If we were to name the fastest growing industry in the world, eCommerce sites are definitely going to be in the top 10. With hectic work schedules and a lack of work-life balance, people need more convenience and comfort in their lives. That’s exactly what the eCommerce sector is focused on. It’s a promising business that has massive scope both in the present and the future. So, if you are wondering ‘How to set up an eCommerce website,’ you’ve landed on the right page.
Setting Up An eCommerce Website Step By Step
In the year 2019, the share of eCommerce from the total retail sales globally was 14.1%. Now, budding entrepreneurs have access to the best eCommerce solutions, it is much easier to start a store online. Building on that, let’s dive into some more details about how to set up an eCommerce store.
1. Selecting The Right Platform For an eCommerce Website
Since an online store has various aspects to handle, a fully functional and trustworthy eCommerce platform is a must. With the rise in the eCommerce sector, there are plenty of platforms out there that make the task of running an eCommerce store easy for you. Considering that this decision is what decides the fate of your store, make sure you give this step the utmost importance.
However, selecting the correct eCommerce platform can be a major hold off for most aspiring eCommerce business owners. So, we’re going to save you hours of research on the internet and suggest a credible and one of the leading eCommerce solutions, that is, Magento. Flaunting a versatile content management strategy and mobile-friendly configuration, it’s a one-stop destination for those wondering how to set up an eCommerce store.
The advanced SEO of Magento helps in increasing the organic reach of your website. It makes your store more discoverable to search engines and aids in boosting conversion rates. If you are looking forward to easy third party integrations and customizing various security permissions, Magento has got you covered. The simple check out process also decreases the chances of cart abandonment.
2. Domain and Hosting
You need to purchase a unique domain name as it’s going to be the name of your brand. Since it’s the name that will be your business identity for the time to come, it’s important for it to leave an indelible imprint on the minds of the onlookers. So, make sure you give it a lot of thought. Besides that, you also need an SSL certificate to ensure the protection of the personal information of your users. It includes name, address, payment information, etc.
When you are done selecting the name of your domain, don’t overthink the next step. There are plenty of platforms such as GoDaddy offering unique domain names in less than $10. The same goes for a web hosting platform.
3. Complete the necessary paperwork
You can’t run a legitimate business without going through the necessary paperwork to ensure legitimacy. It starts with obtaining a vendor’s license. For more details, you can approach a corporate attorney. They will be able to guide you better about the trade and e-commerce laws of the particular state you wish to establish your business in.
Even though there is an upfront cost involved, this step will save you from a lot of time and effort in the future. Depending on the state in which you wish to establish your headquarters, you need to take the required steps according to the laws of that state. Although be prepared, the process is not short and sweet. But once you are done with it, the upcoming steps become a lot easier.
4. Figuring Out Packaging, Storage, and Shipping Options
It’s vital to figure out storage, shipping, and packaging options before giving your store the green signal. All these aspects are a part of Order fulfillment. Playing a significant role in enhancing your user’s shopping experience with your store, order fulfillment needs a considerable thought. For instance, does your merchandise contain perishable items or those made up of breakable material?
You need to carry out the packaging according to the type of item you are selling. Now, as for shipping, different countries have different rules. For instance, some beauty products are only meant to transit via ground.
Moreover, you should know whether you are going to be storing the items in a warehouse or you will be a drop shipper. If you decided to opt for a warehouse to store inventory, it’s important to tie up with courier companies that can pick up the items from the location.
It’s also important to keep your stuff safe and protect it from any potential damage. However, if you are dropshipping, you’re not dealing with physical goods. Therefore, this step might not be one of your concerns.
5. Finding The Right Theme
Finding the right theme for your eCommerce store can be a challenging task. Every eCommerce business owner has a vision. Make sure that the theme you are opting for matches your vision. There are plenty of markets for website templates you can choose from. For instance, Magento offers a plethora of templates to suit different niches. You can select the one that aligns with your idea and get on with it.
This eliminates the need to build a theme from scratch. With Magento providing a wide array of eCommerce themes, all you need to do is download the one you prefer from the existing library. Thanks to the immense variety, you won’t return empty-handed. There is something for everyone. Before selecting a theme, also keep in mind the color choice as it matters more than you think for customers.
6. Getting a Payment Gateway
Have you ever wondered how most popular eCommerce websites accept payments via different payment methods? For instance, let’s consider a credit card. There are two major requirements here. A credit card processor and a payment gateway. There are plenty of popular gateways used for eCommerce transactions, for example, Paypal and Stripe.
Before you apply for a credit card processor and a payment gateway approval, ensure that you have established a secure checkout process. You should also have a working email address for your store and a phone number. Some other things you need to have in handy is a state ID, driving license, a good credit history, a federal tax ID and a bank account to deposit funds.
Now, getting to the reality of having a payment gateway approval, it’s not easy. Setting it up can take a while. This makes it all the more necessary to stop waiting for the last minute to get this process started. The payment processors don’t trust inexperienced businessmen. They also don’t take big risks on business that they think are not likely to be successful. It’s your job to make them believe that you are not one of them.
7. Making Your eCommerce Website Live
When you reach out to bloggers and advertisers, they can see that you have a website. This is a major factor in determining your credibility. They can also trust you better. Moreover, all these sources of promotion can link back to your website which is important for link building.
8. Facebook Product Catalog + Google Shopping
By now, you must have realized the importance of SEO for your eCommerce business. Rather than waiting for the site development to complete and start the SEO from scratch, you can keep on making efforts to bolster SEO while the development is going on.
However, there are some things that you can accomplish without completely setting up your website. Set up your Google Shopping Campaign either just after the development or at the final stages of development. From the merchant center, you can use the same data feed and prepare your Facebook Product Catalog.
9. Promote Your Store
Last but not the least, there is no point in running a business if you can’t get the word out. Thus, utilize different social media platforms and the services of influencers to increase your brand’s reach. With a tactful blend of print and digital media, you can easily promote your products to a wide audience base.
Build an email list and draft an attractive newsletter. When you are in the promotional phase, sometimes, it might call for hosting giveaways or announcing massive discounts. Promoting an eCommerce store can incur significant costs. But once you direct the advertising funds in the right direction, it’s totally worth it.
If you are thinking about how to start an eCommerce business, know that it’s an investing process. But if you follow the above checklist, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be pursuing an enormous and profitable industry!