How to build an e-commerce website
This article will show you how to build your own e-commerce website simply and effectively.
E-commerce is growing every day and offers businesses unique opportunities to connect with their target audience. A well-designed e-commerce store can be beneficial in providing convenient shopping options for consumers.
I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to build an e-commerce website. From there, you can start selling online.
Step 1: Rent a hosting
Hosting (or web hosting) is an online service that helps you publish your website or web application to the Internet. When you sign up for a hosting service, you rent a place on the server that contains all the files and data needed for your website to run.
A server is a physical computer that runs without interruption so that your website can be up and running all the time for everyone to access. Your Web Hosting provider is responsible for keeping the server up and running, resisting malicious attacks, and transferring content (text, images, files) from the server to the user’s browser.
Some suggestions about the top web hosting for you to build your e-commerce website:
- A2 Hosting: Up to 20x faster servers, guru crew supporting, free account migration, anytime money back guarantee, 99.9% uptime commitment… Price: 9.31-25$/month.
- Cloudways: 24/7/365 support, staging environment, SSH and SFTP access, dedicated firewalls, auto healing, optimized with advanced caches, CDN add-on, 24/7 real-time monitoring, regular security patching, unlimited application installation, automated backups, http/2 enabled servers. Price: 10-230$/month.
- SiteGround: Free magento 2 install, domain name registration, SSD drives for all plans, site transfer assistance, free daily backup, 24/7 help via phone/chat/ticket, free CDN with railgun, magento optimized server. Price: 3.95-11.95$/month.
Step 2: Purchase a domain name
Domain – also called a URL – is your web address. This is your e-commerce website’s “home” on the internet, and what shoppers enter into the browser bar to visit your website.
Choosing a good domain name is important to both your brand and your overall success. So choose carefully before you buy because that’s the name people have to remember to type into the browser.
A few tips for domain names:
- Short: No one will be patient enough to type Facebookbutwithabiggerdomainname.com.
- Branding: Your domain name should help visitors visualize what your business is all about.
- Choose the correct domain extension: after the dot (.) will be .com, .net, .org. You should consider choosing .com, but if you need a unique domain name, choosing .io, .tech, .xyz can also be a good choice.
- Try pronouncing it to see how it feels? The domain name should be easy to pronounce, so it can be passed on easily among your customers, right?
- Avoid using numbers and dashes. Adding these characters increases the risk of your domain name being mistyped.
Once you have a few name ideas, you can purchase your domain using a domain name registration service like GoDaddy, Bluehost, or Google Domains.
Step 3: Pick an e-commerce platform
E-commerce platform is the location of your website on the web, and you have many choices. There are free e-commerce platforms with limited. You can add e-commerce features to popular website builders, or use a dedicated e-commerce platform that supports unlimited growth.
There are some top e-commerce platform options to consider when deciding where you’ll build your e-commerce website:
- Magento – platform born for e-commerce. When it comes to flexibility, Magento has all the features an e-commerce website could ever need and is far ahead of it rivals. It is a powerful platform that helps you create e-commerce websites from small to large.
- Shopify – an e-commerce website platform that allows users to create online shopping websites with built-in social networking, product posting, shopping cart, and payment features or order processing features,…
- WooCommerce – an extremely powerful tool that significantly increases e-commerce functionality for WordPress. It is a favorite tool for many of the WordPress community, as it is powerful and beginner-friendly.
Step 4: Find a web developer
Even if you are launching your own business, a developer can make the process of setting up an e-commerce website simpler. They have the technical know – how to get you set up quickly, which means you can start selling sooner.
When considering a developer, ask them about their timeline so you can plan your launch date. Ask to see other websites they’ve built and get references from those businesses.
Make sure that the developer shares your vision and can create what you are looking for within your budget.
You will find the best e-commerce web development specialist at the most attractive price at Magetop.
Step 5: Plan and develop your website
After stabilizing the e-commerce platform, it’s time to start creating your e-commerce website. Pay attention to the following elements:
1. Choose your template
Find a theme that matches your e-commerce website vision and makes your site look better.
- Customer navigation.
Smooth navigation is essential for a great customer experience. If customers can’t find what they want, they’ll hit the back button and shop somewhere else. A navigation bar is easier to read when placed on the left side of the page, because customers often read from left to right.
- The style of the homepage.
Does the template’s homepage reflect your brand? Does it have areas where you can include images, slideshows or videos? Is there a space for you to share your story with website visitors? At first glance, customers will be able to tell what type of business you are, so make sure the template communicates that clearly.
- Customization options.
What parts of the page can be customized? Are there fonts and color schemes that match your brand? How many images can you include? How is the product displayed, and is it subject to change? Is it possible to embed social media? Most online store builders use apps to add features that aren’t built in, so consider how many apps you need to interact with the template.
2. Add your product
Product information is front-and-center on most e-commerce websites, so this is a key part of your e-commerce website build. Here is a few tips to help you market products effectively.
- Great product photos: You can capture great product photos with a little creativity and a cell phone camera. Be sure to take photos from several angles and show your products in use, if possible.
- Product videos: You don’t need a slick, pricey video to sell products. Authentic, real-world videos are proven sales tools, and you can capture these with your cell phone.
- Detailed product descriptions: Want to minimize customer emails and calls? Create great product descriptions that cover every detail. Include the size, weight, and material for each product you sell and add answers to frequently asked questions. Use keywords in product titles and descriptions where it makes sense to achieve search engine ranking.
- Product options: Options like size and color are called variables, and e-commerce platforms let you create multiple variables for items that come in different sizes, colors, etc.
- Product SKUs: Make sure you have your internal stock keeping units (SKUs), plus any manufacturer’s codes on-hand. Sometimes buyers will search using a manufacturer’s code, so these are good to include in product data.
- Product pricing: Many e-commerce platforms give you single-item and group pricing options, plus sale and discount pricing. Some even let you track your product costs for reporting.
- Item size and weight: E-commerce platforms use item size and weight to determine real-time shipping costs and to print labels. This is optional, but can be a handy timesaver that automates your shipping process.
- Inventory: Insert a stock amount for each item and your e-commerce platform will track your inventory as products sell down.
3. Set up payments and tax tables
All of the e-commerce website platforms mentioned above offer plug-and-play integration with leading payment services like Square, PayPal, and Stripe. Shopify even has their own payment solution, Shopify Payments.
Most e-commerce platforms also allow you to connect your own payment gateway and merchant account. However, built-in and plug-and-play payment services are the simplest and often the most economical options for startups.
After you set up your payment processor, you’ll configure the sales tax rate that will be collected from shoppers. All e-commerce website platforms support sales tax collection and allow you to apply tax to selects or all items and orders. The sales tax rates you charge depend on your locality.
4. Set up shipping
Shipping is an important component of e-commerce. Customers want products on time, so choose your shipping settings wisely.
- Shipping policy includes fees and carriers. Are you offering free shipping, a flat rate, or a variable fee? Who are you shipping with? Also, consider whether you have an international shipping plan and, if so, make sure that information is available at all times so that international customers don’t get frustrated at checkout.
- Select shipping solutions. Are you packing, or are you dropshipping? Shipping software that works seamlessly with the rest of your workflow allows you to automate that side of your business, freeing you up for other problems.
6. Customer service pages
Great customer service keeps shoppers coming back, so use the customer service page of your e-commerce website to clearly set expectations. Key elements here include:
- Shipping rates and times: State your typical shipping turn-around, the rates you charge, and average delivery times.
- Returns and exchanges: Cover your returns policy and clearly state who pays for return shipping – that way there are no surprises.
Step 6: Preview and publish your online store
A successful launch relies on everything on your site working as it should. Make sure you test everything before hitting the publish button.
- Does checkout work? Do a test run on an order. Can you add products to the cart? Is the payment processed? Do you receive all the confirmation emails you were expecting?
- Are the store’s functions working? Click every button and link it on your site. Do the buttons and links work? Do filters and categories work? If a link doesn’t work, does your 404 page direct customers back to your site?
- Does the store work on mobile? Look at the store on a mobile device. Are the dimensions correct? Are the buttons easy to click? Are images clear on a smaller screen?
- Test your store on different browsers. Look at the store on as many different browsers as you can, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. Make sure it works on all the browsers, and if you have difficulties, ask the developers to fix it.
- Set up the store’s settings. The store settings include things like language, time zone, your address and contact details, tax, and measurement units. Check that these have all been set correctly before you launch.
A good e-commerce site is more than just a place to sell products. This is where a company can create an experience that strengthens its brand, attracts new customers, and turns casual buyers into loyal ambassadors. Choosing the right e-commerce platform and marketing strategy. Building a successful online store can give you a head start on your path to successful e-commerce.
Hopefully, through this article, you will get useful information to build your e-commerce website more easily.