When the world is on the internet, your business shouldn’t be behind. Taking your shop online is a simple yet sophisticated way of increasing your profits and expanding your business. Although it does require some investment, it’s meagre when compared to its scope of boosting the revenue. Now, let’s get you acquainted with the ease of building your own eCommerce website or online store so you don’t have to be dependent on the others’.
1. Decide the products you’re going to sell
To set up your online store, this is the first step. If you already have an idea, that’s great but if you don’t, you better get going. If you already have a business and a store offline and have
variety, you can directly launch those products online on your yet to be made eCommerce website.
However, that isn’t enough. You also have to take care of some factors:
1. Does the product have demand?
2. Are there enough sellers in the market?
3. What is the competition?
4. Does your product stand out?
5. Is your pricing competitive?
So, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’ll have to do plenty of research before you step into this realm.
2. Determine the Pricing
Pricing should be done after analysing all your input costs and margining out profits. While deciding on the price, if you go too low, you may not break even; if you set too high, people might not buy your products in the first place. Given the competition, you really have to make a balance somewhere and set competitive prices, which should be in accordance with the product quality. In the end, when customers buy, they’ll find out if the product is worth the price and will likely leave bad or good reviews per their experience. Good reviews are absolutely important for any online business.
The bottom line is to be honest with yourself and set prices according to the product and quality. Customers love honest businesses and are willing to pay just the right amount, although they’ll still buy what’s better cheaper. It’s tricky but true. A great tip here is to analyse your competitors and set relative prices.
3. Research Shipping Options and Costs
After you’ve convinced your customer into buying a product from your eCommerce website, how would you ship it? Therefore, it’s imperative to research the alternatives you have and how much it’s going to cost. This will also have an effect on the pricing of your products or you’ll have to ask them to pay extra shipping charges – nevertheless, this is to be determined by your target customers.
4. Find an ECommerce Website Builder
If you might, you can build your own website from scratch, which is indeed costly but worth the effort and money. However, you could also opt for template-based eCommerce website builders, which offer plenty of options (typically paid) to add individuality to your website. Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace are common examples of this – they’re user-friendly and have
many templates and designs you could choose from.
5. Pick the Domain Name and Brand Phrases
This step isn’t tricky, but creative. Think of a catchy, innovative brand and domain name that can rule over the internet. While you can rebrand your store by giving it a trendy name that
has a huge online reach, it would make more sense to keep the offline store name (if you own) if you already have a wide audience base.
Moreover, you will also need to brainstorm fun phrases that match your brand name and add value. For example, Nike goes with ‘Just Do It’, Apple with ‘Think Different’, how would you define your brand? That too, in the most concise way – it should be short so and appealing so as to linger in the potential customers’ brains.
6. Layout the Plan for the ECommerce Website
Whether you build a website from scratch or take help of Wix-like sites, you will require a plan beforehand. You’ll need to decide:
- Colour theme
- Number of webpages
- Type of content
- Website keywords
- Basic framework
- Plan of action
Only go ahead after you have a perfect plan in place.
7. Set Up a Payment Method
For any eCommerce website, setting up a payment method is primary. You could give your customers plenty of payment options like credit/debit card, UPI, GooglePay, PhonePe, Paytm, PayPal, cash on delivery, and others. The more alternatives you let your customers choose from, the more they’ll be likely to buy a product. Moreover, many of these methods have their own offers and discounts, you could tie-up with a platform, which usually benefit all the three parties concerned.
8. Secure Your Website
Owning a website means that you have to store a huge amount of data, which must be backed up periodically and safely. Moreover, securing your website using an SSL certificate ensures
that the customer information is kept private and safe – which allows them to shop in peace. You are advised not to think of this as an insignificant step as the consumers won’t hand over
their payment information to a website that isn’t secure. If you miss this, you will be held responsible in case a data breach or hacking takes place, which is more common than we are
9. Test, Launch, and Promote Your ECommerce Website
The launching of an eCommerce website is one of the best feelings for any business owner. It’s like stepping into a new world with endless possibilities. Ensure that no glitches are there
and once your website is finally live, you can start focussing on promotions. You could promote it on social media sites, through ads, brochures, pamphlets, or events. Promoting is absolutely important because that’s what’s going to bring people to your site and buy from it. Your existing customers, as well, will be promoters of your website if you inform them well. Finally, keep a tab on your reviews as they can make your website rank higher, and thus bring more customers and grow your brand exponentially.
After a successful launch and promotion campaigns, you should ensure that your website is updated daily and is super user-friendly. Keep coming up with new themes as per the changing festivals and seasons. Moreover, as long as your marketing strategies are successful, there’s no power that can stop your eCommerce website from being a ‘thing’.