E-commerce is booming like never. It is estimated that by 2021, it will be responsible for $4.9 trillion in sales.
It is a great time to be building an e-commerce store online. And for that, you need a functional e-commerce website. Moreover, having a website will cost you less than running a brick and mortar store.
If you are new to online business, the idea of building a website might make you feel overwhelmed. But do not fret.
This article will guide you through the process of building your e-commerce website that will drive sales.
Without further ado, let uslook at the steps one by one.
1.Purchase a domain name & web hosting
Purchasing a domain name is a crucial step that you will have to take while building a website.
Choose it carefully as the domain name you choose is going to identify your site.
You can buy a domain name either from your web host or go to a domain name service such as GoDaddy, NameJet.com, Namecheap.com, and so on.
When you want your domain name to be catchy and memorable, ensure that you use keywords as it will rank you higher in search engine results.
Other than this, you need to make your site online. Thus, it is essential to invest in a good web hosting service. And the good news is that there are plenty of amazing web hosting services out there.
Make sure to review these features before you select a web hosting service for your site:
- Flexible hosting plans
- Uptime should be over 98%
- Consider your budget
- Free migration
- Page load speed
- And more
2. Invest in a web developer
If you want to get your site up and running quickly in a professional manner, invest in a skilled web developer. You can get references from other e-commerce sites the developer has created.
These are some skills to look for in a web developer:
- Responsive web design
- Graphic design background
3.Pick an e-commerce web host platform
Picking a popular e-commerce platform as your web host will save you both time and money. Platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce will help you set up your e-commerce store quickly for a small monthly payment.
Moreover, the developer you hire will be familiar with these platforms. It will be easier to integrate things such as plugins and payment processing.
4. Secure your website with SSL certificate
Installing an SSL certificate is vital as it will secure the data in your website by encrypting it and provide security to your users. SSL certificates build authenticity and trust.
When users see the trust signals such as the company name, HTTPS, and seal, they will be more willing to share their personal information and conduct business with you.
Moreover, Google has announced that HTTPS is a ranking factor. And browsers like Chrome send a warning sign to visitors if a site is not secured by an SSL.
Not installing an SSL certificate will cost you traffic as people will leave your site when they see the warning sign that your website is not secure.
Make sure to buy an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority so that the browsers recognize it.
There are resellers and certificate authorities such as RapidSSL, GlobalSign, SSL2BUY are trustworthy and can provide SSLs at affordable prices.
5.Find a theme to match your e-commerce vision
Building a website from scratch is not only time consuming, but it will also be costly. To save both money and time, you can buy themes from theme providers such as ThemeForest.
It is crucial to find a layout that resembles your e-commerce vision. ThemeForest offers more than 28,000 templates, and themes and the prices start from only $2.
6.Make your site live
Even if you have not listed any of your products, you can make your site live. Ask your developer to create a homepage, an “About Us” page, and a contact page.
By having these pages, you can establish legitimacy when negotiating deals with sellers. Also, when you reach out to reporters and bloggers, they will want to see your website and know if your business is credible.
And you will have a place for all the sources to link back to your website and build SEO.
7.Find a payment gateway
You will have to find a payment Gateway and a credit card processor for your e-commerce site as you will be accepting credit card payments.
PayPal and Stripe are popularly used, but to accept credit cards, mobile payment, and recurring billing, payment gateway like authorize.net or 2Checkout.com is an excellent option.
Note that it is not easy to get approved for a payment gateway and credit card processor.
These are prerequisites for getting approved:
- Setting up a secure checkout process on your site.
- Sorting out your shipping and delivery methods.
- Having an operational customer service phone number and email address.
- Having a clean credit history.
- U.S. driver’s license if you reside in the US or state ID.
- U.S. bank account.
- A federal tax ID.
8.Take the digital marketing route
To drive traffic to your site and increase sales, you will need to invest in digital marketing. Consider these digital marketing strategies:
- SEO- Finally, it is essential to analyze all your website data. You have to consider user behavior, keyword research,long and valuable content, and more. Other than this, it’s also essential to optimize on-page SEO content like headlines, subheads, URL slugs, and meta tags, guest blogging, social media activity, improving page speed, making your site mobile-friendly, and getting quality backlinks.
- Email marketing – The ROI of email marketing is high. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect to get $42 on an average.
Make sure to use the right tools for email marketing and personalize it to see revenue.
Also, do not neglect content marketing, social media, CRM, and paid search.
Setting up an e-commerce website for your business may sound overwhelming, but it does not have to be. Follow the steps mentioned in this article to set up your online store and drive sales.
Here is a simple breakdown of the steps you need to follow:
- Buy a domain name
- Find a skilled web developer
- Select an e-commerce web host platform
- Install an SSL certificate from a trusted Certification Authority
- Select themes to match your e-commerce vision
- Make your site live
- Find a payment gateway
- Finally, invest in smart digital marketing.
To have a successful business in this modern era, you need to be present wherever the customers are.
People are always online. So, building an e-commerce website is the right step toward attaining your business goals.