eCommerce, which refers to the online buying and selling mechanism, is now at the heart of the Internet. People are shifting from physical stores to digital shopping since the coronavirus pandemic. However, the complexities of online business scare many entrepreneurs. They just don’t know where to start to create an online store or how to run it properly.

Have you already owned a brick-and-mortar store or are you currently looking to expand online, or are you taking your first steps into the world of eCommerce with your first ever store? This article will present a step-by-step guide to create an online store.  

Let’s get the ball rolling!

Create an Online Store: Why Now?

There never has been a better opportunity than now to create an online store. Everyone with a laptop will get started in hours and without acquiring any specialized skills.

This year has especially solidified the importance of eCommerce for most companies all over the world. As COVID-19 first hit, many businesses were forced to shut down and only a few were able to bring their goods online.

Create An Online Store: Why Now?
Create An Online Store: Why Now?

If you’re still not convinced, here are some reasons why any product-based business, whether in a pandemic or not, should think about selling online:

  • Excellent Return on Investment (ROI): As compared to the expense of operating a storefront, an eCommerce website can easily recoup its investment and can be a fantastic source of revenue in the future.
  • A vast amount of customer insights: Metrics such as the most popular items, the most active days and occasions for completed transactions, patterns in abandoned shopping carts, stagnant items… are incredibly helpful. 
  • Business automation: As a business owner, realizing your business is open and though you do not around give you a lot of freedom and flexibility.
  • Widen your reach: Your reach can expand regionally, provincially, nationally, and even worldwide.

How to Create an Online Store with 8 simple steps

Step 1: Find Your Ideal Online Store Builder

The first step in launching an online store is to choose a suitable online store builder.

An eCommerce store builder is an online software that allows you to create your online store without any need for advanced technical expertise, coding experience, or a hundred computer screens. You just need an internet connection and a brilliant business idea!

However, there are numerous online store builders available. Some are affordable, some are pricey, some are reliable, and some… aren’t. With so many options available, we decided we’d make it somewhat easier to choose the right one for you. Below are our two top-recommended eCommerce platforms.

Magento

Magento is regarded as an ultimate eCommerce solution that provides a high level of security as well as a perfect business environment. Magento has powered iconic and prominent retailers’ eCommerce websites, including Nike, Samsung, Coca-Cola, and others. Still, this platform is also suitable for medium and small enterprises.

Magento’s versatile and user-friendly design enables you to make adjustments easily and maintain a trading network of multiple sites in various languages. It allows you to completely control the look, content, and functionality of your online store.

Shopify

Shopify has all of the functionality you’ll need to grow your business from a start-up to a market leader. Shopify’s possibilities and advantages are literally endless, to be named: 

Find Your Ideal Online Store Builder
Find Your Ideal Online Store Builder
  • Always in Control With Shopify Admin: Shopify is renowned for its simple back-end with a dashboard that provides retailers with all the details they need, from detailed sales data to the ability to manage clients, orders, and products without having to type a single line of code.
  • Strong Marketing & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Shopify has sophisticated SEO features, enabling you to update meta tags, titles, and alt tags, as well as automatically creating a sitemap that you can submit to Google to ensure it can index any page in your eCommerce store.
  • Multi-Channel Sales: Through its powerful multi-channel integrations, it helps you to quickly sell on Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Instagram, even via a blog, allowing you to broaden your reach, maximize audience sizes, and increase profits.
  • Flexible & Built To Scale: Shopify offers more than 60 free and paid pre-built website templates that you can install quickly and effortlessly. It also enables expert teams to design and build themes with customized functionality, features, and customer journeys.
  • Secure and Reliable: In this day and age of cybercrime, security must be at the top of any eCommerce merchant’s priority list. PCI-DSS Level 1 compliance has ensured Shopify’s reliable security. It has processed over 10,000 transactions a minute at its peak, with a 99.999 percent overall uptime, and can also accommodate one million page views a minute.

It’s worth mentioning that Shopify is free for 14 days, so you can see if it’s a perfect fit for the business before committing.

Prices for Shopify start at $29 per month for the ‘Basic Shopify’ plan and go up to $299 per month for the ‘Advanced Shopify’ plan. As long as you pay monthly, you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your Shopify package at any time.

Step 2: Get a Domain Name for Your Online Store

A domain name is the part of a URL that indicates the name of your store. A strong domain name is essential for the successful launch of an online store. It fosters customer trust and helps throughout the establishment of your brand.

Assume you are Nike (we can all dream). Nike’s URL is below, with the domain name in bold: https://www.nike.com.

This is the primary domain. It’s what people see in the address bar and whenever they do a Google search. Consider the domain name to be a sign that hangs over a real-world high street store.

With Shopify, you can purchase a domain name directly from its website. First, find the ideal domain name, then proceed to the authorization and purchasing steps. When you purchase a domain name from Shopify, the configuration and setup will be done automatically. You will also manage subdomains or add international domains, as well as use email forwarding.

Step 3: Choose and Customize Your Store Theme

You could indeed make the site look amazing with themes (also known as templates) without being a design professional or hitting any coding! Luckily, themes in eCommerce store builders such as Shopify are simple to choose from. You just need to use a template from your builder’s marketplace.

  1. To determine which theme is best for you, try to answer the following three questions:
  2. What features do you like to see in your store?
  3. What kind of homepage are you looking for?
  4. How do you expect your customers to navigate in your store?

If you’ve decided on a template/theme, go to your store’s admin tool and begin customizing.

Customization is easy, and you can modify almost everything. This contains text size and font, color scheme, images, product positioning, features, and social media integration, etc.

Step 4: Add Your Products

Now that you’ve designed a stylish online store using a theme, you need to add your products. You will have complete control over your product pages if you’re using an online shop builder. 

Add Your Products to your online store
Add Your Products to your online store

The main things you need to add products are:

  • Name
  • Price
  • Category
  • Weight (for physical items)
  • File (for downloadable items like ebooks).

Different eCommerce website builders impose different restrictions, so make sure that your builder’s limit meets the requirements of your business.

  • The number of products to be upload
  • The number of options for each product (options of size or color)
  • The number of product variants (a combination of two options: for example, a blue shirt in large size)

Before you move on to the next step, make sure to check if you have included writing great product descriptions, and taking useful product photos. 

Please keep in mind that the more images your store have, the longer it may take to display, so optimization is necessary. It’s also critical to strike the right balance between high-quality images and site speed.

Another consideration when creating product descriptions is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is where you can appear in Google searches as users look for brands similar to yours. The higher your ranking, the more traffic you will get.

The more traffic there is, the more profits there are. So when writing descriptions, use any of the keywords related to your product.

Step 5: Select Your Payment Method

The following step is that you must set up your payment method. This is an essential milestone in turning a browser into a buyer.

eCommerce website builders make this simple. They optimize the mechanism so that you can get started right away with the best (and most effective) payment solutions. They can assist you by linking you directly to a variety of payment solutions, including Visa, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Mastercard.

Before choosing the best payment method, determine how many transactions you plan to make and the kind of customer that will be buying your products. The considerations needed to be included:

  • Learn from your consumers’ backgrounds. When you have customers from various nations, be absolutely sure you fulfill the needs of each country. 
  • Provide a method with a high level of protection to give consumers a sense of security when they buy on your website. Shopify, for example, has SSL security and access to over 100 payment gateways. Visa, PayPal, Amazon, and Apple Pay are among them.
  • Fees and charges vary depending on the payment method. Be sure you understand how much you’ll be paying and what you’ll be charging for.

Once again, never try to pick a payment method without specifying your store’s needs first.

Step 6: Set Up a Your Shipping

You’ve added items as well as payment solutions for consumers to purchase them. The next step is to ensure that you can deliver such goods. 

Understanding how shipping options work is important to fully understand how to create an online store. However, take into account that different eCommerce website builders offer multiple shipping options. 

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular tactics for pricing your eCommerce shipping:

  1. Offer free shipping: offers free shipping on all orders or include conditions, for example, free shipping for orders over $200.
  2. Charge exact costs: requires using real-time shipping carrier rates that are precise, down to the penny (ex., $8.26).
  3. Provide flat-rate shipping: applies the same flat fee for shipping to every order. For example, $5 for any order shipped to wherever within the US.

Step 7: Preview and Publish Your Online Store

You now have done almost everything, you’re very nearly there… However, there is one further step before claiming that your online store has been completed: testing.

Preview and Publish Your Online Store
Preview and Publish Your Online Store

eCommerce website builders make it extremely simple to download and demo your online shop before it officially launches. Testing your shop is the perfect way to ensure that you are meeting the demands of your customers.

The following are the most important aspects to look for while previewing and testing your store:

  • Is the checkout system able to operate?
  • Do Your Store’s Functionality Work?
  • Have You Reviewed the Content of Your Store?
  • Is Your Store Mobile-Friendly?
  • Have You Checked Your Store in a Variety of Browsers?

Step 8: Introduce Your Online Store

Reaching this phase, you are ready enough to be an online merchant. Just take a break and congratulate yourself although there are still many things to do. 

In this final step, you will find out ways on how to introduce your online store which may involve building a social presence, setting up SEO, publishing creative content, and so on.


Wrapping up

Whether it’s your first time to create online store or you’ve been in the game for a while, this guide has shown you how to launch an online shop in eight basic steps:

  • Step 1: Find Your Ideal Online Store Builder
  • Step 2: Get a Domain Name for Your Online Store
  • Step 3: Choose and Customize Your Store Theme
  • Step 4: Add Your Products
  • Step 5: Select Your Payment Method
  • Step 6: Set Up Your Shipping
  • Step 7: Preview and Publish Your Online Store
  • Step 8: Introduce Your Online Store

Ready to get started yet?

We hope you’ll be able to get your storefront up and running, add products, and perhaps even make your very first sale today! Good luck!





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