In the past, starting a new business from scratch was an uphill task, even for those with some entrepreneurial experience. However, the internet has changed the very basis of business processes. Selling products online can be easy once you know how to set up your eCommerce store. So, let’s find out how to build an eCommerce website from scratch.
While online shopping was popular earlier, too, the pandemic and the subsequent global lockdown brought about by Coronavirus changed shopping habits dramatically. Any business owner that stays offline is missing out on a major chunk of business.
So that’s why you must not lose time if you plan to launch your own eCommerce business.
Before You Start
Before you start, there are some basic steps to follow. You need a domain name and web hosting plan. Without these, you cannot launch a live eCommerce website.
There are dozens of service providers who can help you secure a domain name and choose the best hosting plan. Purchasing them from the same provider is highly recommended because you will have one less vendor to deal with. It will also speed up the process of getting your site online.
How to Build an eCommerce Website from Scratch
Building an eCommerce website is a bit different from building a standard website. For an online store, you will need tools and software for processing payments. To start an eCommerce website from scratch, you will need
- A domain name
- A hosting provider and an appropriate plan
- An integrated payment processor
- The right set of tools to build your store
- Initial funding to create your catalog
- Packaging and shipping arrangements
The Steps to Follow
Market Research to Find Your Niche
Before you start your online store, you must identify the products you want to sell. It can be disappointing to build an online store only to discover there are no buyers for your products. That’s why market research is crucial. Look for products that are trending and align your choices with them. Get into the trending niche at the right time. It will help you reap profits in the short term and long term.
Choose Your eCommerce Platform
Choosing your eCommerce platform is a crucial decision. You will have many options, such as WordPress, Magento, Website Builders, etc.
WordPress is a highly reliable and popular content management system. It’s relatively easy to use. It is also highly versatile as it offers a massive library of plugins.
WooCommerce is a free-to-use platform powered by the WordPress team. You are unlikely to face any compatibility issues and can access various compatible themes and add-ons. To make the most out of your WooCommerce store, consider investing in professional WooCommerce web design by Digital Silk.
Magento is another extremely popular eCommerce CMS. However, it may not be for novices as it requires more user skill and knowledge. However, Magento offers more options for customizing and creating business-specific functionality. You will have to hire a skilled developer to learn and use the site.
Website Builders presents the best option and comes with many eCommerce tools. Most website builders are created for novice eCommerce entrepreneurs. So, it will be a great idea to go with this platform.
You may consider exploring online marketplaces like Temu, which can expand your reach and customer base. These platforms provide a ready-made infrastructure for selling products, allowing you to leverage their existing user base and established reputation. By listing your products on online marketplaces, you can tap into a larger audience and benefit from increased visibility and sales opportunities. However, it’s essential to assess the marketplace’s policies, fees, and target audience to ensure it aligns with your business goals and product offerings. Conduct thorough research and choose the online marketplace that best complements your eCommerce strategy.
Choose the Elements for Your Ecommerce Website
Take some time to consider the functionalities you want on your website. Find out the best way to organize it.
Figure out the pages and categories to include on your eCommerce platform. A home page and inside pages for each of your products are mandatory. Build the site structure based on your potential customers’ browsing patterns and shopping habits.
Include a Search Bar
Most visitors will browse the site to find the items they want. Some will know exactly what they’re looking for. A search bar allows them to go directly to the page they need. It helps in enhancing user experience.
Most online shoppers rely extensively on reviews every time they shop online. Looking at customer reviews has become a vital part of the purchasing process. Including a review feature on your website gives customers the resource to post what they have to say about your products and business. The feedback can be crucial to fixing issues and improving customer value.
Add a Reliable Shopping Cart
The ideal customer is not the one who picks up an item and then jumps straight into the purchase process. They’ll spend time choosing several things, but they must have a place to stock the selected items.
A shopping cart is a standard feature of an eCommerce business. It allows visitors to save the items they want to purchase while they continue looking for more. A good shopping cart comes with several business-friendly features to improve customer experiences and ensure they return to your store regularly.
Launch Your Store and Selling Products
If you have accomplished the above tasks, you have done a great job. You are now ready to launch your eCommerce store. Ensure you make a great first impression. Double-check every page for errors such as broken links, typos, and other jarring notes. Run a few sample purchases to ensure the checkout process is working smoothly.
Now that you know the basics of how to build an eCommerce website from scratch, you will have to fortify the site with many mandatory and desirable add-ons. You must market your website effectively and optimize your website search engine optimization through effective content marketing measures. You will also need to add blog posts, catchy visual content, and powerful social media marketing strategies. Be willing to experiment. Even if things don’t move in the direction you want, keep moving forward. That’s the secret to successful entrepreneurship.