How to Set Up Your Own Online Shop While Traveling

Lexa Pennington's picture

If you are studying or teaching abroad for a prolonged period of time, you may find yourself looking for alternative sources of income. However, many visa programs do not allow students and teachers to work more than a certain number of hours per week. So, how can you supplement your finances so you can make the most of your time abroad? This is where setting up your own online shop comes in. It’s easy, instant and lets you sell items you no longer need or have collected during your travels.

How to Set Up Your Own Online Shop While Traveling

The Benefits of Selling Online

Ecommerce has been incredibly important for empowering people across the world to sell their artisanal goods to a far wider audience than they otherwise might have been able. The benefits of shopping online to support ecotourism have been widely discussed and celebrated, but how can you set up our own shop to sell items while abroad?

Getting your online shop up and running is actually incredible easy. We will explain in just five small steps how you can start a business from scratch that will help you to support your amazing time abroad.

1. Pick a Domain Name

First off, pick the name of your website. This will be in part dictated by what’s available, how much you are willing to pay, and the kind of business you are hoping to run. Your name should be catchy, memorable, and appropriate for your products. Read over this helpful guide for some great tips on what to look out for when making this important decision.

2. Find a Web host

There are a huge number of web hosting services out there. If you are looking to keep things as pain-free as possible, try opting for a service that’s specifically for ecommerce websites, such as the one offered by 1&1, where your site design, hosting and payment methods are all pre-configured at point of purchase. This means you can spend less time setting up, which is crucial while you’re traveling, and more time selling.

3. Set Up Your Product Pages

The key to a successful ecommerce business is in the way you market your products. Customers can only get an idea of items through photographs and written descriptions – so make them good! You don’t need to hire a professional photographer, but make sure that you take photos from all angles and include relevant details for every product; including size, color, weight, material, etc.

How to Set Up Your Own Online Shop While Traveling

4. Work Out Your Shipping Method

Choosing a successful shipping strategy is key to any online business, but especially for when you’re traveling, since you may be moving from place to place. Decide whether you want to ship only within a specific region or worldwide, and work out what your charges will need to be in order to cover costs. If you’re planning to hop from country to country regularly, you could consider enlisting the help of friends and family to ship some items for you from back home. You’ll also need to decide if you want to charge a flat rate or work on a case-by-case basis. Shopify has come up with this great guide you can follow to see the different options available to you.

5. Market Your Store

With all of the logistics set up, the only thing left for you to worry about is to get the message out about your store! Fortunately, this can be done quite easily while you’re on the move so long as you have internet access. Use social media platforms to spread the word quickly and effectively: whether it’s making posts on Facebook, putting daily pictures on Instagram, or tweeting about your products. You could also consider starting a blog, documenting the story behind your travels and why you’ve chosen to set up a shop. Alternatively, consider offering discounts and setting up a mailing list with exclusive offers for returning customers.

How to Set Up Your Own Online Shop While Traveling