Step-by-step Guide on How to Start an Online Bike Shop

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    The popularity and demand for bicycles continue to increase with time. With increasing fuel expenses, and the need to switch to eco-friendly lifestyles, most people out there are looking forward to spending their money on bicycles. You may think about taking advantage of this for starting your own bike business.

    From this article, we are going to share a step-by-step guide, which you can follow to start your own online bike business. All you have to do is to follow these steps, and you will end up having a successful business venture under your name.

    Understand the nature of the bike business you should start

    When it comes to starting an online bike business, you will have a few different options to consider. This is where you should be clear on the specific type of bike business that you should start. For example, you may think about starting a bike shop for professional cyclers or casual riders. Or else, you may have your own B2B bike shop as a retailer as well. However, it doesn’t mean that you will have to strictly restrict yourself to one business model. It is up to you to do a bit of market research, understand the needs of people, and then proceed with defining a business model.

    In general, most people who are looking forward to purchasing bikes online are interested in mountain bikes. According to recent studies, it is identified that around 25% of cyclists are interested in getting mountain bikes. Therefore, we can recommend you start your online bike business by focusing on selling mountain bikes.

    Pick a business name

    The next most important thing that you should do is to pick a name for your mountain biking business. The name you pick can contribute a lot to the overall success of your business. Therefore, you will need to pay special attention to the name you select.

    • Pick an easy-to-spell name

    The name should be easy to spell and easy to pronounce. Since you are going to start the bike business online, you should be mindful of your online presence. This is where you should pick a name that people can easily enter on their web browsers.

    • Include your location on the name

    If you are focusing on a local customer group, you may think about including the location of your online bike shop’s name as well. It can be the name of your city, county, or state. By including the location, you can communicate that your business is a local business. For example, if your online bike shop is based in Houston, you may pick the name Houston Mountain Bikes.

    • Pick a name that fits your branding

    You should double-check and confirm whether the name you select would fit into a branding strategy or not as well. For example, you will need to pay attention to the visual ideas for creating a logo. Then you can develop a unique brand identity around your business name with ease.

    • Register your website

    Before you finalize the business name, you should also check and see whether a .com domain name is available for you to register. If there is no expected domain name, it would be a good idea to look for an alternative. That’s because having a .com domain name for your online bicycle shop can create a major positive impact on its success.

    Write a business plan

    Your online bike shop should have a business plan as well. The business plan will help you with defining your business objectives, vision, and business strategy. It can provide the direction for your business to head in the future. The business plan should be a comprehensive one. It is better if you can take the time to create the business plan. Moreover, it would be a good idea if you can seek specialist assistance in creating the business plan as well.

    There are numerous online business plan templates available for you on the internet. You can pick such a business plan template and proceed with creating your own. It is also better if you can follow a guide that is available on the internet on how to write a business plan as well.

    How to set up your online store

    Now you come to one of the most important steps of creating your online bike shop. This is the process of creating an online store. There is no need for you to seek the assistance of a professional web designer or a developer. That’s because you can go through this process on your own. We will share the steps that you will need to follow to get the job done.

    • Register your domain

    In case you have not registered the domain name, you will need to proceed with doing it. Some of the e-commerce platforms will help you to buy the domain name directly through their platforms. Or else, you may purchase the domain name from a domain name registrant, such as GoDaddy or NameCheap.

    Always keep in mind that a good domain name is something that anyone can easily memorize. It needs to be short as well. Moreover, people should be able to share the domain name with ease. Make sure that you don’t add unwanted hyphens or special characters in the domain name. There can be situations where the exact domain name that you want to get is not available. In such a situation, you should think about adding a suffix or a prefix.

    It is also a good idea to double-check your domain name with the legal counsel that you work with. Then you can make sure that you will not run into any problems in selecting that domain name. if the domain name you pick is something similar to another brand, there is a possibility for you to get penalized. You should make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.

    • Pick the e-commerce platform

    Next, you should proceed with selecting an e-commerce platform. The e-commerce platform will build the framework for your online website. Therefore, it is important to go through available e-commerce platforms and pick the right option. Some of the best examples of e-commerce platforms available for you to select include Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.

    There are some differences in the e-commerce platforms. For example, you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee for e-commerce platforms such as Shopify. But if you want that to be completely free, you can proceed with WooCommerce.

    Depending on the e-commerce platform you select, you will have to purchase web hosting as well. For example, if you go ahead with Shopify, you will not need to buy web hosting. That’s because it is included in your subscription. But when you go for an open source solution such as WooCommerce, you will need to buy hosting separately. In fact, you should buy web hosting, install WordPress, and then install the WooCommerce plugin on top of it. Then you can continue to add products to your e-commerce store.

    It is also better if you can take a look at the features that are available to you with the e-commerce platform you select. Some of the most useful features that you can possibly get out of an e-commerce platform include custom domains, gifting options, abandoned shopping cart email reminders, and integrated shopping plans. You should also ensure that the e-commerce platform you select is scalable. Then you will not experience any bottlenecks as you continue to expand your business in the future.

    • Customize your online bike store

    After selecting the e-commerce platform, you will need to proceed with customizing it. This is where you need to have a clear understanding of your brand identity and your customers in mind. No matter what, you need to make sure that your online bike shop is reflecting your brand. It should also add sense to the business.

    The online store-creating platform will help you to customize the store with ease. In fact, you don’t need to have any coding knowledge at all to proceed. You will need to pick a theme, customize it, and add your business-specific information. You will still have the freedom to select your preferred layout elements, fonts, and colors.

    • Integrate a payment gateway

    You should have a way to accept customer payments on your online bike store. This is where you should integrate with a payment gateway. The payment gateway needs to accept all customer payments online and right away.

    It is better if you can integrate some standard payment methods, which all your customers can use. This is where you may take a look at payment gateways such as Stripe and PayPal.

    • Optimize your online bike store

    You need to make sure that your online bike store is clearly visible on the internet. Then you can receive organic traffic from search engines such as Google. This is where you should be careful to optimize the online bike store.

    It is essential to include title tags and meta descriptions for all pages. Moreover, you should be using alt tags for images. Likewise, focus on SEO basics and ensure that your online bike store is highly searches engine compatible. Then you will not have to face any challenges when receiving free traffic.

    How to find suppliers?

    Now you have your online bike shop up and running. The next step is to find suppliers, who will offer you the products that you need to sell. In order to do that, you will need to get in touch with a wholesaler.

    A convenient method that you can do to find a supplier would be to get in touch with a dropshipping business. There are wholesalers, who can help you to fulfill your orders based on the dropshipping business model. The good thing about this business model is that you don’t have to worry about managing your inventory. On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about order fulfillment as well. All you have to do is to get the products that are offered by your dropshipping partner and list them on your online bike shop for selling while keeping a markup.

    If you are searching for a supplier who can offer bikes to your online store as a wholesaler, you may take a look at Wude Bike. Wude Bike specializes in offering bikes and parts. You will be able to get kid bikes, balance bikes, BMX bikes, and many other types of bikes from Wude Bike. Then you can list them on your online bike store and make them available for the customers to buy.

    It is better if you can include more information about the bikes as much as possible on the online bike store. People will be purchasing bikes from your store without even taking a look at them in person. Therefore, it is quite important for you to provide information to them with as much as you can. Then you can make life easy for people to go ahead and buy the products. Make sure that you include lots of product photos and product videos.

    How to promote your online bike store

    By this stage, you will be having a comprehensive online bike store up and running on the internet. As a result, you can go to the next step of attracting customers. This is not the easiest thing that you can do as you will have to deal with stiff competition. Here are some useful and effective tips that you can follow to promote your online bike store.

    • Submit your online bike shop to online directories

    Organic traffic is the best way to get more people to come to your online bike store. This is where you can think about submitting your online bike shop to online directories. Make sure that you follow a guide on how to submit your online bike shop’s URL to online directories for getting the best returns.

    • Work with influencers

    Influencer marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods available for you to consider. You need to get in touch with some influencers, who have audiences of bike lovers. Then you can get them to promote your online bike store. Make sure that you get more creative with your influencer to receive the best results out of marketing efforts.

    • Use online advertising methods

    Online advertising methods are quite effective as you try to promote your online bike shop. For example, you may proceed with Google Ads or Facebook Ads. The best thing about such online advertising methods is that you will be able to make your ad visible only to a specific audience. For example, you will be able to promote your online bike shop to people who have searched for bikes on Facebook in the recent past. Make sure that you also create your own social media profiles for the online bike shop. They can help you to engage with prospective clients and attract them to buy what you offer.

    • Run content marketing campaigns

    Content marketing campaigns can also be quite effective as you try to promote your online store. You can carefully plan a content marketing campaign and run it. It will help you with boosting your visibility, which will help you to attract more customers with ease.

    • Use press releases

    Press releases are an amazing way to promote your online bike store. If you are planning to offer unique and innovative bikes through your store, this will be quite an effective method to try.

    • Join an affiliate marketing program

    If you don’t have a lot of money to be spent on marketing campaigns, you may think about joining an affiliate marketing program. Then you can get affiliates to promote your products. Here, you will only be paying for the leads or sales that they bring in. As a result, you will not have to worry too much about spending your money unnecessarily on marketing.

    • Don’t ignore the word-of-mouth marketing

    Even though there are numerous effective marketing methods there, you should never ignore the word of mouth marketing. It is still the most effective method available to promote your online store. People trust what others say. Hence, you should make an effort to promote word-of-mouth marketing as well.

    Final words

    Now you have a clear idea about the steps that you should follow in order to have your online bike store up and running on the internet. If you can follow these steps, starting your own business and generating profits will not be something challenging. The efforts that you spend on it can deliver worthy returns. Hence, you can consider it one of the best investments that you can do to have your own business.

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