Selling products via the internet also known as eCommerce is booming these days. All businesses, be it small or large, are thinking about having an online store so as to expand their customer reach to all around the world.
However, starting an eCommerce business is not as simple and easy as it seems to be. There is a great range of stuff and steps that are to be kept in mind and followed.
Before you set-up your store, you should develop a clear eCommerce startup guide which would spell out, among other things, the eCommerce platform to use, an SEO checklist for your store, marketing automation tools to use, etc.
In this write-up, I will show you everything there's to know to get your eCommerce store set-up.
You might be thinking:- "How do I sell online?"
First, you need to get an online store or platform where you will list your products. Keep in mind that you do not need to be an expert developer in order to build your eCommerce platform. There are a lot of resources available online to help you build your online store.
Here are some steps or guidelines that need to be followed in order to successfully launch your online business.
Planning plays an important role in business, whether it is an online business or a traditional one. You need to develop a blueprint that clearly spells out every step you need to have in place from the start of your business to finish. The blueprint should detail the structure you want for your online store. Formulating a plan or strategising involves a lot of steps including the following:.
1) Niche Selection: Select a suitable niche for your online business. You cannot deal with all kinds of products at the start. For that reason, you may not have a huge budget. So, go for a specific niche and try to excel in that category first. If you gain heavy profits in the future, then you can definitely expand or diversify your product line-up.
2) Have a Business Model Idea: Select a business model. Whether you want to be the sole proprietor or you want your business to be registered as a corporation.
3) Creative Business Name: You must have a business name. Umpteen creativity can be thrown in over here. Go for a name that is somewhat related to the products you are selling or your website's niche. Search for keywords that match your products.
4) Availability of Selected Business Name: Check whether the name you have selected for your eCommerce business is not already in use. If not, then register it quickly.
5) Purchase a domain: Make sure you purchase a domain for your business even if you do not plan to launch an online store at the present time someone else might purchase it, like a competitor.
Selecting an E-commerce Platforms for your Store
There are a bunch of differences between Shopify, Bigcommerce & WooCommerce. It all comes down to ease of use, your starting budget & customization. Shopify acts as an all-inclusive package and is a single tool for building your online store from scratch, whereas WooCommerce is a plugin that can be installed on WordPress to start your online store.
Perhaps you're wondering why you should choose Shopify over WooCommerce. Shopify can be chosen over WooCommerce because it is an all-in-one tool that can be used for designing your store and it also has product management-related tools. You just need to pay a moderate monthly fee for all the features provided.
Shopify is a solid resource for beginners as it is user-friendly and you don’t need to have any technical knowledge to use Shopify. it's perfectly built to help merchants to easily set-up their stores on their own without any difficulty.
The good news is that it's hosted on cloud and have dozens of templates for users to beautiful the outlook of their store. It should be noted however that there are free templates and the rest premium (paid) options.
Also, you get all the SEO help with Shopify. For SEO, you can refer to this blog post on SEO checklist for Shopify beginners.
Another question that might cross your mind is: Why would someone prefer WooCommerce to Shopify?
WooCommerce requires some technical knowledge but it also caters for all our high-level needs. This is the right option if you want an ultimate build for your online store. WordPress is an open-source, so you can have a huge array of plugins and attachments for enhancing your eCommerce online store. Simply put, WordPress and WooCommerce give you complete control over your website's build and look.
On the other hand, why would BigCommerce be chosen over WooCommerce and Shopify? BigCommerce is another great option you can fall on to build your store even though BigCommerce is best suited for large retail store. Bigcommerce has great features for customization, scalability and an open-SaaS feature to enable API's with your existing tech-stack.
We curated a more detail outline to help you choose between Shopify and BigCommerce platforms in this post.
Things to Consider When Setting up your Store
Choosing the right theme
Now, after choosing the ecommerce platform you are going to use, select the right theme to give your store the best look. Try to be as creative as possible but don't go over the top with the animation. Keep it minimal. Using heavy themes and animation will make your website slow in loading.
Get your products categorised. Have separate sections for them. One thing to bear in mind is that you must have a proper format for your online store. Otherwise, the website would look messed up and the customer wouldn't be attracted to it.
Have Separate Headings
Using proper headings will give a cleaner look to your online store. Having proper headings can also be beneficial for SEO. However, managing headings is not difficult as there are heading formats already provided. You just need to keep the headings as creative and understandable as possible.
Keywords have a very important role as they help your website in getting ranked easily. So keywords related to the products you are selling can be thrown in here and there. Majority of keywords should be used in the title and all the major headings. Also, keywords can be thrown in the product description area.
You can refer to this blog post on how to research keywords for Shopify store.
All in all, starting your eCommerce online store requires dedicating enough time, as well as using the right methods. Just take note to plan beforehand. If you are a newbie and have no technical knowledge, then use Shopify. You can also rely on WooCommerce or Bigcommerce to build your store as discussed above.
You however have to take note that your investment may take a while to pay off, but once you get rolling, it's like a snowball effect. Perhaps, it’s time to pull the breaks on your brick and mortar store and try building an eCommerce business.
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