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How To Create An Online Store

Conal Yarwood-Frost
1 Jun 2022

Starting a business used to be simple. All you had to do was find a location, set up shop, order in some stock, put up some flyers, and let the customers come to you. Nowadays, things have changed and there are a hundred and one things budding entrepreneurs need to consider before they start out. 

One such thing to consider is online sales. More and more consumers are turning to the internet to do their shopping. This change, compounded by the extraordinary circumstances of 2020-2022, shows no sign of slowing down. We may be looking at a retail landscape where the majority of shopping is done online. 

Because of this, you may be wondering how to build an online retail business. The happy answer is that while it does take a little work, it’s actually easier than you think. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the topic of online sales and explaining how to build your own online store.

A brief history of online shopping 

You’d be forgiven for thinking that online shopping was a modern phenomenon. The majority of people alive today can very clearly remember a time when personal home computers were still a novelty. It was downright bizarre to imagine that you could buy your groceries from the comfort of your own home. 

In 1984, in the unassuming town of Gateshead in England, something strange happened. An elderly woman named Jane Snowball (yes, really) sat down and ordered her entire weekly shopping list on her television. This was done using a system called Videotex that used a closed system of computers, linked to Ms. Snowball’s television and phone services, to connect her with local businesses. 

For the time, this was revolutionary. Despite this leap in technology, online shopping as we know it today didn’t take off until 1994, when websites like Amazon and NetMarket sprung up. An early adopter of online ordering in the hospitality industry was Pizza Hut, who launched their “Pizza Net” service the same year. [1]

Gain all the advantages of an EPOS system with detailed, flexible, downloadable reports, and so much more:

  • Manage and update products quickly with easy to use software
  • Expand your business into multiple channels and integrate with a variety of online platforms
  • Manage multiple locations and salespoints with multi-site management
  • Keep queues short with streamlined, modifiable sales processes
  • Choose a setup that suits you with software and hardware options

Software      Hardware

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How to create a website for online payment

Some businesses still trade with the assumption that foot traffic is the most reliable way to make a profit. While this may still be true for niche businesses like walk-in barber shops, having an online presence is a vital part of successful trading. 

While setting up an online store can be time-consuming, it will pay for itself many times over if done correctly. It can be surprisingly easy as well depending on the tools you use. Below, we’ve laid out some tips to make the process run as smoothly as possible. 

Build a business plan

The better prepared you are, the better chance you give your business of succeeding. Your business plan is the most important part of your preparation and you must consider the way you’ll approach your online presence in this. The way your business interacts with the internet should inform some of your choices.

Consider your target market and do some research into how they use the internet. What shopping sites do they use? What social media platforms are most popular with their demographic? This is all information that can inform how you build your site and how your market it. 

Pick the right domain name 

“Domain name” refers to the name you’ll be referenced by on the internet. On the internet, first impressions are everything and the way your business identifies is deeply important. Your domain name should be something you spend time on so that you can be sure to get it right. 

Generally, there are three things you should consider when you’re choosing your domain name: 

  1. Be unique - There are millions of pages and online stores on the internet. Using the unique name of your business rather than something generic will help you stand out from the crowd. 
  2. Keep it clear - Using unfamiliar spellings or big compound words may seem like an easy way to stand. This will only serve to obfuscate your business's message and what you actually do. 
  3. Keep it short - Search engines and customers alike love it when a domain name is short and to the point. Try to keep your domain names as short and memorable as possible. 

Choose the right website builder

Back in the day, the vast majority of websites on the internet were personally built by webmasters. This meant that each bit of code was written from scratch. While there were some benefits to this old way of doing things, it also meant that websites were expensive and time-consuming to build. 

Thankfully, technical innovations have allowed a number of different services to spring up that allow the average person to quickly build their own websites. This has democratised the entire process. The only thing you need to do is pick the right one for your needs. 

Epos Now is a market-leading provider of electronic point of sales (EPOS or POS) systems. It offers a website builder that is designed to make building your online store as simple as possible. It uses an intuitive programme that gives you the tools you need to build a website that will build your online presence.

How to design an online store 

One of the most intimidating aspects of building a website is designing the look and feel of the store. The majority of the population don’t have design experience, after all. You shouldn’t let this get in the way of building your online home. 

Programmes like the Epos Now Website Builder give you the tools you need to build a visually distinct and appealing online store. This includes hundreds of fonts, free images, and templates that you can adjust to match your business branding.

Choose the perfect POS system for your online store 

At Epos Now, we’ve developed the tools you need to run a successful online storefront. All of our systems can be integrated with online shopping services at the touch of a button. Get your business online and see the profits pouring in. 

If you’re interested in seeing how Epos Now could help you, get in touch with our expert team below.

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