Why even bother building an eCommerce site? Wouldn’t a physical store do just as well?
First of all, building a storefront online is a lot cheaper than setting up a physical store.
So as a beginner entrepreneur, it’s essential to present your product and services online.
In fact, 66% of shoppers prefer online shopping to find what they’re looking for.
So it’s no surprise that the global retail eCommerce sales were approximately 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021.
In this article, we are going to discuss how you can build an eCommerce website and promote your products and services.
Selling Products on Amazon vs Your Own eCommerce Website
You can serve your product to your customers in two different ways – by selling products on Amazon or your own website.
As you already know, Amazon is the biggest eCommerce marketplace in the world. In fact, there are 1.29 billion USD worth of sales happening on Amazon every single day.
If you sell your products on Amazon, you might get to reach a huge number of customers. But when your customer purchases your products from Amazon, you have to pay a percentage to the Amazon overlords.
The fees for selling on Amazon typically range around 8-15%, but some go as high as 45%.
For a beginner eCommerce business owner, it can get expensive really fast and eat away on your margins. As an antidote, you could build your own eCommerce website to showcase your products to your customers, paying no fees for selling your products.
Besides that, on Amazon, there are other vendors who sell their products, often at larger volumes, allowing them to sell for cheaper. So this will be considered a highly competitive platform for you.
Nowadays, building an eCommerce website is easier than ever. Because there are multiple page builders available that can provide you with pre-developed templates with drag-to-drop functionality.
If you sell your products on your own website, you can build your own trustworthy group of customers. Also, it will provide you with a full customization facility based on your customer’s demands.
After properly analyzing these factors, we can come to the conclusion that selling products on your own website is a better option if you’re just starting to establish your online presence.
7 Simple Steps to Build an eCommerce Website
1. Choose the Perfect Domain Name
The domain name is an initial part of building any type of website. It determines the identity of your website and business. Your customers will recognize your eCommerce business through your website domain name.
If you look at any physical store, it has a geographical location. So customers remember and visit that location when they want to purchase any products.
But in the online platform, every website contains a domain name or website address. So that their customers can easily access the website through the website link.
Before building an eCommerce store, you have to choose the proper domain name for your website.
When you are choosing a domain name, you must focus on that name that should be relevant to your brand. It’s highly recommended to choose a “.com” domain, since that’s the most trustworthy domain extension.
For example, if your brand name is “WhisperShopper”, it’s recommended to choose a domain like “WhisperShopper.com.
It can often happen that the .com domain is unavailable. Alternatively, you could choose the .store domain instead of any other domain, such as .net/.org/.co. Because the .store domain contains the identity of your online store. People will easily understand that your website is an eCommerce website.
It will become very easy to identify your eCommerce website for your customers.
Also, your eCommerce website domain name should be simple and short.
2. Select a Reliable Hosting Service Provider
If you want to build a flawless and smooth eCommerce website, you must choose a reliable hosting service provider for your website.
Because your website performance mostly depends on your website hosting.
Suppose you select a slow hosting service, it will reduce the speed of your eCommerce site. Because all the data of your websites is stored in your hosting service provider server.
So, your visitors will get irritated while browsing your eCommerce website. Also, it will increase the bounce rate of your website. As a result, it will hurt your site’s overall user experience.
This will impact the SEO ranking of your website. Because page speed is one of the significant ranking factors in the Google Search Engine. Google specifically ranks websites in the upper position, which contains low bounce rates and good user experience.
Besides that, if your hosting service provider contains an inefficient hard drive and insufficient bandwidth, your website will have poor performance.
Along with that, security concerns are the most important factor for your website. If your website data remains unprotected, various types of frauds and hackers could attack your website.
For better security assurance, you should choose a dedicated hosting service provider rather than shared hosting.
Because multiple users use a single shared hosting service. So it could create security breaches. For this reason, your websites might go under the threat of cyber attacks.
On the other hand, a dedicated hosting server provides services to a single user. That means only you can control your server and strengthen your website security.
Besides that, you must ensure that your hosting service provider has dedicated customer support. Because you might face various problems with your website data. Better customer support will always help you to overcome the difficulties during developing your website.
This will also prove vital after your site is up and running, as a good provider should be able to step in and assist you if you are experiencing issues with the SSL certificate on your site, or suffering from any other problem which is impacting its performance and usability.
There are multiple types of hosting service providers available on the internet, such as Bluehost, Namecheap, Hostinger, etc. You can choose any of them for your eCommerce website development.
3. Use an Appropriate eCommerce Builder
Now, the time has come to choose the perfect website builder for your eCommerce store. With the help of a builder, you can easily customize, design, and develop your eCommerce website without any hassle.
The majority of eCommerce builders have a drag-to-drop editing feature. So that you can easily maintain your website ordering, shipping, pricing and other critical functionality without any advanced coding knowledge.
There are multiple types of platforms available to build your eCommerce website, such as WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce (which all offer headless commerce capabilities), Squarespace, etc. You can choose any of them to create your online store or easily sell on multiple platforms with plugins if you want..
Before choosing your eCommerce builder, you have to look for multiple factors, such as
- Flexibility: When you’re choosing a responsive website builder, you must ensure that it contains drag-to-drop and flexible customization functionality.
- Price: Price is one of the important factors. As a beginner, you must look for a reasonably priced eCommerce builder that can fulfill your requirements today and would be scalable in the future.
- Design facility: Your builder needs to contain multiple types of pre-developed themes. So you can easily customize the appearance of your website.
- Integrations: Your website builder should be integrated with various significant tools such as analytical tools, CRM software, marketing tools and eCommerce automation.
Of all other platforms, WooCommerce is the most flexible and customizable platform, because WooCommerce is built on the WordPress platform.
As you already know that WordPress is an open-source and famous platform for optimizing any type of website.
So, on your WooCommerce site, you can take advantage of numerous WordPress plugins. Also, you customize the design of your eCommerce site with multiple types of pre-developed themes. In addition, WordPress has the most powerful security system.
4. Pick a Beautiful Theme
If you made the smart decision of going with the WooCommerce platform, you have to focus on your website looks.
The importance of your website’s looks and design cannot be overestimated. It creates the first impression of your customers about your eCommerce. You can create great visuals with procreate pixelated brushes. Predictable functionality and user experience patterns make your site easy to navigate, so that visitors will stick around.
Suppose your website design is too saturated and colorful. This will create a negative impact on the overall user experience of your website. For this reason, you should properly design your website with a modern and standard look.
But how can you design your site properly?
In your WordPress eCommerce website, you can choose your desired theme based on your requirement. This platform has various types of free and premium themes.
To select the theme, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes.
As you can see, there are more than 5000+ themes available. Choose a theme that resembles an eCommerce storefront.
While choosing a perfect theme for your eCommerce store, you should focus on some significant factors. First of all, your theme needs to be intuitive and have a smooth user experience. So your users can easily navigate.
Secondly, your themes should be matched with the eCommerce business type and layout of your store. Also, other factors need to be considered, such as mobile-friendliness, ease of use, variety of features, etc.
5. Add Products to Your Store
Now, you need to organize your store with multiple types of product information, so that it will address all the doubts that a visitor might have about any particular product.
For better navigation, you must properly categorize your products. Otherwise, your customers might get lost and confused.
When you are adding your products to the store, you need to focus on the following aspects:
Product descriptions are the most important factors of your eCommerce website.
In the descriptions, you have to include various information about the products, such as the product title, color, size, variations, etc.
Also, your product title and descriptions need to be SEO optimized. It will help your website to rank in the upper position of the user’s search results.
Include your product information carefully, so that customers can easily identify the products. It will help you to build a group of trustworthy customers and increase the revenue of your eCommerce store.
You know that images are one of the most impactful elements in the digital world. Mostly in the eCommerce business, images are the core part of any type of product and service.
It will provide the customers with a visual representation of their desired products. Customers could visualize how their product will look after purchase.
For this purpose, you have to include appropriate product images with high-resolution quality. Also, your product needs to remain in an optimum size.
If you offer multiple variations of the same product, you should include different images of different variations.
To include your products go to your WordPress Dashboard > Products > Add New Products.
You have to fill up your product-related information, such as:
After filling in all this information, scroll down to set your product price.
You can set two types of product prices such as regular price and sale price. Along with that, you can include your shipping and inventory-related information.
Now navigate to the right side of the page. In this section, you have to select your Product Category. Also, you can create new product categories based on your product types.
Before publishing your products, you can edit your product visibility preference and publish status. Click on the Publish button to visible your products in your eCommerce store.
After adding all the information, your product will be present like this in your eCommerce store.
6. Set Up Payment and Shipping Information
As an eCommerce business, you must provide high quality and responsive customer service. Often customers need answers to their questions in real time. If they cannot get their answers fast, they will take their money elsewhere.
You have to ensure that your customers can get a delightful purchasing experience from your store. For this purpose, your first priority should be to optimize your payment and shipping methods.
So that your customers can easily pay for their orders. Also, you can easily deliver customers’ desired products to their doorstep.
In WooCommerce, you will be able to customize the shipping and payment methods more flexibly.
Go to your WordPress Dashboard > WooCommerce. It will show you the options for customization.
First, we will show you how you can optimize your store payment methods. So let’s click on the Set up payments option.
WooCommerce will allow you to choose multiple types of payment methods, such as:
You can choose any of the payment methods based on your requirements.
Now you need to set up your store shipping information. So select the Set up shipping option.
WooCommerce will help you to customize various shipping-related information, such as:
You have to implement your shipping strategy based on your store or warehouse locations.
7. Implement Effective Marketing Strategies
Just building an eCommerce website is not the end of your entire journey. You have to practice effective promotional strategies to maximize the growth of your eCommerce business.
Effective social media ads, SEO and search engine marketing will help you to increase the traffic of your eCommerce website and turn that traffic into customers.
There are various types of marketing strategies available such as:
- Content Marketing: You have to create content marketing strategies to promote your products to the target customers. You can write various types of blogs, infographics, and ebooks about your products.
- Social Media Marketing: You can build a social media community on multiple social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Use the best social media management tools to post about your upcoming products, campaigns, etc.
- Email Marketing: Through email marketing campaigns, you can provide multiple types of product-related information to your customers.
- Search Engine Marketing: Google Ads, when done right, is an effective way to capture visitors who are looking for particular products. Targeting a specific keyword on Google and capturing the traffic is an effective way to get shoppers with buying intent.
You could also experiment with influencer marketing, if that fits your products and audience style.
5 Best Tools for an eCommerce Website
In this part, we will discuss some significant tools for your eCommerce. With the help of these tools, you can easily perform most of your business-related tasks such as CRM, marketing, shipping, etc.
Read the full HubSpot review
HubSpot is one of the best CRM software to manage your online business more efficiently and diligently. This platform helps various businesses in their marketing-related tasks, such as marketing automation, lead generation, analytics, etc.
HubSpot has a powerful sales CRM function. So you can execute your sales management tasks, such as contact management, email outreach, payment processing, and other tasks.
In fact, you can also build your entire website on this platform. Because it has a well-developed page builder and content management system. It will provide your fully drag-to-drop website editing opportunity.
Read the full CTX Feed review
Your products and brand have to emerge on several platforms to create awareness for your potential customers.
With the help of this WooCommerce product feed manager plugin, you can generate unlimited numbers of product feeds for multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, TikTok, Bing, and 100+ other channels.
You don’t require any advanced programming knowledge to generate a feed with this plugin. When you upload your product, it will automatically update based on your product data customization.
Read the full Google Analytics review
Analytical data is always significant to run your business. Through the proper data, you can implement your new marketing plans. Also, it will help you to customize your website based on customer demands.
Google Analytics is a free and the most widely used tool to monitor your customer’s demographic and behavioral data.
The major advantage of Google Analytics contains machine learning capability. So this will give you more precise and optimized data about your customers’ activity.
Read the full Challan review
You must ensure that your customers are getting a comfortable purchasing experience from your store. Challan is a powerful plugin that will improve your customer’s purchasing experience.
It’s a PDF invoice and packing slip generator plugin for WooCommerce. Challan will automatically generate a PDF invoice and add it as an attachment to your customer’s order email based on the order status.
So that your customers can get appropriate purchasing information. Along with PDF invoices, this also creates packing slips for flawless product delivery to customers.
Challan contains the easiest user interface with multiple customizable invoice templates.
Read the full MailChimp review
If you want to build a trustworthy customer base, you must maintain excellent communication with your customers.
This way you can ask for feedback about your customer’s demands, opinions, and problems with your eCommerce store. Through email communication, you can also promote your products and services.
For this reason, you should choose Mailchimp to connect with your customers. It’s a famous email marketing automation tool. This tool will help you unlock another channel for getting more sales – promoting products to your email list via email promo campaigns.
You can use multiple types of pre-designed email templates with a drag-to-drop editing functionality. Also, Mailchimp has a powerful automation feature that can detect your customer’s behavior and activity.
Key Takeaways for Building an Commerce Website
To build a successful and revenue-generating eCommerce website, you have to implement multiple effective strategies.
Also, you should focus on multiple factors, such as choosing an appropriate domain, selecting reliable hosting, customizable platforms, etc.
Along with that, you have to select the appropriate tools to properly grow your eCommerce website. Tools will help you with various purposes, such as email marketing campaigns, product promotions, customer relationship management and even future scalability.