Have you considered buying an eCommerce website in the past but decided against it because you weren’t sure how to make it successful? The thought crosses many people’s minds but they feel as though they aren’t tech-savvy enough or don’t have the capital to do so.
Luckily, building one of these sites isn’t as complicated as you’d think. We’re going to teach you how to build your first eCommerce website and make it successful enough to ultimately sell your site through an internet business broker!
>> BUY FROM AMAZON: How to Sell More Online: 40 Tips for the Small Online Entrepreneur
Keep reading for more information!
Choose Your Product and Domain Name
You can find almost anything you want online – whether that item is clothes, computers, cameras, or vintage books. Although it may seem like there is a ton of competition in every area, there is always someone who is looking for exactly what you’re offering and at the price you’re asking.
The key to getting people to your site is by choosing a great domain name. Your domain name should relate to your product and not be overly complicated; you can also use your business name if it is available.
Choosing a product and a domain name go hand in hand because one should reflect the other in order to make your website’s purpose clear to potential buyers.
Modeling Your Business
You’ve probably heard about dropshipping but may not be familiar with the term. Basically, this type of business model allows you to have items listed on your site but be shipped directly from the manufacturer or main distributor.
You can also choose to keep inventory on hand and ship items yourself when orders come through.
Another choice you will need to make is whether you want to sell only through your website or if you’d prefer to sell through a larger website like Amazon or eBay. If you choose to do so, you can opt for both avenues of approach, however, for your first eCommerce site, you should probably choose one method or the other.
Designing Your Site
If you happened to go to a website to purchase an item but it was convoluted and confusing, you’d probably navigate away and attempt to find another business. This is generally the mentality of most consumers; they want an easy, user-friendly buying experience.
Ideally, when you are designing your eCommerce site, you will keep the end-user in mind and make the buying process as intuitive as possible. In addition, you will need a way for customers to contact support.
Many websites choose to have a “contact us” button that will only allow you to send an email to their support center. For a user that is trying to buy a product or has questions about it, the inability to contact you in real-time could mean losing that sale.
One of the ways to avoid this is by offering a live chat option. Live chats allow a customer to contact a representative and solve their problems much faster than waiting on an email response or finding a contact number that only sends them to a call center.
There are several live chat statistics that prove that having this option for your customer support is the best option for the price. Of course, your website can offer a range of ways to contact your company but allowing users to solve their problems quickly will help keep your customers coming back.
In order to collect money, you will need a way for customers to pay you. When you own a local store, you can choose to accept cash or checks; eCommerce sites primarily accept either credit or debit cards.
This means that you must have a payment gateway to process each customer’s order. The key here is going to be to find the gateway with the lowest cost. Depending on what types of products you’re selling and the average cost of your transactions, you may be able to get better rates.
Of course, PayPal is probably the one most people are familiar with but it is worth researching other payment gateways to ensure you keep the majority of your money. You may also choose to accept payments via apps like Venmo or CashApp.
How to Ship
Shipping costs can become exorbitantly high and eat into your profits. You can avoid this by building the cost of shipping into your products or by charging a flat-rate fee. You can also partner with various sites and have your customers choose the shipping they’d prefer to pay for.
There are many shipping companies that offer rates depending on the package’s size, weight, and how quickly it needs to be there. Most customers expect to pay for shipping as long as the cost isn’t far higher than your competitors so it will ultimately be your choice as to which shipping company or companies you use.
You may also offer free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount, codes for free shipping, or a VIP buying experience that allows ‘members’ to receive free shipping. A perfect example of free shipping for members is Amazon Prime. Customers pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee and receive free shipping on qualifying items. This keeps money in your pocket and allows the customer to feel like they are receiving a great value.
Obtain an SSL Certificate
In order to build trust among your customers, you need to obtain an SSL certificate. While this isn’t mandatory, it will help customers to feel secure when they enter their payment and personal information.
This certificate won’t necessarily affect your website but it can improve your search engine rankings, improve your sales conversion rates, and help show people your site is legitimate.
Go Forth and Prosper
Building your first eCommerce website will likely take a bit of trial and error. However, if you follow these tips, you should be able to avoid a lot of confusion and get your website up and running quickly.
Once your website is assembled and you are ready to start selling, customers will slowly start trickling in. To increase the speed at which customers start visiting your site and purchasing, check out these marketing ideas!
- How To Get The Perfect Domain For Your Site – Even If It’s Taken
- How Do You Know if Your Product Will Sell Online?
- How to Make Money with Expired Domains
- How to Calculate Shipping Costs in eCommerce
- How to Turn a Hobby Web Site into a Business