Building a website is like building an architecture. It is a system project, which has their own specific workflow. Especially for eCommerce websites, which have direct impact on companies profit. Only following the prescribed order step by step that you can start a professional eCommerce website. Now let’s see some related steps on how to do that methodically.
1. Conduct market research
Before you start designing your online store, you need to make sure that you know your market. Understanding your target audience, their wants and their needs will help you tailor your shop to them. This isn’t an easy task and there are entire books written on the subject. However, with a bit of research, patience and trial and error, you can find your niche. When trying to learn about your target market, don’t be afraid to get creative! For example, you can try interviewing a sample of your customers or putting a survey up on Facebook. Another great resource is your competitors. Find out what others in your market are doing to reach similar customers – and learn from those who are doing it best
Besides that, you can make use of Google Trends to know what people are searching for recently. This will give you a better understanding of their topic of interest so that you can find or develop a product based on that.
2. Choose the right eCommerce solution
There are dozens of eCommerce platforms and shopping carts out there aimed at small businesses, but which one is right for your business and the person who will be managing the site? While seeing examples of other sites created using that eCommerce software is a good start (i.e., make sure you like the templates or, if you are planning on hiring a professional designer, what other pros have done with the software), nothing can replace actually using the software.
Before you sign up, do a free trial. The software company doesn’t offer a free trial? Don’t use it. And when doing the free trial, be sure you can easily add and delete products and add and delete Web pages. Does the software come with SEO tools? Does it offer social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) integration? These are all must-haves in today’s eCommerce world. Finally, be sure to check out the company’s refund policy before you hand over your credit card information.
3. Find an eCommerce platform
This is the most crucial step as people who land on your website will have 5 seconds to decide if they want to continue exploring your online store. Hence, it is important to have a simple and professional-looking website. It is not recommended to hire a web designer if you are just starting out, as the cost will eat up a huge part of your budget.
Most online business owners prefer to sell on hosted ecommerce platform as it allows you to create a professional storefront at a low cost. Some of the big eCommerce solution providers include Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento (also known as Adobe Commerce) and etc.
4. Shipping and Payment
Besides having a professional storefront, it is important to have a clean checkout page. Cart abandonment results when consumers find out that there’s unexpected shipping cost and long delivery times. Hence, it is important for online business owners to be transparent of the shipping cost during the checkout process.
5. Payment systems
Having a functional payment processor is essential to being able to sell anything on your site. This is the function that will allow you to receive your income. Most website building platforms (like Shopify, Square Space and Bigcartel) will support integrating payment processors into your site. However you’ll have to separately sign up to each payment processor (PayPal, Braintree for credit cards, and whichever other processor you’d like to support in your e-store) , before you can integrate them in your online store. These are third-party services, which function based on their own policy and will most likely ask for transaction fees.
6. Maintain Your Site
Now that you have your store all set up and a steady stream of customers, make sure to keep it maintained! You want your customers to keep coming back, so update your inventory and featured products regularly. You’ll also want to update your keywords to make them more effective. To do this, sign up for a service such as Google Analytics so you can see what people searched to get to your site. From there you can see which keywords are working and which ones aren’t and tweak your keywords accordingly!
TMO Group provides eCommerce website development services. Send us an email to start your business!