How to Set Up a Digital Storefront on a Budget
If you’re looking for some tips on setting up your digital storefront without breaking the bank, look no further. There are plenty of ways out there for a new small business owner to create a great e-commerce website on a budget. This is just one of those ways.
Step One: Choose an Inexpensive Hosting Site
A good e-commerce website starts with choosing the right online store-building platform. An excellent choice for beginners on a budget is Wix, which you can try for free and then continue using for as little as $23 a month. It’s effortless to use, which is why beginners love it, and it doesn’t charge a commission for using it, so you won’t be bleeding revenue by paying the site.
Picking a site-building app that’s specifically designed to build storefronts may be a little more expensive than just going with a hosting site like BlueHost. Still, it’s much simpler because it’s made specifically with being a storefront in mind. Your website will run a lot smoother for the extra money per month. If you need a good logo, you can check out LogoCreator.io, which lets you choose from various templates for free.
Step Two: Choose An Inexpensive Payment Processing System
Once you’ve got your hosting platform and you’ve got your website all built (admittedly, we’re skipping some steps here, but this isn’t an article on web coding), you’ll need to choose a system for accepting payments. If you go with Wix, it has options for a variety of payment processors, but here’s a useful guide if you want a little more information. The processors, or “gateways,” trade higher fees for ease of use; sites like PayPal will take payments and deposit them directly into your existing bank account, but they charge a higher per-transaction fee. Sites like WorldPay charge less in fees, but they require you to set up a different merchant account at a bank.
Step Three: Choose How You’ll Stock Your Products
If you’re trying to start a digital storefront for cheap, you’ll want to consider dropshipping your inventory seriously. Instead of having to pay out a ton of money for inventory, dropshipping allows you to send orders directly to the manufacturer, who then fulfills the order and sends it to your customer. This way, you don’t have to worry about shipping, packing, or storing your products.
If you go with Wix, you’ll probably want to consider Modalyst, a plugin specifically designed to work with Wix. It starts for free for up to 25 products, and it links you with a variety of manufacturers who can provide the products you need. Dropshipping automates many of your back-end business operations, so you don’t have to worry about them and can focus on growing your website and marketing. Which brings us to our fourth and final point…
Step Four: Market, Market, Market
Your storefront isn’t going to be much use if you don’t get traffic to go there, which means you should be looking at social media marketing. Sites like Facebook or Instagram don’t necessarily charge for advertising if you’re just doing it on your business profile page. Still, paid ads can be a way to get your content in front of more users who may be interested in your product. You can use this free marketing to drive traffic to your storefront and start making sales.
This was an oversimplification of the process to set up a digital storefront, and there are plenty of other steps involved as well. However, if you hit these four steps, you can get your online business set up for cheap and start making sales within a week. Modern technology is fantastic, and with it, you can enter the e-commerce world without breaking the bank.