Can an online store be your main source of income?

Can an online store be your main source of income

 6 min read

According to available statistics, the vast majority of online stores are only an additional source of income for their owners. These people devote their time after working hours to launch their stores and then slowly build their reputation in the online world. 

What should you do to create an online store that is your main source of income, brings you profits and has a stable position in the market?

What elements play the key role when developing your store or taking your first steps and what should you pay attention to later on?

The answers to these questions are waiting for you in today’s entry.

1. Store development:

First of all: think about products you want to sell and consider the following questions:

  • Is there demand for the products I want to sell?
  • Do I have knowledge about the products I want to sell?
  • Is it possible to cross-sell (sell complementary products or services)?
  • How much work and money is needed for marketing activities?
  • How strong is the competition on the market?
  • What do others think about my idea?
  • When should I expect the results?

Perhaps our guide titled “Dropshipping – product selection” will help you make the right choice.

Second of all: define your target group:

To select your target audience, take into account various criteria such as:

  • geographical: where they live, where they work, where they shop.
  • psychological/cultural: interests, lifestyle, shopping preferences, worldviews, needs.
  • financial: income, financial burdens.
  • socio-demographic: occupation, gender, income, possessions, marital status, age.

Check out our entry “An offer that suits everyone is worthless” to make an informed decision.

Take appropriate store development actions: choose a store platform, think about the design and content. The entire store development process should be planned with future customers and their needs in mind. Think about elements like useful information or user experience.

But that’s not everything – your comfort as a person managing the store is also crucial.

Plan your expenses.

The cost of setting up a store depends on many factors, including:

  • the system/platform you use to develop the store,
  • the legal form, meaning whether you’ll decide to set up a company or whether you’ll run the so-called non-registered business,
  • your store management, meaning whether you’ll automate the store development process or whether you’ll upload products manually,

And many, many more. 

For detailed tips, visit our website with articles: “What is the cost of starting an online store?” and “Non-registered business activity vs. dropshipping. Things you need to know“.

Before you take any action, think about the abovementioned elements carefully and professionally. Focus on your target group and products. If you’re just taking your first steps, get advice on various forums and groups of experienced online store owners who have a stable position in the market.

You can also benefit from services of a professional marketing company (check their reviews beforehand).

2. Operation of the store once it’s developed:

Starting appropriate marketing/promotional activities is one of the most important steps you need to take after developing your online store. 

For this purpose, you may take advantage of a variety of channels such as: the broadly understood SEO, Google Ads, social media advertising, company blog, influencer marketing and many, many more.

Below you can find the most important pieces of information that will definitely come in handy while promoting your ecommerce business:

a) SEO – it’s one of the most important processes you should invest in. SEO aims to improve your website’s visibility in the organic (free) search results.

Increasing your positions in Google will have a positive impact on the number of your page visitors, brand recognition or the revenue from the sale of services or products. Without SEO, you’ll find it hard to stay in the business for longer.

To succeed and rank high in the organic Google search results, you need to pay attention to three extremely important elements:

  • On-site optimization, i.e. adjusting your website to Google’s guidelines.
  • Link building (investing in backlinks from other pages),
  • Content (unique page content)

b) Google Ads campaigns that promote your store, brand or products. You pay for the number of times users click on your link or are redirected to your store. Keywords you use to advertise your store and products need to be properly planned.

Your ads should target a specific group. Don’t try to reach all possible users but instead think about potential buyers that may be interested in your offer.

c) Social media – analyze which social media channels will be suitable for promoting your product range. You can successfully advertise a particular product, group of products or focus on promoting your brand.  

Perhaps it’s worth organizing some contests and finding other ways that will also engage users?

Set up a Facebook group – such groups are usually chosen by users who are passionate about a given subject and want to share their knowledge or experiences with assortment, shipping or other ecommerce aspects.

d) Blog – invest in quality articles. They should be comprehensive and related to the ecommerce sector and products you offer in your store.

Remember about relevant keywords that will help users find your store in Google. Algorithms love unique, comprehensive content.

To sum up: an online store may become your main source of income but in order for this to happen, you need to take appropriate steps well in advance (already when developing your store).

Try to contact people who have been running their ecommerce businesses for a few years (for this purpose you may use various forums) and ask questions that bother you.

Focus on the following elements:

1) Is there a demand for the products I want to sell?

2) Do I have knowledge about the products I want to sell?

3) What marketing activities should I undertake?

4) How much effort and money is needed for marketing activities?

5) How competitive is the market?

6) What is my target audience?

7) What will be my business costs, taking all of the above points into account? 

If you don’t invest enough time, energy and money to refine the most basic elements, your online store probably won’t become your main source of income. The stage of developing your ecommerce is the most important moment.

At this point, there is no room for errors. Take your time to select a proper product range and define your target group. Then, perform effective marketing activities that will promote your business.

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