Setting up an eCommerce site from scratch

Setting up an eCommerce site from scratch isn’t easy. There are so many things to consider. Which is why careful planning will ensure you get off to a good start. Read on for Payflex‘ 7 essential beginner’s tips when setting up an eCommerce site.

Register your eCommerce business

If you are considering setting up an eCommerce site, you probably already know what products you want to sell. Alternatively, you have a brick and mortar store which you finally want to take online. You need to register your company if it isn’t already,  choose a hosting provider, pick a CMS, and register  a domain name. 

Choose a website builder

Your website will be the first point of contact your customers will have with you so first impressions are key. And it’s now simpler than ever to create a sleek, professional-looking website. Website builders like WordPress, Shopify, GoDaddy, Magento, and WooCommerce enable you to build a fully functional eCommerce site in just a few hours. Important factors to consider in an eCommerce platform include pricing, customer experience, support, security, and most importantly, integration. Most website builders offer a free trial period. Try them and see if you like what you them before you commit long-term.

Pick a template and customise it

Remember the days when setting up an eCommerce site was not only time consuming but extremely costly? Thanks to advances in technology, setting up an eCommerce site can be done by someone who knows nothing about coding or web design. The various website builders offer a variety of professionally designed templates. Some will be free with your monthly plan, while others come at an additional cost. This template can be customised to suit your unique requirements and product offering. When deciding on your template, factor in the products you will be selling and make sure it will be compatible. Ensure you play close attention to the navigation and functionality associated with each theme. 

Setting up an eCommerce site is all in the detail

Now that you have set up an eCommerce site, it’s time to get into the details. Add your products, prices, categories, product info, imagery, video, and relevant content. Remember, in today’s highly competitive eCommerce world, it is vital to ensure your site is optimised for SEO. This will make you discoverable online, helping to drive more traffic to your site, and ultimately increase your chances of conversions. You will also need to consider how you plan to ship your products and whether or not you will charge to do so.

Set up payments

When setting up your eCommerce site, it is crucial to make the payment process as frictionless and easy as possible. It is also vital you offer your audience a variety of payment options to cater to different your audience’s unique needs. Always keep in mind what best suits your customers. Consider traditional payment methods like EFT and credit card payments. In addition, offer alternative and  flexible payments like Payflex and mobile wallets. 

Make sure you’re protected

Taking your business online can also increase the risk of security threats and cyber fraud.  A single hack or cyber attack could seriously jeopardise your reputation. Therefore, it is important you take the necessary steps to ensure your site is secure and your customers’ information is safe. Steps like making sure your password is secure, updating your software, OTP’s, and ensuring your site is PCI compliant will help protect your eCommerce store.

Spread the word

The last thing you will want to do before going live is testing and retesting. Make sure you are thorough! And once setting up your eCommerce site is done and dusted, it’s time to attract some customers and sell your products. To do this, you will need to spread the word via various marketing tools and channels including social media and email marketing. If you want to create as much buzz and awareness as possible, consider offering special discounts and promotions to help drive traffic to your store and make yourself known in the market. 

Setting up an eCommerce site – Over to you! 

Following these tips will help you get a headstart when setting up an eCommerce site from the ground up. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. Do not rush! Take your time, and make sure everything is perfect before going live. Laying the groundwork now means you can devote your time to running and marketing your new business, rather than dealing with issues that might arise if you cut corners or rushed the process. First impressions are key. And in this highly competitive online marketplace, you want to make sure you set yourself up for success and make a statement.