If you are running your traditional business, this is the best time to learn how to build an online store from scratch and facilitate the people to make online purchases from anywhere.
If you don’t have any local business or running a local business but unfamiliar with the process of setting up your online e-commerce store. This article is equally beneficial for both of you, you will learn how to build an online store from scratch, why we need to build, how to run, maintain, and perform digital marketing of your business.
Why do we need To Build an Online Shopping Store?
According to Statista, the total number of online buyers is expected to reach 2 billion in the year 2020. If you look at the past statistics, there were 1.32 billion buyers in 2014 and it is predicted to reach 2.14 billion in 2021. The technology is increasing day by day and facilitating the users with faster speed internet, cheaper devices and other cost-saving factors.
Now the total value of the retail e-commerce sales will reach 4.13 Trillion dollars in the year 2020 all over the world and expected to reach the 4.88 trillion dollars in 2021.
According to Nasdaq, 95% of all purchases are expected to be via online shopping stores in the next 20 years. Based on the current situation where billions of users are connected with internet using the mobile devices, so if you want to grow your business it is necessary to make your online presence. There are many other valuable benefits of an online business that you can target all over the world rather than selling your products within your town.
People having traditional businesses are unaware from the process of building online shopping store. I will share the complete details of how to build an online store from scratch with a greater roadmap.
If you are still hesitant to sell your products online, then following are some good reasons to setup an online store:
1. People are Spending Money Online
In 2019, people spent over $600 billion making online purchases and that number is increasing over the last few years. Understand the situation, if you don’t provide the online buying facility then definitely those competitors will win the client that have online shopping available.
2. Convenient Way of Shopping
You are doing your job, busy, sick or tired – you don’t have time to drive and go somewhere for exploring the store items for making purchase. So, the exploring the items that you want to buy from an online shopping store is easier, faster and required less energy. In short, when you are buying online there is no effort and people love to save their precious time.
3. E-Commerce Store has Lower Costs
Running any local business will bear the following expenses:
- Utility bills
- Space rent
- Staff salaries
- Decoration and office furniture
- Maintenance, POS and other expense.
In short, there are a lot of expenses to run a local business. On the other hand, selling the products on the website don’t have these costs. You will only pay of web hosting and digital marketing.
You staff may need to increase as your business size increases. Overall costs are easy to manageable, so understand all aspects of how to build an online store from scratch in order to run your business in a proactive way.
4. People can Buy from Anywhere
You can shop online using your laptop, pc, tablet or mobile phone from anywhere and anytime. Whenever they need any particular product they can easily make purchase without spending time or going to the market.
Let’s begin the steps to create your own!
How to Build an Online Store from Scratch?
1. Make Good market Research to Find Your Niche
It is understood, whenever you build an e-commerce either physical or online you need products to sell. So, if your products have no interest of users then it would be painful for you. To avoid this fate, you will need to find out the right market and trending products by making good research before proceeding next.
If you are sure about your product and don’t want to go through the complete process of how to build an online store from scratch then proceed to steps to start an e-commerce business otherwise read this content carefully.
2. Search Trending Products
Getting into a trending niche at the right time is a proactive and long term way to stable your business. Trending products are necessary to generate valuable revenue in case of both long and short term strategies. There are many tools are available to find a trending niche. Following are the tools to analyze the trending products:
Google Trends: This tool allows to look into any specific dates in the past and future of particular products using the keywords. Using this Google tool you can understand either the market of specific products is growing or not.
TrendHunter: You can use this website to understand different products that are trending all over the world. Moreover, you can also use filters to get more specific results.
Instagram Influencers: If you are active on Instagram then you can follow some influencers who are promoting certain products regularly. The chances are very high that the products they are promoting can be trending.
You can also check the 5 Year Forecast of Changing E-commerce Trends so that you can better maintain and develop useful business strategies.
3. Selecting Right Domain Name for Your Web Shop
After identifying the products with all required research, you need an e-commerce online store. The website is your virtual office on the internet, you need an address for your online business as you have for a physical shop. The domain name is known as the address of your store on the internet, let’s buy a domain name for you to start.
How to build an online store from scratch is not a tough job for professionals but it may be hard for beginners that are not familiar with technical terms. Don’t worry, you need some information that is discussed in this article to make it possible to run your own online business.
4. Prepare an Effective Business Plan
The first section of your business plan is “about your company” including the Value proposition, Mission and Vision statement. Include your team, business objectives, company history and ownership. Now include the market and your competition using any analytical tools like PEST (Political, Economic, Social, Technological) and talk about your niche, market size etc.
After describing your company and competitors, it is the right time to talk about your clients and how you are going to reach them in an efficient way.
Follow six steps to build a marketing plan:
Now you need to talk about your day-to-day business operations and try to answer the question how you plan to create and deliver company products. Discuss your business finances where you will discuss about creating a budget, income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. At the end, you need to measure your success, stay on target and celebrate small victories. How to build an online store from scratch is no more a hard work to do. If you can’t understand any terms, go and search to find solutions.
5. Choose Best E-Commerce Platform
Every e-commerce platform has specific requirements, pros and cons. Try to select a suitable platform that better fulfills your business needs. Understand the top e-commerce platforms to make your final decision.
6. Designing E-Commerce Website
Designing of any CMS (Content Management System) is not a challenging task but the adding functions to operate properly. Keep in mind, it is not only a showcase of your products, but you also have to motivate the visitors to buy your products. Do take it easier, you should require any expert designer to perform this task creatively.
7. Developing all The Front End and Back End Functionality
After the designing of website, the next step is developing your selected eCommerce platform. There are many common features are present in every eCommerce website.
You cannot run your business more profitable with a number of products, you also need a well-developed online shopping store that will represent your products in a professional way. Keep the checkout and product pages simple and easy to read, so that customers can buy a product with minimum steps.
Fast website loading time will also increase the overall performance of your website. Always use optimized images, videos and effective coding. Hire an experienced website developer who can code your website at standard levels.
In simple words, Front-end is the design phase of online shopping store and the Back-end is behind the scenes functionality of the store. Only staff, executives or contractors can access this back-end and perform administration tasks. Front-end is available to general public, customers and suppliers to access the products’ data. Both Front-end and Back-end need proper functionality in order to perform accurate operations.
8. Define Product Categories
In traditional businesses, staff provide help to find their required products. But when you are selling products using an online store, you must be categorized in an easy way, so that every visitor can find any product without facing any difficulties. Organize your all products in well-defined categories that will improve the users’ experience on your website. It is also helpful to get better ranks in search engines.
9. Prepare Product Pictures & Videos
Create eye-catching and detailed pictures or videos to attract the customers. When a visitor lands on your website, his attention goes on the picture and he will definitely visit your product. Attractive pictures are best tool for getting higher conversion rate.
Videos can better explain the products and make it easy to understand product features and help them to make a buying decisions. It is a fact that people like videos more than reading paragraphs of texts.
For more detailed inforamtion, you can study Core Elements Required to Make Your E-Commerce Store Trustworthy
10. Write Effective Product Descriptions
There is no doubt that you provide detailed product pictures and videos but some clients want to check its technical features or other details that cannot be explained in the picture or videos. Write product descriptions and enlist the possible problems that a user can face in the absence of a product then describe how our product can solve your issues by writing proper features and benefits. Give a food of thought to your visitors and don’t forget to use your primary keyword in title and descriptions.
11. Set up All Major Payment Gateways
Easy payment methods are necessary for every e-commerce business. You will lose your clients if you don’t offer the right payment gateways, so it is good to offer all major payment processing methods. You should check SSL certificates and PCI compliance in order to avoid security problems.
12. Configure Shipping Methods
Shipping is an important factor considered in every type of online shopping. Buyers give more importance to number of available shipping methods that provide cheaper solutions. Become a proactive and specify the product delivery date with a live tracking feature. Good delivery experience will built more trust of clients and encourage them to shop again.
13. Web Hosting and SSL Certificates
Web hosting is a space on the internet where the files of your website resides. You need to buy the best hosting services according to your business needs for better performance. If you have thousands of products and going to live your running traditional business then you should buy VPS hosting. But if you are going to start a new business, shared hosting is the best option for you that is the cheapest and first choice of every business startup.
Moreover, you can get higher ranks in search engines and build the trust of your clients by securing the shopping store. There is a range of SSL certificates available to provide the security you need.
You may also read: SSL / TLS | An Ultimate Guide to Secure Networking
14. E-commerce SEO
Less SEO means fewer chances of being found by users on search engines. Search Engine Optimization is the process to improve the organic traffic of the website and creates opportunities to get potential clients.
According to a SEMrush, 37.5% of all traffic to online shopping stores comes from search engines. It is a vital part of running your online business with long-term planning. Most people don’t understand the importance of SEO because they are unaware of key values. The professional SEO expert should do the following thing:
- e-commerce keyword research
- Website Architecture
- On-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
- e-commerce link building and many more.
15. Marketing of E-Commerce Website
If you are capable to manage all the thing, it is very good. Let’s make the company accounts on all major social media platform. Make investments and run paid campaigns in order to get more traffic. Here are the few common marketing methods:
a. Produce Original Content
Create high quality and unique content for your website, it will increase the brand reputation. Promote your original content and make a mark on the readers’ mind, so that they can be engaged easily.
b. Optimize website layout
In the case of e-commerce online shopping stores, we need to make sure the placement of each conversion element, the layout of the website, and language are professionally aligned.
c. Content Marketing
To run an e-commerce store, you have a different valuable opportunity to create content and sharing on different channels in order to promote your brand. You can create educational content that aims for the selection of the products. You can also create content for getting valuable backlinks that are valuable in getting higher ranks in the search engine. Use 80% informational content and 20% promotional in order to get ideal outputs.
Here are a few best resources available to build a content marketing strategy from scratch:
- 30 Most Effective Ways for Content Marketing In 2020
- 17 Things to Know About Visual Content Marketing
d. Social Media Marketing
There are billions of people using social media platforms, it is a better way to increase your brand awareness and get the traffic on your e-commerce store. There are many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, twitter and many more.
All you need for social media is a creative and product describing images to get the users’ attention. You can also showcase your product using Instagram. While Pinterest also provides the opportunity to share your content and drive traffic back to your website.
Here are valuable resource for social media marketing:
e. Email Marketing
It is also an effective way of reaching out to your customers using email marketing. Carefully write the useful content of your emails and make them personalized to make valuable promotions. Use emails while you have an event or launching any new product in order to engage them for better results.
f. Pay Per Click
For successful Pay-Per-Click marketing, you need the ad, offer and landing page with proper synchronization. The landing page should be more related to the product and customized keywords must be added in a good location. It is the right place to boost product features and benefits.
g. Influencer Marketing
This type of marketing has been used to build successful e-commerce online stores. It is the process of reaching out influencers on Instagram or any other social media community and promoting products to their audience. You can also run paid campaigns on different platforms in order to get more traffic.
16 Testing of Your E-commerce Store
It is the most important thing to perform testing on different browsers and devices in order to make sure that each and everything is working accurately. If you don’t perform detailed testing before launching it can be a bad impressions for your clients and they will go somewhere else.
Once your online shopping store is live, you should do the following tests:
- Functional testing:
This is done to ensure the functionality of the website including screening, cookies, server checking etc.
- Usability testing:
It is necessary to check the user-friendliness and effectiveness like sitemap, navigation etc.
- Security testing:
For the protection of data and maintaining the functionality, it is necessary to protect web pages and information leaks by screening the CAPTCHA, checking for SSL Certificates, etc.
- Performance testing:
The website’s performance is tested in different scenarios including load checking, scalability and stress testing, etc.
- Server testing:
All products are stored in a database, you must test the database quality, data validity testing and integrity testing etc.
- Mobile testing:
There are billions of mobile users, so it is very important to test on different mobile devices.
- A / B testing:
Used to compare two single variable models at the same time to check which one converts the better for your e-commerce shop.
17. Perform Maintenance on a Regular Basis
It is not enough to develop and live your store, you also need to maintain and monitor possible issues on a regular basis. It is also recommended to explore latest tips, tricks and effective strategies to boost your online business. Don’t forget to use the user tracking tools in order to understand the problems or difficulties they are facing at a certain page or section.
Regular maintenance will increase your uptime that is an integral part of any online business. In order to prevent attacks, you need to update your operating systems and software. Hacker read the release notes of new updates and try to steal the confidential information. If you are still facing issues about How to build an online store from scratch then get 30-minute free consultation.