eCommerce Website Development: Guide for Beginners
E-commerce is the fastest growing and most valuable industries that have revolutionized the way of living. It has connected every buyer, seller, and the end users with each other irrespective of their geographical location. E-commerce is such a big platform and gives you complete freedom to endorse your goods and services without any restrictions. Have you ever thought how this entire ecommerce website development life cycle works? In this tutorial for beginners you will learn about easy steps for eCommerce website development.
Follow these steps for building an ecommerce website:
1. Start with a Strategy
To ensure success while building an ecommerce website, start with a sound strategy. Even the simplest ecommerce platforms have details that need to be just right for you and your business.
For instance, everyone says that they have excellent customer service, but you’re headed into a world where your life could depend on your ecommerce site. Don’t you want 24/7 customer support and friendly staff available to troubleshoot anything that might arise?
It’s important to anticipate your greatest needs and challenges as your business grows. If you plan to sell physical products, decide how you want shipping to work in advance.
If you’re selling digital products, think about the bandwidth and delivery options you’ll need. Selling services online? List out exactly what you’ll be selling, how you want to deliver it, and any payment or time limitations.
2. Choose a Domain and Platform for Your Ecommerce Website
Is a custom domain essential for your ecommerce website? The short answer is no. When you register for a free 14-day trial with Selz, you instantly get your own sub-domain, like “mysite.selz.com.”
This may suffice for your ecommerce website needs. However, if you plan to sell a wide variety of products and develop or extend your brand, a custom domain is the way to go.
A custom domain gives your ecommerce store:
- A recognizable brand that belongs to you, e.g. mystore.com
- A professional email address linked to your domain where people can contact you
- Search engine optimization (SEO) benefits
You can create a custom domain for your Selz store in just a few clicks. If you already have a domain name, you can quickly configure it to your Selz store. If you don’t have a domain name yet, you can purchase and set one up right on your Selz dashboard.
Your next step is selecting the right ecommerce platform for your growing business. You ideally want to build an ecommerce website on a platform that’s flexible and easy to use. Most small business owners don’t want to bother with hand-coding their website.
Business owners and solo entrepreneurs need a platform that they can easily integrate with their existing site. Alternatively, if you don’t have a site yet, you will benefit from a platform that allows you to build a site from scratch, in a few simple steps.
3. Decide on Pricing and Set Up Payments
There are three key aspects of payments as you build an ecommerce website: How you will price your products, how customers are going to pay you, and how you are going to get those payments into your own bank account.
You may be starting from scratch or extending your local business online. Either way, the online world has different expectations for how you will put a price on your product.
There are many factors to consider when pricing your products for sale online including:
- The cost of materials per item
- Ecommerce web hosting
- Fees and percentage per sale deductions from various organizations, including PayPal, credit cards, etc.
- Flexible pricing, like pay-what-you-wish
Then decide how your ecommerce site will accept payments. In many cases, this means finding a third-party payment processor to act as the go-between. One extremely popular payment option is PayPal. We’ve made it simple for your store to accept PayPal payments from your customers, using our powerful PayPal feature. Yay! We also offer Selz Pay.
With these payment options, you can take payments from anywhere and give your customers extra peace of mind.
- Secure payment handling
- Integrated SSL
- Acceptance of payments from anywhere
- Payments via PayPal or into your own bank account
- WordPress ecommerce integration
4. Design Your Store and Add Products
Next step in building an ecommerce site, it’s time to design your store. Think about what, in addition to your products, you plan to include.
At the very least, you will want to include an about page and a contact page as you build an ecommerce website to help potential buyers connect with you. You can also add video and text onto your pages.
5. Create a Great Checkout Experience
Shopping cart abandonment is the plague of online sales. In 2017, the Baymard Institute took the average of 37 cart abandonment studies and found that the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is over 69%!
Avoid cart abandonment as you build an ecommerce website by:
- Enabling customers to purchase multiple items at once
- Offering free shipping if you can, or
- Being very clear about shipping costs upfront (before customers get to the checkout)
- Making sure that you optimize your checkout for mobile devices. Selz works on desktops, smartphones, and tablets.
- Sending cart abandonment emails anytime someone leaves without completing their purchase
6. Market Your Growing Business
Once you start building an ecommerce website, you need to promote your product to increase traffic and drive sales.
Many vendors choose to sell from marketplace sites like Etsy or Amazon but find themselves struggling because of high fees and other limitations.
After building an ecommerce website you’ll need a solid marketing plan to bring the right customers to your site and to keep their affection for return business. Selz helps you with marketing by:
- Offering built-in SEO-optimization for every product. Use the latest guidance on SEO to help people find your ecommerce website, products, and services online
- Offering free integration with MailChimp, AWeber, Campaign Monitor and more for email marketing
- Adding customers to your existing email marketing lists so you can inform them about new offerings
- Linking your ecommerce site with Facebook
- Enabling social sharing for your products – it’s a one-click process
- Giving you the option to create coupons or discounts to drive sales from return customers
- Include a blog or an eBook on your site to share engaging, relevant content, build trust, and attract new customers
Read also:5 best ecommerce website templates
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