More and more people are beginning to shop online these days. With trusted sites like Paypal who ensure that those who shop online are secure from theft when entering their credit card information or paypal account name and password, people can buy what they need without ever needed to venture through crowded malls or trudge out through feet of snow in the winter.

If you are passionate about something and have often thought about what it would be like to run your own store online, now is the time to get involved. Before you open up your one online store though, you will need to do some research and check out your potential competition. This helps you to find out the prices that products are selling for and what types of marketing methods your competitors are using to drive in their business. Often times when browsing around, you will see things selling that you never thought would be that popular.

You can either choose to sell products that are already manufactured and can be purchased at wholesale prices, or through the use of a drop ship company(this means no out of pocket expense for you for inventory), or you can make your own products if you love to do crafts, needlework, pottery, or any other hobby that generates a nifty little product someone might find enjoyment or use from.

Choose a Specific Niche
If you have not decided on an inventory yet, you need to take the time to think about a specific niche. This is a small category of products that are specific to a certain group of people or target market. You are too small of a person to compete with the likes of companies such as Walmart who can afford to sell everything and anything to the general public. To be successful and grab a piece of the internet e-commerce pie, narrowing in on a small area of a market will net you the best chance.

If you stick to a niche that you are familiar with and know pretty well, you will be able to stay interested in your business and be able to share more about the specifics of products and uses with your customers. Many people are more eager to do business and come back again if they can trust your experience and knowledge.

Many wahms find success in using their sewing skills to make things such as baby clothes or cloth diapers. Others make candles, soap, chocolates, gift baskets, embroidered accessories, crochet booties, hats and scarves, or almost anything you enjoy making and giving as gifts, will more than likely find success if you create an online store and get your products in the faces of the best target market.

I am a writer, therefore it seemed only logical that I would write some books and try to sell them. I started out writing about my experiences online, what I learned that made money, the programs I tried and how to use them, and anything that could benefit another stay at home parent make money from home enabling her to save money on child care.

I have always had a passion for children's stories and have written several. I am now in the process of having those illustrated and selling as well. And finally, I am 50 pages into a romance/mystery novel which I hope will one day soon be on the shelves for others to enjoy.

I have a sister who sells gift baskets and if you choose the right themes and products, you can find a popular selection that many people will enjoy. Gift baskets are great to sell in an online store because you can make so many varieties that you are most sure to please everyone who is browsing. Gift baskets are becoming quite popular to buy these days because people just do not have the time or the imagination to go searching for that perfect gift. With baskets, they can see things at a glance and it becomes a no brainer, just purchase, receive in the mail and one happy recipient.

Research Your Store Options
Once you have decided on your inventory, you will need to set up your store. If you are not such a techie person, you may want to go with someone like Yahoo, wahm cart, shopify, or any of the other options where the store is already pre-installed for you on hosting and you just simply need to purchase a domain name for it and load up your product pictures, descriptions and price.

If you are more of a techie geek, you can use the free sources like OS Commerce, Cube Cart or Zencart which are included in most hosting account Fantastic control panels, or you can pay for WordPress ecommerce shopping cart plugins, or other standalone options like Magenta. The cost of these programs will be anywhere from the $10 hosting fee cost upwards to $200 a month depending on which you choose to go with. You will want to do a lot of research and try talking to other store owners on forums or social networks before you decide which will work best for you.

I used Cube Cart for the longest time, and then I tried places like E-junkie, and the more I learned about html and such, I soon ended up just building my own individual sales pages for my download-able e books. While I have these on their own pages, I have still set up a plug in much like a store for the affiliate program though.

You will want to make sure that whatever option you choose to go with for your online store that you have reliable hosting service. The last thing you need is for the server to go down and you lose out on potential sales. You can also choose to set up stores on ebay or ioffer where you will have help in getting those targeted customers you are looking for.

Network with Other Store Owners
It is a good idea to be a regular member of a forum with other wahms. In this way, you can find those others who have stores and band together with them to swap banners and promotions to help get traffic and sales for everyone. Many wahms find that the things they sell compliment other wahms well and there is enough business for everyone to get some income happening without feeling like they are losing out to competition. Marketing is a big aspect of your business and once you have your online store looking just the way you want it, you will be spending the majority of your time bring in the traffic and making sales.

Remember to keep your site simple and easy to navigate. Make sure all order buttons are visible and if possible provide them a way to contact you directly on the site live if they have a question while they are browsing. You can find these chat programs for free or paid and can get them installed without much fuss. Then when someone wants to ask you a question, you will be notified on your computer just like you would with an instant message from Gmail or Messenger. You may want to include a 1-800 business number on your site as well so your customers will be able to call and talk to you live if they have a problem after a purchase.

No matter what you would like to sell online or where you decide to set up your store, by following the tips outlined here, you should be on your way to building a successful business.

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