Things have changed a lot in recent generations. We no longer have to leave our homes and go to the neighborhood store to buy an ounce of coffee, for example. All we have to do is browse our phones, and choose one of the many online stores, to get the product we want, with various options, types, and prices.
E-commerce has become one of the most important economic and social activities in the world. Millions of people use the Internet to buy and sell various products and services easily, quickly and safely. Therefore, establishing an online store project is a great opportunity to enter this profitable and competitive field.
But, how can you create a successful online store? What are the necessary steps and requirements for this? What are the best platforms and tools that help in designing and managing the store? How can we market the store and increase sales? These are some of the questions that we will try to answer in this article.
Benefits of an online store
- Ease of shopping and paying: Customers can purchase the products and services they want with the click of a button, and choose the appropriate payment method for them, whether upon receipt, by credit card, or via electronic payment.
- Saving time and effort: Customers do not need to leave their homes or offices to shop, nor do they need to sit in traffic jams or wait for their turn in stores. Also, the online store saves time and effort for employers, as they can control the store and follow up on orders and sales remotely.
- Increase customer base: The online store can reach customers from different places, without any geographical or time limits.
- Increasing sales and profits: The online store contributes to raising the level of sales and profits for employers, as it provides products and services at competitive prices and high quality, and benefits from providing attractive offers and discounts to customers.
- Always available: The online store is always available, even during holidays and public holidays, which increases sales opportunities.
Basic steps to create a successful online store
Not every online store achieves success; There are many factors and steps that affect the success or failure of any online store project. Which must be adhered to for the success of the project:
Analyze the market and choose the appropriate field
This step aims to identify opportunities and challenges in the market you want to enter. You must study the demand and supply for the products or services you want to sell, determine the target customer group, and know what they need and what they are looking for. You must also determine the appropriate field for your online store, which is the topic or industry in which you specialize. The field must be in line with your experience, passion, and abilities, and have a sufficient audience and a promising future.
Study competitors and analyze similar business models
This step aims to find out what competitors in the same market or field offer, and how they affect customer choices. You must visit competitors’ websites and pay attention to their design, content, features, prices, and marketing methods that they use. You must also analyze business models similar to your project, which are methods of generating revenue through selling products or services online. Then compare the advantages and disadvantages of each model, in order to choose the most suitable for you.
Conduct a feasibility study for the project
This step aims to estimate the costs and expected revenues from your business, and determine the performance indicators that you will use to measure your success. You should calculate the costs related to launching and managing your online store, such as domain name, hosting, programming, shipping, taxes, and more. You must also calculate the revenues related to selling products or services through your store, such as the selling price, number of orders, bounce rate, etc.; Comparing costs and revenues, determining the break-even point, etc.
Steps to Launching a Store
Step One: Determine the products you want to sell
This is the most important step in the process of creating an online store. You cannot start a project without knowing what you want to sell. You should choose products that meet a customer need or problem, are of competitive quality and price, and are shippable and marketable online.
Step Two: Choose a domain name and hosting
A domain name is the address of your website, which is easy for customers to remember and find. Your domain name should be short, simple, unique, and relevant to the content and products you offer. Hosting is a service that provides you with space on a specific server to store your site files and data. You should choose a hosting service that is of high quality, speed, and security, and supports the platform you are using to create your site.
Step Three: design and develop the website
Step Four: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This step aims to increase the visibility of your site in search results on search engines such as Google and Bing. You should use keywords related to the products you sell in the titles, description, and content of your site pages; You must also use internal and external links to link your website pages to each other and to other quality sources. Also, you should use meta tags to describe your site content to search engines.
Step Five: Work on User Experience (UX)
This step aims to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing a smooth and satisfactory shopping experience. It must also ensure the speed of loading your site, the ease of navigating between pages, and the clarity and accuracy of the information you provide about products, prices, shipping, and payment methods. Also, you must ensure that the purchasing process is easy to complete with the fewest number of steps.
Step Six: Manage content, photos, and videos
This step aims to add and update the content that appears on your site. The content should be rich with valuable and interesting information for customers, and use simple language that they understand (the more languages your store site supports, the better). You should also use high-quality images and videos that show the features and benefits of the products your store offers.
Step Seven: Providing payment methods
Your online store must provide multiple and flexible payment methods that suit the needs and preferences of your customers. You must also ensure the security of payment methods and protect customer data from fraud or theft. For example, you can provide services such as PayPal and credit card payment options.
Step Eight: Agreement with suppliers
You must choose reliable suppliers to provide you with the products or services that you want to sell in your online store, and you must maintain a good relationship with them, so that they are committed to meeting your requests on time and with the required quality.
Step Nine: Organizing shipping and product delivery procedures
There is no point in buying things online if the delivery of the products to the customer is delayed; Therefore, you must plan how to ship and deliver products to your customers quickly and safely. You must also specify the shipping fees and taxes applicable to each order. Also, options should be provided to track shipping status, and adjust return or exchange policies in case the customer is not satisfied.
How does Al Raedah help you develop an online store?
Al Raedah facilitates business owners’ access to an urgent source of liquidity in record time through direct submission through the company’s website at any time and wherever you are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The process of providing financing services is characterized by the ease and flexibility of the payment mechanism, which is based on deductions without any fixed monthly installments, as well as the ease of requirements and the absence of any guarantees or complications, as Al Raedah is fine with account statements only without the need for any paper complications or financial statements.
Leading e-commerce financing software
Through this unique product, Al Raedah Finance seeks to provide exceptional advantages to clients affiliated with business entities, commercial establishments, and partners with whom they have established strategic relationships, led by platforms active in the fields of technology and e-commerce.
- The online store seeking to benefit from the e-commerce financing program must have a valid commercial register and must have achieved an annual income of up to 250 thousand Saudi riyals.
- There are three packages available: 6 months, 9 months or 12 months, that customers can choose from.
- The minimum financing amount is 50 thousand Saudi riyals.
- The maximum financing amount is 500 thousand Saudi riyals.
- Some small administrative fees amounting to 1.5% of the loan value or at least 5,000 Saudi riyals are charged for one time only.
- The payment method here does not require direct cash payments. Rather, payment requires a daily, weekly, or monthly transfer.
- Administrative fees can be refunded if the customer submits a request to cancel the program.
- The e-commerce financing program does not require a refundable deposit.
Example feasibility study for an online store
The idea is to create an online store specializing in selling clothes, targeting customers of all age groups and social levels who want to buy clothes online.
The project to create an online store targets customers of all age groups and social levels, who want to buy clothes online.
Products and services
A variety of clothing will be sold in the store, including:
- Men’s clothing.
- Women’s clothing.
- Children’s clothing.
The online store project will require financing of 50,000 Saudi riyals, which will be provided through loans from banks or investors.
It is estimated that the project will achieve annual sales of 250,000 Saudi riyals, and a net profit of 100,000 Saudi riyals.
Potential risks of the project include:
- Intense competition in the market.
- Changes in fashion trends.
- Economic fluctuations.
It is estimated that the project will achieve a return on investment (ROI) of 20% during the first five years of operation.
It is estimated that the store will achieve annual sales of 250,000 Saudi riyals, with an average monthly sales of 20,833 Saudi riyals.
It is estimated that the project will achieve a net profit of 100,000 Saudi riyals annually, with an average monthly net profit of 8,333 Saudi riyals.
Return on investment
The ROI calculation indicates that the project will achieve a return on investment (ROI) of 20% during the first five years of operation.
Based on the results of the study, it is recommended to create an online clothing store. The project is a profitable investment, with the potential to achieve a return on investment (ROI) of 20% within the first five years of operation.
Creating a successful online store requires good effort and planning. However, the effort you put in will be rewarding, as an online store project can be an opportunity to expand your business and increase your revenues. Do you need financing to start your online store project? Al Raedah offers you financing that meets your aspirations in the best possible way. Find out how we can help you today.