Are you thinking about plunging into the digital world? Are you thinking of going online for your business?
Go ahead and make your business digital since it is the perfect timing. Statistics by Statista indicate that the e-commerce market has grown enormously compared to traditional/physical businesses. The percentage of retail sales is expected to rise from 19.5% (2023) to 23% (2027).
The first step to achieving a successful e-commerce business is to create an e-commerce store/website. Many laypeople seek professional guidance for the same.
This blog is about guiding these laypeople/individuals/companies to create e-commerce websites for entering the digital world.
Steps to Build Your E-commerce Store from Scratch
Here are the simple step-by-step instructions.
1. Decide your Product Niche
Multiple e-commerce sites sell multiple products. Some e-commerce stores specialize in selling specific products, whereas some huge stores sell varied products under the same roof.
The foremost step to building your e-commerce store is to decide on the product/service that you plan to sell via your website.
Focus on your target audience and identify the product that fits well into their minds. Ensure that their demands are fulfilled by your product/services by conducting research and other surveys.
Choose the correct product, estimate their demand, ensure quicker product deliveries, and better customer services, to beat the local market and to make your place in the digital world.
2. Select your Business Model
Your selection of business model depends on your investment. Business owners with limited budgets can place their products/services on digital marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, etc.) and sell them.
Web owners with huge funds can create their e-commerce store to display and sell their products.
You can also sell your products on both business models for better reach.
3. Select your Domain Name
Once the product display for your e-commerce store and your business model is finalized, it's time to select a domain name.
The domain name symbolizes your company's identity and should resemble your company's/product's name for better recognition. This will make it easy for your target audience to remember you.
Some of the popular Domain Name are:
Tips for Domain Name Selection:
- Easy to Memorize
- Short and Easy to Type
- Unique & Accurate
Companies with limited funds can opt for a shared domain familiar to the digital audience. This will instantly attract your buyers to purchase products from your e-commerce store.
Once your startup business is established, create a unique and dedicated domain name that helps raise SEO (search engine optimization) and site visibility.
4. Select E-commerce Site Builder
An e-commerce site builder will help you customize your website as per the needs of your customers. This site builder will also permit you to uniquely design your site without modifying the codes.
Shopify is one such site builder that is known for its scalability, built-in features, and apps. It comes with varied budget-friendly templates and site designs, which are useful for small/medium-sized businesses.
Shopify also offers device responsiveness and can shelter huge businesses, thus gaining more popularity among website builders.
5. Design your E-commerce Store
Research indicates that 75% of the users judge a company’s credibility based on site design.
Website design has a great impact on your target audience as well as your brand. To entice your target audience to visit your store and make product purchases, it's vital to design your store in such a way that it creates a lasting impression on their minds.
Ensure that all the visual elements of your product, like the product descriptions, prices, user reviews, ratings, etc., are placed properly to attract more customers.
6. Select Customizable Theme
Your site builder has ample themes and templates to design your e-commerce site. Select a responsive theme that permits the site visitors to read the site content without zooming, view the site page without scrolling, and click the navigation buttons without hassles.
There are paid themes as well as free themes, so select the theme wisely depending on your business requirements.
Tip: Google’s Mobile-Friendly test tool will help in ensuring whether your theme is compatible with other devices or not.
7. Setup a Payment Gateway
After the above-stated setup is over, the next step is to set up a payment gateway for your store. The product price, shipping details, payment options, final price of the product after-tax, etc., should all be stated clearly for customers to help them make a purchase decision.
Encrypted (SSL certificate) and secured payment gateways should be ensured with multiple payment options like cash, credit card, net banking, etc.
You can also set up third-party payment gateways like PayPal, fawry, and Stripe, which are secured and make the payment process easy and quick.
8. Secure your E-commerce Store with SSL
Your e-commerce site should be secured with SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layers/Transport Layer Security) certificates for strong encryption security. Encryption security converts the plain text into a cipher form so when a customer makes a payment transaction, his confidential information is converted into a cipher (coded) form.
This prevents hackers from misusing the customer data. You can use a cheap SSL certificate to secure your eCommerce store and can be sure to establish trust among customers and ensure site authenticity.
9. Test your E-commerce Store before Launching
The e-commerce site launch process is not as easy as it seems. Thorough testing of the website is essential to ensure a smooth launch process.
- Ensure that all the links are working properly.
- Ensure that all the buttons placed are functioning properly.
- Ensure that all the product images are loaded in an error-free way.
- Run tests to make product purchases, adding products to carts, payment processing, etc.
- Check out the shipping details and place filters if needed.
- Check your site responsiveness on other devices.
Once the web pages, links, and buttons of your website are tried and tested, get ready to launch your e-commerce site.
One of the best ways to announce your digital arrival is to place your site link on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Influencer marketing is yet another option to announce your arrival. Send emails to your customers and invite them to your store.
At times, paid advertising (on Google or Facebook) also helps in the launch process of your e-commerce store.
There are many site builders and CMS (content management system) platforms that can help in building your e-commerce website instantly.
Select your business model, connect your domain, display your products with clear images and descriptions, use enticing and responsive designs and templates for your site, and offer multiple payment gateways to gain more customers. Last, but not least, secure your entire e-commerce store with SSL encryption security to ensure that it is safeguarded from prying eyes.
A secured e-commerce website helps establish your brand image and its reputation. Apart from implementing marketing strategies and selling products, a secured and established e-commerce store is all about enhancing your brand popularity and much more.
Ensure a smooth launch process and give the best shopping experience to your site visitors for better conversions, revenues, and SEO.
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