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How To Start an Online Novelty Store

Posted by Public Storage on February 14, 2024

The world of e-commerce continues to explode and expand, having increased by 8.7% in 2023. As more consumers turn to the internet to purchase everything from everyday essentials to unique novelties, the opportunities for your aspiring online retailer’s dream will continue to grow. 


For creatively minded entrepreneurs like yourself, starting an online novelty store offers a profitable way to tap this surging digital marketplace. But you’re probably asking yourself how to start an online novelty store properly. How do you make sure your custom gag gift or funky invention shop stands out and succeeds among all this intense competition?


This article will guide you on the critical steps you’ll need to create an online store. Whether you already have an amusing product idea in mind or are still brainstorming your signature wares, these pointers below aim to equip you with the tools and game plan to launch and expand your future e-commerce site. 


Start a Successful Online Novelty Store in 8 Easy Steps 

Business partners discussing how to start an online novelty store over a computer

1. Find Your Niche 

Identifying a specific novelty niche sets the very foundation for how to start an online novelty store. You need to research popular gifts and novelty trends, think creatively about potential gaps, and assess any existing competition in categories that interest you. Selecting a narrow speciality — funny socks, alien novelties, cat-themed accessories — helps you attract an enthusiastic target audience from the start. 


Think about what makes your potential customers tick, and tailor your future offerings to cater to these particular whims. The key here is to strike a balance between uniqueness and market demand.


2. Conduct Market Research 

Before you start investing in inventory and other start-up costs, verify the consumer demand for your chosen novelty niche. Use Google Trends, social media listening tools, and online surveys to measure the interest levels and buyer’s intent. 


Understand your target audience, analyse competitors, and unearth trends that could shape your online store’s success. 


This market validation gives you confidence that your web store will appeal to the field of hungry novelty buyers you’ll be appealing to. By knowing the ins and outs of your market, you can make informed decisions that set the foundation for a strong and sustainable business.


3. Create a Business Plan

Map out your short- and long-term goals and start predicting finances for your online novelty shop with a detailed business plan! Include an overview of your products, ideal buyer personas, estimated operations costs, expected profit margins per item, marketing tactics, goals, target audience, and revenue streams. 


Refining this roadmap early gives you an invaluable guide as you establish and expand your e-commerce company as well as attracting potential investors or partners.


4. Choose the Right E-commerce Platform

When it comes to setting up your online store in Ireland, user-friendly platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce are great for streamlining and launching an attractive, functional online store on your domain. 


Go over each option’s unique: 

  • Features 
  • Transaction fees 
  • Integration potential with any payment gateways, marketing tools, plugins, and other small business services 

Check which platform can be tailored to meet the unique requirements of your online novelty store.

5. Design Your Online Store

Customise a visually engaging website that reflects your brand identity using your chosen e-commerce platform. Be sure to use high-quality product photos, clean navigation menus, appealing store layouts, and a simple purchasing process to make buying your novelties online a user-friendly experience.

Your online store’s design is the digital storefront that welcomes customers. Remember, an attractive online store is more likely to captivate and retain customers!

6. Source Your Products 

Now that your store is taking shape, it’s time to source the products that will fill its virtual shelves. You’ll need to track down reliable suppliers, manufacturers, or wholesalers to stock your online inventory. 

Building relationships with trusted domestic providers will make logistics more manageable and, ideally, lower costs. Alternatively, platforms like Alibaba can connect you to overseas suppliers if your niche needs uniquely imported products from pretty far away. Pay close attention to product quality, pricing, and shipping logistics.

Keep in Mind: 

  • You must consistently take high-quality photos. Make sure the images are clear, and try photographing your products from different angles. Try also to make sure that the lighting is bright, and snap your products using a white or plain background to guarantee there’s a strong focus on them and nothing else.
  • Your product descriptions should be accurate. You don’t want to lie about your products on your website, which will only lead to unhappy customers. Take the time to explain your products in detail, including item size, colour options, and any essential care instructions. 

If you perfect your product imagery and descriptions, visitors to your online novelty store will be more likely to convert into consumers. 

7. Manage Inventory 

Efficient inventory management is the backbone of any successful online store. You’ll need to accurately track novelty inventory with e-commerce platform extensions, which prevents overselling products listed online. 


As your catalogue expands, also be sure to secure self storage units nearby to house any extra inventory until they are ready to list online or ship out. Good organisation and stock level awareness mean that you can fulfil purchases properly and on time.

8. Scale Your Online Store

As your online novelty store gains traction, it’s time to think about scaling. If your niche products attract consistent sales, you’ll need to put long-term business plans in action to grow your web presence and profits over time. 


Explore new marketing strategies and engage with your customer base. Expand your novelty catalogue, upgrade branding and web design, streamline order processing, explore promotional partnerships, and install customer loyalty programs. 


As both your digital and physical inventory grows, use self storage units to securely house surplus products, packaging materials, office equipment, records, and other overflow until needed. You can stand out in Ireland’s booming e-commerce landscape by continually refining and innovating your online novelty shop.

A Wm. O’Brien business self storage unit

Starting an online novelty store offers aspiring entrepreneurs, such as yourself, a fun and profitable e-commerce venture if done right.


As you scale your gag gift or funky invention business, use Wm. O’Brien Self Storage to securely house everything you need. With clean and affordable storage units near Dublin and Cork, Wm. O’Brien Self Storage gives you the capacity to start an online novelty store.


Our secure units are tailored to support growing ventures like yours! Get in contact with us today to learn more.