According to Shopify, global eCommerce sales have grown from $1.3 trillion to $3.5 trillion since 2014, with sales expected to reach $4.97 trillion by 2021. For prospective entrepreneurs, online businesses offer the promise of a potentially profitable business venture and don’t have the traditional hurdles that most ventures face. Between low overhead costs, incredible scalability, and access to a global market, eCommerce stores are a great investment for anyone looking to launch their own business. If you’re thinking about opening your own online store, here’s what you need to know.

Here’s How to Open an Online Store in Just Six Steps

1. Choose an eCommerce Platform

Deciding what eCommerce platform to use to build your online shop is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make before launching your web store. There are various eCommerce platforms available, but if you’re looking for a quick and hassle-free way to launch your online store, consider using Shopify or Wix.

To launch a successful and viable online business, choosing a professional and easy-to-use web template is key. Your online store should attract your customer, resemble your brand, and set your products apart from the competition.

2. Identify a Niche Demographic

Identifying a niche is integral to your success as an entrepreneur. Pinpointing a niche can help you connect with a highly profitable demographic, raise brand awareness, drive website traffic, and build a loyal customer base.

If you’re struggling to identify the perfect niche, create a list of your passions and interests, and identify solutions to problems from your everyday life. For example, if you’re passionate about digital technology but hate spending a fortune on new models, you might consider launching a refurbished electronic store to offer consumers the best prices on refurbished products. Refurbished electronic stores typically test, sanitize, and offer one-year warranties on all electronics, including mobile devices, laptops, and tablets, allowing consumers to enjoy high-quality digital technology at affordable prices.

3. Draft a Business Plan

Drafting a business plan can help you identify potential roadblocks, evaluate the viability of your business idea, and set goals for the future. Although not every online entrepreneur launches a business with a formal plan, many small business owners find it helpful to take a step back and research their niche demographic before investing resources into their business.

Your business plan allows you to invest time into understanding your ideal customer, whether or not there’s a demand for your products, and potential competition. In other words, drafting a business plan can help you determine whether you’ll be able to turn your idea into a profitable business and how to market to your ideal customer.

4. Strengthen Your Brand

After drafting your business plan, you’ll need to create a strong brand. Start by choosing a business name that’s easy to spell and pronounce, holds some personal significance, and has an available “.com” domain. Avoid choosing a name that’s too long, similar to the competition, or focuses on a specific product.

Once you’ve secured your domain name, prioritize building and strengthening your brand image. Aim to build a brand that clearly conveys who you are and what you sell. In addition, add a mission statement to your online store that expresses the goals of your business.

5. Capitalize on New Trends

Researching the latest trends in your industry can help you win space in the eCommerce market. Aim to stay up-to-date with recent trending products within your niche to capitalize on them before they reach peak popularity.

For instance, if you’re thinking about starting a refurbished electronics web store, offering exclusive deals on the latest refurbished iPhone model can help you set yourself apart from the competition.

6. Implement a Digital Marketing Campaign

After the essentials of your online store are set up, it’s time to shift your focus to marketing your products. Implementing a powerful digital marketing strategy can help you maximize your sales and drive organic traffic to your web store.

If you’re new to digital marketing, consider working with a Facebook ad consultant to grow your business. With the help of a Facebook ad expert, you’ll be able to effectively target your niche demographic using Facebook’s advertising platform to attract and convert high-paying repeat buyers, build brand awareness, and generate marketplace goodwill.

All in all, opening an online store is a great opportunity for prospective entrepreneurs to embark on a potentially profitable business venture with low overhead costs.