Whether you are looking to move your existing business online – partially or entirely – or to set up a new business, an online shop can be a great asset.

Having an online shop will help you to reach a wider customer base and give customers more options, so let’s take a look at how you create one.

1. Decide what to sell

If you are moving an existing business online, you will already know what you want to sell; therefore, moving from a physical store to an online one shouldn’t be complex.

If you are setting up a new business from scratch, you will need to identify the space/niche your business is going to operate in and decide on specific products/services to offer.

2. Decide how to create your online shop

There are three main options here: you could build it yourself using a website builder, you could build it yourself using dedicated software for e-commerce, or you could ask someone else to build it for you. All options have their pros and cons.

3. Purchase a domain

Whichever option you go for in terms of building your online shop, you will need a domain name for your new site. A good domain name should be simple, relevant and unique. Over 50 per cent of domain names end in .com; however, you can use country-specific, industry/sector-specific or product-specific TLDs.

Companies such as names.co.uk offer a wide range of web-related services.

4. Collate relevant product/service information and content

Once you know what you want to sell online, you will need to collate the relevant information and images. These will make up the core of your site and should include descriptions, logos and photos. It is also a great idea to include customer testimonials.

5. Create your shop

By this point, you should have the software and content for your online shop, so it is time to build and populate it. Make sure that you check every aspect thoroughly before you go live, as you don’t want anything to damage your customers’ experience.

6. Shout about it!

Once your online shop is live, you need customers to know about it! There are hundreds of ways to market your website, including using SEO, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, email marketing, traditional advertising (newspapers, radio, TV) and, of course, word of mouth.

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