According to Statista, U.S. e-commerce revenue reached $768 billion in the past year and is projected to reach $1.3 trillion over the next three years. For retailers, having an e-commerce website can provide an opportunity to tap into this growing market.
However, many expenses exist, from hosting fees to payment gateway charges when creating an online store. Therefore, we have created a step-by-step guide on creating an e-commerce website in just seven steps. So let’s start.
Why Should Businesses Set up an eCommerce Store?
Before beginning the process of building an e-commerce website, it is vital to clearly understand your business needs and reasons for wanting to sell online.
1. Online Shopping is Becoming More Popular
Online shopping offers convenience and safety, and the recent pandemic significantly increased e-commerce sales by up to 40% in 2020. The widespread use of smartphones also allows for easy and constant access to e-commerce, making it likely that online purchasing will continue to grow in the future.
2. E-commerce Storefronts Are Cheaper
Compared to a physical storefront, establishing an e-commerce business incurs significantly lower costs. This is partly due to the absence of fixed expenses associated with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, such as rent, utilities, employee salaries, and maintenance.
3. An e-commerce Website can Augment Offline Sales.
Online and offline stores do not have to be mutually exclusive. They can complement each other well by promoting your physical store on your e-commerce website and incorporating app kiosks in your physical store. For example, Amazon has had great success with its online e-commerce website and is now opening physical stores.
4. Tailored Customer Experience
Personalizing customer experiences and services are much more accessible online. Different media such as video, audio, stories, customer reviews, and personalized messaging can create a memorable experience that customers will appreciate and share with others.
If you are tight on budget and want your eCommerce website to stand ahead of the competition then you can collaborate with us, we build a budget-friendly eCommerce website development without compromising its quality and uniqueness.
How to Create an eCommerce Website?
1. Choose Your Content Management System(CMS)
There are several options to choose from when it comes to building an e-commerce website, and one of the most fundamental is selecting a content management system (CMS). Some popular open-source ecommerce development platforms include WordPress, while beginner-friendly all-in-one website builders such as Shopify or Squarespace are also widely used. The choice of CMS will depend on your budget, experience level, and specific requirements for your online store.
Here are some of the most widely used CMS for e-commerce websites:
- WordPress: A widely-used and highly customizable CMS.
- Shopify: Ideal for those looking to establish a dropshipping business.
- Squarespace: A user-friendly website builder suitable for those with little or no web design experience.
- Square: Suitable for retailers who want to sell both in-person and online.
- Wix: An all-in-one website builder that is both easy to use and highly customizable.
To determine the best CMS for your e-commerce needs, consider researching and comparing different e-commerce platforms.
2. Create an account/or get web hosting
Once you have chosen the CMS you want to use for building your e-commerce website, the next step is to create an account with the selected platform. In the case of WordPress, you will have first to get a web hosting plan, which generally comes with a free domain name, SSL certificate, and one-click WordPress installation, making it easier to connect your domain and hosting.
If you choose website builders like Shopify, Squarespace, Square Online, or Wix, navigate to their website, and sign up for an account. Some CMS platforms also allow you to register your domain name through the CMS, eliminating the need for manual domain configuration.
If your chosen CMS does not provide an option to register a domain name, you can do so through a domain name registrar.
3. Select an eCommerce theme or template
One of the crucial things to consider when building an e-commerce website is choosing an appropriate theme. Themes are pre-designed templates that provide your website with a consistent look and feel. Subscription platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Wix, and others have many templates.
It’s worth noting that most platforms offer both free and paid (or premium) templates. For instance, WordPress and Shopify provide premium themes that range in price from $30 to $200. These premium themes benefit businesses that want a specific look for their website as they often offer more unique designs and can save time spent on customizing a chosen theme.
4. Customize Your Site and Build Out Web Pages
Once you have selected a suitable theme or template for your online store, the next step is to customize it. This is where you will update your website’s header and footer, configure the navigation, and create pages ranging from the homepage to your refund and return policy page. This process will help to create a unique and personalized look for your website that aligns with your brand and business.
5. Create Product listings
There always needs to be more product listings in an online store. The next stage is to construct your product catalogue, complete with all your product listings after you have built your website. During this process, classify and organize your listings so that you can manage them efficiently and future site visitors can discover them.
6. Set up a Payment Gateway, Inventory Management System, and Tax Software
After populating your e-commerce website, attending to critical aspects such as setting up a payment processor, adding inventory, and implementing tax tools is essential.
To ensure a secure and easy payment process for online shoppers, many retailers use third-party payment gateways providers like Stripe or PayPal. When redirecting customers to other websites, it’s essential to ensure that all data is fully encrypted before being transferred to protect sensitive information.
Consider these factors when selecting payment integrations:
- Is it easy to integrate the tool with your platform?
- How secure is the tool?
- Does the tool comply with PCI standards?
- How much do you and the customer have to pay in fees?
7. Shipment Integration
Integrating shipping with your e-commerce website can provide a smooth experience for customers and simplify your operations. Before merging, determine your shipping policies, such as offering free shipping or charging a flat rate or variable fee. Additionally, establish clear refund and return policies to manage customer expectations. To streamline the checkout process, consider adding a tax calculator that automatically calculates customer sales tax, shipping, and other fees.
8. Test and Launch Your E-Commerce Site
Before launching your e-commerce site to customers, it is essential to thoroughly test the area to ensure that every button and link is functioning properly. Run tests to check the cart and payment processing functionality and verify that all emails are sent to the correct inboxes after purchase or decline. Additionally, check the site’s appearance and performance on mobile devices and web browsers. Once thoroughly tested and double-checked, all site elements, including product descriptions and category pages, you can announce the launch through social media, guest posts on relevant blogs, influencer marketing, and email lists. Consider paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google if the budget allows it.
What is the Cost of Building an eCommerce Website?
The cost of designing and developing an e-commerce website varies widely, ranging from $10,000 to $250,000. Factors that determine the price include the complexity of the project, the e-commerce platform selected (such as Shopify, WordPress, or Magento), the specific features required, and the type of company chosen for the project (such as a US-based company, an overseas company, an in-house team or outsourcing the work).
Building an eCommerce website can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and resources, it can be a relatively straightforward process. From choosing a platform and designing a visually appealing layout to implementing payment and shipping options, there are many steps involved in creating a successful online store. However, with a clear plan and a bit of hard work, anyone can build an eCommerce website that stands out from the competition.
If you are looking for a reliable IT solution company to help you build your eCommerce website, look no further than Scrum Digital. Our team of experienced professionals specializes in eCommerce development and can help you create a website that meets your unique business needs. Contact us today to learn more and get started on your eCommerce journey!