How to set up an online store without inventory

Virtual stores continue to grow and, although success is not 100% guaranteed, more and more people are encouraged to join this market. Creating an online store with no (or very little) inventory or investment is possible and this makes it even more attractive for entrepreneurs who do not want to risk much at first. Is this your case? Then you have come to the right place!

In this post, we’ll show you the keys to making money on the Internet through dropshipping sales. And, above all, we’ll explain step by step everything you have to do to make your way in the world of ecommerce with zero inventory and little investment.

We won’t try to sell you smoke or miracle formulas because we really want to help you. Nothing is earned without effort, and if you really want to make a name for yourself, you’ll need to work hard at it.

Let’s take a look at the essential topics we will cover in this guide on how to create an online store:

  • Choosing what to sell.
  • Find your niche.
  • Research your competitors.
  • Choose your suppliers.
  • Create your online store.
  • Promotion, promotion and PROMOTION.

What do you want to sell?

Before opening an online store, you will need to know what products you want to sell in it. Choose a sector and specialize. There is no point in trying to cover the whole e-commerce market when there are already huge platforms dealing with this.

It’s almost impossible to fight these giants, so don’t waste your time on the impossible. Look for products where there is a small demand, but not a large supply. Or, perhaps, that are completely unique.

Are you good at designing? Maybe you could be interested in selling your own designs in clothing and accessories. In any case, what you need is a good idea to get started.

Are you ready to commit?

You’ve been told that opening an online store is a safe business, that you’ll make money easily, that you practically don’t have to do anything to get it… and, unfortunately, that’s not entirely true. The results won’t come overnight.

That’s why you need to make a commitment. Once you decide to take the leap, you have to keep in mind that, as in any business, there will be ups and downs. Our advice? Keep trying. And, whatever happens, don’t give up. If your idea is really good and you are motivated and committed enough, you will finally achieve your goals.

Find your niche

Who might be interested in your products? That’s the second question you should ask yourself before you open your online store. If you previously said that it is not advisable to try to sell thousands of different products, it is also not smart to try to corner all the buyers in the market.

We mistakenly believe that the more people we target, the more sales we will get, but this is not true. Do you know the saying “he who grasps much, grasps little”? Well, let’s just say it could be applied perfectly here. Really, the smaller and more concrete the circle, the easier it will be to attract your customers.

So what you have to do is find your niche. Find that target audience that is willing to buy your products. Don’t hesitate to go out and investigate. Ask those potential customers if they would be willing to buy your product and why.

Analyze the answers and go home with a basic description of all of them. No, I don’t mean do they have brown hair or blond hair (unless you’re selling hair dye, of course), but look at their age, sex, interests, etc. Anything that will help you extract general patterns.

Another good idea is to simply imagine who might be interested in your product. Have you ever thought about the target chosen by your competition? Maybe it’s common to yours.

In short:

  • Investigate in your close (and not so close) circles.
  • Look at your competition.
  • Above all, be realistic about your limitations

Research your competitors

And not just to choose your niche. If you want to be successful with your online store you need to know what the competition is doing. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long have they been on the market?
  • Are they a recognized/prestigious brand?
  • What are they doing to attract customers?
  • How are they promoting themselves?
  • What do their websites look like?
  • What keywords do they use to position themselves?

Perhaps it is not a good idea to compete in a very established market or against a very prestigious brand. Or maybe it is, if your product really enhances what already exists. In either case, you need to invest time and effort in this step.

When we make the decision to set up an online store, we want it to be up and running immediately, but this is a big mistake. Researching the market is boring, we will not deny it… but it is not, therefore, less necessary. Knowing what your competitors are doing is essential if you want to succeed with your digital business.

Understanding what they are doing well, what facets they are weakest in, how your product could compete against them… In short, you have to find out what makes you special and/or different and use it to your advantage.