How to Start an Online Store - Part 2: Create
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Welcome to part 2 of this four-part blog/video series on How to Start an Online store.
If this is the first post you’ve landed on, then I highly recommend you head back to last weeks post: How to Start an Online Store - Part 1: Define and check that out first.
Part one introduces this blog/video series and provides you with some really helpful information to help you define your brand and create a solid foundation towards building your online store.
But as a recap, in part one we went through the following steps:
Define your customer avatar
Choose your niche product
Decide on your business name
Create your mood board and basic branding
Set-up your custom domain
Set-up your social media accounts
In part two of the series, we’ll be going through how to create and/or source the perfect products for your online store.
Part 1: Create
Step 1: Create or Source Your Products
If you’re a creative entrepreneur, I'm guessing product ideas come at you like seagulls to a french fry! You might have a long list of products you’re dreaming to create and sell in your online store.
Or if you’re planning on sourcing your products you might be tempted to try a whole range of different products in the hopes of selling something.
But before you create or add a single product to your store, you want to reference back to your ideal customer avatar. You have to ask yourself the question: will he/she have a need or even want to buy this product?
You always want to have your ideal customer in mind to ensure you’re not creating or stocking products that will never sell.
So remember our ideal customer example, the one we used in part one. A young female “gym-goer” who is looking to buy a healthy, vegan-based treat. If we were to come up with a product to fit her needs, it would look something like healthy “plant-based, coconut & chocolate flavoured protein balls”. It’s a niche product for a niche market.
So if you're trying to choose the best product for this customer avatar, you wouldn’t want to also try to sell her homewares like fancy cushions, comfy throws or inspirational mugs.
It’s been proven time and time again that creating a more niche product and brand always outperforms a general online store that lacks clarity or focus on a particular niche.
It may seem ridiculous when I mention it here, but it’s easy to think that you need to stock #allthethings. And as a beginner, stocking fewer products in your online store can also reduce the overwhelm that can come with managing lots of different products.
Step 2: Create Mock-ups and Product Photos/Images.
Now that you have created or sourced the perfect product for your customer, it’s now time to start taking some product photos to add to your online store.
If you’re sourcing your products, wherever possible try to take your own product photos rather than posting photos from your suppliers or wholesalers. For starters, in some cases, the images may be low quality or may have already been used on other online stores within your market.
So if you're going to take your own product images, here are a few of my top tips for setting up the shoot & taking the photos:
Shoot your photos in natural light where possible. Turn off any artificial lighting and try to take your photos in front of a window or open door.
Create your own lightbox with stuff you can buy from the craft store. For a few dollars, you can buy some white foam board or white card to create a "lightbox" to hold your products.
If possible use a tripod to stabilise your camera. If you don't have a tripod, try placing the camera/smartphone onto a pile of books or box to keep the camera steady and prevent blurry pictures.
Add interest to your product photos by adding props or objects. This helps give the image perspective and also can help people visualise how big/small the product is in comparison to other objects.
Take multiple shots from different angles. You can never have too many options.
Take between 5-10 photos of your product in different settings, this way your customer can get a better understanding of the actual physical product.
I find lifestyle photos work best for an online store, as it helps your potential customer visualise how the product could fit into their own life.
When you've taken all your photos and are happy with the ones you have, I suggest using free editing tools, software or mobile apps to help make your products images "pop" and look professional.
Here's the overview:
Alrighty, so there we have it, the second part of this four-part series: how to create/source the perfect products and how to create your product mock-ups and images for your online store.
If you've always dreamt about starting your own online store, then be sure to check out the FREE starter course, Build Your Online Store.
Inside the course, you’ll find a three-part module curriculum with easy to follow, step-by-step videos that will show you how to sign-up with a free account with Shopify, choose, upload and customise a free Shopify theme and set up your online store, ready for you to upload your products and start selling your amazing products.