How to Build an E-Commerce Website
Launching an e-commerce site may seem overwhelming, but with a little planning, the process can go smoothly. Here are a few steps to help you get started.
Create a Business Plan
Before you can begin placing products on a website to sell, it’s helpful to develop a business plan. Planning will help you organize your ideas, set your goals and address any issues that might arise. When planning, consider your product’s target audience and why they would be interested in buying what you have to sell. You should also study your competitors and how your product differs from theirs.
Building an e-commerce site is a huge step in selling your product, however, a website can only be effective if your audience finds it. Figuring out how you’re going to drive people to your site is very important. As a part of you business plan, create a marketing strategy that will identify how you plan to create awareness about your product. Your strategy can include anything from social media to blogging to help improve your Search Engine Optimization placement.
Pick Your Platform
The next step is finding the right platform for your e-commerce site. There are many different platforms that allow you create an e-commerce site for free, however you may want to hire a designer to create your own website. Below are 3 of the most popular platforms to use.
What’s great about Shopify is that your site is hosted with them, and payments can easily be made by your customers on Paypal . To get started, choose from one of their wide selection of themes and continue to customize by making CSS or HTML edits.
To get the most bang for your buck, you can create a WordPress website. This platforms provides the most theme out of all platforms and because it is open source, there are many ways to add complex functionality to your site without the added costs. Learn more about WordPress here.
Geared more towards handmade and vintage items, another great platform is Etsy. While there is less customization, setting up a shop is simple, and this is a very popular site for handmade custom goods.
Design Your Brand
As you create your business plan and decide on a platform, you can start designing your brand. There is a lot to take into consideration. Your branding will not only influence how your website looks, but also how your products are packaged. Your design should also include a logo that can be displayed on your online shop.
Showcase Your Products
With your shop ready, you can now start placing items online to sell. When putting a product online, two information points will differentiate your product from the competition: good photos and detailed descriptions.
Your target audience will feel more confident purchasing an item from you if you provide quality photos to highlight your product and its features. Product photos should be set against a background that will not distract from the merchandise. It’s also a good idea to have at least one photo of the product being used.
The best visual of a product should always be supported by a description that tells the story of your merchandise. Product descriptions should emphasize details about the product’s uniqueness including materials, dimensions, colors and product benefits. A well-delivered product story that addresses anticipated questions will persuade a potential buyer to make a purchase.
With these few steps, you will be on your way to creating a successful e-commerce website.
Contact us if you need advice designing or help setting up your e-commerce site.