Did you know that 25% of US consumers shop online at least once a month? Online shopping has grown exceptionally and has become especially profitable for small businesses. However, how do you start an online business?
Don’t worry, with this guide you find out! From finding a web store creator to promoting your site, launching a web store certainly takes time. Although, if your patient you’ll be selling out your product line in no time!
Now, are you ready to get to work? Here’s how to create your own web store today:
1. Find an Online Web Store Creator
One of the largest mistakes business owners make is not selecting the right web store creator for their business. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
Shopify, for example, is hosted by an eCommerce solution that’s priced at only $29 per month. It’s quite easy to customize and manage due to its hassle-free solution.
In fact, you can gain insight into your customers, provide account creation on your site, and even create a blog! However, its subscriptions can be costly as there are limited payment options unless, of course, you pay additional fees.
Another site you might want to take a look at is Wordpress. Since you can add Woocomerce to the site, it allows you to have the flexibility other sites might not provide. As such, it supplies you with more control over your website.
You can customize your shop to your heart’s content as well as add products, a blog, and even tailor-make customer-settings. Although, if your a beginner, having so much control may come as a disadvantage at first. There will be a learning curve in which you’ll have to figure out which plugins are right for you and how you want to manage payment.
Fortunately, there’s another option you can choose: 3dcart. It’s perfect for beginners and advanced users. With its integration of Google AMP, customization editor, and its responsive design, 3dcart is perfect for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Like Shopify, 3dcart provides you with a hassle-free solution; however, its pricing is more affordable. In fact, 3dcart offers ways to migrate from Shopify. That way, you can have a strong platform at an affordable price.
It even has over 200 ways to accept payment! Thus, with 3dcart, you never have to compromise on your vision.
2. Choose a Domain Name
A domain name is your website’s address, and it’s what enables customers to reach your web store on the internet. Since customers will type your domain name into their browser, it’s best to keep your name short and to the point.
Also, it’s essential your domain name is memorable. That way, customers can easily look it up and find your website on the internet. Thus, make it unique. You can do so by choosing a name with no specific meaning.
Some of the top brands in the country like Google and Instagram have no specific definition and yet, are household names due to their catchy titles. You can even create a name that sounds trustworthy, like Bank of America or Gruber.
In other words, your domain name should have a certain ring to it. It should encompass both your brand and your company’s mission. There should be no confusion as to what your company sells. Instead, the name should be fun to say and easy to spell.
You should also think about what TLD you want to use. Most companies prefer .com since it’s known to be safe and secure.
In fact, 50.3% of all websites use .com as their TLD. However, you can use non-traditional TLDs such as .shop, .net, and .co. In response, you might find fewer people will view your store due to the unreliable TLD.
Most platforms make you purchase your domain name every year for a fee. However, with 3dcart, it’s free. You no longer have to worry about extra costs; instead, all you have to do is create.
3. Select a Theme for Your Website
Most web store creators will have a variety of templates you can choose from. Depending on what you sell, you may want your website to look crisp and clean, modern and hip, or edgy and cool. You can pick which template best fits your company’s style and work from there.
However, the best part of templates is that they come with numerous features that will help you manage and operate your business. Features like a content management system, responsive mobile design, and a fully optimized checkout allow you the freedom to design your website instead of worrying about the technical issues behind it.
4. Customize Your Theme
Once you’ve chosen your theme, it’s important that you customize it. This includes changing the appearance of your web store to fit your needs. You can change the font, font color, background color, add logos, and company materials as needed.
When choosing your font, make sure it’s easy to read for all consumers. Open sans is a popular choice among merchants. Since Open Sans is easy on the eyes, it’s perfect for regular use. It even pairs well with another popular font, Playfair Display.
Make sure the colors you add aren’t striking in contrast but instead blend well together to establish your brand. Also, think about what colors represent; for example, yellow is often associated with happiness, relaxation, and even enlightenment. It’s important to think about how consumers will react to certain colors.
For instance, the color red is an intense color that tends to evoke strong emotions. Studies have even shown that red can produce physical effects like increased heart rate.
Since the color red can grab people’s attention, it will make consumers stay longer, and perhaps even buy your products. When you’re having a markdown event, try putting “for sale” in red, and you’ll likely see an increase in purchase orders.
Color should be used throughout your store to highlight your brand’s story and your product pages. Don’t be afraid to play with bold colors to make your store stand out.
In fact, make it uniquely yours by adding branding materials where you see fit. It’s essential that the consumer be able to associate your brand with your company name and logo.
You can even add social media channels to your site to allow customers to keep in touch with your company. Since it increases traffic to your website, it allows you to connect with a broader audience.
5. Add Plugins to Your Website
You can add plugins to your website to expand your site’s services. For example, you add a comment section, review page, as well as integrate different ads into your website. These plugins help to customize your website to make it look professional and provide customers with additional resources.
6. Add Your Products
When adding your products, you’ll first want to add a product title then a detailed description. To write a product description, you should answer these three primary questions, what materials is it made out of, where is it produced, and what are it’s measurements/sizes?
You should also include its main purpose and describe what it’s not intended for. For example, is it for kids ages 4 through 10, teens or adults? Make sure to format in such a way that it’s easy to read. Don’t use long paragraphs if you can instead bullet point your description or include a numbered list.
Next, it’s essential you put your product into a product category or sub-category for organizational purposes. That way, customers don’t have to search for extended periods to find a t-shirt; instead, they can simply look through your categories to find what they need.
7. Set Up Delivery Rates
You can set up flat, calculated, or free shipping rates. However, before you make any decision, you should choose the different regions that receive their own delivery rates. For instance, you might want to set up delivery rates for customers in North America and another set for customers who live in Europe.
To create a flat shipping rate, all you have to do is choose a specific amount that’ll be applied at checkout. You can create a flat rate within a delivery zone, or only for orders whose price or weight is within a specific range. For example, in the delivery zone of North America, you can set a flat rate of $10 and another for $5 if an order exceeds $60.
Depending on your platform, you may be able to calculate your shipping. However, it requires the technical services of a third-party provider. That way, your customers are charged the precise amount that a shipping carrier like FedEx would charge you to buy a shipping label.
Free shipping is one of the most preferred shipping rates by customers. In fact, customers have been known to purchase more products just to receive free shipping.
8. Accept Credit Card Payments
Depending on your platform, you may have five to over 20 ways to accept payment from potential customers. The more options you have, the better.
One popular payment processor is Stripe. It’s advancements make it perfect for handling a variety of payment transactions such as recurring fees, subscriptions, and even handing additional payment types.
Stripe is great to add to your business since it has a check out button you can add to your site. You don’t even have to understand web development to use this plugin. Instead, it’s easy to use and hassle-free.
Like many other payment processors, it has built-in fraud protection to help secure transactions. Alternative payment solutions include Square and Paypal. They’re useful in providing customers with a variety of payment options. However, they tend not to immerse the customer in the checkout experience.
To improve the checkout page, make sure to provide customers with a guest check out. Not only will it make your business look more professional, but it can give customers wanted benefits. For example, customers can receive exclusive access to the company’s promotions, complimentary brand trials, and free-returns.
9. Launch Your Store
Once you’ve customized each component to your liking, it’s time to launch your store. Although since your audience won’t know, you’ll have to promote it.
You can do so by creating advertisements on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. While they do cost a pretty penny depending on the plan you choose; however, it’s well worth it. Since you can select the audience you want to market to, your sales will increase dramatically.
However, you don’t have to rely solely on advertisements to attract customers; instead, you can promote your store too. In fact, by having up to date social media channels that are informative, interactive, and engage with customers, you can encourage customers to visit your website.
You can also send emails to friends and family that you think might be interested and let them know that your web store is open for business. Just remember whether communicating with a friend, client, or customer, always be patient, understanding, and friendly.
Promoting your web store doesn’t stop when an email is sent or after a tweet. Rather, it’s best that you always promote a positive vibe, so customers know that your store is a happy and helpful place to shop.
Are You Ready to Create Your Own Web Store Today?
Creating a web store has many moving parts; however, if you have a good web store creator like 3dcart, you’ll be in good hands. You’ll be able to receive a domain name, set a theme that represents your company, and even have a variety of payment options.
Creating a web store isn’t all about the technical aspects; in fact, some of the most important details come from how you customized pre-designed templates. Make a web-store truly yours by adding branding materials, font colors, and background photos to elevate your website and establish your brand’s message. So, what are you waiting for create your own web store today!