How to Set Up an Ecommerce Store From Scratch: A Step-by-Step Guide





So you want to build an Ecommerce store from scratch, but don’t quite know where to begin? An online store may sound like a big endeavour, but when you break it down the process isn’t all that complicated. I’m going to guide you through the steps involved and get you up and running in no time.


Choose Your Product(s)


Deciding on your products is an obvious first step. This can include products that you make yourself or ones that you source from other suppliers. Choosing products that you are familiar helps make this process much easier.


Source Your Products


Some Ecommerce stores take advantage of a dropshipping-style approach and don’t make their own products. If this is the case, you will need to source manufacturers in order to find the right one. Properly vetting your suppliers is important, as is getting in touch to chat about what each manufacturer has to offer.





A web host is a platform that allows you to purchase and manage your domain name. Hosting platforms are the online equivalent of a property manager for a brick-and-mortar store. Starting out can be daunting, but there are a lot of guides out there to help you if you get stuck.



Choose A Suitable Hosting Platform



Next up is finding a suitable hosting platform for your Ecommerce store. There are plenty hosts to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Hosting platforms offer varying rates, along with tiers of service, and it’s worth shopping around to work out which one best suits your business.





Register Your Domain Name


After signing up with your chosen hosting platform you’re ready to register your domain name. This is the URL that displays your website’s files, allowing visitors to easily find you. Keep in mind that your address should properly reflect the business it is attached to.




 


Choose Your Ecommerce Platform


Once your domain is registered you will need to choose your ECommerce platform. Potential options include dedicated Ecommerce platforms like Shopify, which offers dedicated support and is fine-tuned for Ecommerce applications. Others, such as WordPress and some hosting platforms, use addons tocustomize your store from the ground up.





Direct Your Site To Your Domain Name


At this point you’re ready to connect your Ecommerce store to your domain name. The way certain platforms handle this can vary and can be a little tricky for beginners. Thankfully, most hosting and Ecommerce platforms provide detailed documentation with step-by-step guides.






Choose Your Payment Platform


Enabling online payments for your products is an absolute must. Your best option here is to choose a dedicated payment platform. When it comes to payment platforms you should pay attention to the fees that will be charged to both your or your customers.

Every payment platform charges their own rates and many offer integration with Ecommerce platforms. Some platforms are more expensive than others, but there are a lot to choose from so finding one that fits isn’t too hard. Even your geographical location can alter fees with some gateways so doing your due diligence makes a big difference.





Marketing


One of the best things about managing your own Ecommerce store is that you can tailor your marketing to a ridiculous degree. Effective SEO and custom ad campaigns, along with tools like AdSense, allow you to reach more people than ever before. To make things even better, the power of social media helps you attract new leads with minimal upkeep.





SEO


There are a lot of different areas that SEO applies to, whether it be on-page or something as easy as registering your website’s SSL certificate with your hosting platform. Keywords are important and it’s worth choosing a set that both fit your brand and rank well. You should also use effective backlinking strategies and run regular audits to really get the most out of your SEO.





Content


Another aspect of SEO that you should take seriously is with regard to your content, such as product names and descriptions. Furthermore, providing relevant content with proper formatting and keyword densities will boost your SEO organically. Things like adding image attributes can be easy to overlook, but they are worth paying attention to.


Social Media


Social media easily drives engagement shares and likes. Posting regular content to your social profiles can attract a lot of positive attention, especially if you boost posts or run campaigns on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Keeping up with your followers, as well as picking up new ones, by posting regularly ensures your Ecommerce store always gets noticed.





Email


Email is another powerful tool that you may not have thought about yet. A mailing list with a regular newsletter keeps your customers up-to-date with everything you have to offer. Hooking subscribers up with bonus perks like discounts also makes them feel appreciated, which is always a good thing.





Analytics


Finally, you can measure the performance and progress of your Ecommerce store by utilizing powerful tools, such as Google Analytics. Some hosts and Ecommerce platforms provide their own tools, but Google’s solution is worth tapping into. These tools give you a complete overview of your entire business at a glance, highlighting areas that are performing well and those that require attention.





Final Thoughts


Following this step-by-step guide will have your Ecommerce business up and running in no time. Every platform is different and some may have additional steps, but I find that touching base with tech support will clear up most issues right away. At this point, some due diligence and the proper mindset is all it takes to maintain a profitable Ecommerce store with minimal hassle and maximum efficiency.

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