How to Set up an Online Store Step by Step

How to Set up an Online Store

For anyone that has never set up an online store it can be very confusing. There are many choices available so it is difficult to select what is best for your online business. Before creating a store you must first look at your business goals such as how much money you wish to make each month, types of products you wish to sell, a marketing plan and how you will accept payments.

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How to Create Your Ecommerce Website

Ecommerce Website

So you want to sell something online but don’t know where to start. It’s easy to become frustrated with all the options available online as their are many companies that offer all-in-one packages who are willing to take your money. This article will show you what you need and how to create, promote and monitor your ecommerce website.

7 steps to create your own ecommerce website

1. Define the purpose of your website.

It’s easy to say “I want to make money” however try to think a little deeper about what you want the money for e.g. “I want to make enough money to quit my job, work from home and spend more time with my family”. A clear purpose provides a deeper motivation that keeps you going especially during difficult times.

2. Define your business goals

Make goals for how much money you wish to make with your website and how long it will take to achieve them e.g. “I wish to make $3000.00 a month within one year.” Realize that most businesses fail within the first year and many fail within 5 years so you need be determined to be successful.

3. Decide what products or service(s) you wish to sell

Select a product (or products) or service that is in demand. Have you heard the saying “don’t sell iceboxes to Eskimos.” Research your market first to determine whether your product or service will be profitable.

4. Ecommerce website design checklist

Here is what you need to build your ecommerce site:

  • domain name
  • software to design and build the site
  • web designer (if you’re not building it yourself)
  • web hosting service
  • list of products to sell
  • product variables e.g. size, color, price, sku#, tax, shipping costs
  • legal documents e.g. refund policy, terms and conditions, privacy policy
  • images of products
  • content for web pages
  • merchant account
  • payment gateway
  • SSL certificate
  • shopping cart software

5. Build your website

If you wish to create a customized website scan through websites online to see which ones appeal to you, then ask your web designer to create your site based on your choices. Alternatively select a ready-made template that you can use “as is” or be customized to your liking. A template will cost less however a customized website will have your own unique design and help brand your business.

If you’re selling 100s of products make sure you have the ability to maintain it e.g. add, edit, delete products and pages. This will save you from constantly paying your web designer to maintain it.

6. Create a marketing plan

Your website won’t become profitable if it’s not promoted. There are 1000s of different was to promote it however here are 10 very effective marketing strategies:

  • search engine optimization
  • link building
  • pay per click marketing
  • social marketing
  • article marketing
  • directory marketing
  • video marketing
  • press releases
  • email marketing
  • blogging

7. Track website visitors

Your web host usually includes site statistics that show how many visitors your website is receiving every day, week, month and year. It also displays where they are coming from (countries, browsers, website addresses) and what keywords they’re using to find your site in the search engines. Based on these statistics you set goals how much traffic you want to generate each month. The more traffic you receive the greater your profit potential becomes.

Related articles
How to Build an Ecommerce Web Site Using the PayPal Shopping Cart
Create Online Store – How to Quickly and Easily Create an E-commerce Store

To receive a free consultation on creating your own ecommerce website
please visit: Professional Website Design

Herman Drost is the owner and author of
Web Design, SEO, Article Marketing
7 Effective Ways to Build Your Own Web Site

How to Plan a Website – 7 Frequently Asked Questions

The success of your website depends a lot on how much planning you do beforehand. It can be compared to having a road map to reach your destination. If the map is unclear you may not reach your destination or it may take a long time to get there.

plan a web site

Frequently asked questions to plan a website

1. What is your site’s purpose?

You may say you just want to make money however think a little deeper. What will you use the money for e.g. buy a house, spend more time with your family, overseas travel, etc? Once you’ve defined your purpose you need to select a niche you feel passionate about. The more passionate you feel about the subject matter of your site the easier it will be to add content and maintain it.

2. What is your niche?

Create a list of topics you’re interested in. Keep going until you’ve exhausted all the topics then prioritize them. Give priority to the ones you are most passionate about.

3. What and how many keywords are being searched?

Use the free wordtracker tool or the google keyword tool to create a list of keywords people are using to find your topic on the search engines. This list will help you develop content that can be added to your web site. A site containing lots of content has a better chance of doing well in the search engines.

The number of searches each keyword has will help determine the profitability of your future website. Look for keywords that contain many searches but don’t have many competing websites.

4. What type of website do you want or need?

Will it be an informational or e-commerce website? An informational one will consist of pages of information but won’t be selling anything whereas an e-commerce one will be selling products. An ecommerce site will need a merchant account, payment gateway, shopping cart and an SSL certificate plus you’ll need to calculate the tax and delivery fees of all your products.

5. What software will you use?

If your site has 10-20 pages you can use html software to build the web pages. Google ‘free html software” if you don’t want to purchase software. Dreamweaver is the software of choice for professional web designers. You can view the web site as you build it, creates clean code and manage the web site within Dreamweaver.

If your website contains 100s of pages that need constant updating consider using a content management system (CMS) such as Joomla, WordPress or Drupal.

6. How to select a good web designer?

If you’re not a do-it-yourself person, don’t have time or prefer a professional to design your website search for a web designer in your local area. This gives you the freedom to meet and discuss your ideas. Look at the designers portfolio and read the testimonials from satisfied customers before making your selection. Call or email them to check the response times, how friendly and knowledgeable they are. Ask for a preliminary proposal and quote before making your final decision.

7. Do you have a marketing plan?

Even if you have a beautifully designed website it won’t be successful without creating a marketing plan to attract visitors to it. There are 100s of ways to market a website however some of the best methods include, search engine optimization, article marketing, pay per click advertising, social media marketing, video marketing or a combination of these. Learn one of these methods thoroughly before learning other strategies. Don’t rely on one method of marketing in case one strategy becomes ineffective. If you promote your website constantly and consistently you’ll build a steady stream of traffic that will generate sales.

Related articles
How to Choose a Web Site Designer
How to Create Your Web Site Marketing Plan
Website Structure – What is Best?
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