Online stores, also known as e-commerce websites, are not just for big businesses. Everyone, from small businesses to large ones, can benefit from creating an e-commerce website to sell their products or services.
Things to Consider at First
Before you build your e-commerce website, there are a few things you need to consider.
First, you need to determine the type of e-store you would like to open. Will you maintain stock on hand? Are you making or customize items as they sell? How will you ship these products? Will you charge for shipping?
Knowing the type of e-commerce you are looking to get into can help you to determine the scope of your requirements. It can also help you to plan for future growth, as well as flexibility.
Checking out the competition is another thing you should do. After all, if your competition is successful – their website might explain why. A well-designed, easy-to-navigate store increases user satisfaction and makes it more likely to encourage shoppers to look through what you have to offer.
It is important to find a good web hosting service provider for your site as well. In fact, this is one of the biggest decisions you will make when it comes to your e-commerce website. Finding a reputable, secure web hosting service provider not only protects your website from hackers – it helps to keep your customers’ data safe. Nothing spells disaster like a customer base who loses faith in an e-commerce website to keep their personal information safe!
Carefully Review Your Options
There are several options available once you are ready to set up your e-commerce website.
Add a Button
We have all seen the PayPal button featured on all kinds of e-commerce sites. Perhaps the fastest and cheapest way to set up a basic online store, these buttons are free with any PayPal account. To add the button, all you need to do is copy their HTML cost from PayPal and add it to your site. In the free version, buyers will be redirected to the PayPal website to finalize their transaction. If you upgrade to PayPal Pro, however, customers will complete the entire checkout process on your site.
Use a Site
Sites like Etsy.com are another option. In order to sell products on Etsy.com, all you need to do is input some information about yourself, add your items and go. While these types of stores are easy to set up, they are typically very product-oriented and would not be useable if you are selling a service. With Etsy.com there is no monthly fee, however, they will require a percentage of your profits should you successfully sell any items. (Facebook also allows for e-commerce stores to be set up, although it is more expensive than the Etsy.com option.)
Do-It-Yourself Web Builder
For those who like the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach, there are several web builder options worth looking into. For example, Weebly and SquareSpace offer DIY web builder services. One of the great aspects of today’s web builder services is that it requires little to no coding knowledge. With drag-and-drop features, you can create an e-commerce webpage with little effort. For most free web builder services, you can sell between 1 and 5 items. To go beyond that, you likely need to upgrade to a premium service. Web builder services often provide several templates to get you started. These templates can be limited and are provided to all users. They may also limit your ability to customize your e-commerce site.
Content Management System (CMS)
An open source CMS e-commerce store it highly customizable, especially when you use WordPress. These types of e-commerce sites are some of the most customizable, browser and mobile friendly and intuitive websites to date. Thanks to the vast array of plugins, widgets, and other enhancements – WordPress e-commerce sites are a viable option for any type of business.
Sites like Shopify and BigCommerce are platforms that are dedicated solely to online businesses. From basic plans to premiums one, these types of platforms offer features that are designed to specifically enhance your online business performance.
Why WordPress Makes Sense
Statistically, the majority of all websites today are WordPress sites. Why? WordPress sites offer more than almost any other option. Creating a WordPress e-commerce site gives you complete control over your content. From free themes and templates to built-in search engine optimization, WordPress is flexible enough to adjust to changes quickly while remaining scalable for potential future growth. That means your WordPress site can grow as you grow.
BionicWP Is Your Solution
BionicWP offers quality, secure WordPress hosting to all of our clients. With features like daily security scans, fast SSD servers, 90-day off-site backups, uptime monitoring, and WordPress support – we keep your e-commerce site safe.
If you want to start a new e-commerce site today, contact BionicWP for quality hosting and support services.