How to Set Up an Online Store in 6 Easy Steps

Amber • How to Set Up Your Store

Mar 26,2020 19 min read

Are you ready to start your own online eCommerce business? Does the idea of getting it off the ground intimidate you? When the words how to set up an online store come to mind does it make you nervous and rattle your brain? You're not alone. I'm here to tell you that there is no reason for your fear. In this article you will learn how setting up an online store can be accomplished in 6 easy steps.


1. Get a domain name

The first step to cross off your list during your how to set up online store adventure is to get a domain name. Your domain name is very important. Some web hosting providers will give you the first year of your domain name for free. It then has to be renewed annually for a fee typically in the neighborhood of $15.00.

You want to make sure the name you choose represents your business well. It should be easy for people to remember and be related to the type of products you will be selling. Avoid getting a domain name with unusual or incorrect spelling because if customers are looking for your domain and it doesn't show up in their search due to incorrect spelling, they'll give up and look for something else.

Use keywords for your domain name so that customers and Google know what the website is about. Additionally, refrain from making your URL long because people won't remember it and it's bad for search rankings. The folks at Google regard long domain names as websites that aren't serious.


2. Choose between dropshipping or owning your own stock

After getting an appropriate domain name of the online store, a lot of people tend to have trouble in selecting products and holding inventory due to limited money or experience. In this case, dropshipping may help to settle the problems and make the online business much easier at the very beginning.  

Dropshipping is a business model that you can adopt to run your store without ever holding any inventory. Take GoTen dorpshipping, a professional cross-border E-commerce dropshipping platform, as an example. With GoTen, you need to do nothing but to select products and add them to your online store for sale. Once you’ve made a sale, GoTen will ship your products from their overseas warehouse, straight to your customer’s doorstep. You’ll never need to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping your products. With dropshipping, in other words, anyone can get into an online business! 

Also, for those who’re tired of managing the warehouse and inventory on their own, which costs a lot of time and money, dropshipping is there to help them out. No matter you’re a less experienced newbie on starting up an online store, or someone who aims to spend more time on driving traffic and instead of managing the complex inventory issue, dropshipping seems to be a comparatively ideal business model to choose. 


3. SEO and keyword research

For those that don't know, SEO stands for search engine optimization. Although it may sound complex, it's just that you want to rank as high as possible on Google. Ideally, you would like your product to rank No. 1 on Google. That is more difficult to do in some cases depending on how much competition a keyword has. SEO is extremely important for you to set up an eCommerce store online so it will garner organic traffic.

There are two different types of SEO. They are on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is everything you do on your website that makes Google's job of reading it easier. Off-page SEO is when you are trying to link people to your website from other locations. What generally takes place here is a popularity contest, and the more times people are linked to your website, the higher ranking it will have.

The on-page type of SEO is based mostly on keywords. If you are selling tank-tops, then you want to make sure your keyword "tank-tops" is in your product description and inserted in as many places as possible. Your keyword should be in both your meta-title and meta-description so it appears in the search results.

Another part of on-page SEO to pay attention to when setting up an online store is image SEO. You want to place your keyword in the alt text and the final name of the image. This is the easiest thing to do and most people overlook it. You can get lots of organic traffic to your store this way by having images on your site ranked highly on Google.


4. Set up your store

This step may be the most terrifying of all, but in all reality, it's probably the easiest part. All you have to do is to choose a product that's ready to go and add it to your store. However, that would be far inadequate to build up an attractive and popular online store. More efforts are needed. 

Using the dashboard of your computer content management system (WordPress for example), you should add a product page for whatever it is you added to your store. You also need to add a home page and it's navigation. The most popular form of navigation is a drop-down menu. Your products need to be as easy to find as possible, so install a highly visible search bar to your home page. Don't make your customers jump through too many hoops just to get to check out.


5. Drive traffic

Everything is almost ready for an online store by following the 4 steps mentioned above. Now, you can shift your focus on getting customers to your store, which plays a vital role in running an online store. 

There are an extraordinary amount of methods you can drive traffic to your online store. The first of two ways is through free traffic. To proactively drive free traffic, you can post links to your product pages and home page on social media, install social media buttons on your website or search Quora for questions about the product and answer them with links to your product pages.

Another form of free traffic is through email marketing. Set yourself up an email autoresponder that asks visitors to subscribe when they visit your site. Periodically send them promotional offers and newsletters about what's going on with your eCommerce store. Include links in the emails to drive them to your website.

The more profitable way for an eCommerce store is through paid traffic. Most social media platforms sell paid ads these days. This can be a great way to send customers to your products in droves. You could also consider Google ads that will even give you $25.00 of free advertising with them if you spend $100.00. This method could allow your business to grow exponentially if done correctly, so consider hiring a digital marketing agency.


6. How to set up an online store with PayPal

From your account dashboard click the store app to open the store manager and then click the settings tab. Under store, settings will be your payment options. Scroll down and check the box next to PayPal and enter the PayPal email address associated with your account. Click update and you have successfully added PayPal to your store as a payment method.



Now that wasn't so hard, was it? If you have an idea for an online eCommerce store that you know will be profitable, don't be tentative. You now are prepared with everything necessary to set up an eCommerce store online. Pick a line of great products, follow all of these steps, and it will be a raging success.



Information from Travis Marziani's YouTube channel was used in this article.

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