Build an online store on Wotabot - our new AI-powered platform. Simply talk to David - our AI - and start building your online store. He will help you set up a profile and put up products. Once your store is set up, David will interact with your customers for you. He is up 24/7 and can help you collect valuable feedback from your customers on your products, your pricing strategy and on your brand. Click the button below and start talking to our super cool AI!:Build An Online Store On Wotabot >
Our ecommerce store builder platform is completely mobile-friendly and your online store is automatically optimized for smartphones and mobile devices. Your store editor is also mobile-friendly. Build your online store on the go - upload product images, change prices and manage orders from any mobile device.
There's a few things you need before building your online store. First you need to think of your store name and make sure no one else in your industry is already using it.
You will need some products to sell and some nice product images - we have a tutorial on generating your own product images at the end of this page. Remember, on your online store your customers cannot touch or feel your products so make sure your images and your product text tell an accurate story. Ecommerce is all about images and text so make sure you do a good job in this department.
Here's a step-by-step guide to building your first online store, from market research through to digital marketing:
> How To Create An Online Store | A Step-By-Step Guide
Product pricing can be one of the trickiest parts of ecommerce, especially when you are not there face-to-face in front of your customer to convince them verbally that the price is exactly right. Price yourself too low and they may think you're not offering enough value. Price yourself too high and your customer might go away to a competitor's store. If you are going to be pricing yourself above the market, you better have justification for it.
Better than getting on the phone with 20 customers, do it just once on your online store - have a lengthy explanation on your product page detailing what all your product includes; have client testimonials and press releases that vouch for your product; if possible, offer a smaller product component (or a cheaper product version) at a 'starting from...' price and then offer other components at add-on prices.
There's many ways to price your products. If you are into selling a popular smart phone brand you could do so at MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). Or else you could go in for a fixed markup of 50%-100% over your cost price. If you are manufacturing your own product you have to factor in all your production costs - sourcing raw materials, machine-time if any, labor costs - and your operating costs (marketing, utility bills, business travel, even platform costs such as operating a webstore on Blipteam). You will then have to come up with a profit margin and add that to your basic unit cost.
You also need to factor in incidental costs such as machine breakdowns or spoilage and also keep some money aside that you can plough back into the business. In the beginning you will be tempted to come in at a lower price than the competition. In doing so you run the risk of being labelled as a 'cheap' store and customers will wonder where you are compromising on your value.
Offer more value for the same cost instead. Try to make a difference with shipping. Your brand and the way you set yourself apart from the competition in terms of storefront design and website content also makes a difference.
There's more ways to price your products. You could offer a discount on products that have been difficult to move or products that you need to sell out fast. Customers who come in this way have the chance to view the rest of your stock that is priced normally. You might even want to experiment with product bundles - club together two or more products and knock off a percentage from the total - your customer gets a discount and you end up selling more to the same buyer.
Yet another sales tactic is to place an expensive product next to a cheaper, but similar product. It is human tendency to reach out for the cheaper product with the perception that it is offering value at a much better cost.
So a customer lands up on your webstore, finds a nice product that he or she likes - the price is right and the color is exactly what they were looking for. Everything looks great until they get to the shipping bit and figure out it will cost an arm-and-a-leg to ship it to wherever they need it. Shipping costs can really eat away at your bottom line if you don't pay enough attention to them. On the other hand, shipping can also be a weapon in your pricing arsenal if factored in the right way. You will need to work on a shipping plan before you start putting up items on your webstore.
Of course, a lot of it will already be determined by your market. Do you have customers nationally or all over the world? Do you have more customers in one particular country or region than others? Figure out the best shipping partner for these regions. Figure out if they have standard package sizes. Figure out what kind of deals they offer for same day, next day and regular shipping. Once you've got a clearer picture of shipping rates and how to best fit your products into your shipping partner's schedules and deals you will need to come up with a shipping strategy for your webstore.
There's a number of tactics you can apply. No one likes to get a shocker on the shipping price after they've already made up their minds about purchasing a product. You can then offer free shipping for national deliveries by either adding the shipping cost to your product cost or by taking a hit on your profit.
Adding shipping to your product cost may look scary when you're adding $5 shipping to a cheap $10 item and selling it at $15 - you'll need to see what your competition is doing in this scenario. Adding shipping to product cost works out better when you're adding a cheap shipping rate to an expensive item - no one's going to notice the slight price difference then.
In the end, your product shipping could end up being as complex as the rest of your product offering - you need to work out the best rates for volume, weight, time and region and then offer these to your customers just like any other product. Or you could be lucky enough to work out a flat shipping cost across your entire product range that works well for your business and does not scare the living daylights out of your customers.
Packaging is another part of shipping that you might want to look into. You may not have a trendy boutique in a nice part of town but you can convey that feeling with your product packaging. Have nicely printed labels and graphics on your boxes. Opening one of your boxes should give your customers the feeling that they got more than they paid for.
People tend to notice such things and this is one more way of building your brand and making sure your customers (and their friends who saw your boxes lying around on the kitchen table) remember you later. On the whole, working out competitive shipping and packaging costs is really essential while you figure out how to build your own online store.
Building an online store can often go beyond simply selling a few products online. It helps to build a strong brand and create a level of trust and awareness about your business online. Changing design on Blipteam is as simple as clicking a button. We have set up our design engine so that you cannot mess it up. Good design inspires confidence and makes the entire online shopping experience a smooth one. Read more >
Web design is, however, only a part of your online brand. The voice and tone of your product messaging is as important, if not more. We also give you several 'Info' pages, where you can talk more about your business and provide background information about your products and services. It is important to build a relationship with your customers and giving additional information about yourself, your products and the way you do business goes a long way to establish this kind of a rapport. Read more >
It is also important that you get good quality product images - you may have to try several times to get the right fit. Any good designer will discard several product images before they settle on a good image - you might end up doing the same. The good news is that uploading images on Blipteam is totally easy and the availability of cheap electronics nowadays means that you can produce pictures better and faster than ever before, all by yourself. Read more >
Creating an online store, building product pages and uploading pictures is the easy part of the exercise. You will also need to figure out how to get customers to your web store. Ideally you should begin this process even before you start building your webstore. Identify your market, narrow down on a niche segment, figure out how to reach out to them or even better, figure out what they want before you try to sell them something they do not need.
It is good to have the big picture in mind but more likely than not you will end up starting with a smaller segment of the market in the beginning. This allows you to focus on product development and marketing and if you have narrowed down a geographical area, helps you to optimize your shipping costs and offer your customers the best rates out there.
You could be selling cushion covers, or custom motor parts, or racing exhausts, or children's wear, or handmade jewellery, or bed linen. It helps to have a picture of your customers in mind. Then you can start working on some sort of a marketing plan.
Search Engine Optimization operates in broad strokes and you may start getting orders from halfway around the world - all very fine but if you have not figured out basics like shipping, that sort of business opportunity might not exactly work out in the short term. Try and get backlinks from other websites of repute - these will add positively toward your page ranking. Read more >
Provide decent amounts of text within your product descriptions - this kind of text gets picked up by search engines. Moreover, a well-written description inspires more buying confidence once a potential buyer has landed up on your product page. Our SEO setup also provides you fields for adding HTML page titles and page descriptions - these may not be visible immediately onscreen, but they tell search engines what your web store is all about.
Make lists of titles that you think might be effective and use one of them for your product page. Take a look at Google's Keyword Planner to see what keywords people are searching for - you may have to create an Adwords account for this but there are free keyword planners available too.
You may also need to set aside some budget for marketing - buying Adwords or ads on other social media. Look into industry publications - print journals and websites that operate in your niche - look at buying advertising space or strike some sort of a deal. Maybe you have a product (or a way of doing business) that deserves special mention. Maybe your jewelry is handmade by some exotic tribe in Patagonia. Or maybe your custom racing exhausts just won the Indianapolis 500.
Look into starting a blog - this can be a very time consuming affair and wont help much if you are fighting to get eyeballs within a crowded segment - you'll just get out-written (or out-blogged) by 20,000 other people. Instead, again, focus on a niche area or a niche topic within which you can be sure of making a dent of sorts with your online store.