The online marketplace is intensely competitive at the moment. Primarily because there are numerous brands selling similar products and services at great prices. Needless to say, there are several factors to be scrutinized while setting up an e-store. Hiring professional help could always work in your favor; however, it might be difficult to do so if you have a tight budget. In such a situation, it pays to know about the various nitty-gritty of building an online business.
If you are wondering about how to start an e-commerce business from scratch and sustain it; quit fretting! In this article, we’ll be covering steps that will help you start an e-commerce business.
The hero of a website will obviously be the product or service you are planning to offer. Now, before you settle on a line of products, it is integral that you thoroughly research the existing online marketplace. This will help you determine the product’s potential and the possible obstacles you might come across. Your primary areas of study should be the supply/demand chain, competitors, current prices, and local demand. While you are settling on the products, also decide the type of business model you want to incorporate. The different types of business models include:
The next step of building an online store from scratch is outlining your business strategy and selecting a name. You should preferably pick a unique name so that you can grab an exact domain name. While opting for a customized domain name is not necessary, it gives your business the much-needed traffic that is important in the initial stages to establish your brand’s presence. In addition, it makes your site look professional. In a nutshell, a customized domain has many advantages, especially if you are involved with the sale of generic products and services.
To build an e-commerce website from scratch, your next move should be buying a comprehensive website building plan. Now, usually, most site builders come with free domain names for the first year of subscription. However, if you have already registered your business’s domain name, you can transfer it to the website builder you will be using.
When you are choosing an e-commerce website builder, ensure that it has all the essential features that are required to run a successful online store. There are some providers that will also offer free plans. However, it would be smart to go for a paid plan, as it comes with useful tools that help improve your brand’s reach. Look for an e-commerce website builder that has an easy-to-use interface as well as beautiful yet customizable design templates. Apart from these, your bundle should ideally also include unlimited bandwidth, ample storage, compatibility with different payment gateways, marketing integrations, free SSL certificate, SEO tools, and analytics dashboard.
Before you build an online store from scratch, make sure you compare different e-commerce website plans and their prices, so that you settle on the most viable option.
The aesthetic of your website pages is extremely crucial. How you present your brand online plays a very integral role in converting visitors into customers. One thing that you shouldn’t skip on is professionally shot pictures of your products. It not only informs visitors what your product looks like but also renders extra credibility to your brand operations. These high-quality snaps can also be used on various social media platforms to promote your brand.
Your e-commerce website builder should let you offer multiple and secure payment options including PayPal, credit and debit cards, net banking, online wallets, and cash-on-delivery. If your provider doesn’t throw in a free SSL certificate in their plan, purchase it anyway. An SSL certificate encrypts all the private data on your website, including payment details, keeping your business and customers safe from any fraudulent activities. Moreover, people are more likely to make purchases from an online store that has an SSL certificate.
Before you launch your website, ensure that you double-check everything. Right from the textual and visual content to the payment getaways. To be on the safer side, you might want to test some sample purchases to ensure that your customers have a smooth checkout experience. Likewise, optimize your check out process for mobile devices and be upfront about any shipping costs.
While you are building an e-commerce website from scratch, you should also devise a marketing plan. Don’t wait until after the launch to promote your products and services. You can use SEO tools or link your store with social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to attract potential customers. You can also create coupons and discounts to accelerate your sales. Similarly, including a blog with engaging and relevant content can help make your platform more interactive and draw more visitors.
Building an online store from scratch can be complex at times but researching your market and employing a reputable e-commerce website builder can help your business thrive.