Our economics world is gradually changing to trading on electronic commerce (or e-commerce). Nowadays, people can purchase everything they want wherever and whenever, as long as they have enough money in credit card. As a result, merchants now not only sell their products in brick and mortar stores, but they're also able to reach out online customer base which only appears in the digital era. Starting an e-commerce website seemingly is more simple and less expensive than launching a store in real life, however, it’s still confused with people who have just known shopping online latterly. If you are a newbie in this field and want to build an own business on internet environment while still clueless, I hope this article would light your way a little bit. I would divide all the steps into 5 major parts in which you’ll find useful recommendations to apply to your project
1. Choosing your product
The first step also is the most important step. You’ll want to carefully choose a thing to sell and make sure it’s profitable. You should scrutinize products in different perspectives in order to see thoroughly all its advantages and disadvantages. This step might take time and make you impatient, however, don’t hustle. You would cost 5 days or 1 week to choose a right product rather than waste 2 months of preparing then realize your product is restricted in some states, or tax rate is too high and your profit is not great as you wanted.
So I suppose the first criteria to choose a product is profit margin (We’re all in business to make money. Right?). Try to explore and find out all the possible expense of process selling product. For instance, if you sell refrigerator, how the cost of shipping is? How you send that product for abroad customers? How many is tax rate or the cost of renting a warehouse? Make it as detail as possible.
Also, you can choose products which are a hot trend at present time. Profit margin might not good as desired, however, it’s hot so you’ll sell them more easily than other products when demand is still huge. Besides, you should consider selling things that you like, or is your passion, as a big motivation insides would push you up every time while working with something make you interested.
2. Choose e-commerce platform to sell products
This step is quite technical. Imagine this step like you’re choosing a place to build your shop when it comes to brick and mortar store: you’ll consider so many plans, between its pros and cons. I’ll give you 3 “places” that people usually use to create their business
Shopify: you don’t know anything about coding (and don’t want to learn), want to spend more time on other things, so just let Shopify do. It’s suitable for small businesses who are just starting out, all the way up to larger stores that are selling millions of dollars in products. This means that they have the capability to grow with your store, as your business expands. But the disadvantage is you can not customize website as thoroughly as you want.
Magento: this platform allows you participate in creating your own house, you can do anything with the website, make everything more simple, more colorful, etc. Especially, Magento also allows third party integration for various purpose like importing product etc. This brings Magento the flexibility that other platforms lack, and make a Magento-based website can be easier to be looked and analyzed performance. And Magento offer features basically the same thing that Shopify provides for a seemingly unrealistically high price. If you're struggling in how to modify your website, I suggest you using Magento Optimization service at MageStore, or hiring a developer, but i really recommend the first one because it is more cost-effective and your website would be scrutinized by professional developers
Woo-Commerce: WooCommerce is not actually a platform, it is a Plugin for WordPress, which is again an open source Content Management System. Free is the biggest advantage of WooCommerce. You have a WordPress website, then you just need to download this plugin, install and you’ve got a whole new store. And just like Magento, Woo has high flexibility, and because it’s Wordpress-based, it’s easier to make your website exactly as you want. Woo can also have bunch of features and add-ons will customize your store for the best performance and appearance
In order to carefully guide you, I meticulously wrote another article about choosing appropriate platform. If you're still wondering which ones to choose, then I think you should read this
3. Choosing domain and hosting service
If you decide to use Shopify to set up a website, then you’ll no longer worry about domain and host, as Shopify did it perfectly. But people sometimes buy another domain to make their store looks more professional and easier to remember (if you use the default domain provided by Shopify, it would be yourdomain.shopify.com – too long and not specific)
Everything seems different when talking about Magento and Woo commerce: you must buy, configure, manage domain and host by yourself, or you would hire developers who are expert in those fields. Thus you could select various hosting service with various price in order to fit nicely your present condition. If your platform is Woocommerce (in WordPress), work would be easier as Wordpress is absolutely simple to install and manage, you can find a dozen of guide about setting up WordPress platform on the internet. Magento, because of its complex and specialization in e-commerce, would take time and money to install them. Besides, Magento requires a good-quality hosting service like dedicated server, so I recommend you should hire a developer or Magento-service company did it for you.
About choosing a domain and hosting problem, because it is hassle and there are so many things to explain, I did write a new article just to show you how to choose ones for an e-commerce site
4. Promote your website
The customer would not accidentally encounter your website although you’re selling the hottest products with affordable price. Your customers have a million ways to buy a particular merchandise and they would choose good one which is near them the most. You already have a good product? So let’s bring it to right in front of their eyes. Promoting website is a crucial step decided your business’s destiny: the more this step is successful, the more money you earn. This is 2 primary and effective ways to boost your website:
- Search Engine Optimization aka SEO: Because a huge amount of traffic comes from search engine (especially Google) and people tend to click in website appeared on the first page they search something., you’ll always want website to stand in highest position on Google. Do SEO in 2017 is more difficult and harder than before, so you should put effort on it to learn it carefully and creatively or hire a person who is an expert. SEO contains 2 main works:
+ On page optimization: you must optimize in order that your visitors feel comfortable and useful when they click on: provide high-quality content, minimize page loading time, make the layout clear and clean etc
+ Off page optimization: you’ll earn as much as possible high-quality backlink. This work is harder and costs more time to implement.
If you go to the right way, do not violate any license website would gradually reach better positions in Google. But remember, SEO is very time-consuming and contains so much legwork, so prepare yourself for it, You can consult my new article about common mistakes need to be avoided when doing SEO for the first time
- Another way to promote is advertising website on such big channels as Facebook Ads or Google Adwords. By this way, you’ll directly pay for Facebook or Google in order to appear in front of users. The amount of expense depends on the number of users you want to reach out (Facebook ads) or the time users click to go your website (Google Adwords). If you want to implement this strategy guy, be sure you know it clearly otherwise after setting up a campaign and press submit you would have nothing but an empty credit card.
Each step in this article is quite big and can divide into many other sub steps. Besides these primary step, you'll need another step is customize your webstie in order to have the highest conversion rate. I hope you had a spread eagle view with creating a website to sell product online. So if you have any question about any problem, feel free to comment or email me. See more usefull articles from us at Boost Magento