Metta Francis

Set up an online store for your beauty business in 7 steps

By Metta Francis | 24 February 2021 | Expert Advice

Online Shop 2

If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that in a service industry like beauty, our income can be significantly affected when we can’t physically see our clients. Here are some benefits of having an online store, with details on how to set up a professional looking online store with zero budget.

5 benefits of an online store

1.Extra revenue

It goes without saying but having an online store allows you to potentially earn extra income. This is especially important during lockdown but it also complements services when you reopen. It’s a fantastic opportunity to retail at-home and aftercare products, as well as any other merchandise and products (press-on nails, affirmation cards, homeware etc!). Don’t let your retail products gather dust in the salon or kit bag, your clients’ hands, feet and nails still need your expertise during this time!

2. Easy & convenient

An online store gives clients the opportunity to browse products freely (without any pressure of you being with them) and they can order quickly and easily from their mobile device, 24/7. Who doesn’t love a late night online shopping experience or the chance to reorder there and then when their favourite cuticle balm has run out?

3. Less admin

The order and payment processing is automated with an online store and this significantly reduces the amount of admin you spend on orders. There’s a reduction in sending messages back and forth with your client and you don’t need to arrange payments manually. Simply pick up the order (from the automatic notifications), pack and post/drop-off.

4. Content ideas

Struggling to come up with content ideas during lockdown? Why not showcase some of your retail products as part of #SelfCareSunday or #ManicureMonday and ensure you provide links and details on how viewers/followers can buy directly from you.

Top tip: You don’t even need to have 10,000 followers to have a swipe up on Instagram Stories, if you link your online store to Facebook & Instagram.

5. Reach a wider audience

Having an online store allows us to sell and ship directly nationwide. You are no longer restricted to just selling to your own clients in person, you can sell to your social media followers and anyone you may not have a pre existing relationship with! By having an online store and directing people to it, you’re opening up a much wider potential client base!

How to set up an online store in 7 steps

If you’ve always wanted to set up an online store but haven’t been sure where to start, below are my recommendations and simple step-by-step instructions to get a basic, professional looking site set up.

SAVE THE DATE: On Thursday 25 February @ 12pm, I’m running a FREE workshop in association with Louella Belle with a step-by-step demo on how to set up a free online store with Square. It’s great for visual learners and beginners!

1.Sign up to SquareUp

This is my personal favourite online store platform. I already use the Square card reader, although you do not need to have this and there is no conflict if you use a different card reader. It’s very quick and easy to set up a professional online store and there are no running costs involved with the standard version. There is only a minimum transaction fee of 1.9% (UK/European cards) per sale/order. If you use my referral sign-up code, you will receive £1000 of fee free transactions (and I’ll receive the same). Click here to sign up.

2. Set up the basic site

Follow the clearly outlined steps to set up your basic online store. This will include your homepage, product pages, featured products, contact and about page.

3. Start listing your products

A top tip is to take high quality images of your products or use branded stock images and organise these ahead of listing them. Have your product images ready and your product description. That way, you can quickly and easily upload your product images and copy and paste the descriptions.

4. Set your postage options

You can choose to either have a flat rate or work out postage based on weight and also offer a local delivery or pick up service.

5. Connect the online store to your business bank account

This will enable shoppers to buy online directly. All they need to do is checkout their products and pay by entering their credit/debit card details. Payment is very quick with Square and usually reaches your account the next business day.

6. Make your store ‘live’

Choose a suitable domain name and click Publish! Your website will now be live and ready to take orders. For the free version of a Square online store, the domain will end in, for example If you want to upgrade to a .com or there will be extra charge.

7. Connect your Square store to Facebook & Instagram pages

Once your store is up and running, you can connect it to your Facebook business page and Instagram business account which will allow you to have a Facebook and Instagram shop. I highly recommend this to increase your online sales potential! Follow the step-by-steps in the Square Dashboard (it’s self explanatory!).

Facebook will need to approve your store but as soon as it is approved, your store will show up on your Facebook page. You can then connect your Instagram! Top tip: once your store is connected on Instagram, you can have a swipe up to your online store and products ~ you do NOT need 10,000 followers for this!

Some of the lovely nail/beauty professionals who joined my workshop talk about the benefits of now having an online store:

  • Jo from @embellishednailsbyjo has been able to successfully publish her online store to sell press-on nails. She says: “it is better than I imagined it to be with very low costs! After so long with no income and falling through the support ‘gap’, I am finally capturing a larger audience and starting to earn again in these difficult times.”
  • Alicia, one half of Project Positivity @projectpositivity_est2021 says” “We were selling retail via our social media, but since adding an e-store to our website, it has made our retail sales more organised and now the clients can see everything we offer easily in one place ~ they are buying more!”
  • Meera @beautybymeerax says: “During lockdown it has been hard to educate clients on correct products to use but setting up an e-store really allowed me to showcase products in one place. The e-store also allowed me to engage with others who aren’t currently clients too.”

Any more questions? Connect with me on Instagram @nailsbymets and Facebook /nailsbymets