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How to Easily Set Up Your Own Online Store

BTH webmaster message: Nowadays, it's so easy to setup your own online store. There are many sites that will have a store setup for you with a few clicks. But I would warn you that many many other people are doing the same thing, and this leads to unbelievable competition. So the hard part is not setting up an online store, it's marketing your store. I would advise, before you setup an online store, to do some learning in Web Marketing.

As the internet becomes a more and more integral part of our daily lives, the eCommerce sector is growing exponentially. Whether you already have a business that you want to take online, or you're looking to start up a new company, your store front will be one of the most important aspects of your business. Setting up a store might seem daunting at first, but if you follow the easy steps outlined in this article, your company will be online in no time.

Start with deciding what you're selling. You should consider narrowing your scope to capture a niche market, however, not so narrow that it's hard to find customers. For example, if you are thinking of selling books, selling vintage books might be a better option. On the other hand, only selling 17th century Mongolian ghost stories probably won't take you very far. If you are serious about your online store, you will probably spend a lot of time constructing and tweaking your website and especially marketing it, so choose something you have some interest in.

Next you need to decide what kind of store you need. There are a ton of options out there, so before you choose you should sit down and decide exactly what features you do and do not want in an online store. There are 3 main types of sites you can choose from, which are explained below:

A. If you're looking for something more low maintenance and don't want to deal with the hassle of supplying and shipping your own inventory there are numerous large websites that will let you set up a more specialized store selling their products for a commission.

B. If you want to supply your own inventory and you're willing to pay a monthly fee there are multiple options. Most have a ton of features and start at about $40 a month plus a set up fee of $50 and sometimes even transaction fees at around 1.5-3 percent. If you are going to pay a monthly fee, make sure to do a lot of research first.

Make sure the site is easy to use and organize, because if you decide you want to switch sites later, you'll have wasted that money. Also, when choosing a site with a transaction fee, consider your profit margins, as they are based of total price of the item, not your net profit.

C. If you want to supply your own inventory and don't want to pay a monthly fee, or you want to get your feet wet before committing so a monthly program, you should look for a site that is 100 percent free (no monthly fees, transactions fees or hidden charges), and has an upgrade option. This way, you can get your store up and running, earn some profits, and get used to the site before deciding if you want to pay for extra features.

It's win-win because if you decide you never want to pay for it, you don't have to, and if you decide you need the extra features you don't have to go through the giant headache of moving stores. If you do the legwork, you can find a free hosting service in which the standard store is already feature rich and very user friendly, thus providing a great entryway into eCommerce.

Once you have chosen your hosting service, you need to set up your store. This is where the work comes in. You'll need to get all of your details together and sit down and fill out all of the necessary information. All of the above mentioned sites are easy to use and don't require much tech savvy.

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