The present time is the era of digitalization. Most of the people spend most of their time using the internet. From reading to shopping everything has become internet dependent. With an increased number of internet users, the field of E-Commerce is blooming
The e-commerce website is an ideal platform to popularize your online business. Shopping websites like Amazon and AliExpress provide a huge platform for independent retailers to sell their product. It is obvious that if shopping websites offer their customers with quality products, people will prefer to buy online.
E-commerce websites are a golden opportunity for growing businesses.
The online sales currently account for 17.2% of all retail sales. Online shopping rate is increasing by 13.7% every year. This is the best time to grow your business online.
So, if you are having a great business idea or a growing business, E-commerce can help you expand your brand. E-commerce websites help to endorse your brand and professional network not only nationally but internationally too.
Easy Steps to Build an E-Commerce Website:
An e-commerce website is key to your business success. The website allows visitors to get details of your product online without any other interruption. Thus, it acts as a bridge because it conveys all of the product and services of your business to the website visitors.
Generally, the purpose of an e-commerce website is to turn the cold audience into potential customers.
To make an e-commerce website, here are the easiest 7 steps to follow:
- Idea & Strategy
- Selection of Domain & Platform for the e-commerce website
- Decide Pricing & Payment Methods
- E-commerce Website Design
- Creation of Check-out Experience
- Business Marketing
- Look After Analytics & SEO
All these above-mentioned steps require research and information about the E-commerce industry. If you are a beginner, the research can be overwhelming. Building an E-commerce website is a complicated process because it requires extensive technical knowledge. However, there are other E-commerce platforms which allows you to grow your business by using their website. Anyhow, if you have determined goals and plans for your business, I prefer you to build an individual website for your business.
Idea & Strategy:
A sound strategy is required to ensure the success of your E-commerce website. Today, thousands of E-commerce websites are available from where you can get an idea about how they display their offers and how they deal with their customers. You can easily pick up the right details for your business website by visiting some of the other websites which match your business niche.
A good E-commerce website not only provides excellent content but also offers 24/7 customer support and a friendly staff to troubleshoot any issue.
Moving from traditional business marketing to E-commerce platform can be a challenging step for you. But once you make your mark in the E-commerce industry your business will become your brand.
Selling Digital Products
As your business grows, it is important to anticipate your greatest challenges and needs. Work on all the business-related points in advance. For instance, if you are selling a physical product you have to decide how you will ship the product? What would be the payment method? On the other hand, if you are selling digital products, you have to plan the bandwidth and delivery options in advance. For an e-commerce website, you can get the idea about how your website should look from the websites offering the same product and services. The main thing you should do is to list down top 5 competitors and thoroughly visit their website. From this, you can get a brief idea which directs you how to begin with your e-commerce website.
All you have to do now is to list all the business requirements including the type of product, shipping method, payment method, and time limitations. Once you are done with these you are ready to go to the next step.
Selection of Domain & Platform for The E-Commerce Website:
A web domain specifies the presence of your business website on the internet. You can choose the domain name for your website according to your will. Many internet services offer subdomains, but in my opinion, you should get an individual web domain for your business. The services like GoDaddy allows you to select and buy your website domain.
The custom domain gives your website the following benefits:
- The recognizable brand identity of your own business.
- A professional email id linked to your business web domain. This helps people to contact your company
- SEO advantages
Once you select your web domain the next step is to select the right e-commerce platform for your business. An ideal e-commerce website building platform should be flexible and user-friendly.
Most of the business owners do not know the website coding to build a website. For that purpose, you need to give your project to a web development company who can develop and design an e-commerce website for you. However, there are Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, etc. which allows you to design and develop your website without the need for coding. CMS is easy to use and provide a number of E-commerce website templates. All the business owners and entrepreneurs require a platform to integrate with their existing websites.
Features of a Good E-commerce Platform:
Building a website from a scratch can be aided by CMS as mentioned above. But it is good to have web development services from a reputed web development company. The reason is that a web development company can build your website more professionally.
When selecting an e-commerce platform always consider the following features:
- SEO friendliness
- Payment gateways acceptance
- Mobile friendliness
- Customer service
- Integrations and plugins
If you already have a website, you can easily build an e-commerce website by modifying the existing website. This can be done by changing the web content, adding widgets, and adding buy buttons. Moreover, you can embed a store on your website.
Decide Pricing & Payment Methods:
When building an e-commerce website, there are three aspects of payment that you should keep in mind.
- How you will price the products?
- Decide how customers will pay for you
- How will you get those payments to your bank account?
Whether you are starting your online business from scratch or extending your local business, either way, you have to plan your pricing strategy thoroughly.
The following are some cost factors to consider when pricing your online products:
- The rate of materials per item or unit
- E-commerce web hosting charges
- Cost of shipping
- Fees and percentage per sale deduction from different organizations e.g. Credit Cards, PayPal, etc.
- Flexible pricing e.g. bids etc.
Once you plan all these cost requirements, the next step is to decide how you will receive these payments from the customers. For this purpose, third-party payment processors are available which act as a bridge between your account and your website. The most popular payment processor nowadays is PayPal which is used by many websites to receive payments. PayPal has simple features and with it, you can send and receive payments from anywhere in the world.
E-commerce Website Design:
After completing and planning your strategy, you are ready to design your web store or E-commerce website. In this step, you have to think about what your website requires in addition to your product. Obviously, the website needs content or the description of your product. You must work on that first. Your E-commerce website design is an important thing which captures your visitor’s attention and turns your web visitors into potential customers.
When we talk about web pages, you have to build about us and contact pages on first priority as these pages act like a bridge helping the customers to contact you. Graphics like videos and images can also be added to the web pages to attract the audience.
The webpages that a website contains are:
The homepage contains basic information about your e-commerce website. This is the page where your product’s weekly deals and promotions appear.
About Us Page: The about us page contains information about your company, brand, and services. This tells the web visitors what your company does?
Contact Us Page: This page provides all the channels through which the customer can contact your company.
Blog Page: On the blog page, you can post all the latest news, ongoing promotions, and helpful tips for shoppers.
When building an e-commerce website, the things you must add in the website include:
- Store name
- Trust marks and payment logos
Choose the best theme for your e-commerce website. The theme not only represents your brand but also allows you to display your product in the best possible light on the internet. After selecting the theme, the next thing to do is to create categories that are logical to the customers. When you design your website, always consider your target audience. This helps you to design the website according to the need of your customers.
It is excellent to learn the preferences of your ideal customers. By this, you can design a website which concentrates on user experience. Always keep in mind that your customer is the key to your business success. So, design your website by considering the customer’s needs.
Good e-commerce Website:
The e-commerce website is a transactional hub which helps you to build a direct relationship with your customer. A good e-commerce website contains all the information a customer requires. So, to make you’re an excellent e-commerce website, add pages, images, blog posts, products, texts, videos, etc. to your online store. All these things provide complete knowledge of your products and services to the customers and ensure them to buy from your website with great satisfaction.
Once you design your website and give it a polished professional look, the next thing to do is to add products to it.
The following are the description of your product which you should consider while adding your product to your website:
- Selection of product type
- Name and description of your product
- Price of your product
- The quantity of the product available
- Item preview by adding an image or a video
- Provide shipping and pricing options
Always keep in mind that your products should be categorized. For this, you can create a category tree in which each category contains relevant products such as electronics, groceries, lifestyle, etc. Subcategories can also be created to specify the products.
A great product description relies on these above-mentioned factors. While writing a product description, try to be thoughtful and concise, and make sure your product looks great.
Creation of Check-out Experience:
Shopping cart check-out is the backbone of your online sales. And if your customers are abandoning the shopping cart, it will destroy your business like a disaster. The term abandonment describes the situation when the customer leaves the website without completing the shopping procedure. According to the Baymard Institute report in 2017, the average rate of shopping cart abandonment is over 69%.
Shopping cart abandonment gives you no sale. And to avoid cart abandonment, work on the following factors:
- Enable your customers to buy multiple items at once
- Offer free shipping
- If you charge for shipping then provide details about the charges
- Optimize your check-out for desktop and mobile devices
- Send cart abandonment emails if a person abandons the shopping cart
Always keep in mind that the steps involved in the check-out procedure significantly affects your sales conversion rates. Which means that any incomplete purchase can have an adverse effect on your business. To avoid this, test your check-out process until it becomes perfect.
Once you are done with building your e-commerce website, the next step is to promote your product and services. You can do this by increasing your web traffic. Your online business endorsement requires a solid marketing plan to generate sales and traffic to your website.
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO is a common marketing strategy used by the majority of websites. It increases the ranking of your website and makes your website visible and prominent on search engines. Other business marketing strategies include Sales Funnel and email marketing to capture leads and generate sales.
- The best marketing strategies are:
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
For better sales, you can endorse your brand by:
- Offering built-in SEO for every product
- Offering free integration with email auto-responders like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, etc.
- Adding customers to your email lists
- Linking your e-commerce site to social media
- Enabling the sharing of your product on social media
- Offering coupons and discounts for members of your website
- Creating a blog on your website
Many vendors choose other platforms such as Amazon to sell their product online. But due to high fees and limitations selling your product on another platform is proved to be overwhelming. Having your own e-commerce website is far better than any other platform because it makes you the boss of your own website.
Look After Analytics & SEO:
When your website starts functioning, you can track the performance of your e-commerce website with the help of analytics solution. This can be done with the help of Google Analytics from which you can observe the performance of your website. moreover, it helps you to monitor your website and product pages so you can make more improvements if required. You can add high volume keywords to increase your web traffic and generate more sales. The e-commerce website is far better than conventional business methods because your products are available on the website all the time. But like every other thing, the website needs maintenance. By looking after the SEO and Analytics you can maintain your website and grow your business with fast speed.
Once all these steps are done, your e-commerce website is ready to boom the internet world. But before starting building a website ask yourself if you can do all these steps alone or require web development services? For better results, you should give the web development process to a professional web development company. Anyhow, if you have technical knowledge you can test your skills by developing the website by yourself.