One of the most effective ways to tap into the global market is by building an ecommerce website. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating an ecommerce website from scratch, ensuring you have a strong foundation for your online store. Whether you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or aspiring web developer, this guide will provide valuable insights into the world of ecommerce development services.
Step 1: Obtain hosting services for rent
Hosting, also known as web hosting, is an internet service that allows you to make your website or web application accessible on the internet. By subscribing to a hosting service, you lease a portion of a server that contains all the necessary files and information for your website to function.
A server refers to a physical computer that operates continuously to ensure your website remains accessible to users at all times. The responsibility of maintaining the server, protecting it against security threats, and delivering website content (such as text, images, and files) to users’ browsers lies with your web hosting provider.
Here are some recommended web hosting options for building your e-commerce website:
- A2 Hosting: With servers up to 20 times faster, backed by a knowledgeable support team, offering free account migration, a money-back guarantee, and a commitment to 99.9% uptime. Prices range from $9.31 to $25 per month.
- Cloudways: Providing 24/7/365 support, a staging environment, SSH and SFTP access, dedicated firewalls, auto healing, advanced cache optimization, the option to add a CDN, real-time monitoring, regular security updates, unlimited application installations, automated backups, and servers enabled with HTTP/2. Prices range from $10 to $230 per month.
- SiteGround: Offering a free Magento 2 installation, domain name registration, SSD drives for all plans, assistance with site transfers, free daily backups, round-the-clock support via phone, chat, and ticket, a free CDN with Railgun, and servers optimized for Magento.
Step 2: Acquire a domain name
A domain, also known as a URL, refers to the web address of your e-commerce website. It serves as the virtual “home” of your business on the internet, and it is what visitors enter into their browser to access your website.
Selecting a strong domain name is crucial for your brand and overall success. Therefore, it is essential to make a thoughtful choice before purchasing one, as it is the name that people need to remember and type into their browser to reach your website.
Here are some ideas to take into account while choosing a domain name:
- Keep it concise: It’s best to choose a short domain name as lengthy ones can be difficult for users to type and remember.
- Reflect your brand: Your domain name should align with your business and convey a clear message to visitors about what you offer.
- Choose the right domain extension: The part after the dot (.) in your domain can be .com, .net, .org, etc. While .com is commonly preferred, alternative extensions like .io, .tech, or .xyz can work well for unique domain names.
- Test pronunciation: Ensure that your domain name is easy to pronounce so that customers can easily share it with others.
- Avoid numbers and dashes: Using numbers or dashes in your domain name increases the chances of it being mistyped or misunderstood.
Once you have a few name ideas, you can buy your chosen domain through a domain name registration service like GoDaddy, Bluehost, or Google Domains.
Step 3: Selecting an e-commerce platform
An e-commerce platform refers to the online location where your website exists, and you have various options to choose from. There are free e-commerce platforms available with limited features, the option to add e-commerce capabilities to popular website builders, or dedicated e-commerce platforms that support unlimited growth.
When deciding on the best e-commerce platform for your website, consider these top options:
- Magento: A platform specifically designed for e-commerce, Magento offers exceptional flexibility and a wide range of features suitable for websites of all sizes. It is highly regarded for its power and ability to create robust e-commerce websites.
- Shopify: This e-commerce platform enables users to create online shopping websites with built-in features like social networking, product listings, shopping carts, payment processing, and order management. It provides a comprehensive solution for businesses of all scales.
- WooCommerce: Known for its integration with WordPress, WooCommerce is a powerful tool that enhances the e-commerce functionality of WordPress websites. It is a popular choice among the WordPress community, offering both power and user-friendliness.
These platforms provide different features and cater to various needs, so carefully evaluate their capabilities before deciding which one suits your e-commerce requirements.
Step 4: Hire a web developer
Engaging the services of a web developer can streamline the process of establishing your e-commerce website, even if you’re starting your own business. With their technical expertise, they can expedite the setup process, allowing you to commence selling sooner.
When selecting a developer, it’s important to inquire about their projected timeline to align it with your launch plans. Request to view their portfolio of previous website projects and seek references from those businesses.
Ensure that the developer shares your vision and possesses the ability to deliver what you desire within your budgetary constraints.
For the most competitive prices, you can find top-notch e-commerce web development specialists at Evrig Solutions.
Step 5: Create a website development plan
Once you have established a stable e-commerce platform, it is crucial to begin the process of crafting your e-commerce website. Take careful consideration of the following components:
1. Select your template
Discover a theme that aligns with your desired aesthetic and enhances the appearance of your e-commerce website.
- Efficient customer navigation:
Having a seamless navigation system is crucial for providing a positive customer experience. If visitors are unable to locate what they are looking for, they are likely to leave your site and shop elsewhere. Placing the navigation bar on the left side of the page can enhance readability since people tend to read from left to right.
- Homepage design:
Ensure that the template you choose for your e-commerce website reflects your brand effectively. Look for features that allow you to incorporate images, slideshows, videos, and an area where you can share your business story. Customers should be able to grasp your business’s nature at first glance, so it’s important to select a template that conveys this clearly.
- Customization flexibility:
Consider the extent to which you can customize various elements of the website. Check if the template offers options for matching fonts and color schemes with your brand. Determine how many images you can include and how products are displayed, and if those aspects can be modified. Additionally, assess the template’s compatibility with embedding social media elements. Keep in mind that additional features can often be added through apps, so evaluate how many apps you may need to work with the chosen template.
2. Integrate your product onto your website
Including product information is a vital aspect of building an e-commerce website. Here are some tips to effectively market your products:
- High-quality product photos: Capture appealing product photos using your cell phone camera, showcasing various angles and demonstrating product usage whenever possible.
- Product videos: Authentic videos captured with your cell phone can be effective in selling products, eliminating the need for expensive, polished videos.
- Detailed product descriptions: Create comprehensive product descriptions that cover all relevant details, such as size, weight, materials used, and frequently asked questions. Incorporate keywords strategically to improve search engine rankings.
- Product options: Utilize e-commerce platforms’ features to create multiple options (variables) for products that come in different sizes, colors, etc.
- Product SKUs: Keep track of your internal stock keeping units (SKUs) and any manufacturer’s codes. Including manufacturer’s codes can be beneficial as some buyers may search using them.
- Product pricing: Take advantage of e-commerce platforms that offer single-item and group pricing options, as well as sale and discount pricing. Some platforms even allow tracking of product costs for reporting purposes.
- Item size and weight: Provide item size and weight information, as it enables real-time shipping cost calculation and label printing, streamlining the shipping process.
- Inventory management: Set stock quantities for each item, allowing your e-commerce platform to track inventory levels automatically as products are sold.
3. Configure payment options and tax settings
All the aforementioned e-commerce website platforms mentioned earlier offer seamless integration with leading payment services such as Square, PayPal, and Stripe. In fact, Shopify even provides its own payment solution called Shopify Payments.
Additionally, most e-commerce platforms provide the option to connect your own payment gateway and merchant account. However, using built-in or plug-and-play payment services is often the easiest and most cost-effective choice, especially for startups.
Once you have set up your preferred payment processor, the next step is configuring the sales tax rate to be collected from customers. All e-commerce platforms support sales tax collection and offer the ability to apply taxes to specific items or entire orders. The sales tax rates to be charged depend on your local jurisdiction.
4. Configure shipping options
Setting up shipping is a crucial aspect of e-commerce. It is important to carefully consider your shipping settings to meet customer expectations and ensure timely delivery of products.
When configuring your shipping policy, you need to determine the fees and carriers you will use. Decide whether you will offer free shipping, a flat rate, or variable fees. Select the shipping carriers that you will work with. It is also important to have a clear plan for international shipping and ensure that this information is readily available to avoid frustration for international customers during the checkout process.
Furthermore, you need to choose shipping solutions based on your specific needs. Decide whether you will handle packaging and shipping in-house or opt for dropshipping. Utilizing shipping software that seamlessly integrates with your overall workflow allows you to automate the shipping process, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
5. Creating customer service pages
To maintain a strong customer base, it is crucial to prioritize excellent customer service. Your e-commerce website’s customer service page plays a vital role in setting clear expectations for your shoppers. Key elements to include are:
- Shipping rates and timelines: Clearly communicate the typical turnaround time for shipping, the rates charged, and provide an estimate of average delivery times.
- Returns and exchanges: Outline your returns policy in detail, including information on how returns and exchanges are handled. Be explicit about who is responsible for covering return shipping costs to avoid any surprises.
Step 6: Review and launch your online store
Ensure a successful launch by thoroughly reviewing and testing every aspect of your online store before making it live. Prior to hitting the publish button, it is essential to perform the following checks:
- Test the checkout process: Conduct a test order to ensure that the checkout process functions smoothly. Verify if products can be added to the cart, payments are processed correctly, and all expected confirmation emails are received.
- Verify store functionality: Click on every button and link throughout your website to confirm their functionality. Test filters, categories, and ensure that all links direct customers to the intended pages. If a link is broken, ensure that your 404-page redirects customers back to your website.
- Evaluate mobile compatibility: View your store on a mobile device to ensure that it displays correctly. Check if the dimensions are appropriate, buttons are easily clickable, and images appear clear on smaller screens.
- Test across different browsers: Verify that your store works properly on various browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If any issues arise, communicate them to your developers for resolution.
- Configure store settings: Review and set up essential store settings, including language, time zone, contact details, tax settings, and measurement units. Ensure that all settings are accurately configured before the launch.
when it comes to building an ecommerce website, partnering with a reliable and experienced ecommerce website development company like Evrig Solutions can greatly benefit your business. Evrig Solutions offers comprehensive expertise in creating and optimizing ecommerce websites, ensuring a seamless and successful online shopping experience for your customers.
As a trusted ecommerce website development company, Evrig Solutions understands the importance of factors such as website design, user-friendly navigation, secure payment options, efficient product management, and robust customer support. Their team of skilled professionals can guide you through the entire process, from selecting the right ecommerce platform to customizing your website to align with your brand identity and goals.
By leveraging the expertise of Evrig Solutions, you can harness the power of keywords and incorporate them strategically into your ecommerce website, enhancing its visibility in search engine results and attracting a larger audience. With their in-depth knowledge of e-commerce best practices and cutting-edge technologies, Evrig Solutions can help you build a strong online presence and drive your business growth.
So, whether you are launching a new e-commerce venture or seeking to optimize your existing online store, choosing Evrig Solutions as your e-commerce website development company can provide you with the necessary tools and expertise to build a successful and profitable e-commerce website.