Editor´s note: This is a guest post by Alexander Sam, a Digital Marketer.

Have you heard about the California Gold Rush of the 19th century? The California Gold Rush began when James.W.Marshall found gold at the Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of the gold finding spread like wildfire and within a short span an estimated 300,000 people flocked to California in search of gold and riches. Well, history is repeating. At least that is what it seems like considering the sudden spike in number of entrepreneurs and retailers who want to create online shopping store. Online selling is the Gold Rush of the 21st Century. And people are flocking not in lakhs but in millions. Global eCommerce market size is estimated to tip over $220 Billion (AdWeek). That’s such a mammoth size in any given industry.

The enterprising individuals who flocked to California to take a pie of the Gold Rush went home as rich and happy men. Do you want to take a share of the 21st century Gold Rush? Would you like to develop online shopping website and take a share of the multi-billion eCommerce industry? If you wish to, here are some things you need to bear in mind before build a online shopping website.

Understand the Market

With massive proliferation of social media, expanded bandwidth, ease of starting business and the oncoming surge of Internet of Everything, a market is too sophisticated to understand than ever before. Do you know who your customers are what they want? Or, are you trying to sell your products/service blindly on the Internet? If it is the latter you are planning on to do, then your store is bound to end up as one among the 9 out of ten startups that fail within the first year.

Every business, including an online needs to have a market strategy. Let’s assume you are planning to launch an online fashion store. Some questions you need to think before getting deep with work are:

  • How will you penetrate make a difference in the already existing market?
  • If you are going to introduce a new fashion label or a whole new trend altogether, how do you plan to leverage the first-mover advantage?
  • Is there someone else in the industry who is already offering something similar to your planned fashion store?
  • How do you plan to deliver goods to customers?

These are some burning questions to answer when it comes to market understanding.

Choice of eCommerce Platform

Making sense of the market is a strategic move from business point of view. But, from a technical standpoint making a wise choice of eCommerce platform is a more impactful choice. The eCommerce platform is the foundation upon which your online store will be built and scaled. It must be robust, scalable, flexible and most importantly, secure. Moreover, more than 80% of online shoppers begin their customer journey from a mobile device. Hence, the platform should be mobile friendly and must be easily integrated with mobile payment gateways.

Some of the available alternatives in the industry include: Magento, WordPress, Drupal, cskart, WooCommerce among many others. Luckily, most of these platforms come with demo versions using which you can find out which one suits you best. Depending on the outcome you can also select the right package of the platform to build your store upon.

Set up the Multi-vendor Environ

A multi-vendor eCommerce store is different from an ordinary online store because it has many sellers from diverse backgrounds selling their products on the store. Most often, the online store dons the hat of an aggregator who acts as an intermediary between the buyer and the seller.

To onboard sellers on to your online store you first need to invite them. Bring them onboard and help them setup their shop to list products in your online store. For instance, you can bring in sellers who sell different kinds of fashion clothing like wedding, ethnic, casual, handmade, etc. to put up a virtual store in your marketplace website. This would help you portray your website as a big one with a vast collection of wares.

You would also have to work out product categorization, listing management, order management, inventory management, payment integrations among many other features. As for the remuneration part, you have to decide and agree upon on how much commission you would get from the sellers for each completed sale through online store.

Carve Out a Unique Brand Identity

American author, marketer, entrepreneur Seth Godin nails the fact about branding in business. Even for an eCommerce store a brand identity is as important as its sales volumes. In fact, the sales volumes could actually be triggered by the brand value.

A brand identity creates a unique appeal to customer that can actually convince them to buy from your store. However, carving out that brand identity is not a walk in the park. You have to customize your online store design, its UI, the shopping experience, product layout and much more to make the shopping experience stand apart from the usual crowd of online stores.

Wrapping it up

If you have been wondering how to create an online store pick an eCommerce development firm that can build an online store on several platforms including Magento, WooCommerce, Drupal and endless other platforms. Also, you might want to ask them more about:

  • Domain
  • Web hosting
  • UI/UX design
  • eCommerce customization
  • Development
  • Maintenance
  • Tech support

All these points ensure that your store gets built to last and to withstand competition.

Author´s Bio: This is a guest post by Alexander Sam, a Digital Marketer.

Guest Blogger

This is a guest post written by one of our contributors.