Any small business needs an online counterpart. Here are the steps you need to take to make your internet début.
Odds are that you have made an online purchase at some point in the last ten years. Avoiding ecommerce, or electronic commerce, is almost impossible in the digital age. Most consumers use their phones, tablets or computers to check availability, prices and reviews before making a purchase. Why? Because it’s easy and can be done from your car, couch or just about anywhere else.
Online shopping has become a really big deal, so much so that eMarketer estimates that ecommerce will exceed $3.5 trillion in the next 5 years. Yes, trillion! This is great news for anyone who markets online, or for anyone who is about to. If your small- to medium-sized business has yet to emerge online, you need to remedy this quickly. Every moment that passes is revenue that you are missing out on.
Your new ecommerce website can be up and running within minutes. Creating a online retail space for your established brick-and-mortar store or building a website around your great business idea has never been easier. With help from a reliable web host like WestHost you can be ready for business with just a few clicks.
Follow the easy steps below to get started on setting up your online retail store:
Step 1: Register your domain name.
This crucial step will set the wheels in motion for your online retail store. Put on your thinking cap and dream up a name for your business that is memorable and unique. This domain name will represent your brand, so you want to make sure that sends the right message to your potential customers. Once you have decided on a name, simply search for your new domain at WestHost.com. If your domain name is available, follow the steps provided to register your new web address. If your domain is not available, consider the suggested domains that are available. Alternate web addresses, also called gTLDs, can create a fun and unique brand for your new business.
Step 2: Decide on a method to approach your new ecommerce website.
If you have technical experience and are familiar with building websites, you might want to consider building your website from scratch. For the rest of us, there are tools that make building a website for ecommerce much easier than learning how to code overnight. Using a template or a website builder like WestHost’s easy-to-use ecommerce website builder can simplify your task. This drag-and-drop platform offers flexibility for your own creation with no technical experience necessary. If at any point you get stuck, our technical support staff is available to help. In no time at all your ecommerce website will be processing orders and raking in the cash.
Step 3: Learn the basics of content and website SEO.
Images, blogs and written copy all affect the performance of your website. Before making these decisions you must do some homework to learn about your target audience, as well as researching what is working for other ecommerce websites in your industries. This will eventually help your online store’s search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is what search engines use to determine where your website will show up in search engine results pages. Be sure that you utilize all tools available to you like Google Analytics and Website SEO Guru from WestHost. Our SEO Guru can scan and evaluate your website’s SEO for FREE. We will provide you with a list of indicators of where your site is succeeding and where you could take steps to improve your website’s traffic. The higher your SEO the more people reach your website and the more money you make.
Step 4: Choose a payment method.
There is a variety of trusted payment methods available for your ecommerce website. We usually recommence Stripe or PayPal for most online retailers because of their reputations and low fees. Choosing a payment option is an important step because customers will develop trust based on the payment method you use. Check out reviews and other websites that are successful before making your decision.
Once you have followed these steps, all that is left is to add your products and promote your website to all those potential customers out there. Take advantage of social media to promote your website and connect to new customers. Be sure to contact our support staff if you have any questions along the way. Happy selling!