I opened an online store during the pandemic
Yes, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic I opened an online store, I was full of anxiety, fear, but above all, I was ready to take risks, and you should be too, I will tell you how I did it step by step and hopefully, by the end of this article, you will open yours.
Why did I decide to open an online store?
COVID-19 hit us like a storm in March 2020 in Mexico and everyone started wondering about their future and current job situation, lots of people lost their positions in the first month of the pandemic. From that point, the country’s economy started going down, and the number of cases going up.
Four months later and here we are, still struggling with the pandemic, but there is a slight difference. The sales from marketplaces in Mexico like Amazon or Mercado Libre are over the roof. These companies have reported that the expected sales for this year have been achieved and exceeded.
This is an indicator that online shopping is effectively a thing and it’s working. Several local companies had to migrate to a digital platform to keep the business alive. But also, this is an indicator that you can leave that 9–5 job and follow your entrepreneur dream.
That’s exactly what I did. I was unfortunate enough to be part of the percentage that lost their job due to the current pandemic. Don’t feel bad for me, this virus did me a favor because I finally jumped to the entrepreneur wagon and I opened an online store.
How did I start building my online store?
First of all, what is your passion? What are your hobbies? What do you like to do? The answers to these questions are the key to formulate the idea of your online store. By responding to this you can figure out what you are good at. Can be from doing cute drawings that can be transformed into stickers or you can offer your service as a translator because you like learning languages or maybe you like sewing, so you can start selling scrunchies on social media.
As you can see, can be something very small, that doesn’t require a lot of investment, the key is to start, you never know, one day this can be turned into a 6 figures business.
The second step is setting a name and get a website to sell your products or service. You have two options: Create your own website or create an account in Amazon or Mercado Libre. Let’s talk about the benefits of each.
Create your own website: The main benefit is that you can customize it to your whole liking, add or remove any feature that you think your business needs to achieve its full potential. A con that we can find is that I recommend a minimal investment by buying a domain and hosting plan or buying a monthly plan with Shopify.
Marketplace: These are websites where you can build your shop, the only cost is that they take a commission of all your sales, I recommend you to compare the commissions and see which one is better for you and your wallet.
Which one will you choose?
But what now?
The third step, take cute photographs of your products, with your cellphone is enough, just find a good spot with a lot of natural light. There is no need to have a super professional and expensive camera, remember that you are starting with a low budget.
If you think your photos can use a little retouch, I recommend you an economic option that is picmonkey or if you have Photoshop knowledge, go for it.
Now that all your product’s photos are ready, it's time to upload them to your website, put prices on, type a catchy copy as a description and you are ready to sell.
Of course, there are more aspects to take into consideration like Taxes, accountability, shipping, marketing, etc. all the adulty stuff no one likes, but if you want me to write more in-depth about these topics, please let me know with a comment or reach me out in my social media.
About social media, I strongly suggest you pick one platform, the one where you see your target client hangs the most, and explore the hell out of it, share content about your products daily, and always respond to the comments and private messages, this is how you are going to build trust.
The most important advice I can give you is that never stop working, even if the day before you failed or you got any sales. Everything you do is a learning experience, the key to success is how you use those experiences towards your future actions.
I can bet 5 pesos that you won’t regret opening your own online store, don’t let any virus or pandemic stop you from following your dreams, even if you have to wear a face mask the whole time.