The more on-demand life becomes, the more people turn to the convenience of online shopping. Thinking about setting up an online store and have an interest in outdoor activities? This is how to start an online outdoor gear store.
Choose an E-Commerce Platform
There are several e-commerce platforms to choose from to set up an online outdoor gear store. These are the most common types of e-commerce platforms:
- Auction Sites: for beginners new to selling goods online, selling through an auction site is a great way to start making quick sales. Websites like eBay don’t require any technical knowledge and the platform already has heavy buyer traffic. It’s easy to integrate PayPal with eBay to receive payments and manage receipts and invoices. Just note that both eBay and PayPal charge hefty fees that can add up over time.
- Hosted E-Commerce Platforms: Websites like Shopify and BigCommerce come with customizable website templates and e-commerce tools that give you more control. They come with multiple pricing tiers and options to upgrade your store as the business grows. Hosted e-commerce platforms rely on third-party apps that can mean increased costs from third-party subscription fees.
- Self-Hosted E-Commerce Website: depending on your budget for web development or personal coding skills, setting up a self-hosted e-commerce website ensures total control over the business. Building a website means the freedom to customize all aspects of the site as well as taking care of security updates, website maintenance, and performance. Remember that you will have to pay for website hosting.
- Third-Party Marketplaces: Third-party marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy allow you to sell products through them, giving you the opportunity to have more shoppers view your products. The downside to third-party marketplaces is that you can’t establish a personal internet identity. Selling on a combination of platforms allows you to maximize sales and establish an independent presence on your self-hosted website.
Be Prepared for Costs
Establishing an online outdoor gear store comes with a low cost to entry. The main cost will be inventory, but also expect online-specific costs like annual domain fees, commissions paid for sales on third-party marketplaces, and web-hosting fees. There are also marketing and branding costs to consider, and since products need to be shipped, packaging costs.
Running a successful e-commerce store requires a working computer, reliable wifi, and a phone system. If you are hiring a web designer to build a self-hosted website, shop around for a price that is comfortable but doesn’t skip on quality. You’ll also need Point of Sale software that is customized to fit the business needs.
Successful businesses know the value of excellent customer service and have the tools necessary to manage their customer information. The Bright Pattern Servicenow call center integration combines omnichannel call center capabilities with IT service management and customer support information to create an exceptional customer experience. Servicenow integration comes with countless outbound capabilities for campaigns, advanced inbound and routing capabilities for service and support, and blended capabilities for multipurpose call centers.
Decide on What Products to Sell
Decide on what outdoor gear products to sell and acquire the inventory. Specializing in a niche is a smart way to work within an inventory budget and keep up with supply. Focusing on niche products allows you to purchase inventory in bulk and save on costs. Consider working with eco-friendly brands that ethically produce their products. This will help with establishing your brand and attract customers who shop with an eco-friendly ethos.
A smart way to decide on your target market and product offering is to do research within the community. theTundra is a new social networking site that allows enthusiasts to build communities based on shared interests. If you are thinking about selling fishing gear, theTundra has a fishermen enthusiast community passionate about the styles, techniques, and tools of the sport. Reading about their involvement with fishing could guide your product offering decision.
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