Today, online businesses are growing at a much faster rate than traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Many local retail stores, craft makers, and even bloggers have started selling their products and services online. According to Statista, global retail sales of ecommerce are expected to generate more than 653 billion US dollars in 2018.
If truth be told, ecommerce is the fastest growing and one of the most profitable industries to date. With online retail sales snowballing at a rapid rate, now is the right time to build your own ecommerce website and boost your sales. However, creating a perfect ecommerce website may sound like a huge undertaking, but the process isn’t all that complicated.
Starting an ecommerce business entails a lot of dedication, arduous work, commitment and some important steps. Here are some essential tips and tricks that can help you better understand the process of building a lucrative ecommerce website from scratch.
Let’s dive in.
1. Choose the Right Products to Sell
One of the most important and challenging steps to build your ecommerce website is to find the products you want to sell online. Coming up with a unique product idea can be tough because often the most popular and common product categories are riddled with fierce competition.
Consumers are just one click away from ecommerce giants such as Amazon, Zappos, eBay, Walmart and Best Buy. Therefore, it is advised to choose a product that you can position in a unique way. Solving your customers’ pain points is always a great idea to drive sales. You can simply identify a problem or deficit and try to capitalize on it by doing it in a different and better way.
2. Figure Out Where to Obtain Your Products
Once you have come up with a product idea to sell online, now is the time to figure out where to find your products. You can simply look for a manufacturer to produce your own products or find a supplier, wholesaler, or distributor to purchase already existing products from. There are many online supplier directories such as Alibaba, Oberlo, ThomasNet, Kompass, AliExpress and more which provide a list of vendors to choose from.
3. Register Your Business
This is one of the obvious steps towards building an ecommerce website. Name your online store and find an appropriate and available domain name that will identify your online business. You can buy a domain for your ecommerce website from GoDaddy, Google Domains, Register.com, Domain.com and more.
4. Choose a Hosting Platform
It is advised to choose an ecommerce hosting platform that can save both time and money. WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Shopify are the most popular ecommerce platforms that make it easier to integrate plugins and payment processes.
5. Build Your Ecommerce Website
Once you have decided on a business name and got your domain registered, now is the right time to build a website for your new business. To save up on time, there are many websites that offer a host of innumerable ecommerce website themes, or you can choose one that allows you to showcase your products in the best viable way.
You can simply download a template from websites that offer beautiful ecommerce website templates and themes. All templates are 100% mobile friendly, fully customizable, affordable and open source, allowing you to pick one that best caters to your business vision. These DIY online ecommerce website builders can create websites in a jiffy, allowing you to start selling products immediately.
If you want to build your ecommerce website professionally, incorporate more features and specialized unique options to meet the unique needs of your customers, hire a professional web design agency that can give you an out-of-the-box ecommerce website solution. Explore list of top ecommerce web design companies here.
6. Create a SEO Plan
You are almost ready to launch your ecommerce website, but before you jump into it, create an effective SEO strategy to enhance the visibility of your website. Optimizing your website for Google and other search engines is indispensable to help them understand what your online store is about and what it sells. This will increase your website visibility by increasing the chances of appearing higher in search results when potential customers are looking for the products that your store sells.
7. Choose a Shipping Strategy
When it comes to launching your new business, you need to determine your shipping strategy. In order to make sure that your customers glean a seamless experience, map out your shipping process. There are some key factors such as shipping rates, process, product weights, preferred packaging and packaging sources that must be kept in mind while devising shipping strategies for your online business.
8. Set up the Payment Gateway
As an online store, you should provide multiple payment options for your customers to provide greater convenience that will ultimately increase your chances of getting more sales. There are many online payment options such as credit/debit/prepaid card payments, bank transfers, digital wallets, cash, Amazon Payments, Bitcoin, Dwolla, Intuit PaymentNetwork, PayPal, Authorize.net, 2Checkout, BluePay, and WooRockets.com. Take some time to research and decide what is best for your online store and what most of your customers prefer to use.
9. A/B Testing
Before launching your ecommerce website, you should invest in A/B testing. Prudently test everything from landing pages and images, pricing, and check out processes, to emails and web copy. Make sure that your website works perfectly across smartphones, tablets and other devices. There are some A/B testing tools such as Google Analytics Content Research, Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, Unbounce and more that can help you optimize your site.
You are All Set to Launch
Finally, it’s time to launch your website. Remember that starting an ecommerce website is a detailed and complex process – from choosing a product to sell and finding suppliers, to building, launching and driving sales. Following these nine essential steps will ensure that your ecommerce website is launched in a timely manner that will eventually become a profitable business.