Ecommerce is booming. In the year 2022, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $5.5 trillion. That’s a lot of money changing hands, and it’s no wonder that more and more businesses want to get in on the action. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the growth of mobile commerce, the increasing popularity of online shoppers, and the rise of new ecommerce platforms.
But setting up an ecommerce website can be daunting. There are so many things to consider, from choosing the right ecommerce platform to setting up payment methods and shipping options.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to set up your own ecommerce website. By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to get your ecommerce business up and running. Let’s get started!
What is Ecommerce?
Ecommerce is a term used for any form of business transaction that involves the transfer of goods or services from one party to another, through the use of electronic communications. This could include a sale made over the internet, through a mobile app, or even by telephone.
Ecommerce, also known as electronic commerce or online commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet. Ecommerce businesses can range from small, niche sites to large, multi-national retailers.
In recent years, ecommerce has become an increasingly popular way to buy and sell products and services, as it offers a convenient and efficient way to complete transactions.
Why Sell Online? The Importance of Ecommerce
There are many reasons why you might want to sell online. Perhaps you’re a brick-and-mortar store looking to reach a wider audience, or you’re a startup with a great product but no physical storefront. Maybe you’re looking to sell internationally, or you want to offer your customers the convenience of 24/7 shopping.
Whatever your reasons, there are many benefits to selling online, including:
- Reach a wider audience: An ecommerce website can help you reach a global audience, whereas a brick-and-mortar store is limited to the people who live near it.
- Lower overhead costs: An ecommerce business has lower overhead costs than a traditional brick-and-mortar business. You don’t need to pay for rent, utilities, or staff.
- 24/7 operation: An ecommerce website never closes, which means you can make sales around the clock.
- Automation: Ecommerce platforms come with built-in automation features that can help you manage your business more efficiently. For example, you can automate inventory management, shipping, and order processing.
Different Types of Ecommerce Businesses
There are four main types of ecommerce:
- Business-to-consumer (B2C): This is the most common type of ecommerce. Businesses sell products or services directly to consumers through their website or online store.
- Business-to-business (B2B): In this type of ecommerce, businesses sell products or services to other businesses. B2B ecommerce is often used for things like office supplies or wholesale goods.
- Consumer-to-consumer (C2C): In a C2C transaction, consumers sell products or services to other consumers through an online marketplace. The best example of this is eBay.
- Consumer-to-business (C2B): In a C2B transaction, consumers sell products or services to businesses. A good example of this is when someone sells their handmade goods on Etsy.
7 Easy Steps to Build an eCommerce Website From Scratch
Now that you know the basics of ecommerce, let’s look at how to build an ecommerce website from scratch. We’ll walk you through each step, from choosing a platform to launching your site.
Choose a Brand Name and Purchase Your Domain
The first step in setting up your ecommerce business is to choose a brand name and purchase your domain. Your domain is your website’s address on the internet. For example, our domain is e-commerce platforms.com.
Choosing a good domain name is important for two reasons:
- It’s how people will find your website: If you have a catchy, easy-to-remember domain name, people will be able to find your site more easily.
- It helps with SEO: A good domain name can help you rank higher in search engine results.
When choosing a brand name, try to keep it short, simple, and easy to remember. And make sure the (.com version) of your desired domain name is available before moving on to the next step.
Find a Reliable Ecommerce Hosting Provider
Once you have a domain name, you’ll need to find a reliable ecommerce hosting provider. Your hosting provider is the company that will provide the server space for your website.
When choosing a hosting provider, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Uptime: This is the percentage of time your site is up and running. You don’t want a hosting provider with a low uptime percentage, as this means your site will be down more often.
- Customer support: If you have any problems with your hosting, you’ll want to be able to reach customer support easily. Look for a provider with 24/7 customer support.
- Pricing: Hosting providers typically charge a monthly fee. Make sure to compare pricing before choosing a provider.
- Security: This is important if you’re going to be selling products on your ecommerce website. Look for a provider that offers security features like SSL certificates and malware protection.
Choose Your Ecommerce Platform
Now that you have a domain name and hosting, it’s time to set up your ecommerce platform. This is the software that will power your online store.
There are many different ecommerce platforms to choose from, but some of the most popular options include Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.
When choosing a platform, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Ease of use: You’ll want to choose a platform that is easy to use, especially if you’re not very tech-savvy.
- Features: Make sure the platform you choose has all the features you need, such as product management, payment processing, and shipping.
- Pricing: Most ecommerce platforms charge a monthly fee. Again, make sure to compare pricing before making your decision.
- Scalability: As your business grows, you’ll need a platform that can scale with you. Make sure the platform you choose can handle an increase in traffic and sales.
There are many different ecommerce platforms to choose from, and the one you choose will depend on your specific needs. Some popular ecommerce platforms include:
Shopify is a comprehensive ecommerce platform that offers everything you need to create and run an online store. It’s easy to use and comes with a wide range of features, including built-in payment processing, shipping, and marketing tools.
WooCommerce is a popular ecommerce platform for WordPress websites. It’s flexible and easy to use, and it offers a wide range of features.
Magento is a powerful ecommerce platform that offers a wide range of features and flexibility. However, it can be more complex to use than some other platforms.
Shift4Shop is a popular ecommerce platform for small businesses. It offers simple, straightforward tools for creating and managing your online store.
Build Your Ecommerce site
Now that you have your domain name, hosting, and ecommerce platform set up, it’s time to start building your online store.
The first step is to add products to your store. To do this, you’ll need to create product pages for each item you want to sell.
When creating your product pages, be sure to include high-quality photos and detailed descriptions. You should also include information like pricing, availability, and shipping details.
Creating compelling product pages is one of the most important aspects of running a successful ecommerce business.
On each product page, you’ll need to include:
- A product name.
- A product description.
- One or more product photos.
- The price of the product.
Once you’ve created your product pages, you can start adding other content to your site, such as a blog or an About page. This will help improve your site’s SEO and give your customers more information about your business.
Integrate Payment and Shipping Services
The next step is to integrate payment and shipping services into your ecommerce website. This will allow you to process orders and get them to your customers.
There are many different payment processors to choose from, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
When choosing a payment processor, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Ease of use: You’ll want to choose a processor that is easy to use, especially if you’re not very tech-savvy.
- Fees: Make sure to compare the fees charged by different processors before making your decision.
- Security: Choose a processor that offers security features such as fraud protection and data encryption.
- Compatibility: Make sure the processor you choose is compatible with your ecommerce platform.
There are many different payment gateways to choose from, but some popular options include:
- Stripe: Stripe is a popular payment gateway that offers a wide range of features, including support for multiple currencies, recurring payments, and fraud prevention.
- PayPal: PayPal is a well-known payment gateway that offers a simple way to accept payments online.
- Authorize.net: Authorize.net is a popular payment gateway for businesses that need advanced fraud prevention tools.
- Amazon Payments: Amazon Payments is a payment gateway that allows customers to pay using their Amazon account.
Shipping services are provided by companies such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL.
When choosing a shipping service, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Delivery time: Choose a service that can deliver your orders in a timely manner.
- Shipping costs: Make sure to compare the shipping costs of different services before making your decision.
- Tracking: Choose a service that offers tracking so you can keep an eye on your orders as they ship.
Now that your ecommerce website is up and running, it’s time to start promoting it. There are a number of ways to do this:
SEO: One way to promote your site is to optimize it for search engines such as Google. This will help your site rank higher in search results, making it more likely that people will find it.
Social media: Another great way to promote your site is through social media. Create accounts on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and start sharing your products and content with your followers.
Advertising: You can also promote your site by buying ad space on other websites or in search engines. This can be an effective way to reach new customers.
Publicity: Another option is to try to get your site featured in the press. This can be a challenge, but if you are successful, it can be a great way to generate traffic and build your brand.
There are many different ways to promote your ecommerce website. The most important thing is to experiment and find what works best for you and your business.
Test and Launch Your Site
Before you launch your ecommerce website, it’s important to test it to make sure everything is working correctly. You can do this by placing a few test orders and making sure that the payment and shipping process is working properly.
You should also test your site’s security to make sure it is properly protecting customer data. You can do this by running a security scan with a tool like Sucuri. It’s also a good idea to have someone else take a look at your site to see if they can spot any errors or potential problems.
Once you’ve tested your site and made sure everything is working properly, it’s time to launch it! Make sure to announce your launch date in advance so you can start to generate excitement and build up a customer base.
It is also very important to implement a fraud prevention strategy for your ecommerce site to prevent unwanted hacks and phishing attempts. Online retailers cumulatively face over 206,000 cyberattacks per month.
Conducting cybersecurity audits as an eCommerce business owner is a good idea. You may do these checks on your own. However, partnering with a cybersecurity firm and allowing them to conduct the review is the best way to go about it.
Now that you know how to build an ecommerce website, it’s time to get started! Creating your own online store is a great way to reach new customers and sell products or services online.
If you follow the steps in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful ecommerce business. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!