How to Expand Your Online Store

Expanding your online store can attract a wider range of buyers and make your website more successful.

Knowing how to effectively expand your online store can help you earn more clients and make you more money selling your products. Once you have your products made, the next step is getting web hosting and entering the world of ecommerce.

Step 1: Get Web Hosting

You might not already own your own website, but you should. With a basic knowledge of HTML and web design, you can set up your own shop with convenient online "Add to Cart" tools from PayPal. If you don't know how to set up websites, you can find a freelance web designer relatively cheaply from sites like iFreelance or GetAFreelancer. Make sure that whoever you get has experience setting up PayPal carts. Be aware that any web designers working for you will not need your PayPal account information in order to set up the site, and discontinue their services if they ask for it.

If you don't want to hire a designer, but don't have much HTML knowledge, there are some site building tools available on certain web hosts. Try setting up an account with a host like Webs or GoDaddy, which offer premade and customizable templates for setting up a website. If you need some PayPal buttons, the PayPal website will give you HTML code which can be simply copied and pasted wherever you need it. To access the PayPal button builder, just click on "Merchant Services" after you log in. The entire process is fairly intuitive, and you should be able to set up your online store without too much trouble.

Step 2: Join More Sites

Even if you already have your own web hosting, you can expand your store to reach a broader client base by joining other websites. Etsy is a great place to sell supplies or anything vintage or handmade. Also consider joining popular sites like eBay and Amazon to make your products more widely available. These sites may charge a commission, but they are also widely visited by potential customers who may never have heard of your site otherwise.

Step 3: Take Great Photos

If you don't already take outstanding photos of your products, now is a great time to start! Investing in a high quality camera is vital for crafters who sell their products online. You don't need a hugely expensive camera; a quality digital point-and-shoot is ideal. Get some bright lights or use natural light, and arrange your products nicely. Pay attention to the background when taking your pictures. You should take a wide shot from the front to give your viewers an overall feel of the product, a close-up to capture texture, and also photos from the side and from the back. For clothes, you should attempt to give the viewer an idea of what they look like when worn by using a live model or a mannequin.

Step 4: Optimize Your Listings

Sprinkling some natural-sounding keywords throughout your item descriptions can help buyers find your products. The keywords should be words and phrases which people would type in if they wanted to find an item similar to yours. Imagine if you were a buyer looking for a product, and consider what you would search for to find it. Be very descriptive, and inform your potential customers of the basics of the product (what it is made of, specifically how large or small it is, etc.). Also, use the keywords you come up with to tag your items.

By following these steps, you can attract a wider range of buyers and make your online store more successful.

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