create your online store

The Fundamentals of Creating your First Online Store

Part 1

Part 1 will cover the basic areas that should be completed when you first open your store, this will include: Adding Categories & Products, and then selling these products.


So let's start from the beginning! I have created an account on Freewebstore and I have been given a brand spanking new webstore.

I want to start selling my products and earn some money, maybe even grow this into a large business. But how?

For this web series I will be creating a store to sell cakes, however all steps and information will relate to any product(s) you wish to sell.

What Now?

My new store contains a few default products and categories, these are added to give me an idea of what the webstore can look like. My first step is to delete these so I can add my own.

Before I start adding my products, I need to have a think about what categories my cakes will fall into. I don't want to have just one category called Cakes as it is too vague and has little or no SEO value (I'll be going into more depth on SEO in a later article).

Therefore, I'm going to create 3 categories for each style of cake that I make:

  • 3-Tier Wedding Cakes
  • Girls Birthday Cakes
  • Sprinkled Cupcakes

Each of these categories describes what I'm selling within that category and is much more useful than using just Cakes.

Now that I have my first set of categories I can start adding my own products. For a basic product I need to add 6 elements:

1. Product Name

The product name should use relevant keywords about the product, this will help customers find the product they want easier such as: Soft Iced Butterfly Wedding Cake.

2. Product Code/ SKU

Product Codes/ SKU are helpful to organize your stock and orders as they are unique to the product. Most manufacturers will provide a product code/ sku for you, however if you do not have one then try to make it relevant to the product. For example, I have chosen the following product code for my Soft Iced Butterfly Wedding Cake product: CAKE-WEDDING-1, but you can have any code you want.

3. Category

Each product must belong to a category, this will help your customer find your products easier. As my product is a Wedding Cake I will place this product into the Wedding Cakes category.

4. Price

Try and price your products so that they are competitively priced and allow you to make a nice profit too! I searched on Google to see other stores selling similar cakes to mine to see what prices they were selling theirs for and made sure my prices were similarly priced. Undercutting your competition isn’t always the best tactic. If the quality of your products is good people will be willing to pay that little bit extra!

We'll get into more detail about tax and discounts in a later series.

5. Description

You're here to sell your product so make sure you write a descriptive and informative paragraph or two. Make sure the description is long enough to contain all the necessary information, but not too long that you are babbling on. I would recommend using between 250 - 1000 characters for the best outcome.

6. Image

The product image is one of your strongest selling points. If your image is too small, blurry or simply ugly then you will have less chance of selling the product. Try to take a clear image of your product on a white background. White backgrounds look and work best for your store and if your selling your products on Google Shopping or other shopping platforms (more about this later).

I repeated this process a further 8 times to add a total of 9 cakes to my store.

I'm now ready to start selling my cakes online. But how do I do this?

How do I sell?

When I first created my store, PayPal was automatically connected to my store using the email address I created my account with. Therefore, I'm ready for customers to purchase my cakes online and any payment will go directly into my PayPal account.

However, if I wish to change which PayPal account the payment goes to I can. Alternatively, I can add multiple checkout providers to my store such as: WorldPay, Skrill and PayUmoney. This will allow a much wider range of customers to purchase on my store.

Please note that some checkout providers may not support your currency and therefore will not be available for you to use.

Part 2

In Part 2 of this Web Series we will cover how to design your store and the fundamentals of taking the look of your store to the next level.

Part 2
Discover how to take your store from the bottom to the top with the beginners "Building an Online Store" Web Series.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
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