What steps should I take to build my first e-commerce website?
I have decided to build an e-commerce website as an example to work for my digital portfolio. Does anyone have any tutorials or videos I should look at before making a start on this?
I am assuming that you have already decided on the niche for your business and selected a good business model as well. If not, then you need to start with,
1. Market Research for the Product/Service that you want to offer online
2. Defining your target market
3. Selecting a good business & revenue model
4. Arranging the office space, inventory, warehouse (as per your product/service offering)
Now, here are the details for creating an eCommerce website:
First of all, you should know that there are essentially 3 different ways to build an eCommerce website or online marketplace:
1. Code it from scratch
2. Hire web developers
3. Use ready-made solutions
Based on factors like affordability, scalability, implementations, etc, you can choose the way that fits you the best. You can go through the following guide to understand the above mentioned 3 methods in detail: Choosing Digital Capabilities to Build eCommerce Marketplaces like Amazon or eBay (https://www.yo-kart.com/selecting-right-eCommerce-platform-to-build-marketplace.html)
I would personally suggest that you should opt for a ready-made solution because it is cost-effective, saves time, easy to implement, easily customizable and you have lots of templates to choose from. Make sure that you choose a ready-made solution that offers the following features:
1. Self-Hosted Solution
2. Fully Customizable
3. Progressive Web Apps
4. User-Friendly Android and iOS Buyer Apps
5. Multilingual Functionality
6. Multicurrency Feature
7. Search Engine Friendly
8. 3rd Party Integrations
9. Pre-Integrated Payment Gateways
10. Multiple Streams to Generate Revenue
Now let's proceed to learn how to pick the right domain name. Your domain name will be the first thing that people will notice about your brand and it will serve as a symbolic placeholder for your business in the minds of users. It would be best if you find a name that is a mixture of branding and discoverability. It means a name that is good for your brand image and goes with the brand but it is also easily discoverable. Your domain name should be:
1. Easy to remember
2. As short as possible
3. Easy to type
4. Easy to say out loud
6. Accurate and honest to your business
7. Not in use by other organizations
8. Does Not contain numbers or hyphens
I hope my answer helps :)
The challenge lies in the overwhelm that you may experience when you’re starting out. Entrepreneurs today have so many choices, and there’s a ton of information out there, that it can be crippling to figure out the best route for your online store.
First, decide what products to sell and how to source your merchandise. If you don't make the products by yourself, you'll need to obtain them from other creators or manufacturers. When you go this route, you can choose to stock up on merchandise and hold products as inventory, or you could go the dropshipping route by arranging the items to be shipped directly from the manufacturer. You’ll need to figure out how you’re going to source your merchandise.
Then, you'll need to register a domain and find a relevant hosting package for your site, depends on its size. Next up is your eCommerce solution. This is the point where you’ll decide which platform will power your store (hosted and self-hosted).
You'll need to find a solution for payments, there are several payment gateways in the market - understand the pros and cons of each of them.
Lastly, you'll need to market your business - it includes SEO, paid ads, content marketing - and ongoing optimization of your website. This step requires understanding in analytics and many of Google tools.
There are 2 components of an eCommerce website.
1. Front end which is nothing but the outside look of the website (which you can correlate with the exterior of any office). You can use tools like ASP, PHP etc. in order to design a normal user friendly website.
2. Back end- It is the most versatile portion of any website which mainly do the support work but is more equally important. This back end will ensure that you get the orders downloaded in local system and can process them for shipment. Further, the backend will keep a check on inventory and reduce the inventory with the number of products sold so that customers get to see the updated items. There are several types of softwares readily available in the market (sold by many third party companies). You can get hold of any software and use for back end purpose.
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Building an ecommerce website isn’t easy if you are planning something big. Design, coding, performance, and scalability are major challenges when it comes to ecommerce stores. I tried creating an ecommerce website all by myself but failed miserably. I realized we should leave the work of experts to experts. After much research, I hired Techosquare for my ecommerce website project. They built an amazing online store for me just the way I wanted. Everything that was missing in SaaS solutions like Squarespace was delivered by the team of experienced ecommerce developers.
Hiring someone similar to them will help you with your e-store too. Or you can simply hire developers from Techosquare. They offer free consultation sessions to entrepreneurs as well. Check out this page for more info,