Experts predict that 80% of internet users are going to make at least one purchase online in 2019.
As a business in today’s competitive market, you need to be selling online in order to reach different consumers and compete with your competition.
If you’re just getting started in the world of online retail, then it’s important to learn how to set up an ecommerce store in an efficient way to optimize your conversions and increase sales.
Follow our guide below to get started selling online today.
What Is Ecommerce?
Setting up an ecommerce website is about more than just signing up for an ecommerce platform and uploading a few product images.
First, you’ll need to understand what ecommerce actually is from a business standpoint.
The technical definition of ecommerce is any kind of commercial transaction that you perform online. However, in business terms, it’s the $2.8 trillion industry that is transforming retail.
Selling online allows you to do things like:
- Create target audiences and develop marketing to attract them to your website
- Reach a wider audience outside of your geographical area
- Increase your revenue by reducing your operating costs
- Increase your product offerings through unique partnerships and tools like dropshipping
While these are just a few of the benefits that ecommerce provides businesses, it also makes life easier for consumers as well.
With the ability to shop and price compare across various different stores in a matter of minutes, it’s no wonder why shoppers are beginning to prefer ecommerce purchases over in-store ones.
And, there are numerous different ways to engage in ecommerce practices regardless of your business type. You can be a B2B, B2C, or even a C2C business and still turn a profit by selling strategically online.
Does this sound like an interesting way to increase your company’s revenue and infiltrate new markets? It is!
However, as mentioned, there are a few things you’ll need to learn before setting up an ecommerce website.
How to Set up an Ecommerce Store
Ready to learn how to set up an ecommerce store? Great!
We’re going to assume that you’re completely new to this game and are looking to create an entirely new business out of your ecommerce store.
If that’s the case, then it’s okay! We’ve got you covered.
Your first step is going to be to decide what you’re going to sell online.
What Are You Going to Sell?
When it comes to setting up an ecommerce store, it’s all about the products that you’re selling. You can invest all of the money in the world in cool website design and stellar marketing, but if you’re not selling great products, then it won’t really matter.
So, you’re going to need to take one of two approaches to figure out what to sell.
You can either invent something totally new and sell that. Or, you can take something that’s already really popular, make it better, and sell it in a different way.
There’s really no “right” answer here, as it all depends on what you’re most passionate about and the kind of marketing you think you can do to target the specific audience that enjoys that product.
Taking something that’s already popular in a particular market and selling it on your ecommerce store definitely reduces some of the risks involved. You know it’s marketable and you know that people like it. This is half of the battle!
However, we can say that you should sell in a niche market. Avoid setting up an ecommerce store in a market that’s oversaturated and a bit worn-out.
Instead, try to get as specific as possible. One example is to sell unicorn-themed school supplies. Or, sell dog unique pet products.
To figure out whether or not the product is marketable, head online and do a few Google searches for the product.
If you need to, search on Amazon and see if there are high demand and supply for the product(s) you’re looking to sell.
This will help with the next step, which is figuring out how to source your products.
How to Source Products
Sourcing products is one of the most important aspects of creating an ecommerce store. It refers to, basically, where you’re going to get the products that you’ll then later sell online.
Lucky for you, because you’re selling online, you’re also able to easily source your products online.
Most ecommerce store owners find it easiest and cheapest to source their products from a site called Alibaba.
Simply head to their website and search for the product you’re looking to sell. Once you enter the right keywords, the search engine will show you the results for providers.
You’ll need to contact those providers in order to get the best quotes and to make sure they have exactly what you’re looking for.
Before contacting the suppliers, it helps to have numbers in mind. How many of each product are you thinking of buying, what are the dimensions, and what kind of turnaround time do you need?
Always ask if they’re able to send you sample products before you decide to purchase in bulk. This is a great way to not only ensure the quality of the product for you but to ensure it’s high-quality enough for your customers.
Set Up the Store
Now that you’ve got your products ready to go, you need to learn how to set up an ecommerce store from the backend side of things.
You can create your own website, add product pages, and even sign up for an online payment processor. But, it’s easiest to partner with a trusted ecommerce platform that’s going to help the entire process a lot easier.
To set up a store on Shopify, you’ll need to start by creating an account.
By signing up, you automatically get access to a 14-day free trial, which is great when you’re starting out learning how to set up an ecommerce store.
Once you have your account, you’ll want to browse through all of the Shopify themes. It helps to choose one that’s specifically for the industry you’re selling in as they’re optimized for that kind of business and product.
If you find it hard to create a store in Shopify, then you can pay for a more premium plan to access more support. However, there are a lot of answers in their knowledge base that make it easy to solve issues you have!
Now, you’ll simply need to tweak the design and write your product copy.
Do some keyword research to find out what the top keywords are in your industry and for your products. Then, use those in all of your website’s content!
And, it’s also important to pay attention to the quality of your product images. Make sure that you’re using high-quality and attractive images that make people want to purchase whatever you’re selling.
Also, make sure you’re never using copyrighted images or content in general.
Drive Traffic to the Store
So, you’ve got your store all set up and you’re ready to sell. Congrats! Now it’s time to learn how to drive traffic to your store.
There are a few ways you can do this, but in general content marketing terms, there are three main ways for eCommerce:
- Social Media
SEO refers to search engine optimization and it’s what’s going to help you get unpaid, organic traffic to your ecommerce store.
To drive traffic to your store through SEO, you’ll need to optimize your website copy with competitive keywords and use them strategically all over your website.
A few other ways to enhance your site’s SEO include:
- Optimizing your content for voice search
- Building authority in your industry by publishing quality blogs
- Consistently publish authentic, keyword-optimized blogs that provide quality information to your visitors
- Organizing your website’s structure to fit SEO standards
- Engaging in backlinking techniques
SEO is a great way to build traffic over time as part of creating a solid brand that people can trust. The same goes with social media, which is a part of SEO.
Social media marketing really hinges around building a brand identity, however. You’ll want to establish a voice for your brand and stay consistent across all social media channels.
The goal is to build trust with customers and interact with them where they’re at.
If you need to gain traffic fast, then definitely develop a PPC marketing strategy. PPC refers to pay-per-click marketing, and it’s not organic like SEO.
Paid ads are extremely profitable, however, and they allow you to reach highly targeted audiences in ways that other marketing strategies don’t.
Need Help with Ecommerce Marketing?
Learning how to set up an ecommerce store isn’t that hard once you figure out what you’re going to sell.
The hardest part lies in bringing traffic to your store on a consistent basis. This takes time, patience, and a lot of dedication in building a brand, not just a mere store.
If you’re having a hard time with this part of ecommerce sales, then get in touch with us.
We’ll perform a free SEO audit of your site in order to see what you’re doing right while also helping you identify where you can improve.