Planning to sell products via your online store but aren't sure how to create an ecommerce website? This step-by-step guide will walk you through every step of the ecommerce website design process.
Creating a successful online store can be a daunting task.
You need to develop a goal-crushing ecommerce marketing strategy, choose the right name and web hosting, pick a suitable ecommerce platform or website builder, and finally, promote your store.
But that’s not all.
You also need some technical knowledge to execute the whole process.
Read on to learn more.
Why Should You Create an Ecommerce Website?
Ecommerce is growing at lightning speed. This means that starting an internet business can help you connect with your target customers, provide convenient shopping options to them, and increase your total retail sales.
The statistics are clear:
By 2025, 24.5% of all the total global retail sales will be done via ecommerce.
Image via Insider Intelligence
And guess what? Over 2.14 billion people around the world are already shopping online.
Image via Oberlo
Thus, there is no better time to start selling online than NOW. Luckily, establishing a successful digital business is now easier thanks to the plenty of ecommerce hosting solutions, free business tools, and ecommerce website builders that help you create a professional website without any coding skills.
Ready to learn how to set up a digital store that generates more sales?
Let’s dive in.
How to Create An Ecommerce Website from Scratch
Follow these seven simple steps to create an online store that can impress your customers and start making money online.
1. Get a Domain Name and Web Hosting
The first step in building an ecommerce site is to purchase a domain name from a reputable provider.
If you’ve already purchased one, you can transfer it to your online store builder or web hosting platform.
If you don’t have one, do a little research to find a suitable name for your online store. Namecheap, Dreamhost, GoDaddy, Bluehost, and Google Domains are some of the best domain registrars that you can use.
Image via GoDaddy
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while selecting your domain name:
- Make it easy to remember and pronounce
- Avoid generic names
- It should include the name of your business
- Keep it short and sweet
Remember to pick a reliable hosting service provider that can offer a server to host your ecommerce website.
Keep in mind that your web hosting provider can impact website performance, so make sure you choose a host that offers good uptime and speed.
If you plan to use an ecommerce website builder like Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace, you won’t have to worry about choosing web hosting as they’ll provide it to you. But if you choose a platform like WooCommerce, you’ll have to get WordPress hosting.
2. Choose an Ecommerce Platform or a Website Builder
With the right ecommerce website builder or platform, you can create a fully functional online store without touching a single line of code. A site builder can help you develop an amazing website design, process payments, improve customers’ shopping experience, etc.
When choosing a platform or software to build your ecommerce website, you should consider its features, usability, and cost.
Most importantly, you should choose one that suits your business model and can help you scale.
The best thing about the most popular ecommerce website builders like Wix, Shopify, and others is that they come loaded with all the essential features you need to get your ecommerce website up and running.
Besides, they all have step-by-step tutorials to help you create a beautiful ecommerce store fast. Plus, they come with fully-customizable pre-made templates that you can tweak and create your website quickly.
3. Create the Website Structure and Main Pages
The next important thing to keep in mind while creating your ecommerce website is to develop a structure for it. Typically, you’d have hundreds of products listed on your website, so it’s important to categorize them well so that visitors can find what they’re looking for with ease.
You can create various categories and subcategories for your products or services to arrange them in a hierarchy.
Take a look at the website below to see how it’s organized its products into different categories.
Image via Bliss
Another good example is Chubbies. The website sells shorts that are segregated into different categories and pages.
Image via Chubbies
All these online stores are designed with user experience in mind.
Once you have designed the wireframe structure of your website, the next step is to create the main pages. Here are some of the pages and elements you should create for your site:
- About Us
- Contact Us
4. Add Your Products to Your Ecommerce Site
Now that all the main pages are ready, you need to populate your website with the products you plan to sell online.
When adding products to their respective listings, ensure you create optimized product descriptions, add beautiful images of the products, and group them into their respective categories.
Image via WordPress
Let’s take a look at the three must-have elements when adding products to your website:
- Product descriptions: Write catchy descriptions packed with keywords to nudge visitors to purchase the products and also to rank better in the SERPs.
- Product images: You need to add high-quality and engaging product photos to attract the attention of customers visiting your website. Use image compression tools to resize your product photos to reduce page load time.
- Product reviews: Product reviews are powerful ecommerce marketing tools that can help deliver social proof. Make sure you add them to your product pages.
5. Set Up Your Payment and Shipping Methods
You can’t run an ecommerce store without a method in place for payments and shipping.
If you’ve decided to use a website builder, integrating payment and shipping methods is as easy as following the instructions provided.
What if that’s not the case?
You need to integrate a reputable ecommerce payment gateway to prevent customers from abandoning their carts.
Make sure you give them multiple payment options so that they can choose their method of choice to complete the transaction. Note that even though credit cards are the most preferred payment method, digital wallets are becoming popular too.
Image via WordPress
As a rule, you should set up a wide selection of payment options such as PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Square, and Authorize.net.
Be sure to choose a payment method that’s easy to integrate with your store, and keep transaction fees in mind. You should also look at customer reviews to know whether you’re integrating a trustworthy payment gateway that’s also PCI-compliant and secure.
Lastly, set up a shipping solution so that customers can track their orders, shipping fees, and other shipping nitty-gritty.
6. Test and Publish Your Ecommerce Store
At this point, your ecommerce store is ready to go live.
But hold your horses.
Before you hit the launch button, ensure every component of your ecommerce website is working as it should.
Test your site to ensure there are no broken links, payment processing is working fine, the site loads well on mobile devices and different browsers, and configure settings for time zone, language, etc.
Once you’re happy with how your website looks, feels, and works, publish it and start selling.
Q1. What is needed to build an ecommerce shop?
A. To build a successful online business, you need to:
- Buy a domain name and hosting
- Choose an ecommerce creation platform
- Create your website structure
- Add products to your website
- Set up your payment gateway and shipping
- Test and publish your website
Q2. Can I create an ecommerce website for free?
A. Yes. It’s possible to build your own ecommerce website for free thanks to the plenty of ecommerce website builders like Square. You can even use WooCommerce but you’ll have to pay for your hosting and domain name.
Q3. Where can I create an ecommerce site?
A. You can create an ecommerce website for selling your products using a website builder service like Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, or WooCommerce.
Q4. What are the three types of ecommerce?
A. The three main types of ecommerce are B2B (business-to-business), B2C (business-to-customer), and C2C (customer-to-customer).
Q5. How much does it cost to design an online store?
A. The cost for creating an ecommerce site can range anywhere from $500 to $30,000, depending on the size of your business. This cost includes web hosting, website builder software, search engine optimization, content creation, etc.
Even though creating a well-designed ecommerce store takes time and resources, when done right, it can be rewarding. Besides, with the right ecommerce tools and guidance, you can have a polished and professional website in no time.
From choosing a domain name to testing your website for any flaws, it’s important to follow the process well to get your ecommerce website right. Finally, remember to keep your audience in mind at all stages, as they’re the ones who’ll be using your website.
Do you still have any questions or concerns? If so, then drop us a message in the comments section.