Our guide: How to start an online store?

Are you considering starting your own online store and wondering what steps to take? This guide gives you everything you need to get your own online store up and running.

Erik B 23 Sep, 2022 • 6 Min. read

That it requires a lot of technical knowledge to get started selling your products in an online store is a myth. With today’s solutions and pre-made templates, anyone can fulfill their dream of starting a large or small online store.

Less and less people are going to physical stores to shop nowadays. Even groceries are delivered to your doorstep. If you have a good business idea and want to share your product with the world, it’s important you do things in the right order.

The steps you need to take to start an online store

When you have decided to plunge into ecommerce, it’s important to take strategic steps. Let’s look at eight vital steps in order to make your new store a success.

1. Choose the right platform

An e-commerce platform allows you to build an online store, sell products, and process orders. In reality, it offers way much more than that.

The platform you choose will also become the control center for your entire business. It gives a complete overview of your inventory, tracks marketing activities, and offer all the tools you need to sell goods online and provide good customer service.

Some of the key features you should look for in an e-commerce platform are:


Your ecommerce should be easy to use and intuitive to set up. Look for solutions that saves you time when setting up pages in your online store.

Customer service

Choose a platform that offers a good customer service and can help you when you need it. There are options for 24/7 services by email, live chat, or phone.

Seamless checkout

In order to sell goods, you need a simple and efficient checkout process for your customers. You risk losing customers if they encounter problems after placing items in their bag and have to spend more time than necessary to check out and get their order confirmation.


A “web host” stores information in a database on your e-commerce platform. You need hosting for potential customers to access your online store. Some platforms offer hosting, while others require a third-party solution.

Think about current and future needs. One option might be a better fit today, but not in the long run.

2. Select the products you want to sell

Products may have been decided upon before you decided to start an online store. If not, it’s something you should think about now.

Inventory can be a difficult decision. If you have an audience in mind, the road to success is shorter. There are several different ways to find profitable products:

  • Meet people who spend a lot of time and money on their hobbies.
  • Sell ​​something you’re passionate about.
  • Identify trends in their early stages and promptly introduce products that align with them.

3. Who is your target audience?

A key ingredient to success is finding the target groups who want or need your products. Look at three main categories:

  • Demographics – age, gender, occupation, education, and income.
  • Geographical location – perhaps your products suit one area better than another.
  • Interests – defined by the personality, opinions, and lifestyle of your audience.

If you already have the product, it’s significantly easier to find the right target group. Ask yourself who’s going to buy the product, how old they are, and how they will respond to different types of marketing.

In order to sell products, you must familiarize yourself with the buyer’s needs and cover those needs.

4. Set up your page

After choosing the name of your online store, logo, products, and audience, it’s time to decide how it all should look. Good product images will give your online store an inviting look.

Additionally, it’s important that you:

  • Add items and product descriptions, as well as options for size or color.
  • Prize your products.
  • Choose options for shipping and logistics.
  • Arrange inventory – this will adjust automatically as the goods are sold.
  • Think about SEO – have relevant URLs that describe the page your customers will meet on your website, and create good meta titles and meta descriptions.

Read more about SEO

5. Set up payment solutions

Shopify, for example, let’s you implement all popular payment solutions:

  • Visa / MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • Klarna

You choose the solutions you want for your online store. The more common payment solutions you offer, the easier it is for your customers. Having a partial payment option like Klarna can help you get more customers, especially if your products are in the higher price range.

6. Customer service

Set up an email address or a chat that gives your customers the opportunity to ask questions when they are wondering about something.

7. Launch your own online store

You have chosen your online store design, arranged your inventory, and fixed the payment options and shipping. Now it’s time to give the online store a stage and an audience.

8. Marketing in social media

Ensure that your products reach customers. Your potential customers won’t become customers if they don’t know you’re selling what they want. Many online store solutions are integrated with advertising on Google and Facebook, so it’s easy to track whether the marketing actually works. 

How much does it cost to start an online store?

The cost of starting an online store depends on size and platform. You will have to spend money on inventory, but the platform itself can be rented for as little as NOK 300 a month if you only sell a few items.

Check out different options and determine what will work for you before you get started.

We recommend Shopify

At Journey Agency, we’ve fallen head over heels for Shopify. This is a solution that suits the vast majority of businesses, regardless of whether it’s a small or large one. Shopify makes it easy to set up an online store, move it to your own domain, run campaigns, and monitor sales.

Shopify is one of the most popular platforms in the Nordics. If you are eager to create an online store and start selling products as quickly as possible, Shopify is an excellent solution for you.

Shopify is based in Canada and primarily targets the English-speaking market, but it works just as well for Nordic online stores. 

  • All content can be written in your preferred language.
  • You can enter your preferred currency.
  • You can enter your preferred tax settings.
  • You can enter the most common payment methods in your market.

If you don’t want to use Shopify, there are other options, such as:

Journey Agency is your growth partner

Journey Agency i Oslo.

Journey Agency is a full-service, end-to-end digital agency consisting of 50 wise minds in Norway and Sweden.

We are creative, data-driven, and results-oriented, and we help you scale your business and become visible online.

Our experts keep ahead of trends in consumer behavior in the digital landscape, and have an analytical and strategic approach to helping our clients achieve visibility online. We are experts in developing and marketing e-commerce and can help you set up an online store that ensures your company’s success.

Feel free to contact us for a chat.