Are you planning to set-up an e-commerce website and sell your products online? If yes, then you are definitely on the right track because e-commerce businesses are still booming and are not expected to slow down anytime in the near future.
Especially when the time & cost to build an e-commerce website has become significantly lower as compared to the last few years, it does make sense for you to create your own mark in this ever-growing industry.
Here are some of the major reasons for you to consider developing an e-commerce website:
- The convenience of buying online: Shoppers these days prefer to buy their desired stuff online because they can make their purchases anytime, from anywhere.
- Affordable: The cost to set-up an e-commerce store is relatively lower as compared to setting up a retail store.
- Coverage: With an e-commerce store, you can sell your products in even those regions or countries where you don’t have any physical presence.
- Automation: Your e-commerce website can help you to automate your business processes such as sales & order reporting, inventory management, customer database management, etc. In other words, you can do more in less time.
But before you invest your time and money in building your online store, you must follow a few logical steps to ensure that you have a profitable business.
In this blog post, we have shared 7 steps for you to follow for setting up & running your e-commerce website in as little as 3 weeks.
#1 Find your niche
The first step to building an e-commerce store is to find your niche.
You need to think about the products that people want to buy online (demand). Also, you have to consider how you can procure or manufacture your products so that you always have sufficient inventory to sell them online (supply).
Other than the demand & supply, you should also consider the profitability of your products.
You definitely won’t want to put your time and money into selling something that’s not in demand or you can’t get sufficient margin to cover up your expenses and save some money as well.
Most webmasters make the mistake of not doing proper research on their product niche and as a result, they regret starting their e-commerce business in the first place.
It shouldn’t take more than 2 days for you to decide on a product niche.
#2 Products procurement
What are your arrangements to procure the products that you decided to sell?
Are you planning to have your own manufacturing or you will be purchasing the products from wholesalers and selling them on your own e-commerce store with some marginal profit?
Whichever the case, you must decide upon the product procurement process for your business.
BTW, other than the manufacturing and trading options, there is another way to sell the products on your website. Dropshipping!
In dropshipping, the sellers can accept the orders from their customers even without having any stock because these orders’ delivery will be fulfilled by the actual owners of those products.
What exactly do you have to do in dropshipping?
You can simply find the desired products on e-commerce marketplaces such as eBay & AliExpress and upload them to your own e-commerce website. When any product is sold in your store, you just need to place your order with the respective sellers on AliExpress or eBay and use your customer’s address as the shipping address for those orders.
In other words, you sell the products of different third-party sellers who then ship the order to your customer.
Here’s a tip for you.
If you don’t want to take any risk but still want to build & launch your website as soon as possible, you can decide to go for a dropshipping business model.
By working on a dropshipping model, you don’t need to invest any money on the product’s inventory because you are selling other merchants’ products but at the same time, you will get to know which product(s) has a high demand.
If you think you can arrange those products by manufacturing them yourself or procuring them from some other wholesaler, you can do that. Once you have your own arrangements of products procurement, you can stop working on the dropshipping model and start making more profit for yourself.
#3 Consider development platform
Choosing a web development platform is a crucial step toward building an e-commerce store. Most webmasters and web developers these days prefer to choose CMS (content management system) over other frameworks.
When it comes to choosing an efficient CMS, WordPress is perhaps the number one. Even if you ask your website builder about the best CMS available, he may also suggest to you WordPress only.
Now here is the key. When you are short of time and need to build & launch your e-commerce website in less than 3 weeks, WordPress is here for your rescue.
WordPress CMS enables you or your website builder to set up a fully functional online store in just a few hours. Of course, the customizations may take a few more days to make the website that suits your business needs.
Why WordPress CMS is good for your e-commerce website development?
- WordPress is free to use & customize.
- WordPress is easy-to-manage for layman webmasters too. You don’t need any coding knowledge to manage your website with WordPress.
- WordPress developers are affordable because of the ample options to choose from.
- WordPress has an e-commerce plugins ‘WooCommerce’ through which you can set up your online store cost-effectively & quickly.
- WordPress websites are loved by search engines.
- Most of the WordPress plugins are available either free of cost or at a nominal cost.
- WordPress websites are easy to redesign.
#4 Hire a web developer
Once you have settled on any specific web development platform or CMS, then you need to hire a web developer. Ideally, your website builder can also help you to choose an efficient CMS, but it would be good for you if you do your homework beforehand.
Hiring a web developer can sometimes become challenging. Firstly, there is no standard pricing for web developers and secondly, you need to make sure that you hire only experienced developers so that you don’t end up losing your money.
If you want to save your website development cost, you can also consider hiring Indian website builders who can help you to create your online store efficiently & cost-effectively.
Why you must hire Indian web developers?
Well, here are some of the reasons for you to hire web developers in India.
- Most Indian web developers are experienced.
- You get an affordable quote.
- The website builders in India are also known for their excellent support & quality.
Recommended post: 9 Questions to ask before you hire a website developer in India
#5 Test, test, test
Testing is an integral part of your e-commerce website development. Although the testing process won’t take much of your time but it’s really important to build a reputation by providing your users with a seamless experience.
Below are some of the quick tests that you could conduct in less than 2 days:
- E-commerce features such as checkout, add to cart, etc.
- Mobile device compatibility
- Cross-browsers compatibility
- Ensuring that all the SEO tags are in place
After you test your website on the above-mentioned parameters, you could then prepare feedback for your website developer to fix those issues.
Do make sure that your feedback is detailed and self-explanatory. We can’t emphasize much the importance of providing feedback in an efficient manner.
Below are 5 important ways to provide feedback to your e-commerce developer:
- Be clear & concise
- Provide references or examples
- Provide screenshots if possible
- Maintain a feedback log
- Don’t check until your website developer confirms
Recommended post: 5 Ways to provide effective feedback to your website developer in India
#7 Launch & sell
Finally, you are ready to launch your e-commerce store and start selling your products online.
Here are some post-launch tips for you that you can consider for your e-commerce website:
- Ask your developer to install a backup plugin to ensure that you always have a fully-functional backup of your website.
- Set up a sitemap XML file for better search engine indexing of your webpages.
- Create social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and start spreading words about your new store.
- Create more content for your website in the form of blogs or articles to get higher chances of ranking on search engines and get more traffic to your website.
- Configure Google Analytics to track the behavior of your online shoppers. It will help you to enhance your website accordingly.