What you need to know about setting up an eCommerce store
You’ve worked hard to build your business from scratch, and now you are compelled to go online!
You are moving from brick and mortar to e-commerce.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean starting over.
Far from it, because you might already have a lot of what you need like products, suppliers, accounting, and business registration.
But what you might not have is a website, social media accounts, distribution channels, payment gateways, and all the online tools that come with it.
And if you are new to ecommerce, it can feel pretty overwhelming.
But don’t worry, trust me, if you’ve built a successful business (at any level), you can master ecommerce.
And once you’ve done that, you can sit back and watch your business grow 24/7!
Buy a domain name
Your domain is critically important because it is the address that consumers will use to find you. Ideally, it should be the same as your physical store and the .com extension.
If (yourname.com) is not available, add a simple suffix (yournameestore.com) to it. Use only an alternate domain extension, such as a state version (yourname.ca for California); if you’ve exhausted all .com alternatives and your business is trading locally, never use dashes or numbers.
Like WooCommerce and Shopify, most ecommerce platforms provide domain name service, and there are various domain buying platforms to choose.
Configure your online store
Once you have a domain, you can set up your online store.
There are now many E-commerce platforms that allow you to go 100% online without any technical skills. And full business platforms like Square.com let you turn a website into an eCommerce store that supports your original brick and mortar. Or you can use a WordPress platform, build your own site, avoid fees, and use ecommerce plugins to customize it for sales and payments, etc.
Here are two different approaches to getting your business online.
Shopify – Shopify.com is an ecommerce platform that you use to build and host your online store. Shopify scores high on ease of use, provides payment processing, cleans up editable web themes to suit your brand’s look and feel, and shipping services including pricing. ‘Calculated shipping and labeling.
Shopify charges a monthly subscription and a percentage transaction fee.
If you want a streamlined solution that lets you get online quickly and meets most of your ecommerce needs, use an ecommerce platform.
Square – If you already have a website, you can plug it in their e-commerce tools or add a payment button, and you’re good to go. But what Square really offers is a complete business package. Including website development and hosting, order fulfillment, shipping and a range of innovative software and hardware tools to help you run your business.
The Square option is for those who want to use one platform to run it all; it’s more than just an e-commerce platform; it’s a way of doing business.
WooCommerce – If you already have a site built on WordPress, then WooCommerce is a great solution for adding an online store to your site. It is a WordPress plugin that provides all the tools you need to sell online.
Choose a theme
Consider a website theme similar to the interior structure and design of your physical store.
If you are using an ecommerce platform like Shopify, you can find themes in the Shopify theme store, for WordPress browse their vast library of themes relevant to your niche.
The theme you choose determines the functionality of your website, how it looks, and your customer’s experience. You can choose themes based on industry, such as travel or fashion, and then customize them to suit your brand as you build your site.
Mark your online store
For many brick-and-mortar stores serving a local community, branding may not be at the top of your list. However, once you move around, the online brand takes on more importance. This is especially true if you are selling to a national or state audience.
When customizing your store, consider the following:
Imaging – Infuse your site with colors and images that convey your brand and the nature of your business.
Logo design – You may or may not have a logo. But if not, you will have to create one. If you don’t know a local designer, you create a Custom logo for your business online calms easily.
Slogan – While not necessary, a tagline is a great way to convey your strongest brand message. It works hand in hand with your logo. A slogan is usually no longer than 3 to 5 words.
About the page – The About page is where you can speak directly to your customers. Use this page to showcase your brand story, values and mission.
Add essential pages
Your website is nothing without content, and your content plays a central role in your website’s performance, rankings, and conversions.
Content includes written text, images, videos, and infographics. All of your content should be consumer-focused and its goal is to transport your visitor from the landing page to the checkout.
Here are the pages your ecommerce site should have; you can add more as you grow:
Home page – Your home page is your window to the world. It should be clean in design, have a navigation bar, your contact details, a brief description of who you are, what you do and how you are helping your audience, a banner / notification bar highlighting the offers and your logo in the spotlight. top left. corner.
Contact us – You create trust by providing many ways of consumer engagement. Try to include email, phone, live chat, social media, a contact formand times of business.
Product pages – You need beautiful, professional images with scrolling and zooming capabilities, descriptive product text with headers, captions and bullet points, and customer ratings and reviews across all of your product pages. .
Return and exchange policy – According to a 2018 Accenture Strategy survey, “66% of consumers think about transparency is one of the most attractive qualities of a brand ”. It pays to be clear about your policies.
Delivery faq – Delivery times and costs play a critical role in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Make sure you have an easy-to-understand system in place, with all the answers to frequently asked questions.
Most ecommerce stores offer in-house delivery, or 3rd party plugin shipping solutions. And all of them give you the relevant information your consumers need.
Configure your payment gateways
Consumers today want as many payment gateway options as possible to pay for their products and services.
Credit cards remain the primary form of payment, but your business must now also accept third-party payment services (like Amazon Pay, PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay).
Ecommerce platforms also provide payment gateways, just like Amazon, they collect and record payment and shipping details, which allows for convenient customer feedback.
To accept credit card payments online, you will need a merchant or business account with a payment provider. Payment providers require that you have a tax ID number, but since you’re already in business, that shouldn’t be a problem. When choosing a payment provider, make sure their platform integrates seamlessly with your ecommerce store.
The most popular alternative payment gateways include:
- Pay Pal
- Secure payment.
Make sure buyers know you’re open for business
You need your audience to know that you exist and where to find you. You achieve this by launching marketing campaigns that target your audience’s preferred platforms and promoting your website.
Here are five channels and strategies that can help you do that:
Content creation – To drive organic (free) traffic to your website, you need to put relevant and valuable content on your website and social media platforms. This could be a blog, on-site content, infographics, photos on your Instagram account, or videos on YouTube.
SEO (search engine optimization) – The better your website SEO, the better your search engine rankings will be. Focus on using targeted keywords that people use when searching for your product, make sure your site is mobile friendly and fast loading.
Social media – You can announce your arrival on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Aim for quality, not quantity, and only use media platforms that your target audience is on. Post frequently, engage with your audience, provide free advice, and link everything to your website.
Influencers – Referrals are great for business. One effective way to get the word out is to partner with influencers to promote your brand. Use micro-influencers that are popular in your niche because they are more affordable and their audience will be genuinely interested in your products.
Google My Business – If you have not yet created your Google My Business account, do it now, and it will show up in Google and Google Maps searches when someone searches for your business in that area.
Bonus tip: It also helps your website’s SEO rankings.
Also Read: Digital Relaxation: How Omnichannel Commerce Fuels A Truce Between Online and In-Store Customer Engagement
It’s time to start selling online
Now you have everything you need to bring your store to the online world. As you go through the steps above, remember that the most important part of building an online presence is creating a store that your customers will connect with. Create a store that works, create a brand around it and start getting your name out there!