E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. These business transactions occur either as business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business. E-commerce has come to replace the troubles of owing a physical store that can be burgled over night.
This guide promises to take you through the process of owing an E-commerce store.
Simple Steps to Building an E-commerce store;
1. Figure out what youre going to sell
It is a good thing you have decided to take a bold step towards actualizing your dreams. What do you intend to sell? What problem do you intend to solve? What other business errors do you intend to correct? You might need to jot down your answers as they will propel you in the right directions as you proceed with this article.
Creating an e-commerce store around your passions translates into a business you would be excited about day in day out. Whether you choose to sell Shawarma or Samosa or even render a laundry services your business should not take you away from what you know and love.
Running an ecommerce website means not only knowing what potential customers may need right now, but what they’ll want in future.
2. Be enlightened about your potentials clients/customers
Knowing and understanding who your potential clients/customers may be forms and integral ecommerce development process. Everything must be tailored to suit your potential customers: the user experience and user interface, visuals of the web design, the content, and more.
You should know the details about who your potential customers are. What’s their background? What’s their income range? How old are they? And what competitors websites are they likely to purchase from? All of this information will help you create an ecommerce business personalized to their tastes and needs, building a stronger connection with them and making for a better user experience.
3. A good business/domain name
A unique name will awesomely differentiate you from everyone else inhabiting the same market space. It also put the spot light on your business amidst your competitors. Use concise names make for better brand recognition just ask Apple, Etsy, or Google. A name that is easy to remember and reckon with is what people are all about. Be original. A bland, uninspired name can diminish a brand no matter how great their products or services may be.
4. Register the domain name
Now that you have a domain name and it is available. Before you even commence designing the e-commerce store, go ahead and register the domain name. A lot can change quickly on the web, and that perfect URL might be snatched up at later stages of your ecommerce website development. Purchase your domain name now so you don’t have to worry about it later. Trust us.
Branding gives businesses an emotional resonance, transforming them from anonymous entities into ones that we have feelings toward. Its what makes consumers have brand loyalty. With iconic logos, visual identities, and a unique way of speaking your brand will have a tighter connection with consumers/clients than companies whose identities are less defined.
6. Think right of the e-commerce platform to use
Ecommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, or a plugin like WooCommerce with WordPress to run your ecommerce website are awesome platforms to deploy your store on. Although each one of these platforms comes with its own pros and cons.
Put these into considerations when making your choice:
Responsive design: Whether it’s being viewed on a desktop, mobile app, or other mobile devices, the ecommerce platform should offer a consistent experience.
Product management: Every part of the workflow of adding, editing, and keeping track of inventory should be simple to accomplish. You should also be able to offer multiple versions of a product, as well promotional or sale pricing when needed.
Content management system (CMS): You need a CMS for updating and editing dynamic content like blogs and news, as well as other reappearing blocks of content in a design. Having a CMS can go far in keeping your website updated with new content supporting the products you sell.
Shopping cart: Be able to customize and style a shopping cart so that it fits seamlessly into the shopping experience.
Checkout page: Just like the shopping cart, you shouldn’t be stuck with a checkout page that you can’t modify or customize.
Payment processing: Have the functionality to accept payments from credit cards as well as from electronic payments like Apple Pay, PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, and other common payment gateways.
And of course theres Webflow (okay, were a bit biased). Webflow offers plenty of great templates like Luma that you can use to get your own shop up and running in no time. We want you to have an all-in-one solution that gives you everything you need to design, run, and manage your online shop, without having to code.
7. Plan a content strategy
We’re fans of content-first design. Building a website with real content, rather than filler, makes for a better representation of the end product earlier in the process. Working backward and integrating the visuals, text, and other elements later in the process can complicate things.
At the beginning of the development process, you need to have a content strategy. This means knowing what content you need to tell your brand’s story and communicate what your products do. This may include writing, photos, videos, infographics, and other media you’ll need to best serve your customers.
Content strategy ties in with knowing your audience. What are their common questions about the products you carry, and what information would they find useful? You should include the answers to basic questions they may have, as well as provide information that your competitors dont. A content strategy for an ecommerce site determines what youll need and the best way to communicate it in a design.
Content strategy shapes the information architecture of your website. Think of your content like freight on a train, and the information architecture as the tracks that deliver it. You need to know what your customers need and the best route to get the content to them.
8. Do search engine optimization
Getting organic traffic depends on the relevance of your content in the eyes of web crawlers. Paying attention to SEO may help you rank higher and get more clicks.
Some SEO best practices include:
Using the terminology that people commonly use when talking about the products and area of interest your products fall into
Doing keyword research via Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends
Making sure all of the headers (like H1 and H2) and the title and description all contain relevant words and phrases
Taking a tasteful approach to incorporating SEO, never cramming your content with keywords or allowing optimization to decrease the contents readability
Of course, SEO goes way beyond just these bullet points. Checkout our comprehensive guide for making sure your website is optimized for Google SEO.
9. Determine product categories
Imagine youre in the elevator of a department store. Next to each button is a description of whats on that floor. Theres mens clothing level, womens clothing on another, and a floor dedicated to childrens clothes. Getting off on a specific floor brings you to a space full of signs showing you each section, further categorizing all of the products on the floor.
An ecommerce websites organization functions in a similar way. Each section may be an assemblage of products related by who its intended for, its purpose, and the traits the products share with each other. The navigation, calls to action, and other ways of getting people to your products in the least number of clicks depend on a well-defined set of product categories.
Product categories need to be straight to the point. Someone should be able to recognize and understand what they are. This isn’t the time to get creative. Customers want familiar guide posts showing them the way to what they’re looking for.
Structure your own store and categories with a sense of order that makes finding and discovering related items an intuitive and easy process. Giving a customer clear paths to your products leads to a higher conversion rate.
10. Take detailed product pictures
With a modest setup of a tripod, a couple lights, and a paper backdrop, most people with a decent camera and a bit of experience can take good photos. But if you have the budget, paying a professional may be worth it for higher-quality images. Whoever takes the photos is responsible for making sure that they are properly focused and white balanced and that the colors are true to the products. Having the photo editing skills to further enhance these shots will make them an even better representation of your products.
One of the disadvantages of online shopping is that potential customers dont get to see or hold an actual physical product. The product photos you use need to capture all of the important details to make up for this. The more information you can convey through images with multiple angles and closeups, the better your customers will understand your products.
11. Write effective product descriptions
A product description tells a customer what they need to know. It highlights the features of an item and the advantages of using it. It gives someone all of the guidance they need in making that important decision to add it to their cart.
Yes, product descriptions need to have specs and features, but they need to go beyond being a dry recitation of details. They should be guided by empathy and connect with potential customers on a personal level.
Congratulations on getting to the end of this post. You see is quite easy to set up an E-commerce store. Along with physical retail, e-commerce is transforming supply chain management practices among businesses, as distribution channels become increasingly digitized. Platforms have made it easy for you to just customize already made templates to your taste.