Online store systems—what are they, how they work, what they cost, and everything in between
An online store is an excellent outlet where your company can fundraise. One of the best ways to collect funds is to sell T-shirts and apparel on a custom eCommerce platform. The only question is, how do online stores work?
In this blog, we demonstrate how to open an online store. Our experts break down the key steps and discuss all the miscellaneous factors that go into building successful online campaigns.
Online Store Technology—Frequently Asked Questions
How to Create an Online Store
To start an online business, you need to find the right website builder. There are plenty of online store builder programs to experiment with. Test out free trials, and when you find the platform you’re most comfortable using, get a domain name for your online shop. Next, customize your eCommerce layout, add your products to your website, and set up payment gateways. Finally, sort out your shipping settings, test the store in preview mode, and publish the final version of the website.
How Long Does the Process Take?
It doesn’t take long to get your online store up and running. Once you start building the website, the rest of the process becomes seamless. Some sites can be set up in less than an hour, depending on the number of products uploaded. On average, though, it usually takes only two weeks to launch a successful online store.
Types of Online Stores
Not all online shops consider themselves eCommerce businesses. While a custom website is generally a good idea for multiple product listings, some small businesses prefer different sales channels. For best results, consider building an eCommerce site that links out to one of these seven mediums.
- Social media (Facebook and Instagram business accounts)
- Handmade and craft marketplaces (Etsy)
- Subscription box services (Bonanza)
- Classified listings website (Craigslist)
- General marketplaces (Amazon)
- Auction marketplaces (eBay)
- Daily deal sites (Groupon)
Reasons for Online Stores
Running an online sales channel benefits the consumer and retailer alike. Here are some of the main reasons why your business should consider selling online:
- Online selling lets you collect first-hand data through customer interactions
- Most shoppers begin product searches through digital research
- Each channel has its own unique audience that sellers can reach
- Online shopping is the most convenient way to purchase items
- Fewer expenses (no physical storefronts, inventory, or payroll)
- Stronger online marketing presence
- Your store remains open 24/7
- Faster delivery of products
- Less paper waste
What’s the Cost?
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to that question, but it’s comforting to know that online stores are some of the most affordable retail outlets. Here’s what a typical budget might look like for a startup or small business:
- Domain name: $10-$15/year
- Web hosting privileges: $3.50-$29/month (depending on the hosting service)
- Inventory: Keep at least $1,000 worth of inventory stocked
- Warehouse services: $4-$7/square foot (per month)
- Payment processing: 2%-3% per transaction
- Website design: $300-$3,000 (total)
- Website theme: $50-$200 (total)
- Apps and plugins: Free-$350/month
- Digital marketing promotion: $1,500 (total)
Boost Online Sales Performances With the Right Products
Marathon Sportswear is your one-stop-shop for custom T-shirts, embroidery, and screenprinted items. We design and fulfill orders for various organizations across Chicagoland. By working with us, you have a team that can streamline the supply chain process from design to shipment. The best part? It’s all tied to your digital marketplace. Whether you’re running an online fundraiser or adding custom apparel to your website, we have the solutions to help boost online selling. We won’t put you through the madness of bulk order demands. Customers come to you, pay for a custom print, and you collect most of the profits.
Want to learn more about our online sales support? Contact us to speak with an expert!
About Marathon Sportswear
Conveniently located in the south suburbs of Chicago, Marathon has provided quality apparel printing, embroidering, and promotional items for businesses, charities, schools, and sports teams since 1980.