How To Start An Online Store

Today, anyone who has an internet connection and a computer can start their own online store within no time. It’s all because of many modern tools, techniques, and website builders that help us in setting up our online store.

But still, you need to learn how to start an online store. How to manage it, how to run it, and which online business ideas are more profitable. Because it really matters to set up an attractive website, sell a product that’s in demand, have marketing strategies, and much more.

How To Start An Online Store

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to start an online store quickly from the scratch.

1. Decide on your niche and products

The first step in starting an online store is to decide and pick your niche. Usually, it is defined as a specific or specialized section of a larger market. In this section, decide on;

  • What you are going to sell?
  • Who are you going to sell this to?
  • Why would they be willing to buy it?

Focusing on one particular niche is better than going for many niches because it is usually difficult for entrepreneurs to find a niche of interest and that is profitable as well.

It is always better to start an online store in the area of your expertise, skills, knowledge, and passion. It is hard to deal in those fields in which you don’t know anything about them.

It’s not an easy task to start an online store as you will have to answer many questions about;

  • Your products
  • its pricing
  • its logistics
  • many other

You can follow the following ideas as well;

  • Make necessary changes in already existing products
  • Look for totally untapped demand and market
  • Follow the ongoing trends

But with these points, you will also need to prepare data on your products;

  • Sales figures?
  • How will you manufacture them?
  • Are they easy to ship to customers?
  • How will you ship them to the customers?
  • Are there any rules, regulations, and laws you must be aware of?
  • If there will be any repeat customer visits or purchases?
  • How much effort is needed for any customer support?

2. Determine your target audience

The second thing you must consider while starting an online store is who you’ll be selling your products to. As much closer you are to your target audience in fulfilling their demands. There will be greater chances of your product and business success.

Your target audience has the same importance as your niche. The target audience is the group of people to which you are focused with your marketing efforts. Make sure that your product offerings are liked and interest them and they are ready to pay for it.

Knowing your target audience is very important in an online store. Your product will help you identify your target audience. If you have your product then it will become easier for you to identify your target audience.

Online stores are very beneficial. As for them, it is easier to find customers, attract them to online stores, and convert them into buying customers.

Create a buyer persona and add that information to your business plan. A buyer persona is basically a profile of your customer which covers their age, gender, family size, job title, and lifestyle. This profile will help you in shaping your product and marketing strategy.

Ask for feedback, reviews, and opinions about your product from your target audience.

Read more: How To Write A Business Plan

3. Select a business name and get a domain

Once you know what you are going to sell and to whom, the next step is select a business name. Create brand elements like logo, color, typography, and much more, and get a domain according to your business name.

Coming up with a business name for your online store requires your time and it’s a whole process to do.

A good business name should be;

  • aligned with your brand,
  • memorable,
  • simple,
  • clear,
  • unique,
  • catchy,
  • easy to pronounce, and
  • available

Make sure that your domain name matches your chosen business name. Make sure that you choose a business name that is available in the .com domain. .com is the most important and popular domain name extension all over the World.

You can search for a domain name on Godaddy and other domain name registrars.

There are some ideas on how to name a business for your new business. Make sure your business name is;

  • Original
  • User-friendly
  • Futuristic
  • Brainstorm
  • Keep branding in your mind
  • Check whether its available or not
  • Test your business name and logo
  • Make sure you like it

4. Choose a business structure and register it

Now when you are done with deciding your niche, products, business name, and got domain. Now it is time to legalize your business before launching it properly. Legalizing your business entity saves your personal assets in case of any loss or damage.

Make sure that your business is legal and recognized by the government. Choosing a business structure will affect your taxes, personal protections, business funding, and much more.

Mainly there are four types of legal business structures available;

Sole Proprietorship

It means that you will be the sole owner of your business. You will be responsible for all the profits, losses, and debts while running a business. 

If you want to run your business single-handedly, then sole proprietorship is the best legal business structure for you.


It means that you will be having one or more partners in business. All the partners in the business will be responsible for holding liabilities.

Limited Liability Company

It means that owners of the business can limit their personal liabilities but still tax and other benefits will be included in it.


Corporation business allows corporations to take ownership of property, pay taxes, and have contract deals. A corporation legally separates itself from its owners.

To process your payments, you are required to have an EIN (Employee Identification Number). In order to get EIN, you are required to register your business in your state. You can register your business as a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or corporation.

5. Choose an E-commerce platform

Now it’s time to choose your e-commerce platform where you will build and manage your online store. An e-commerce platform will help you build your own online store, manage products, make sales, and fulfill customer orders.

An e-commerce platform is the control center of your online store. Controlling each and every action from inventory management to marketing, selling online to customer support, and more.

There are various e-commerce platforms, each with its own features like affordability, user-friendly, scalability, security, SEO, and other capabilities.

So, choose wisely the right and reliable one to host your website keeping in mind your current and future needs. There are various e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Squarespace, and WIX.

6. Build and design your e-commerce website

After deciding on your e-commerce platform, the next step is to log in to that e-commerce platform and start building your online store. Here you can show your creativity and have fun.

The store should be well-managed, branded, and convert visitors into buyers. But, your store should be user-friendly, so that customer can find their desired product and buy it.  

The following steps will vary depending on your chosen e-commerce platform;

  • Go to your chosen e-commerce platform
  • Create an account on your chosen e-commerce platform
  • Select the domain name
  • Choose a professional business theme or template for your online store
  • Add up your business name, logo, and other brand elements of your business
  • Customize web pages, including your home page, product pages, and others
  • Create a product page, add products and product listings
  • Set up payment method and gateway
  • Setup settings for shipments and taxes

7. Set up payment method and gateway

We are in the final steps of launching our online store. Now in this step how you will get paid as an online store. It’s always good that you allow multiple payment methods on your online store.

Online stores offer many solutions in this regard, like credit/debit cards, digital wallets, bank transfers, NFTs, and more.

You are also required to choose a payment gateway that ensures the safety, security, and successful transfer of payments. The payment gateway will verify your business bank account before providing you with payments to take home.

8. Launch your online store

After placing all the pieces of the puzzle, now it is time to launch your online store. Even though you may not feel confident, yes it is time to launch and start learning from your mistakes. You will learn many things from feedback and reviews.

After launching your store, drive traffic toward your online store. You can take feedback and reviews from the customers, and optimize your online store for better performance and customer satisfaction.

Once your online store is running, make sure that it is optimized for search engines. It will help your customers in finding your store online and in search engines. This will help you in getting traffic, increase visibility, and generate more sales and revenues. 

9. Market your online store

Marketing and branding of your online store are an integral part of your online store’s success. Branding includes many things from brand elements like logo, name, tagline, color, tone, and many others.

Your brand elements should align with your business type. Like creating a logo that aligns with your business name, not a mismatch between each of them.

Building a business with a strong SEO base is very important for the long-term strategy of your online store. You will see great results if your online store is search optimized.

Try to maximize your traffic, conversion rate, and retention rate.

There are some organic marketing tools like Email marketing, social media marketing, loyalty programs, and SEO. There are some paid marketing tools as well, like Facebook, Instagram, and Google shopping ads.

You can also promote your online store through other various methods like;

  • By adding your online store to online directories
  • Loyalty programs
  • Referrals
  • Joining affiliate marketing programs
  • Word-of-mouth marketing
  • Press releases
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Social media marketing

More and more marketing of your online store will generate more and more traffic.

The Bottom Line

The article on how to start an online store concludes here, but it is a fresh starting point for you. You can start your online store within a few days and start selling. But you need to have a strong business idea and business plan.

You can sell almost anything through online stores these days. You can easily create your own online store without any help from others by following the steps mentioned above. It has a low cost to set up your own business within no time.

How To Start An Online Store FAQ

1. How can I create my online store?

Step-by-step guide on how to start an online store quickly from the scratch.

  • Decide on your niche and products
  • Determine your target audience
  • Select a business name and get a domain
  • Choose a business structure and register it
  • Choose an E-commerce platform
  • Build and design your e-commerce website
  • Set up payment method and gateway
  • Launch your online store
  • Market your online store

2. What are the costs of an online store?

The cost of an online store depends upon the e-commerce platform you select and the features you select from that platform. Different platforms have different plans, some charge on a monthly basis while other charges on yearly basis.

3. What are the 7 steps to opening an online store?

Become an online store owner by following these steps;

  • Decide on your niche and products
  • Determine your target audience
  • Select a business name and get a domain
  • Choose a business structure and register it
  • Choose an E-commerce platform
  • Build and design your e-commerce website
  • Set up payment method and gateway
  • Launch your online store
  • Market your online store

4. Are online stores profitable?

Yes, online stores are profitable nowadays. More than half the users choose to buy products online.