Having a physical store where you can sell your own products is all well and good. However, in this digital age, building an online store will make it easier for you to reach out to your customers and expand your network. In the same way, your buyers will have a more convenient means to view and purchase your products.
If you want to start selling your products online but don’t know where to start, you might find yourself asking these questions:
- What tools do I need to build my online store?
- How do I design my online store?
- How will my customers pay?
- What marketing methods can I use to increase exposure?
Creating your own online shop can be a tricky process especially if you’re not familiar with the process of setting up an e-Commerce store. The following steps will guide you on how to create your online store from scratch.
Register a Domain Name
The domain name is the address of your website. Before you can start building your store, you need to register a domain name. The domain name should be relevant to the products that you are selling. If you have an existing physical store, you can use the business name as the domain name of your online store. Domain names are unique so you cannot register a domain name if it has been registered by others.
Once you have registered a unique domain name, you can buy a website hosting account. Web hosting is the place where your website lives online.
Design Your e-Commerce Store
Planning the design of your online store is a critical step in creating an online shop. Just like in a physical store, your online shop needs to be designed for the convenience of your target market. E-Commerce agencies can help you in creating and designing your website as they have the tools and expertise in website design.
In designing your website, you need to decide the features that you want your website to have as well as the look of your homepage. Make sure to include elements like product images and descriptions and user ratings and reviews in your design. Also, keep in mind that your website will be able to allow smooth navigation among pages so your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.
Choosing the right colours is also a critical consideration in designing an online store. It is ideal to choose a dominant colour as your brand and one or two other accent colours. Complete your colour scheme by selecting a background colour that will complement the look of your website.
Set Up Payment Methods and Select Your Shipping Partners
Before selling products, install multiple payment options for your customers. You also need to partner with courier service companies to ship the purchased items to your customers.
Secure Your Website with an SSL Certificate
A secured security layer (SSL) certificate encrypts sensitive information on your website. This is needed to protect information such as credit card numbers and usernames and passwords on your website as it travels across the internet from one computer to another. An SSL certificate will protect valuable information from hackers and identity thieves.
When you have completed these steps, you can now launch your online store.