Have something to sell? Depending on your product, maybe you've looked into eBay, Amazon, Etsy, or any other online selling platform. But how about starting up your own store? It's easy once you know the steps, and you'll have the benefits of full control over your online brand. Plus, you won't be giving a cut of your sales to a third party! Here's what you need to do to get up and running.
1. Choose the right platform
What's a platform? A platform is basically the software that runs your store. 3dcart offers an all-in-one solution that doesn't require any downloading or installing; you just log in through a web browser. You'll have a full control panel that can handle all the aspects of your business and website, from product information to blogging. Your store's domain name (URL) will be registered for free, or you can use one you already own.
2. Choose a theme
Once you've signed up for your 3dcart account, you'll have access to over 100 responsive (mobile-ready) themes that look great on everything from a computer to an old smartphone. You can edit these themes with the drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor, or access the theme files directly if you decide to make manual edits to the code. It's your choice!
3. Configure your store information
In the Store Settings section of your 3dcart Online Store Manager, enter your store's name and slogan, add your logo, and set up other general options like your time zone and contact information. Don't worry if you need help understanding the various settings; you can roll the mouse over the information icons in the dashboard to bring up some instant help, or check out What Can I Find in the Store Settings Section? for a complete explanation!
4. Set up payment and taxes
3dcart lets you accept payment in a huge assortment of ways, all of which you can turn on and off according to your preferences. Take PayPal, credit cards, Pay with Amazon, WorldPay, and more; over 100 online payment gateways in total. You can quickly and easily set up tax rules too with the Tax Manager (See How Do I Add Tax to my 3dcart Store? for more details), which does all the calculations for you and simplifies an otherwise difficult process.
5. Configure shipping methods
Unless you're only selling downloads, you'll need a means of shipping your products to your customers. In your 3dcart store's Shipping Settings, you can select from several domestic and international carriers including USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Canada Post and more. You can also set up free and flat-rate shipping if you have a need for those options. Check out How Can I Add a Shipping Method? for help!
6. Set up your store email
Yep, your store gets an email address! Depending on your 3dcart plan, you may be able to create multiple addresses for different admins or employees if necessary. Few things look more professional than an email address at your domain name! 3dcart has a built-in webmail interface called SmarterMail or you can use a third-party client like Outlook or Thunderbird. More details are available on the 3dcart Email Guide.
7. Add your products
Now that you've fully built the foundation of your store, it's time to add your products! There are a few ways to go about doing this, and which way is best depends on how many products you have. You can see How Do I Add Products to my Store? for all the instructions, but even if you decide to mass-upload via a spreadsheet, as a rule it's good to add a product manually first just to get used to the interface. Soon, product management will be second nature!
8. Launch your store
Once everything is ready, it's time to go live! All you need to do is point your domain name at your 3dcart store. If you got your domain for free through your 3dcart registration, just contact us to let us know you're ready for us to connect it. If you already owned the domain, you'll have to do this yourself, but it only takes a few simple steps. Check out our How Do I Make the DNS Changes to my (Non-3dcart) Registered Domain? for instructions. Once your URL is connected, start spreading the word!
9. Adapt to growth
Started selling more than you expected? Your 3dcart plan can easily be upgraded to the next tier, allowing you to add more products and handle more traffic. The 3dcart platform is made to be used for all levels of selling, from the smallest online store to the very largest! The 3dcart team is available 24/7 at 1-800-828-6650 to help you out with any questions. We can't wait to help you build the online store of your dreams!