How to Build an E Commerce Website: 10 Important Steps to Follow

Published by Amirshop on

E-commerce depends heavily on the services they offer online. It is not like a physical store where people go and buy themselves directly. You need a perfect online store builder who builds an e-commerce website for you with which they can attract customers to buy from them.

Online shopping is the new trend where people don’t have time to go to the store by themselves. This is the time to shine by opening a full online store and start selling online. But you need to develop an e-commerce website that instantly makes customers click on it and scroll through them.

You need to allocate a good amount of money, resources, and mainly time to build an e-commerce website. Every decision you make on building your website will change based on the above-mentioned factors.

A blue-colored e-commerce direction sign is in between two traffic lights.
By Mark König, Unsplash Copyright 2020

1. Creating Your E-Commerce Website

Creating your e-commerce platform is not as complex as it sounds. Nowadays there are a lot of companies that outsource your job to creating your e-commerce website. But you should know how the whole thing works even to make others work for you.

Your e-commerce website is like a virtual storefront. Just like how you enter a physical store. The basic idea of an e-commerce site is also the same. You need to keep the audience engaged and give them a congenial experience. Your e-commerce website should tell them who you are and the representation of your brand. The tone of your company should reflect on your e-commerce site.

You need not be a tech guru to build an e-commerce website. You just need proper web hosting, a website builder, and a domain name. With technological advancements, your job is much simpler nowadays. You need to be aware of everything happening in the industry and know the right people. Then you are good to go.

But to build an e-commerce website you need to consider some important steps which will help you with the process.

An E-commerce website builder is opened on a computer screen to know how to build an E commerce website.
By Mailchimp, Unsplash Copyright 2022

2. How to Build an E Commerce Website

If you want to build your online store and create an e-commerce platform. Just follow the following steps which will be a beginner’s guide to everything regarding creating an e-commerce website.

2.1 Choose Your Content Management System (CMS)

The basic element or the first step towards creating a foundation of every e-commerce platform is choosing your e-commerce website builder. You can make them create your website design, streamline your daily tasks and give them customer feedback details to create a website that is user-friendly.

There are a lot of content management systems to choose from in an open-source platform. The choice of selection will mostly rely on the needs, objectives of the company, budget, experience, etc. Because there is a pre-determined format as to what a particular niche would have on their website. But if your e-commerce site is not like those and needs a very unique website builder.

2.2. Best E Commerce Website Builder

Some of the best e-commerce website builders include:

2.2.1. WordPress Site

This open-source platform is widely used among people and leading CMS which gives you the option for customization. If you are a beginner and want to build an e-commerce website. Then WordPress can be the best option for you. It is a beginner-friendly platform.

2.2.2. Shopify

Shopify is an ideal platform for e-commerce businesses to build their e-commerce website. Because most of the e-commerce deals with dropshipping. And it has a lot of tools and features to help the businesses.

2.2.3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is more than an e-commerce CMS, it helps you manage, process orders, integrate with leading payment providers, etc. Most businesses that run omnichannel commerce use this platform.

2.2.4. Square Online

Square Online is a great platform for existing retailers who want to sell online. This is also a free website builder that offers various services and an easier route for brick-and-mortar businesses.

2.2.5. Wix

A platform with so many features to create a customizable template for your website and provides tools to design the website. This is also user-friendly.

2.2.6. Squarespace

Squarespace offers various services to its users, especially for exclusive content management. Even if you don’t have any prior experience in web design. It will guide you through each process step by step. To change from a beginner to a professional website builder you can use Squarespace.

A computer screen showing several website builder apps. To change from a beginner to a professional website builder you can use Squarespace.
By Justin Morgan, Unsplash Copyright 2021

2.3. Customize Your Ecommerce Website

The next important thing you need to do is to develop a theme for your e-commerce website. Every website builders offer you built-in features using which you can create a theme. These templates will guide you as to what information you should feed on the page. This will make your online store look unique.

This includes fonts, colors, layouts, etc. This will tell customers about the brand. The main reason to use website builders is that you need not code the changes which you think are needed. The ability to customize the web pages of your e-commerce website as per your needs is a great advantage, especially for small businesses.

Ideally, your e-commerce website should include:

  • A homepage that the customers will see first once they open your website.
  • Separate product category page which helps them browse various products you sell online.
  • An “About Us” page is necessary to make the customer understand the history and background of your company.
  • Customer service page is necessary for them to check for a return policy or any help.
  • Contact Page to help customers reach out to you.
  • Have a legal page putting out the terms and conditions.

2.4. List Out Product Offerings

The product listings page is the most important in your e-commerce website. This is the place where customers will know what type of products or services you offer to them. You need to create a product catalog and give information about the product. It should be in the correct sequence to avoid any miscommunications among the customers.

Consider adding the below-mentioned points to your product listings.

2.4.1 Product Names

Every product or service you sell online should have a name attached to it. It should be kept in a way that it registers in the minds of the customers. An appropriate font style and size should be used to highlight the name of your product.

2.4.2 Product Images and Videos

People need a visual piece to have a sense of what they are going to buy before ordering. So providing a picture or video of the product will help the customers to see the product and decide whether to buy it or not. Make sure you upload high-quality images and well-informed video which tells the customers everything they need to know.

2.4.3 Product Descriptions

The next thing people want to see after seeing the photos is the product descriptions. The product descriptions help you acquire more information about the product as to its features, weight, size, color, etc. This will help them know the uses of the product and its working.

2.4.4 Product Options

Even in one product, there are multiple options that many e-commerce businesses offer like different sizes, colors, etc. These different variables should be added alongside the order option to make it easier and customizable as per the needs of every customer.

2.4.5 Product Price

This is one of the main parts of the product listings. Many e-commerce sites provide options with single-item and group-item pricing for their products. This is mainly to make customers add more items to their cart and provide payment options for all. And it should also be made in a way that the discount or the sale available for each product is visible to the customer. The sale of a particular product should be monitored by a person and updated on the e-commerce website.

Note: Make sure that you have the filter option so that it helps customers choose the particular product based on their needs.

2.4.6 Customer Reviews

To build trust among the customers, you need to display the customer review on your site to make new customers believe in your service and the products you sell. More customers buy the product based on the reviews provided by other customers. The rating system for products will help you set a demand for your product. As with more ratings, there is a high chance that the sale will shoot up.

2.5. Set Up Payment Gateway

The payment gateways depend on the kind of website builder you choose. As there are some website builders like Shopify and Square online who have their own inbuilt payment processing system which they provide for the clients. In this way, it is easy since the payment processing is on their hold.

Other website builders don’t have an inbuilt payment processing system. So, if that’s the case you can choose an external online payment processor which is the solution. But you need to make sure that when you redirect your customers to an external page. Makes sure their data is fully encrypted. PCI makes sure that users’ credit card details are kept safe and not misused.

However, choosing the right payment gateway processor depends on the transaction fees they charge and the security they provide. They also have a subscription option where they charge payment gateway monthly fees according to the plans they offer.

A phone screen showing a payment app. Set up a payment gateway for your e-commerce website. The payment gateways depending on the kind of website builder you choose
By Roberto Cortese, Unsplash Copyright 2020

2.6. Shipping Solution

The proper shipping method should also be discussed with your website builder. Because only then you can create shipping charges and charge customers. The shipping rules should be made considering the product and the region. You should have multiple shipping options available to secure more customers. And you should also decide whether you will do the packaging or you are dropshipping.

You need to decide on the area of operation. Even though it is online, it is easy to make any person across the world order. But you need to decide whether you can sell internationally.

While placing the order, the customers should be given information such as delivery date, taxes, shipping label info, etc. The shipping can also include real-time rates or sometimes flat rates for bigger orders to encourage more sales.

2.7. Test Your E-commerce Site

Before launching your website online. You need to run several tests to make sure that your website works perfectly. Just double-check on whether it is easy to operate or use. But most e-commerce website builders will provide you with a user-friendly template. Every button, link, and inbox should be checked properly to make sure it would not cause any problems to the users.

The main thing that you should test in your e-commerce website is to check whether the set-up payment options are proper. You need to check whether the portal is working properly and whether invoices are generated for the chosen products. And check the website layout on your mobile device. Since the layout pattern will be different on mobile devices compared to desktop.

And before launching your website, you need to make sure that you have enough supplies to fulfill a decent demand from your customers. Suppose your website becomes a huge hit and got a hefty order already on day one. And if you don’t have the stock, then it’s gonna create a bad image for your brand. So run some test orders

2.8. Build Social Media Profile

Every e-commerce store should have a social media presence to attract customers. This can start with creating an email marketing campaign to promote your new product arrivals and offers provided. The presence of your company on social media is not only for promotion. Now it has become a point of contact between the business and the customers. They use it to give feedback and complaints.

Before launching your e-commerce store you need to open social media accounts on platforms that you feel are relevant to acquire your audience. And you need to indulge in the early promotion of your brand.

Share pictures and cool videos of your products on these social media handles to direct traffic to your e-commerce website. Search for bloggers, and influencers in your area who can help you gain your intended audience and induce sales on your website.

A close-up of a black phone screen with social media apps visible on the screen. Build social media profile for your e-commerce site.
By William Krause, Unsplash Copyright 2021

2.9. Launch Your Ecommerce Website

Once all tests are done and a few promotions on social media. If everything gives you a green signal, then you are good to go and can proceed with launching your e-commerce website. You can run on few Google ads and other promotions with the help of your website builder.

After you’ve launched the site. You can start selling immediately since you would have done the test orders to make sure everything is smooth. You need to review the traffic rate, engagement, and reactions of the audiences. Only if you monitor them closely and review them. You can do the necessary changes and build an e-commerce site that is unique.

2.10. Why Build an Online Store?

With digitalization and the new trend of buying things online grown. This area is still a developing field. Big players like Amazon, and eBay have shown the level you can reach in this business.

Setting up an online store is easy. You don’t need many employees or resources to create an online store.

Much cheaper compared to physical stores. Rent, electricity bills, maintenance, and a lot of costs are being cut down as everything here is online.

Creates a personalized buying experience for customers. They can filter options and select the products which they want.

High return on investment. Since you are spending less, and have digital marketing campaigns. It is easier to get more than what you paid.

A display of words written with a red rope on a black metal gate. The words are
By Samuel Regan-Asante, Unsplash Copyright 2021

3. Conclusion

Building an e-commerce website is a simple process if you follow these above-mentioned steps. You need to buy a custom domain name for your site and choose your site builder. Categorize and select the theme of your website.

Order your product listings properly, channel the proper payment method, and if the testing is all done. Then you can start selling online. It is a simple process that needs little knowledge not on the technical aspects. But you should know from where you can get things done.

Remember at the start of your journey. There aren’t gonna be more buyers. But you have to find the reason for it and make the changes quickly to grow. By the time your business grows, you need to update your website. Because over time anything could have happened. It is tough to predict the market. So, once you go to the top level you need to step up the game and bring in more features.

Many online site builders give you a free SSL certificate and domain name. The main reason for that is to protect the data of the customers from cybercriminals. The aspect of safety is really important since we are dealing with the personal information of the people and they trust you.

E-commerce website is the epitome of online business since it is the only way customers can know what they buy. And it is important to not only set up this online store. But also to maintain them properly and fix them if there are any problems.

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