Many people dream of entrepreneurship, but before the internet, starting a business was a difficult prospect. Creating an eCommerce website and selling products online is within the grasp of anyone with time and value.
Building a business of any kind is work. Having a product idea and sourcing or creating your products is a great initial step you will have to tackle. But the work of creating a website itself can be done in a day or two.
Regardless of whether you’ve ever built a website, the tools now accessible ensure that anybody can make an online store easily. Before the finish of this post, you will know how to make a successful eCommerce website for your business.
Before we move on to the HOW, let’s take a look at the WHY.
Why Build an eCommerce Website?
It is clear that the growth of eCommerce brings many benefits to the bottom line of a company, but there are more reasons to create an eCommerce business. An online presence provides companies with ample opportunities to create connections that are conducive to growth.
Strengthen Your Brand
If you sell on an online marketplace, such as eBay or Amazon, your products are listed generically and often use the marketplace brands. Some customers may not even realize that they are buying from you and will not know your brand. Creating your e-commerce site ensures that you are in control of how your products are presented. Your customers remember you, not the market.
Acquisitions of New Markets
It cannot be easy for many businesses, especially small and startups, to reach customers in new markets with just one storefront. An ecommerce site allows you to reach new customers online that you couldn’t reach with just physical sales.
Create Unique Shopping Experiences
Online businesses can also directly impact the customer journey by creating a unique shopping experience through videos, stories, and personalized services. These shopping encounters don’t need to end at the checkout either, as you can reach customers through email marketing or social media. These extraordinary experiences have a way of convincing customers that online shopping offers inclusive opportunities that a traditional store does not usually offer.
How to Build a Successful eCommerce Website?
Select & Purchase Domain Name
The domain name is the web address that people type to find your website. You may want to keep a couple of domain names in mind if the first name you choose is not available. You will be able to buy your domain name through hosting websites, such as GoDaddy or Hostgator.
Find a Developer For Your eCommerce Website Development
Even if you are starting your business, a developer can simplify setting up an e-commerce site. They have the technical knowledge to set it up quickly, which means you can start selling sooner. When considering a developer, ask about their schedule so that you can plan your release date. Ask to see other websites they have created and get referrals from those companies. According to a leading eCommerce app development agency, you need to make sure the developer shares your vision and can create what you are looking for within your budget.
Legitimate Your Business With the Proper Paperwork
The first step is to determine what type of legal business entity you want to operate. It determines the taxes you pay and the kind of protection you will have as a business owner. Popular legal formations that people choose for an ecommerce website include sole proprietorship, LLC, and corporation. An LLC is the most commonly chosen because it involves less paperwork, and you will pay taxes as a sole proprietor rather than paying taxes as a corporation. It would be best to hire a business attorney to help you incorporate your business, so you don’t make a costly mistake down the road.
You will also need to obtain your vendor license if you are going to make taxable sales. This will be a requirement for many providers before working with you. This license can be purchased through your local state agency.
Select Your Website Hosting & eCommerce Platform
To save money and time, choose an efficient & popular e-commerce platform. Most developers are familiar with Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce, making it easy to integrate plugins, processing payments, etc.
For the skincare eCommerce site, we use WooCommerce due to its WordPress abilities. We chose WP Engine for hosting, which costs $ 29.99 per month and provides a fast and secure hosting solution.
Find the Apropos Theme for Your eCommerce Website.
Your topic is important because it is what your visitors see for the first time they come to your website. So you want a design that will attract people to keep browsing your website. There are many websites where you can buy a theme template to download for your website. This will help you save time and money rather than trying to create the design from scratch.
Determine Your Product Selection
You probably don’t want to start with your full physical store inventory right away for the sake of time. Instead, choose the products that are the best sellers or that may have the potential to perform better in an online environment. Here are some suggestions, which will vary depending on your industry:
- Hobbyist Products
This type of products support people’s interests and hobbies. People who enjoy collecting these items or using them for their hobbies will be willing to buy them repeatedly and pay more for items they are particularly excited about.
- Light Weight
Again, since shipping and handling are now a factor, choosing your lightest and easiest-to-ship products to start your shop makes economic sense.
- Hard to Find Locally
If you sell products specific to your area and may be difficult for foreigners in your area to find, these are great products to feature on your new e-commerce website. You can broaden your audience to include customers who previously did not have access to your products.
- Consumable Products
Consumable products require people to buy them repeatedly, so they are also good products to start with. You can use such products to begin building a faithful customer base. If you primarily sell consumable products on your site, you might even want to consider starting a subscription service so that customers can sign up and receive your products.
Select Shipping & Fulfillment Partners
If you already have a physical store, chances are you already have suppliers that you order from and have an ongoing relationship with. However, with an online store, you now have the extra shipping and fulfillment pieces to get your products into customers’ hands.
Configure Payment Gateways
In addition to actually fulfilling your customers orders, you need to set up payment gateways so that they can pay you. Especially at a time when flexibility and convenience are paramount, be sure to offer multiple payment methods.
Most ecommerce website builders will make it easy to sync with various payment gateways like PayPal, Visa, Apple Pay, and Mastercard. Choose the payment providers you think your customers are likely to use and connect them to your store. If you have specific business concerns, such as selling high-risk products or wanting to sell in other countries, you’ll want to make sure your payment gateways support those needs.
Add Products to Your Store
Now that you have a stylish site designed, a fulfillment plan outlined, and you’ve chosen the products you plan to sell, you’re ready to add products to your store! When adding products, you want to make sure your product descriptions are clear and SEO optimized. This will make it easier for people to find you when they search online.
Here is key information to include in your product descriptions:
- Article name
- Weight and measurements,
- Variants such as sizes, and available colors
- A clear description of the item.
You may also want to include high-resolution photos and videos of your products so customers are clear about what they’re getting. By providing detailed product descriptions, you will help limit the number of returns you must process.
Test & Run Your eCommerce Website
You’re almost ready to go live, but there is one more crucial step to take. You will need to preview and test all the essential features to ensure everything works as it should.
This should include confirming all of the following in various web browsers:
- Is your site working properly?
Preview your site. Do your products, photos, and descriptions appear the way you want? Do all the buttons you click to take you where you want them to go? Does the site navigation seem intuitive?
- Does the payment work?
Test all your payment gateways with test orders. Pass? Is the price correct? Are discounts and promotions applied as planned? Are taxes displayed correctly when the user enters their location?
- Does the site work on mobile devices?
Make sure your site works on mobile devices, and all features are accessible. If everything looks good and works as it should, you are ready to publish and start selling online!
Don’t Wait, Let’s Begin to Build Your eCommerce Website.
A good e-commerce site is more than just a place to sell products. It’s where a business can create an experience that strengthens its brand, attracts new customers, and turns casual shoppers into loyal ambassadors. Choosing the right e-commerce platform and having a marketing strategy to create a successful online store can give you a head start to succeed in e-commerce. Looking for a trusted partner to create an e-commerce website? AppStudio is the one for you. Get in touch with web developers to start your eCommerce website development project.