Setting up your online store for the first time can seem daunting. You don’t want to overstep on scope, but you also want to provide an exceptional shopping experience with the standards that customers can expect. These standards include establishing a return policy, setting up a customer support structure, reducing page loading times, and more. In this blog, we will outline the requirements you will need to complete your online store.
To start, you will need a website. And every website needs a domain. In our recent blog, we discussed Picking a Great Domain Name. A domain is like a street address on the internet. It’s how your customers find and interact with your brand online.
If a domain is like an address, web hosting is like the road or infrastructure that allows people to get to your address 24/7/365. At 3C Web Hosting you get a FREE DOMAIN, a starter website, FREE email, and FREE SSL for your online store for just $15 per year.
Online Shopping Capabilities
You will also need web software that will manage your storefront, your products, and sales. Here you have many options and each will come with a variety of fees. Some hidden and some openly declared. Choose wisely based on your future plans and not just on the need to get something up and running quickly and cheaply. You don’t want to get all your products loaded only to find out you are handcuffed or held hostage with a provider that you can’t grow affordably with.
Coupled with your e-commerce website storefront are the payment processing options. PayPal and Stripe are quite common and easy to get set up. Their fees are around 2.9% + $0.30 cents per transaction so be sure to factor that into your pricing.
WooCommerce is also a very popular e-commerce platform that will help you manage your online store. WooCommerce is made for WordPress and can be plugged into any WordPress website. There are also many customizable features in the form of free and paid extensions to enhance your store.
Now that you have your website, store, and products setup, you will need a mechanism to interact with leads and existing customers. A CRM at a very minimum should allow you to run campaigns, learn about your customer, and supply your sales team with leads. There are many CRM choices and we can help you make the right choice based on your needs and budget.
Create and Advertise Your Store
Congratulations! You now have the basics for starting your online store. At this point, you are ready to start adding products and categories to your online store. Don’t forget to advertise our online store through various channels both online and offline and in particular social media (the digital word-of-mouth). Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all offer shopping advertising features that are low cost and have a ton of reach to relevant consumers. You can link your pages to social media ads for a more streamlined approach to advertising.
Need help with any aspect of your e-commerce website? Fill out the form below to contact 3C Websites for a free consultation!