How to Start an Online Store - Part 4: Launch
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Well hey there, and welcome to the grand finale in this series, part four of “How to start an online store”.
If this is the first article of the series you’ve landed on, then I highly recommend starting at the first part in the series How to Start an Online Store - Part 1: Define
I wouldn’t want you to miss out on all the valuable information that I shared in part one, two and three.
In part one we went through defining your brand. Part two we discussed how to create and/or source the products for your online store and in part three we went through how to develop your online store to make it your own.
Now in this final part of the 4-part framework, we get to launch your online store, ready to start making sales.
Part 4: Launch
Step 1: Select Your Pais Plan & Launch Your Online Store
To launch your online store and start selling to your dream customers, you’ll need to select a Shopify plan.
The great thing about Shopify is that you can start for as little as US$29.00 per month, and with your 14-day free trial, and based on the fact that Shopify won't send your first monthly bill until you’ve reached 30 days.
So technically you can open and launch your online store and make your first sale without ever having paid a cent to Shopify. How cool is that?
If you’re looking for more information about what paid plans are available through Shopify, check out this link for more information.
Step 2: Run a Test Order Through Your Online Store
At this stage you’ve customised your online store, you’ve updated your settings and preferences. You’ve also uploaded your products and you’re finally ready to sell… but you’re not sure if you’re checkout and payment systems are working correctly.
This is where you’ll want to run a test order to make sure that your store is running smoothly.
Shopify posted a great article on how to run a test order using their bogus payment system which could come in hand when testing out your online store.
Step 3: Driving Traffic to Your Online Store
So you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that you need people to be visiting your store in order to create your first online sales.
Shopify quotes that on average, the conversion rate is between 0.5% and 3% - which means you should get a sale every 40 or 150 visits.
So the goal is to get as many visitors to your online store as possible.
Back when you first had the idea of opening up your online store, there’s a high chance that you already had a few people in mind that would be either interested in purchasing your products or excited about your new business idea.
Why not let them know that you’ve opened up your online store? Shoot them a quick email asking if they could share it with their contacts or share it on their Facebook profile to get the word out.
Promoting your online store to family and friends is a great way to gain momentum and will give you a little confidence boost too.
Additionally, now that you have your social media accounts set-up, it’s time to start using these to help promote your business, brand and products. You can find plenty of great resources online to help you use your social media accounts to promote your business through both organic and paid reach.
Here's the overview:
The steps that we covered in part 3: develop:
Create an account with Shopify
Choose and upload your theme
Customize the theme to match your brand
Set up your store’s preferences and settings
Set up your product listings with enticing descriptions & images
And there we have it, the very last part of this four-part series, 'How to Start an Online Store'.
I hope you found this series helpful and it’s given you the information and confidence to start your own online store.
If you’ve dreamed about starting your own online store, then be sure to check out my FREE mini-starter course, Build Your Online Store. Within the course you’ll find a three-part module course 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.
Okay, so before I sign off and wish you well, I just wanted to finish off with one last piece of encouragement...
There really has never been a better time to start a business online. With the products, software, information and tools available today, you’ve got everything at your fingertips to build and grow a successful online business.
The only thing you need is determination and a desire to start.
So my question to you is…
...are you ready to start building your dream online store?
I would love to know if you found this series helpful so feel free to leave a comment below.