Thinking of starting your own eCommerce business? Opening up an eCommerce store has become easier than ever. With some basic guidelines, necessary resources, and a little bit of effort, you can set up your own business and make your mark on the online business world, in no time!
But first, you will have to know how to set up an eCommerce store, step by step. This article will take you through 7 easy steps of starting an eCommerce business from scratch.
So, without any further additions, let’s get started!
7 Easy Steps To Set Up an eCommerce Store
Below are some extremely easy steps which can be executed successfully by anyone willing to set up their eCommerce store.
1. Targeting a Niche and Making the Business Plan
To start your business, what you have to do at first is to target a specific niche or category for your business. There are thousands of niches and you have to choose one from them depending on your passion, affordability, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
Yes, you can mix up your products for the sake of offering your customers variety, but it would not be wise to bring in too much variety in your store, as it will ultimately confuse your customers about your core business purpose.
When you have decided on the specific niche you want to build your business, what you have to do next is make a strong business plan. You are ought to choose which type of eCommerce store you would like to open up and understand all your stakeholders’ behavior and objectives.
An ideal business plan includes every detail related to a business- starting from your budget to the marketing strategies you are going to adopt.
2. Selecting a Domain Name
The next step of setting up your eCommerce store is selecting a domain name for your business. It is equally important to choose a good domain name as it is to choose your store’s name. There are a few things you should keep in your checklist while choosing your domain name:
- Uniqueness: The name has to be unique. It needs to be catchy enough to grab someone’s attention and curiosity.
- Clarity: Even though it is suggested that the domain name should be unique, you should be very careful in maintaining the clarity of your business purpose. Do not choose words that are too hard for people to understand or to pronounce.
- Short: A short and cool domain name is the best one for you. It is highly recommended that your domain name be within 12 characters.
3. Opting for a Website Builder
This is a really important step. You have to choose the perfect website builder for your business. There are several website builders to choose from, but you need to understand which one of those is going to work the best for you.
The question is, how can you understand which website builder is going to be the ideal one for your business?
Well, you have to ask yourself a few questions about a particular website builder for that and after answering the questions you will automatically understand which one of those you need to choose.
Are there enough features for you to choose from?
Not all website builders can offer you all the features you need. You have to check every one of those beforehand and identify the one which offers you the highest number of features that you will need to build an effective eCommerce store.
There are some features which are necessary and then there are some which you will need to make your store stand out among thousands of other stores.
Analyze all these and choose your website builder based on the outcome.
Is the website builder secured?
The security of your website is directly related to the success of your store as well as your reputation. So, you can easily understand how important it is to choose a website builder which is safe.
Data breaches can ruin your entire business and it is not very uncommon these days. If your eCommerce store has a history of data breaches or if you do not have an SSL certificate, you will automatically discourage your buyers from buying anything from you.
You need to build a website that is 100% secure. For you, and your buyers as well. So, choose a website builder which can help you ensure that.
Can it help you to make a mobile-friendly eCommerce store?
Being mobile-friendly is a MUST for any eCommerce store in today’s age. The majority of people buy online from their mobile phones because obviously, they can’t carry their laptops with them all the time.
Your goal is to make as many profits as you can, by reaching as many customers as you can. That is why there is no other option for you other than setting up a mobile-friendly store. While choosing your website builder, you must consider this issue.
By now you have understood which matters you will have to look after before you choose the website builder for your store. Let’s check out some popular website builders now, shall we?
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress. This plugin has become extremely popular for its super-easy features and customization abilities, and also because it is FREE!
It can easily be your choice for a website builder as WooCommerce pretty much has all the features you would need to set up an ideal eCommerce store.
The suggestions on how to set up an eCommerce store with WordPress are pretty much the same as the other platforms, with some bits and pieces of differences.
Another crowd choice website builder is Shopify. This offers you a plethora of features and amenities as well. However, with Shopify, you would not have to deal with the technical aspects of website building, like hosting, caching, security, and so on.
This website builder has also become people’s favorite in a very short period. Although the facilities offered by Magento are quite similar to those of WooCommerce, there is a tiny but important difference.
WooCommerce can be installed and used by complete beginners as the technical skills needed to run this plugin are minimum. On other hand, the use of Magento is a bit advanced, which is why it is more suitable for mid-level users.
4. Decorating the Website
After you have selected your website builder and have done the essentials to open up the store on a primary level, your next task is to decorate your website or your store.
This is your chance to attract buyers. So, do not hold back doing anything which might be useful to catch the eye of the potential customers.
However, do not get too excited, rather keep it simple. Simplicity can win millions of hearts if used properly.
There are some crucial factors that you need to focus on while decorating your website.
Choosing the right theme
There are hundreds of themes available for you on platforms like WooCommerce, but all of those are not suitable for your business surely. You need to choose the right theme for your eCommerce store with lots of features, which goes well with the products and services you are offering and also with the current trends in the industry.
Using images of high quality
Naturally, you will put up pictures of your products on your eCommerce website. Make sure that all those images are professionally taken and of high quality. Images indeed draw the attention of buyers, but bad-quality images can do the opposite.
Making the website easily navigable
Okay, so we are trying to drive buyers TOWARDS your website, right? Now guess what can drive them in the opposite direction, real quick! Well, it will happen if your website is not easily navigable.
People neither have the patience nor the time to waste on clumsy websites. Unsmooth navigation can hamper their experience and it can cost you your sales by a huge deal.
Make your store super easy to navigate. So the customers can breeze around from this product to that, from this category to that, without any delay or difficulty.
Trust me, this will help you build a loyal customer base in a very short time.
Making the appearance as professional as possible
Your website must look professional. Wondering what we mean by professional?
Worry not. This is a simple yet vital step you need to take to ornament your store. Be cautious about which fonts you are using, which color you are choosing, and of course, what kind of language you are going for. All these matters.
Being your customer would demand people to share several sensitive and personal information with you. If your website does not look professional and authentic, they would not trust you or your store.
That is why it is one of the vital things to consider when building an eCommerce website.
5. Arranging the Products and Making a Product Feed
If you have a business, you have some or many products. It is essential that you arrange those products properly and put them in front of the customers. What you need to focus on at first is the buyers’ comfort.
The products should contain all the information that anyone might ask about and at the same time, they should come with proper images. You cannot use any fake or low-quality image for your products, as it will only hamper your sale.
Let us suppose, your chosen website builder is Woocommerce. There are many WooCommerce extensions for displaying your products that can come to your aid.
After you have put all your products, the next thing you need to do is make a product feed. A product feed is something that you are required to submit to different channels of marketing so that they can display your products in front of the targeted customers.
WooCommerce Product Feed Plugin
Now, mind you, it is not easy making a product feed manually, which is why you can use a WooCommerce product feed plugin. And worry not, the plugin is free of cost so that would not add up to your expenses.
An ideal product feed must contain some specific information to get accepted or approved by the marketing platforms/channels. It should have product attributes, images, prices, currencies, and some other details.
WooCommerce Product Feed Generator
A WooCommerce product feed generator can make this whole process a lot easier for you. Smart and advanced filters of the plugin can help you put all the attributes of your products in a well-organized way, in a format that will not be rejected and will get approved quicker. There are several custom templates for you to choose from.
It’s not easy to maintain a huge bulk of products all the time. The product feed generator helps you in that too, by notifying you about any missing attribute and updating your product feed info automatically for numerous marketing channels without any hassle!
6. Fixing Payment Methods and Adding Shipping Options
After you have arranged and displayed all your products, you have to think about the shipping and payment options you are going to offer your buyers. It is recommended that you have the options for all kinds of payment systems. It only makes things easier for people.
The easier your payment gateway is, the more likely it becomes that your customers will come back for another purchase another time. You can run a test payment to understand if everything is working fine.
Besides, you should have shipping options for both your country and abroad. This is the beauty of an eCommerce business, you can have customers from all over the world. So, why not use it?
Adding these payment options and shipping details is easy peasy in platforms like WooCommerce. You just need to click on some options and you will be done within minutes.
7. Promoting the Store
Congratulations! Your store is ready to be live now! But hold on, there is one last thing you need to do and it is one of the most important things- the promotion of your store.
You must promote and showcase your products and services in front of potential buyers to make them acknowledged and to attract them. A strong marketing plan can help you in this regard. Get to know your customers and get personal with them, offering them recommendations and a personalized shopping experience.
Make use of the social media platforms to the highest. As we keep saying, again and again, this is the easiest way to reach millions and millions of buyers. Keep them updated about what you are doing, which products you will be launching soon, and do all these in a way that will make the viewers pause their scrolling, even if it is for a second.
Engage with your customers and build a strong seller-buyer relationship. This can take you miles ahead. Keeping your potential customers engaged through different attractive marketing campaigns can help you establish your brand identity.
You can take the help of paid advertising campaigns through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on. At the same time, you can also go for the traditional email marketing and SEO-based promotions as well. Whichever path you choose, be sure to be consistent and relevant.
The notion of an eCommerce business has become quite a common thing today, and we all have witnessed the surge of it after the pandemic hit. With modern and updated technologies and immense use of social media platforms, conducting an online business is almost a piece of cake now.
The 7 steps mentioned in this article will get you to set up an eCommerce store on a primary stage. But to maintain the store and run it successfully, you will have to put all your efforts and dedication into it, only then can you make a success of yourself!