you.

6. Start Some Social Media Channels

Which social media channels do you want to focus on? Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Facebook seem to be the primary channels that online retail businesses focus on.

Tip: Try to start with one or two, and then build up from there. You are going to be distracted by a thousand other things when starting a new business, so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.

7. Write a Blog Post or Two To Start

One major way you can appeal to and entice new customers is by starting a blog on your website and sharing some interesting content. When you are first launching your online retail store, don’t worry about having a fully-fledged blog. Write a couple of blogs and post them on your site, to get things started.

Tip: Choose the questions your customers ask you frequently and write a blog post on that.

8. Become a Marketing Fiend

Once the backend of your online retail business is set up, all you need to focus on is marketing. Getting those social media posts out there, writing a blog post or two a week, and doing Facebook or Instagram ads, as needed.

Tip: Don’t forget that you can always hire a virtual assistant from the Philippines if you feel like you need additional help with marketing and other business tasks.

How To Start an Online Retail Business – It’s All About Consistency

You are not going to build your online retail business in a day or even a month. It takes time, and consistent effort over time to build something that will be profitable and garner results.

Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Now that you know how to start an online retail business in 8 easy steps, you are ready to take over the world. Or at least become an independent digital nomad so you can travel the world without any hindrance or fear.

Want to learn more about how to make money online? Check out Wealth Inflator – we have a wealth of resources on how you can make money online in a wide variety of ways, like making money from your smartphone.

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