If you thought creating an eCommerce website is a lengthy and expensive process, be relieved that it isn’t. You will find many websites and website developers who are proficient in eCommerce website development. They develop and deliver the best websites and at competitive prices.
The pandemic resulted in the closure of many businesses, and millions of consumers resorted to shopping online. Now, this opened a new opportunity for existing and new companies to venture into eCommerce.
In 2020, global retail e-commerce sales are proposed to reach 3.9 trillion U.S. dollars with the Asia Pacific generating nearly 2.45 trillion U.S. dollars in online retail sales.
Websites like Wix or Shopify are great to get you started if you want to be in the process of development or build the eCommerce website yourself. We will give you a step by step guide on how you can get started with these websites.
Here are the 5 simple steps to help set you up with an eCommerce website.
Step #1: Sign up and choose your plan
With a website like Wix or Shopify, you have to first create an account. The sign-up process is simple and takes just 10-12 seconds to complete. You will have to furnish them with your e-mail id and password and that is it. You can also use your Gmail or Facebook to get started.
With Wix, for example, you can get started for free, but that provides very basic functionalities. The premium subscriptions offer much more, for example, the ability to accept online payments, a free SSL certificate, increased storage, unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain for one year.
It is wise to choose the subscription plan according to the size of your business and website. If you are a small scale company, you can opt for Basic Business or Business Unlimited plans. On the other hand, the large scale business and websites should go with the Business VIP plan or potentially the Enterprise solution.
Step #2: Deciding on ADI or DIY
You can choose Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) offered by the website.
To get started with ADI, you answer some questions related to your eCommerce website (whether it jewelry store, clothing, etc). Next, you can choose the features such as (like an Instagram feed, live chat, subscribe form, etc.). The ADI tool can import content from your existing website or Google Places to the website. You will then be prompted to pick a theme and select a template. Finally, based on the data collected it will represent options to go with.
DIY, or do it yourself is sticking to the editor of the website, and choose right from the color palate to the placement of elements.
Although when you use ADI components you can make changes. Also as a beginner, it’s the best option to go by since it is faster instead of starting it from scratch. Again it is a matter of choice, there is no wrong or right way. You can try both and see for yourself what suits you best.
Step #3: Combine your domain
In this step, you will connect your domain before you publish the eCommerce site. You can link the existing domain name or buy a new one. If you don’t have one, keep these tips in mind before buying a new one-
- Always check the competition.
- The domain name should be easy to type & remember.
- Refrain from using slang & pop culture references
- The shorter the better
- Look beyond .com. Explore the world of top-level domains (TLD)
- Match it with social media handles.
- Protect your brand. Register multiple alternatives to the domain you want to protect.
Here are top websites to buy your domain on-
Step #4: Set up your eCommerce site
After you complete step 1 to step 3, it is time to set the functionality for the eCommerce website. It is then that you can sell the products online from your website. This includes:
- Adding catalogs of products
- Setting up shipping zones
- Payment methods
Refer to the following for a brief-
The website will allow you to add your collection, i.e., your clothes or jewelry items. You can name them and group them into a collection to set their prices. The websites will allow in resizing the product images, making color choices, and helping you track the inventory.
Determining the shipping zone is very important since the rates have to be calculated on the basis of zones. This will help you also decide if you want to cater to the domestic or international market. You can add regions, offer free shipping. Depending on the website you choose or the developer you can give your customers the alternative to pick up orders in-store for certain regions.
- Payment Methods
To collect the money from your customers on behalf of purchases they make, you need to set up payment methods. You can select all major credit cards like Visa, American Express, Discover, Mastercard, UnionPay, JCB, and Maestro. The processing rates are standard 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. The website may or may not take any commissions on top of that.
Step #5: Publishing your eCommerce site
Here we are at the final stage- publishing the site. As explained in step#3, having a domain is a MUST. And always choose the premium account with the websites to get more benefits for an eCommerce website. The free plan would not get you far, meaning it would technically let you publish your website but not with your custom URL.
A paid plan is a must to have good control over eCommerce website functionalities. Go Live and sell your product
We hope that till now the process has been easy. The websites today, as mentioned earlier, Wix, does make it easier to get started. But these are not the only ones that guarantee the website’s success.
The following are some best practices that you should pay attention to while building the site and going through the process.
1. Prefer simplicity
Try to keep your homepage, theme, and product pages simple. Avoid every kind of complexity. Do not clutter your homepage with all products. Keep it organized by highlighting only 4-6 of your in-demand and popular products. You can also put a photo of your bestseller with CTA above the fold. The simplicity and layout will attract your visitors immediately to your most popular offers and boost their chances of buying them.
2. Contact Page
The contact page should be as simple as your entire e-commerce site. You should display your phone number, address, email address, and a contact form so customers can reach out to you easily. The contact form should go to an email account that is actively monitored. By doing so, you would be able to respond to customer inquiries as soon as possible.
3. About Us Page
Try to keep your ‘about us’ page interesting rather than boring.
This is your chance to tell a wonderful and compelling story that encourages customers to join your mission. For instance, you are donating 10% of all sales to save the planet and you are a certified business corporate that only sources inventory from sustainable vendors.
4. Product Names
Alert: if you don’t have much experience in giving names to products please try to insist on simple names rather than creative ones.
An uncomplicated and easy to pronounce names of a product can generate tons and tons of sales. But the wrong name could not be of any use.
5. Product Descriptions
Give a unique description of every product on your website. It should be a one or two paragraph pitch for your products.
A standard structure recommended for a product description:
- 30-40 words for identifying the problem that could be solved by the product
- one or two sentences describing life after the problem is solved.
- two or three sentences addressing how the product helps in overcoming those problems and what features make it possible.
However, not every product solves problems. Clothing and apparel would be a perfect example. If you’re selling a trendy blazer, consumers are buying it to make them feel confident and for looking smart. In this case, emphasize more on how the item makes the buyer feel rather than on the product itself. Sell experience
6. Product Pictures
A picture can say those things that words resist. So, rely equally on the description as well as an authentic photo of a product. Hiring a professional photographer would be worth your while. Every angle of the product should be captured. Show the product in action and in using the process.
For instance, if you are selling a shirt, hire a model and make him wear it rather than lying on the table and hanging on the wall. If you are dealing with hiking boots, show someone wearing them on a hiking trail. If you are selling bags then the photo should be of a model carrying it.
We told you, it is easy to get started and once you become proficient, the technical aspects will be easier to understand as well. Practice makes a man perfect! Stick to the steps and the best practices we listed and you shall be good to go.
If in the process you feel you need expertise, experienced developers at Orafox can guide and help you build a profitable eCommerce website. Get in touch with us today, and sit back while we do work on creating the best eCommerce website experience for your customers.