In today’s business world, E-commerce sites have become an almost standard requirement.
Most businesses, either startups or brick and mortar companies, are leaning towards having an online presence. Even though all entrepreneurs are succumbing to e-commerce sites, the process of building and set-up can be challenging.
Having well-elaborated guidelines eases the process. In this article, we focus on the five steps an entrepreneur should take when building and launching an online site.
Table of Contents
Choose a Platform Suitable for Your Business
Start by carrying out thorough research. With so many platforms readily available in the market, it is critical to familiarize yourself with the various options present. Comparing and contrasting multiple options helps you make a confident decision and settle for the best.
Luckily, there are so many reviews written on various platforms; hence researching won’t be cumbersome. Your research should be based on your business strategy. This serves as a concise guideline of what is needed and required.
When choosing a platform for your site, consider the type of industry you’re in, features, pricing plans, templates available, SEO friendliness, and, most importantly, your clientele.
As an entrepreneur, you should pay particular interest, particularly to the features offered. For instance, if your business heavily relies on social media, having a platform that doesn’t incorporate social icons or integrate with reliable accounts will be hectic.
If you’re buying an eCommerce store, the platform should be secure and straightforward to use and navigate. Most platforms today incorporate drag and drop builders, thus possessing coding knowledge is no longer necessary.
Select a Domain
After settling for a particular platform, proceed to choose a domain for your business. You don’t need to have a custom domain. You can opt for a sub-domain according to the software you’re using.
Your domain should sound professional and similar to the name of your business. Ideally, this is what your customers will recognize you by. To get SEO benefits and rank highly in Google searches, you can incorporate keywords. Since most keywords are already in use, one has to be creative and play around with words. Having a name that is similar to another company can lead to serious legal implications.
You can opt for domain generating tools such as Nameboy, Domain Wheel, Name Mesh, and many others to come up with something unique.
Great domains are often short and simple to memorize. The longer the name, the more errors customers are prone to make when typing. For example, Amazon.com is short and precise and less likely to be wrongly typed. To prevent unnecessary confusion, avoid using hyphens.
For further clarification and knowledge, research more on tips for choosing a good domain name.
Settle On Pricing
Deciding on pricing is a crucial step when building your eCommerce site. Pricing affects the payment gateway you’ll use, and the customer turnout. Online prices vary from physical stores because of shipping fees, charges per sale, web hosting, and additional taxes. That’s why an item can be affordable in the original listed price but ridiculously expensive during checkout. This mostly affects businesses dealing with tangible goods.
For a business that is transitioning, branching out, or switching ownership, an entrepreneur should consider previously set prices for purposes of retaining customers.
Pricing is inclusive of the payment method you’ll use on the site. Unfortunately, most platforms are limited to Paypal. Businesses that serve an international market should use payment gateways that are accepted globally.
Customize and Set-up Your Ecommerce Site
Once all the basics are figured out, proceed to design your site. Customers are attracted to an aesthetically pleasing website. Since most platforms have pre-installed templates and adapt a drag and drop builder, tweaking the layout, colors, fonts, and themes is a straightforward task. If the host platform has unlimited options, you can outsource it.
Your site must match your brand and products. For instance, a business selling love magazines can primarily use pink and red colors while a company dealing with water-related products can use blue.
When customizing your website, view it from a third-party perspective. In other words, an entrepreneur’s preference doesn’t matter since you’re trying to please a customer. Split testing makes it easier to determine which layout and outward features draw more customers in.
Customize your logo, business name, product pictures, description, and anything else to make your site more customer-centered. If a platform supports additional pages, you can opt to add blog posts and extra information pertaining to the product.
After the site is well polished, set up your products. Include prices, quantities, and a nice preview of your items. Remember that well-illustrated products with clear descriptions and pictures will attract more customers than poorly displayed items.
Finalize Your Checkout Page
This is the last step before your site is open to the public. A sale isn’t complete until a customer checks out. According to Baymand Institute 41 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics done in 2017, there is a 69.57% average documented shopping cart abandonment rate. This shows that numerous customers purchase products but shy away during checkout.
Therefore, your checkout page is equally important as compared to the main sales page. Ensure that your page is screen size friendly. Customers should be able to fully view the page, whether they are using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Secondly, reduce the steps during checkout. If possible, everything should be done on one particular page. Redirecting can make a customer change his/her mind.
Lastly, create a clear distinction between shipping fees, value-added taxes, and any additional costs exclusive from your original prices. Miraculous price increase shuns away customers.
Before launching your site, crosscheck everything to ensure you meet a standard value of business perfection. Once everything is in place, you’re ready to start selling!
Building an eCommerce site is a straightforward process thanks to well-explained resources. Following the above elaborate steps will help you have an easier time creating and launching your website.