Opening a virtual store is an exciting and difficult undertaking at the same time.

It requires facing a series of fulfilments and decisions, linked in the right sequence.

Don’t worry: we are here to help you!

Here is a guide that will prepare you to face all the main challenges related to the launch of a store: from the choice of products to sell, to the bureaucratic requirements, to the development of the business. Follow the steps and you will immediately be able to start selling in your own virtual store.

Open a virtual shop | 5 step:

Choice of product

Preparation

Setting up the activity

Preparation for launch

Post-launch phase

1. Choice of product

Find a product to sell

The first step in creating a virtual store is to find a product to sell. This is often the most challenging part of starting a new online business. Here are some trendy ideas and products to consider:

Find products to sell with Oberlo

Product ideas with free photos on Burst

10 trendy products

12 things to sell on Shopify (other than physical products)

6 ideas to start selling digital products

17 places to look for ecommerce business ideas

How to sell cosmetics online

How to sell wine online

Sell ​​vintage clothes online

How to sell shirts online

Selling art online

Validate your idea

Once you have a product idea in mind, you need to determine if it can bring you profits. Evaluate market demand, analyze competition and validate your idea by following these guides:

How to evaluate the market demand for a new product idea

Feasibility study: guide to evaluate a product idea in 16 steps

5 strategies to validate a product idea

Get the product

After validating your idea, it’s time to decide where and how to get the product to sell in your virtual store. Here you will find some useful information to decide:

Own or mass production, wholesale or dropshipping?

Dropshipping: the easiest way to sell online

Print on demand: another way of doing low-risk dropshipping

2. Preparation

Differentiate yourself from competitors

Once you find the product to sell, evaluate its potential and choose a supplier, focus on how to distinguish yourself from competitors. Here is a guide that will help you enhance your uniqueness:

Unique selling proposition: what it is and 10 examples to inspire you

Write your business plan

A fundamental step in every entrepreneur’s journey is the drafting of a business plan. It is your roadmap, the place where you can transform your ideas into an entrepreneurial strategy. Here is a useful guide to proceed in the best way, in addition to the equally useful indications to determine prices and calculate the break-even point:

How to write a business plan

Pricing strategy: how to determine the selling price of the products?

Break-even analysis: how to calculate the break even point or breakeven point

Administrative and tax compliance

In Italy, VAT is required to sell online and a series of tax and legal requirements must be addressed:

Selling online: requirements and obligations to open an ecommerce site

GDPR: What you (and your shop) need to know about the new data protection regulation

How to protect your brand from a legal point of view

3. Setting up the activity

Open a virtual shop

Find a name for your virtual store

The next decision to face is to choose the name of your brand and buy the corresponding domain name, checking that it is available:

Naming: how to choose the trade name for an online store

How to create a brand from scratch

Business name generator

Create a logo

Once you’ve chosen the brand name and registered the corresponding domain, it’s time to create a logo. Even a simple logo can be eye-catching. We provide a free tool to create fantastic logos in minutes:

Hatchful

Understanding SEO

You are almost ready to start building your virtual store. But first focus on understanding search engine optimization (SEO). So you will be able to structure your site in the right way to have more visibility on Google and other search engines.

Search engine positioning guide for an online store

SEO Guide for Ecommerce | For beginners

Keyword research: basic SEO guide for ecommerce

Create your virtual shop

With a better understanding of the search engines, you can proceed to the creation of your virtual shop. The important aspects to consider are manifold. Below we list some essential readings to build high conversion product pages, write captivating descriptions, take beautiful product photos and much more.

Ecommerce design: 15 experts reveal their secrets

9 ways to write effective product descriptions

Sales page: how to write it and design it to increase sales

9 ways to optimize a product page by increasing conversions

How to take photos for ecommerce: basic guide

22 sites with beautiful free images for commercial use

10 tips to optimize photos and images on search engines

Don’t forget: if you have problems setting up your shop, you can always seek help from Shopify Experts .