How to Create An Online Store: Quick & Easy Steps to Start Selling Online!
If you’re new to the online selling market and looking for the best ways to start your own e-commerce business, then you have to know a lot of things to make sure your web store is a successful venture. In this guide, we cover everything related to creating and launching a successful online store in just a few steps.
In this guide, you’ll not just look at the web platform to choose and the features to integrate with the platform, but also this post also spells out the key things you need to do to make your website works for you.
Let’s review quickly.
Decide What To Sell
This is probably the most important step of the whole process as your target audience will be buying your products. So, no matter how great is your marketing team, nothing will work if your product isn’t effective. If the users are not happy with it, you may have various negative reviews which may hamper your online presence, resulting in the loss.
With online shopping platform, you will be competing with the large numbers of hugely popular websites that are already selling almost everything under the sun. So, you must make sure that the product you are going to sell is unique and has something special to encourage your visitors to reach your website and place the order.
You can start with this simple step – ‘find your niche’ – identify a product range. It is also important to make sure choosing the products that are enough demand to sustain an online business. So, instead of selling the products that are already sold online, you can choose to sell something hard to find online and for which there is strong demand.
Source Your Stock
Of course, you will not start getting the orders on the first day of your website launch, but it is important that you have enough stock of the products that you are going to sell to your target audiences. There are two different options when it comes to sourcing stock: dropshipping or purchasing it from a supplier and reselling it.
Dropshipping is a very common and latest methods of selling online as it lets you enjoy the freedom of not storing the products or goods that you are planning to sell online. You can just launch a website and collaborate with an online shopping website that will handle it all while the order is processed through your website. The biggest advantage of the first option is that there are no upfront investments required, but there are downsides as well – dropshipping is quite a competitive area.
The second option lets you be sure about the quality of the product because you will be buying from a supplier you know. You can be sure about the quality of the stock first-hand. It may be a costly decision as you would need to first purchase the products which are then sold to the buyers so you need to invest in the products first.
Build Your eCommerce Website
Building online shopping websites may seem an easy choice but it is a complex decision. The website development platforms require great skills so you must be an expert to create your website. If you are not a professional coder, then you can choose to hire a professional who can help you with the development part. There are two options to choose to create your website – Hire a freelancer or hire a web development company.
The first option may seem a cost-effective and quick choice as the freelancers are available nearly half of the cost of hiring a company, but there are many downsides attached to it. You will have no reliability and the coder will work according to his (or her) choice. On the other hands, choosing a web development company may be a bit expensive, but you can be sure about the quality of the codes and professionalism.
These companies offer complete web development solutions to your needs. So, you will not need to deal with multiple people as they have web designers, web developers, mobile app developers, testers and marketers all under one roof.
Also Read: How to Use a Blog to Increase Traffic
Choose Your Ecommerce Website Builder
The e-commerce website builders are the online software that is specifically created t build e-commerce websites. These website builders are created to handle a load of multiple products while ensuring smooth functioning.
There are many options available to make when it comes to choosing e-commerce builders:
- Getmeacart – It is a customized multi-vendor platform that comes with the number of in-built features. It is award-winning multi-vendor marketplace platform that enables aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own online marketplace in an easy, quick, and cost-effective manner.
- Shopify – This is one of the most commonly used e-commerce builders, specifically designed for stores of all sizes. It comes with a unique inventory system and available in multiple plans that you can choose from.
- BigCommerce –BigCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin that comes with various best in-built features so you can be sure that your website is equipped with all the latest features to become an impressive online selling platform.
- Magento – This is an open-source e-commerce website development platform, specifically designed to handle up to 5,00,000 products at one time and has the ability to deliver smooth performance. Magento comes with various unique features, making it one of the most preferred e-commerce website development choice of global businesses.
- WooCommerce – This is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. Whether you are planning to launch a small or large e-commerce platform, WooCommerce may be the ideal choice. The plugin was launched in 2011 and has quickly become popular for its simplicity and the features offered. WooCommerce powers over 28% of all online stores.
If you are planning to launch a large-scale e-commerce platform, then Magento or Shopify may be the ideal options as they are created with latest features and are robust enough to take the load of multiple products that you will publish on the website to sell online.
Get A Domain Name For Your Store
I am sure you must be thinking that this must be the first step of your journey to create an e-commerce business, but it comes after the above-mentioned steps. The domain name you buy should be good enough to withstand the market and competition.
It is important that you identify your target market because you can decide on what should be prefixed with your domain names.
Both these domain names are different from each other as the first one is aimed at selling global while the latter is aimed at selling products only in the Indian market.
How to Choose a Domain Name?
Choosing a domain name must be a detailed process and you should not just buy any domain name for your website. Following are a few considerations to make when choosing the domain name:
Choose the Country – Just like mentioned above, the country (target market) should be the base of your domain name. For example, if you are planning to sell in the US or international market, then you can choose a .com domain. On the other hands, if you are targeting a particular country to sell, then you can choose from the country-specific domain names like .in, .au, .com.au, .ng, .io, etc.
Don’t Use Brand Names – If you choose to use any brand name on your domain like www.amazonproduct.com, then you may be penalized under the copyright law. The big brands have a copyright on their brand names so you can’t just use their name on your domain address.
Add a keyword – It is a very useful technique when buying domain names. It will help your website to rank higher in the competitive market so you grab the maximum returns of your investments into the e-commerce business. If you are selling a particular product, you can choose to use its name on the domain name like www.besthairgrowproduct.com.
Choose the Website Features
The features on your website not just make it different from the others on the market, but also make it easy to use for the website visitors. But, with so many options available out there, it can be quite confusing to make the right choice as you can’t just pick all of them.
The choice of features you must include on your website depends upon your business, target audience, product selling, etc. Here are a few features that you can choose from:
- Multiple Payment Methods –
Online shopping is all about comfort, which is why online shoppers always prefer to make upfront payments using online payment methods. So, make sure to provide them all the options that may be feasible to them like credit cards, debit cards, online wallets, net banking, etc. You must also provide ‘Cash on Delivery’ as many online buyers still prefer to make payments only when the product is delivered.
- One-Step Checkout –
According to the statistics, most over 70% online shoppers leave their products in cart at the checkout process and the most common reason for this is the complex checkout process. The defaults checkout process has multiple steps, which means shoppers need to keep changing the slides to reach the final step. One-step checkout is the right choice to cut short the procedure.
- Social Login –
These days, almost everyone has a social media profile. So, why not just let them sign-in and register using their social media credentials and save time? The social login plugins let your visitors complete the registration easily by just providing their social media credentials.
- Guest Check-Out –
Sometimes the visitors are in a real hurry and can’t wait to log-in even using social media credentials. This is where the ‘guest checkout’ may be a helpful choice as this lets online visitors complete checkout even without completing the registration process. If you need their emails for promotional purposes, then there are many other ways, but it is essential to let them complete the purchase without asking them to log in.
- Security Features –
The E-commerce websites are always on the radar of the online hackers, who are looking for easier ways to steal your sensitive information as well as your customers’. This is why it is important to use some effective security features on your website like SSL. SSL certification allows secure payment and checkout.
- Live Chat –
Many online shoppers like to complete checkout only after discussing the quality of the product or clearing their doubts about the products, which can be only possible if there is a live chat facility available online. Integrating live chat facility ensures that your visitors can communicate with the sales representatives and also discuss their concerns if any.
Add Your Products
Now that everything is done and your website is ready with all the features integrated, it is the time to publish your product (s) on the website. The e-commerce website builders offer you easy access to the admin panel where you can upload the products. It is important to make sure that you product effective descriptions with each product that you add online. These products must also have some effective images from all angles of the product.
You can also choose to upload product videos to give a close and better view of your products to the visitors.
When writing product descriptions, make sure that you avoid complex jargon, Cliches, and long sentences. The descriptions must be short and include all the required details about the product so it gives your visitors a clear view of what they are going to buy online from your website. Another important factor to keep in your mind while writing descriptions is that it should be SEO-friendly. Make sure to integrate your prime keywords in the descriptions.
This will help your products rank in Google when customers search for products like yours.
Choose The Shipping Methods
When you start receiving orders from the visitors, you must make sure delivering their orders on time. This can be made possible only with the help of a professional and reliable shipment service provider.
Before you choose the shipping partner, it is important to know everything about how shipping options work. Different shipping providers have their own sets of terms and conditions and not all of them provide the delivery facility in all the locations, so it is better to integrate multiple shipping options on your e-commerce website. The options you can choose from include:
- First Flight
- Blue Dart
Make sure to know everything about the shipping policies and return shipping policies of the shipping partner that you choose to make a smart choice.
Test & Publish
Before you launch your website, make sure to test your website and its features closely so your visitors face no issues when browsing and purchasing products through your website. Although the testing is done by the web development companies, it is always good to be double sure about the functioning of the website before you prepare for its launch.
Here are a few things that you must test:
- Does your checkout work?
- Does coupon code feature work?
- Is the navigation easy?
- Does your website load faster?
- How did your website work on mobile?
If everything seems already, go ahead and launch your website!