Creating an online store isn’t always as simple as it seems. You must work extra hard to get everything in place or miss out on the most important features.
Whether you’re starting a business from scratch or taking your physical store online, this comprehensive guide will help you get off on the right foot and set you up for success.
Follow these 8 steps to building a successful eCommerce.
8 Steps to Form an eCommerce Website
- Choose domain name
No matter how nice your store looks and how gorgeous your products are, if no one can find you online, then it doesn’t matter. That’s why choosing a domain name is such an important first step in building an online business.
You want something that’s short, memorable, and easy to spell—and ideally something related to your niche.
- Create conspicuous products pages
The products page is your store’s most important real estate. Use it to convince customers that what you’re selling is better than anything else online. That means eliminating all distractions (even product descriptions) and making sure that any visitor knows what they can expect when they click “buy.”
Test your product pages and see how long it would take a customer to find what they want. Ask yourself, Can one find out how much something costs before buying?
- Add basic website info
These pages are usually fairly easy to create, but even if they’re not, it’s worth taking your time to get them up on your site. They’ll help build trust with visitors and instill confidence in your business practices.
- Organize shipping & pickup options
When customers are ready to buy something on your site, they should be able to schedule a pickup or choose their preferred shipping option quickly and easily.
Using third-party services such as Endicia helps automate these processes, saving both you and your customers time.
For example, if someone wants to ship a package with UPS, but also wants an email receipt for record-keeping, Endicia can provide that service.
It’s an easy way to save yourself time by using pre-existing features instead of building out additional features from scratch.
- Organize tax
Having a good tax organizer is so vital for keeping up with your taxes. Use an online service like TaxAct or H&R Block’s software, both of which are designed to help you stay on top of your taxes every year.
If you need more guidance on tax matters, research more about small business and personal income tax preparation.
- Add payment options
You’ll want to offer multiple ways for your customer base to pay for purchases.
Not only does having several payment options open up opportunities for customers outside of your country, but it also keeps things convenient if something happens and you temporarily can’t accept credit cards.
PayPal and Amazon Payments are both accepted by most online shoppers, so adding one or both should be a no-brainer.
- Design your user interface
While you can pay a web designer to create your website, it’s more cost-effective (and frankly, more impressive) if you take design matters into your own hands. This is especially easier if you’re setting up a shop in a marketplace like Wix, Shopify or Etsy.
If you’re creating a site from scratch, there are some great sites out there with free software and tutorials on how to use it. The world is your oyster when it comes to designing your own user interface.
- Launch and improve your site
Many entrepreneurs launch too early. If you wait until you’re completely ready, though, you may never launch at all. Instead, get your site up and running as soon as possible. Test it out—you can always make adjustments later on if things aren’t working like they should be.
Don’t waste time getting stuck in perfectionism when there are perfectly good opportunities passing you by!
SummaryCreating an online store can be an uphill task if you don’t have a well-thought-out plan.