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How To Start An eCommerce Website

Online shopping sites are slowly edging out physical stores. The convenience of shopping from home and getting the products delivered to your doorstep, the ability to get products that are not even available in your city, the wonderful discounts and offers that are only available online and sheer variety of products found online are some of the main reasons more and more people prefer shopping online. This is the right time to enter the eCommerce business. If you would like to start an eCommerce website but are not sure how to go about it, here is a list of things to do to set up your own eCommerce website.

1. Decide on a Product: The key to any business is the product you offer. You can either sell a product you make yourself from scratch or you can buy an existing product, improve and customize it or you can get an already existing product and just resell it with a profit margin.
2. Decide on Pricing: Pricing is the key to running a successful business. Your price should be set in a way that gives you a profit without making the customer feel like they are paying too much for a product that is just not worth it. The only way people will come back to your site and recommend it to others if they feel that they are getting quality products for the price they are paying.
3. Shipping and Handling Charges: You may have an excellent product and an enticing offer, but most people will leave if they feel the shipping rates are too high. You can either offer free shipping if the items purchased are above a certain value or keep the shipping cost as less as possible.
4. Name Your Business: A catchy name, a name that stays with you, is unique and at the same time is easy to remember will go a long way in making your business a success. Once you have decided on a name, you need to register it.
5. Domain name: The next step is to get a domain with your business name. Most of the times, you will be able to get a domain with the same name as your business, but in case the same name is not available, choose the closest possible name.
6. Choose the platform: If you are a novice, setting up an eCommerce website can feel like a daunting task. There are a variety of eCommerce platforms that make the process of setting up the website extremely simple and user-friendly. You can either choose a platform offering all functionalities or choose on that lets you customize things as per your wish.
7. Website Designing and Layout: In an eCommerce site, the layout can be the difference between a customer making a purchase or getting frustrated and never returning. The products should not crowd the screen and the website should have a clean layout. Your website should definitely have a home page where you display offers and new arrivals, an About Us page that talks about your company and a customer service/contact us page. Your home page should have the most exciting offers in the top one-third area of the page so that it is the first thing a customer sees when they enter the site. The product pictures should be taken in a well-lit area and should look appealing. Every product should have a description detailing what it is used for, how to use it and ingredients in the product if that is relevant.
8. Logo: You should come up with a unique and interesting logo. The logo is the first thing customers see on the site and it is the first thing they notice, even before they notice the name of the website. You can either hire a graphic designer to design your logo or even design one yourself or buy one from any of the websites that specialise in selling logos.
9. Merchant Service Provider: Any eCommerce website needs to have a tie-up with a merchant service provider to enable payments for the products. These merchant sites act as an intermediary between your site, the customer and the bank or the credit card company. You may have to pay a small fee to the merchant service provider, but in the long run, the fees will not amount to much.
10. Security: Would you make a payment online in a site which is not secure? No, you won’t. The same applies to your customers as well. So, install an SSL certificate for your website. This will ensure that all the customer data entered on your site is secure.
11. Optimize for Mobile: People like to shop on-the-go. Therefore, it is important that your website is optimized for viewing on smartphones as well. Otherwise, the layout will not look as good as it does on the computer and that will affect your sales negatively.
12. Marketing: Once you have done all of the above and website is good to go. But how do you get visitors to the website? You have to market your website. And one of the best and cheapest way to market your site is using social media. You can reach a huge audience without paying a cent. You just need to be clever and target the right kind of audience in the beginning. You can even approach bloggers and request them to tell their followers about your site.
Starting an eCommerce website is not easy and comes with its own set of challenges. But that applies equally to everything. If you put in the hard work and manage your website well, you will definitely become successful. Webbiy is an excellent resource for small business owners getting started online. Please read our blog and check out more articles on eCommerce marketing.
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