Local retail shops, artists, designers, and even bloggers are starting to sell their goods and services online.
Table of Content
- What distinguishes the successes from the failures?
- STEP #1: Creating the product
- STEP #2: Pricing
- STEP #3: Shipping costs and options
- STEP #4: Choosing an eCommerce web hosting
- STEP #5: Decide on a domain name and brand
- STEP #6: Choosing a Web Hosting Company
- STEP #7: Setting Up a payment Method
- STEP #8: Install a SSL Certificate
- STEP #9: Boom! You can start selling.
- Sharing is caring. Please do share with others.
What distinguishes the successes from the failures?
Among other things, a strategy and a good website. Without these two things, you may be setting your eCommerce site up for failure.
In this blog post, I am going to share with you a well researched guide to creating a successful eCommerce website.
Before getting to building your online store, you’ll need to figure out a few things regarding what you will be selling on your eCommerce website.
In this blog post, I am going to show you how to create a successful eCommerce website in nine (9) simple steps.
STEP #1: Creating the product
If you have been thinking of setting up an eCommerce website for a while, then you may well already have a product in mind. Maybe it’s something you make, like a handmade bracelet, a piece of art, a digital product like an eBook or template or something you’ve found a source for at wholesale prices so you can sell it off at a profit, every online store has to start with a product.
Do some research to make sure your product is viable. Is there already a market out there for your product? If there is already an established market, consider whether your product is unique enough to break in. Will you be able to compete on pricing?
STEP #2: Pricing
Pricing is one of the hardest parts to get right in running a new business.
If you price is too low, you’ll lose money. If you price is too high, you won’t make enough sales and still risk losing money on the whole undertaking.
To work out the pricing that makes sense you have to first figure out your own costs. That includes:
- the cost of materials to make your product
- web hosting for your eCommerce site
- the percentage credit cards or Paypal will deduct.
- additional marketing and
- advertising costs
Then figure out how much you want to add on top to pay yourself (and make a profit!).
STEP #3: Shipping costs and options
If you’re selling a physical product, how will you deliver it to customers?
Your impulse may be to pass on the full cost of shipping to the client, and many online stores do take this route. Be warned though that shipping costs can have a strong psychological impact on consumers, with 44% saying they’ve abandoned an online purchase due to high shipping and handing costs.
Instead, consider offering one of these shipping methods:
- Offer free shipping, no questions asked
- Offer free shipping and up your product pricing slightly to cover the cost
- Offer free shipping for orders of a certain size
- Offer a flat shipping fee
STEP #4: Choosing an eCommerce web hosting
When it comes to eCommerce, you have two options: use a marketplace that already exists like Amazon, or manage a website and brand.
If you want a website and brand that’s all your own, many website hosting platforms make it easy to find compatible eCommerce options that you can work with in the same space you use to work on your website. This way you can direct people to youronlinestore.com.
STEP #5: Decide on a domain name and brand
Think of words and phrases that say something about the products you’ll be selling, and words and phrases that mean something to you. And be sure to stay away from names that have already been copyrighted by other businesses.
STEP #6: Choosing a Web Hosting Company
Many hosting platforms can make at least part of this step easier by providing an already existing platform where you can work from rather than having to build a website from scratch.
You’ll also need to work on designing a website that describes your wares and helps persuade website visitors to buy.
Once you set up your site, you have to do more than just add your products. In addition to product pages, your eCommerce website should also include the following pages:
- A home page where you feature weekly deals and sale items
- An about page with a brief description of what you do
- A contact or customer service page so customers can easily reach you
- A blog where you post updates, industry news etc.
STEP #7: Setting Up a payment Method
Every online store needs a way to receive money – specifically, a way to receive credit card payments. A merchant account does the very important job of ensuring you can get paid.
You have options that range from big, familiar brand names like Chase and PayPal, to companies more focused on small businesses like BluePay and PaySimple. You will have to pay something to the company in order to get your money, but the ability to accept the money your customers send should make the fees well worth it.
STEP #8: Install a SSL Certificate
When you create your site, be sure to install an SSL certificate. These certificates provide the green lock you see next to URLs when you’re shopping online, and they keep your customers’ private data safe.
If customers are going to hand you their private payment information (or more accurately, enter it into a form on your website), you need to make sure the sensitive details will stay safe. An SSL certificate for your website encrypts all the sensitive information customers provide so that hackers won’t be able to grab that credit card information as it’s sent over the web.
STEP #9: Boom! You can start selling.
Now it’s time to start making money.
If you launch your online store and don’t get much traction, then you should start thinking about promotion. Content marketing, social media, and paid promotion are all areas worth looking into to start getting people to your website.
If you’re not quite ready to make that level of investment in your online store, start with old-fashioned word of mouth. Talk to your friends about it, mention it to professional acquaintances, and bring it up at any events around town likely to attract the kind of people interested in what you’re selling.
Well, that’s it. Please let me know if your thoughts by commenting below.