I say adventure, because it is not a one way path to easy street. There is quite a bit of thought that needs to go into a store before you build it. The first thing we tell people is to look at their competition and their target market. If you are selling a product which is already completely saturated in the equine market online, then you might want to think twice about it. If the product you are selling is already all over Amazon, you might want to think twice about selling it online. Why? Because the competition already has it out there and that sets a precedence with Google and Amazon and your listings won't likely show up as high as existing companies. You'll also need to consider that these companies already are selling the same products you plan to sell are likely paying Google a hefty fee in Google Ad Words campaigns which are the paid advertising spots at the top of the page on Google search engine results. If you have a common product you are selling online and others are already showing up in Google Ad Words results in paid advertising at the top of Google's search pages, you will need to budget some money to keep up with the Jones's advertising. How much? Time and money will tell that, Google won't reveal to you how much the competition is paying, but you can do some trial and error. You can set a budget for $100 and then set it for $5 per click and see how it is working for you.
If you plan on selling more than 10 products, your store will likely cost over $2000 to build. Setting up an online store correctly with the right system will help you to achieve your goals. You will need to put a lot of time into gathering the information necessary to have a store.
Requirements for Online Store Setup:
- Write very descriptive descriptions for your products
- Have professional photos of your products
- Make a list of inventory and make up product ID numbers for each product
- Pricing needs to be determined for each product
- Weight of item and box size needs to be determined
- You'll need a credit card processor like Square or Paypal or Authorize.net (we can help you decide which is right for the system you are going to use)
- A Dropbox account to manage your store photos
- A photo editor to change the size of your photos
- A shipping method (Fed Ex, UPS or USPS)
- Your local tax rate
Stores can be set up using a variety of online systems. Shopify, ECWID, Big Commerce, Square and WooCommerce all have e-commerce platforms which we can use to set up your store. Depending on your needs and requirements, we can help you pick the right platform and set up the store for you. Just remember, it is never going to be "if you build it they will come" situation. Although in the movie, it was a great thought, it isn't how things work on the web. Getting them to come to your store involves hard core marketing both through print, online, social media and old fashioned grass roots marketing like sponsoring a horse show. We can help you find the best combination of equine marketing for your business.