How to Start an Online Retail Business in Ireland

Have you been thinking about about starting an online business in Ireland? It is easier than you think. This article will highlight the steps needed to start an online business!

Step 1: Find a Name

You will need to find a name for the business. It will need to be something which hasn't been registered in Ireland already. You can search the current registered business names here:
https://search.cro.ie/company

Once you find a name which is available, you can register the name by clicking here:
https://www.cro.ie/registration/business-name

It is important at the same time to check that the domain name you would like is available as well. A .ie is the best domain name if you are going to be running a business targeting Irish customers. You can check if the domain name is available by visiting:
https://www.iedr.ie

You won't be able to purchase the .ie domain name until you receive your business certificate from the Registry Office, which typically takes 10 days to arrive, but it is important that you know the domain name is available before you register your business name!

If you are new to business it will be easiest just to set yourself up as a sole trader. All you will need to register your business name is your PPS number.

Once your certificate arrives, you will finally be able to register the domain name. You will need to provide a copy of the business certificate to the Domain Name Registrar. IEDR provides a list of the Irish Domain Name Registraters - do shop around, as you should be able to pick up a .ie domain name for around €12 + VAT for the first 12 months.

Step 2: Get a Website

Years ago getting a website set up was a big and expensive process. These days it is a lot easier.

Shopify

The first service to check out, is called Shopify. Rather than charging an upfront cost, they charge a monthly cost to run an ecommerce store. This is a great option if you are looking to get set up quickly.

Your website will look extremely professional with Shopify and you will be able to get everything set up quickly.

For credit card payments, we would recommend Stripe (http://www.stripe.com). Stripe offer very low credit card fees and is very simple to set up - but most importantly, it was set up by two Limerick based brothers - so lets support a business which started in Ireland where we can!

WooCommerce / WordPress

Another great option is WooCommerce, done through WordPress. You will need to install a few plugins and themes to get things set up, but with a bit of research this could be a great option. You won't need to understand coding per say, but some technical understanding will help to get everything set up accordingly.

Step 3: Find a Supplier

You have your name, you have a website, now you need some products! There is a reason we set up your website first - you are a lot more likely to be able to sign up for a supplier, if you have something you can show them! If you are looking for an Irish Supplier then look now further than WholesaleDirectory.ie. If you are looking for a good International Supplier or International Dropshipper then why not try SaleHoo. There is a one time cost of $67 USD to become a member of SaleHoo but you will then have access to fantastic wholesalers for life!

Step 4: Advertising

Once you have got your products listed it is time to start promoting your website. One of the easiest ways to target customers is to set up a Facebook Page and advertise through Facebook. Facebook allows you to target a specific niche - so lets say you were selling musical instruments Facebook would allow you to target potential customers in Ireland who were musicians. Build your Facebook page and grow the number of likes you have on the page and post about special deals that you have on your website.

Consider using Google Adwords - which allows you to get visits by paying per click. You can target very specific keywords to drive traffic to your website.

Lastly. consider writing content - such as blog articles - which will help your organic search results. In the long run, this will allow you to bring free traffic to your website.

Conclusion

Growing an online business takes time and can be a lot of work initially to get things moving forward. It does take time and a lot of trial and error, but if you are willing to invest your time now it can certainly pay off in the long run as the business starts to grow.