How to set up an e-commerce store is something many small business want to know. If you’re one of them, you need to know this: building an e-commerce site or online store can be daunting task but only if you don’t know the right way of doing it. Contrary to popular belief, setting up an online store is easy and affordable. However, this does not mean that you can set-up an e-commerce store without making any effort.
You may require a lot of learning if you’ve just entered the world of online retail and are looking to set up an e-commerce site for the very first time. What’s required to get your online business up and running may not become immediately obvious to you. As your rival is no more than a click away, the competition in e-commerce is fierce. If a customer finds your website less than impressive or difficult to navigate, he’ll simply move onto another e-commerce site offering similar products and/or services.
Making your website as useable and customer-friendly as possible is the most important thing if you want to attract attention and gain more customers. You could have the lowest prices or the best products but if customers find your website difficult to navigate, then you won’t be making any sales. Unlike a brick and mortar store, an online store allows businesses to reach out to customers in all parts of the world and make sales at any time of the day. To get the benefits offered by an online store, here is how you should set up your e-commerce store.
Create A Website
The first thing you need to set up an e-commerce store is a website. You can skip to step 2 if you already have a website. A platform to sell your products, your website must be easy to find online. The easier it is to find and use your website, the more sales you’ll make.
Get A Domain Name
The second step in setting up an e-commerce store is getting a domain name for your website. Now, domain names can be bought from domain registrars or hosting companies. Domain name is what people type in their browser to search for you.
When buying domain names, an important thing to consider is who you’ll be targeting; just your local market or multiple regions or countries. Choose a domain name that helps you better reach out to your target market. Finally and mostly importantly, your domain name should be simple enough for people to remember. An example of such a domain name would be www.abcapparel.com.
Obtain an SSL Certificate
In most cases, an SSL certificate will be required alongside the domain name. The communications between the web server hosting your website and the web browser of a visitor is what an SSL certificate secures. Today, many companies are offering SSL certificates. Additionally, you may be able to purchase SSL through your web host as some hosting companies take care of this for their clients. Before you can buy an SSL certificate, you’ll need to get your domain name registered. Moreover, costs of these certificates vary according to provider.
Choose A Payment Method
To allow customers to buy anything and everything on your e-commerce site, you need to have a functional payment processor. This processor is how you’ll receive your income. Most website building platforms support the integration of payment processors into an e-commerce site. However, before you can integrate these processors into your store, you’ll need to separately sign up to each payment processor. 3rd party services that function based on their own policy, these processors may ask for transaction fees. So, choose them carefully.
Build Your Ecommerce Site
At this stage, you’ll need to write web copy that describes your business and persuades the visitors to visit your website and make a purchase. Adding products to your website is just one of the many things you need to do to build your online store. Following are some of the pages that your e-commerce website must have:
- An About Us page where you briefly describe what you do and who you are
- A home page where you feature weekly deals and sales items
- A blog where you post industry news and other useful/relevant information
- A Contact Us page where you inform the customer how to reach you
Equip Your Site with A Search Function
To allow customers to find what they’re looking for and enhance their user experience, equip your e-commerce site with search functionality. Often, a satisfying user experience results in the customer making a purchase. If you ask your customers, they will tell you that they’d prefer not having to go from page to page and read the description of each product to find what they’re looking for.
If you allow customers to find what they’re looking for easily and quickly, they’re likely to return to your site again and again.
Apply for Licenses and Permits
You may or may not know this but certain licenses and permits are required to run an e-commerce store. So, before launching your e-commerce store, consider the license and permits you’ll need to operate legally in your city, county and/or state.
Market Your E-Commerce Store
You won’t be making any sales if your customers are unable to find you on the web. For this reason, marketing your business online is extremely important. If you market your online store appropriately, customers will find it and you’ll start to make sales.
There you have it—8 steps for setting up an e-commerce store. Use the information mentioned above, and set up the online store of your dreams.