Now we are going to build your first online e-commerce store for Dropshipping. Creating an online e-commerce store is much easier now. You don’t have to learn web development, and you can do it all by your self. During this guide, we will be discussing,
This guide is the fourth guide of the beginner’s guide to learn Dropshipping.
How to create an online Dropshipping store
- How to choose a right shopping cart for an online store
- How your e-commerce store should look like
- How many products should I list before going public
- Understanding the SEO
Now before we start, we assume that you have already picked a niche for your e-commerce store. If not, please read our previous tutorial about how to select a niche for a Dropshipping store.
1. How to choose a right shopping cart for an online store
The shopping cart is the platform where we are going to build our Dropshipping store. During this guide, we will discuss the benefits of different shopping carts available in the market. But, we do not have any affiliation with the brands which we will be talking, and we do not earn anything by promoting or demoting any brand.
There are a few things to consider when you pick a platform to build your online store. The most important thing is to select an easy-to-use platform. As a beginner, you don’t want to spend months to create the store. All you need is to create a quick store and start doing marketing to get some attention to your store. If you choose a sophisticated online store builder and spend months perfecting your store, you might eventually lose the stamina or your enthusiasm for doing this. Then you will drop this business like most others do, and going to lose all the money you spent up to now.
When we talk about the shopping carts, there are two main types to select. The first type is the fully hosted, subscription-based store builders. The other type is the self-hosted store builders.
The first type of store builders is much easy to operate. Most of them have simple drag and drop kind of interfaces to build the store. There you don’t have to worry about where to host and technicalities like integrating payment gateways. Usually, they have one-click methods to integrate all the required features. When you don’t have to worry about them, you can save your time to focus on other important stuff. So, our advice is, as a beginner it would be much easy to use fully hosted online shop builder. Below we have listed down some popular online shopping carts. (Again, no affiliation in any way!)
Out of the solutions mentioned above, we would prefer the Shopify as a beginner friendly solution. The main reason is, now it is very popular, and you can find a lot of support online. Also, there are so many other associated solutions/ tools built around it, which you can freely use. Almost all of these solutions provide a free trial period for you to test the platforms. If you have time, you can try them and see which fits into your taste.
The other type of online shopping cart builder is the self-hosted solutions. If you can handle bit more advanced technical stuff, and if you like some more freedom to play around, the self-hosted shopping carts will fit you. Below we have listed down some popular self-hosted shopping carts. (Again, no affiliation in any way!)
Do It Your self
Sometimes you might be thinking to get paid support from a professional to create your store. If you don’t have time to spare, doing all the research and building a shopping cart, this can be an option for you. But, consider that as a last resort.
The main advantage of creating your store by your self is, when you need a small change here and there, you can easily do it by your self. While running a store, you might have to do a lot of small changes to your site. If you got a paid support creating your web store, then you have to spend a fortune on them doing these changes. Also, one day when your site got good traction and running well, you can even train a team by your self to handle the functions. So, in the long run, it is more beneficial to create the site for you.
But to be honest, we all do not have the same skills when it comes to the aesthetic aspects. So, maybe it would be a good idea to outsource your graphics jobs, like logo creation, to someone who can do it better. So, your site would look professional and trustworthy. But when you outsource for a logo, you don’t need to have a 1000USD logo right now. You can use freelancing services like Fiverr to get a basic logo for under 10USD.
Once you have selected your store builder platform, you can find a lot of forums, videos and instructions about their solutions. So, rather than trying to explain them in here, let’s focus on the thing which they do not offer. Anyone can build an online store with those instructions, but here at Ecommercebuff.com, let’s focus on the concepts of how to create a successful online store.
2. How your e-commerce store should look like
Believe me, most of the e-commerce startups get trapped in here. They spend months and months perfecting their store, paying for the subscription without making a single sale. Do not fall into that trap. It is true that your site should look professional and trustworthy. But, you don’t have to compare that will those well-established sites. They must have their own webmasters, graphic designers to do that. You don’t have to beat it. All you have to do is, start small and grow. In my opinion, making the first Dollar is your top priority. Then you get all the confidence, ideas, and insights to do the rest.
How many products should I list before going public
There is no any hard and fast rule on that. Sure, if you have more products, your site will look like a legitimate store. But, do not waste a lot of time adding more products.
The reason is, to get the first sale you have to advertise on somewhere obviously. And, advertising on social media is the best place to start. When you advertise on social media, you probably advertise some specific product or two. So, people come to your site looking for this particular product. If they like your other product listings, they will go through them. But, if you can see that advertised product on your front page, most of the time you can make a sale right there.
The number of initial products depends on the niche which you have chosen. If you have low-value items, maybe you should list more things. But, if you have high-value items, even less than eight products are good to go.
3. Understanding the SEO
This is a bit technical, but we will try to explain it in simple terms. At this stage, understanding the basic concepts of SEO is essential. SEO is short for the Search Engine Optimization. When you create any site, and if you need to rank it up on the google search, you need to optimise it. In that way, search engines like Google can understand what your site about, and show that to the interested people.
Now you may ask, why do we need to rank it up, can’t we get traffic from advertising? Well, the answer is yes. But, in the long run, if your store starts getting sales through organic traffic (unpaid, traffic through searches), that is going to be more profitable. Otherwise, you have to have ongoing ad campaigns all the time, draining most of your profits.
But right now, with our race to make the first Dollar, we don’t have to go into detail right now. But, there will be a day, where you have to take this seriously. Obviously then you might be able to get support from an SEO expert to do it for you. But, our advice is just to prepare your site with good practices, which can help in later SEO efforts.
All you have to do is follow a few simple things.
- Find the right Keywords
There are so many free keyword planning tools available online. Since you are already familiar with Google Trends, you can even use it to identify the popular keywords (the actual words, people search for) related to your niche. Also, you can use Ubersuggest to do the same for free. It is a very beginner friendly site. Just type in your niche, select the country of your choice and hit search. Then it will give you a whole bunch of data about the actual words people search related to the niche. You can sort them according to the volume, and see the exact words people search in this niche.
- Use the right keywords
Now you have to use the keywords you found in the above step in your content. Pay attention when you add headings, tags and image titles etc. Try to add the related keywords in a meaningful manner. And, do not overdo that. Google really hate your site when you exaggerate that. Always remember, you are making your online dropshipping store for people, not for search engine robots.
- Stick to the template
When you add headers, use the standard header formats given in your templates. Do not use regular paragraph text and custom format. Because your template is developed in such a way that search engine bots can understand the headers. So, they use the information in headers to understand your site.
- Titles and Tags
Do not skip the titles, alternative titles and tags. Name them properly. They can even help the search engine bots to understand your store.
You can use this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide from Google to understand these concepts further.
Is there anything else you would like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!
Next, we have to discuss how to price your products. How much margin you should keep. How to calculate costs. How to beat the competition using the right pricing. Check out our next guide on How to price your dropshipping products.