Building an E-Commerce Website is essential as local retail shops, DIY craft makers, and even bloggers are starting to sell their merchandise and services online.  E-commerce businesses are becoming more popular and growing at a faster rate than brick and mortar stores.  The key to Step by step building of an e-commerce website is a strong strategy and a good website. 

Guide to Step by step building of an e-commerce website:

First, you need to figure out a few things regarding what you will sell. Then you can start the Step by step building of an e-commerce website! 

1. Decide on your product.

Every online store has to start with a product whether it’s something you make or you found a wholesale source that you can sell the products for a profit.  Research to make sure your product is viable and whether there is a market out there for your product.  If your product is already on the market, you need to consider whether your product is unique to sell and will you be able to compete on pricing?

2. Set your pricing.

Determining your pricing guidelines is one of the hardest parts of starting a new business.  If the price is too low, you’ll lose money or just barely break even.  If you price too high, you won’t make enough sales and  risk losing money.

To figure out your pricing guidelines that make sense, you have to figure out your costs which includes:
-The cost of materials to make your product and the        packaging.
-Web hosting for your eCommerce site.
-The percentage that credit cards or Paypal will charge.
-Additional marketing and advertising costs.
-Then figure out how much you want to pay yourself        and make a profit!

You will want to research what your competition is charging. You may either raise them or lower your prices according to what your competitors are charging in order to stay competitive. 

3. Research shipping costs and options.

If you’re selling a physical product, you need to consider how you are going to get that product to your customers.  You may decide to pass on the full cost of shipping to your customers. Be mindful that shipping costs can have a direct impact on consumers if the shipping and handling costs are too high. This could result in abandonment of the cart.

You might want to consider offering one of these shipping methods:
-Offer free shipping
-Offer free shipping and raise your product prices slightly to          cover the cost
-Offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount spent
-Offer a flat shipping fee

4. Choose your eCommerce web hosting.

You have two options when it comes to e-commerce. One being a marketplace that already exists like Ebay, Etsy, or Amazon. The other is to manage a website with a brand that’s all your own or use dropshipping.

If you want a website and brand that’s all your own, there are many website hosting platforms to choose from. I chose to go with a WordPress and WooCommerce Platform which made it easy for me to list my products, set my price, and add a shopping cart to my website. The main focus of setting up my e-commerce site through WooCommerce is to focus on selling my products.

5. Pick a domain name and brand.

This is fun! How exciting it will be to have customers tell others about the great products they found on your awesome website. 
In order to find your domain name, you might want to brainstorm meaningful words and phrases that have to do with the products you will be selling. Be careful not to choose a copyrighted name. 

6. Build your e-commerce website.

  • Please see my detailed tutorial for building your website on WordPress at Making an e-commerce store within WordPress.
  • You will need to work on writing web copy that not only    describes your products but will get customers to buy your  products. 
  • You will need to add a home page where you feature weekly deals and sale items.
  • You will need to add an about page with a brief description of what your website is about and what you do.
  • A contact or customer service page so customers can easily reach you.
  • A good e-commerce site has a blog where you post updates, industry news, and helpful tidbits

7. Set up a merchant account.

You create a merchant account in order to receive your money that is paid by the customer with their credit cards or through their bank accounts.  There are many options of merchant accounts such as through Paypal, Stripe, Braintree, etc. You will have to pay fees to the merchant account in order to get your money but your customers need a way to pay for your products.

8. Get your SSL certificate.

When you create your site, you need to install a SSL certificate. These certificates provide that lock you see next to the URLs when you’re shopping online.   This certificate keeps your customers’ private data safe.

Customers will not give you their private payment information if they feel that their sensitive details will not stay safe. An SSL certificate on your website encrypts all the sensitive information that customers provide. This makes it so that the hackers won’t be able to grab that credit card information as it’s sent over the web.

9. Start selling!

If you launch your online store and don’t get much traction, then it is time to start promoting your store. Content marketing, social media, and paid promotion are all things you need to use in order to start getting people to your website.  Word of mouth is another good way of advertising your new business.

Congratulations on setting up your new e-commerce business.  Please visit me again for more tutorials on making your website the best it can be.

Step by step building of an e-commerce website
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