Looking for a new business opportunity? Trying to expand your retail business? You should seriously consider building an eCommerce website through which to reach new customers and sell your products online.
Also known as online shops, eCommerce websites are retail outlets through which manufacturers or distributors sell their products via the internet.
These are some of the most recommended website builders for online stores:
The advantages of starting an online shop are numerous, but the main ones refer to an exponentially higher amount of potential customers and relatively small maintenance and promotion costs. Online retail is an increasingly successful business sector. More and more people are turning to online shopping, whether to benefit from lower prices or for the convenience that this shopping method offers.
With a brick-and-mortar business, you’re severely limited in terms of geography and space. If you only have a store location in Topeka, Kansas, for example, your sales will be limited to locals and visitors who happen upon your shop. Furthermore, the size of your physical store will restrict how many products you can feature. An eCommerce store, on the other hand, doesn’t face these limitations. Your customers can be located anywhere in the world, and a website can feature an unlimited number of products, so storage area constraints won’t be an issue.
Before setting on an online retail venture on your own, make sure you have done your homework properly. Do you have a business plan? Did you research the market niche you are targeting? Do you know who your competitors are? What’s your edge over them? Who is your target public?
Now that you know exactly what your goals are, and who the people you are trying to persuade into buying your products are, you can move on to setting up your website. First, you need to buy a domain, preferably an exact match of your brand name. If that’s not available, think of a descriptive domain name that would say something about your business.
If you want to save some time and money in the process, instead of searching for a domain registrar and hosting provider separately, go for big names like BigCommerce that offers both a domain and trusted hosting as a part of their packages.
If you think that building your eCommerce store is going to be difficult or that only a professional web designer can do it, you are incorrect. By using one of our recommended eCommerce platforms, you can choose from tons of website templates that are available. You can then customize these templates with your personal information and product photos and descriptions. Most offer easy drag-and-drop editing so you’ll be able to easily create just the website you’ve been dreaming of.
If you want your store to have an appealing look without a lot of time and money investment from your side, you should find an eCommerce website builder solution that offers customizable templates that you can change according to your needs. Add relevant product categories, photos, descriptions, and other information that you’ll want your customers to have available. Add a blog page to keep site visitors updated on new products and sales, include a newsletter sign-up, and even add videos that further demonstrate your products. An About Us page and a place for positive customer testimonials will give site visitors reassurance that your eCommerce store is trustworthy and not a scam.
There are numerous eCommerce platforms offering all-in-one solutions, including a shopping cart, secure payment, inventory management, and marketing tools. Make sure you do your research thoroughly and choose the one that best suits your needs.
If you want your customers to be able to use their credit cards on your website, you will have to set up an account with a bank. PayPal is a less costly option for small business eCommerce.
Shipping is another cost you should include in your calculations. If your customers have to pay for it, make sure you display the costs clearly. If you offer free shipping, let your online web store’s visitors know the geographical areas where you ship your products for free.
Are you interested in selling your products on a global scale? If so, an eCommerce platform that is multilingual and can display product prices in a variety of currencies will be important. You’ll also want it to be able to accept international payment forms and to be able to ship purchased products globally.
Now that your eCommerce website is all set, the only remaining question is how to maintain and grow it. The first thing to consider is updating your products’ inventory as you don’t want to have to cancel orders and apologize to your customers when your stock for a specific product is sold out. An eCommerce platform that automatically updates your inventory as items are purchased is a great idea.
On the website promotion side of things, you should think about a few ways to reach new potential customers and get more exposure for your online shop. Optimizing your website for search engines is a long term strategy worth investing in. Social media networks represent a great way to keep in touch with your customers, get to know them better, and inform them each time you have a sale or launch a new product. You’ll also want to choose an eCommerce platform that offers SEO and marketing tools so you can attract new customers.
With plenty of user-friendly eCommerce website builder solutions at your disposal, building an online store is easier than never. No coding is necessary for building a professional website that showcases your products and allows for seamless and secure customer transactions. Follow the 5 steps mentioned above, and you will have a beautiful eCommerce website in no time.