E-commerce is booming.
Not only did the global pandemic accelerate the uptake in online shopping, but e-commerce has been steadily growing for years as more and more people turned online and shifted their spending to digital channels.
- There are currently over 26 million eCommerce Sites in the world.
- In 2020 alone, over two billion people purchased products or services online.
- In fact, global e-commerce sales are forecast to reach $5.5 trillion in 2022.
- Retail ecommerce sales are forecast to reach about 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025.
Talk about a growth opportunity!
If you’re looking to start a business in the near future, or you already own a brick-and-mortar store, and you’re looking to expand online, then an e-commerce store is a great option because this is not a trend that’s going away anytime soon.
If you’re taking your first steps with your first-ever online store, this post on building an e-commerce website will walk you through everything from what is eCommerce to the benefits of eCommerce and how to build a successful E-Commerce website from start to finish!
An e-commerce store is a business that buys and sells products and services over the internet. It is conducted over tablets, computers, smartphones, and other smart devices. There are a number of platforms you can use to set up your store, and this can include anything from physical goods to digital downloads.
E-commerce stores can exist in several different formats, such as standalone websites or online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.
To broaden their customer base and increase their profits, more and more brands are creating e-commerce stores alongside their brick-and-mortar stores, as they know that the online world has become increasingly user-friendly.
E-commerce stores are a great way to reach a larger audience, diversify your customer channels, and increase profits.
In addition to reaching more people, e-commerce stores also offer many other benefits, including:
- Keep a check on costs
- Helps to expand your brand
- Wide Range of Products
- Attract New Customers
- Convenient Selling Option
- Lower Business Risk
- Transparency in Business
- Better Marketing Opportunities
- 24/7/365 availability
- No geographical limitations
- Customized shopping experience
- Direct to consumer sales channels
- Faster response to market demands
A domain name also called a URL acts as the web address that a shopper uses or enters into the browser bar to access your website. Choosing a good domain name is very important as it reflects and represents your entire brand. Domain names give people an idea of the business’ activities.
You can use key phrases or descriptive keywords in your business and domain name. This way your customers know what you sell up-front, and it also helps you rank well in search engines, which is crucial to your business’s SEO strategy.
Once you decide on a domain name, you can purchase your domain using a domain registrar service like Bluehost, GoDaddy, or Google Domains. Simply just visit these websites and enter your business name. It will inform you if that domain is available or not. If your name is already taken, these sites will display some alternate name or some other options, like .net or .co.
If you are getting a .com domain, then stick to it because that’s the most common and trusted usage. However, if the .com is taken, and you’re set on a particular name then you can move with .net and .co options too as they are widely recognized after .com.
After you’re done choosing your domain name, the next step to build a Successful E-Commerce Website is to host your e-commerce website. To get your eCommerce store up and running, you’ll need web hosting to store the files of the website.
To secure a domain name and hosting, you can choose from dozens of different providers and services available in the market, and you can either purchase them together or separately. To minimizes the number of technical tasks, you can purchase them together from the same provider as you need to complete and speeds up the process of getting your eCommerce website online. There are several types of web hosting, with the four most common being shared, dedicated, VPS, and cloud hosting.
A good web hosting plan must be adjustable to accommodate future growth and must be efficient as your eCommerce business develops.
You must consider the aspects of bandwidth, storage, speed and optimization, security, ease of installation and use, and better customer support when selecting a web hosting provider for your site.
Finding the right ecommerce platform is the next step in your journey. Choosing the right platform is very important that can meet the needs of your brand and products. This is where your site “lives” online. You have to choose the option from:
- Free platforms with limited features
- Website builders
You can go with a dedicated e-commerce platform that can support unlimited growth, or add e-commerce features to popular website builders. There are many options, you may want to start with one of the following popular platforms:
You can choose any of these or other platforms to develop an attractive website, streamline the daily task of processing online sales, and improve customers’ shopping experience.
Consider the cost, usability factors, and features while choosing a platform to build an eCommerce website. Spend some time evaluating your options, and do market research to find something that suits your business model and can accommodate its growth.
To create your business website, you’ll need to gather the following information:
- Create your own logo and brand imagery
- Product photos and videos
- Detailed Product descriptions
- Size and weight options
- Product SKU and Pricing
- Share your story on the About us page of your website
- User-friendly and easier navigations
This step of payment, shipping, and marketing will vary depending on your e-commerce platform and your business too. All-in-one solutions like Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce come complete with built-in payment processing, shipping label printing, tax calculations, and marketing tools. Most others require integrating a few 3rd party services to handle these tasks.
The payment processing and tax table setup module include setting up payment service and configuring sales tax to be collected from buyers.
- Shipping setup to streamline the order fulfilment process. To further drive more sales and increase shopping convenience, installing a Magento 2 store pickup for your website. It will give your customers “the best solution — in-store pickup” for the products they have just bought.
- Robust built-in marketing tools like email marketing services and social media setup to connect your products directly to social media accounts for social commerce.
After figuring out the data and design of your website, it is now time to secure it. A secure website builds credibility in the customer’s eyes, as well as, helps to get more traffic to your website by improving your SEO. Installing an SSL certificate is one of the best ways to make your website secure. It encrypts and authenticates your sensitive information and keeps the hackers and spammers at bay.
Along with the website security, you need to take care of backing up your website. Setting up a backup is very important, that too from the moment your website is launched.
Processing a few test orders is the last step in building your e-commerce website and starting it. Once you are done with the website test successfully — or have worked out any bugs or issues you noticed while navigating around your e-commerce website — you’re ready to launch your website and start your business.
The ecommerce industry is super competitive. And having a successful E-Commerce website that performs well is one of the key pillars of growth. Ecommerce websites open up a window of opportunities for business owners to scale and establish their brands.
Building a good and user-friendly E-commerce store can turn out to be one of the best investments for your business in the long run.
With the growing number of internet users, E-commerce can be a great platform to grow your business online.
Mr. Dhiren Parmar is a digital marketing professional at MageAnts, a Magento development company that helps clients in Magento migration, upgradation, extension development, etc. Dhiren loves to read about technology and digital marketing stuff in his free time.