Things to know before building an online store

If you are ready to start selling your products online and are not sure what is needed, these guidelines should give you a good hint on how and where to start.

In the last 10 years, access to the internet has become a necessity. Banking, shopping, news, entertainment, and communication are at our fingertips now. Despite the high cost of the internet in certain countries, this article on wearesocial.com mentions that the world has about 4.3 billion users on the internet and  3.4 billion on social media. The potential for your product to reach the market is quite good, but these metrics do not always guarantee success. In our experience, we encounter scenarios where clients want to embark on the journey of selling their products online but give up before they get started, or stretch out deliverables due to a lack of information about what is needed when building an online store. Based on the challenges some of our clients encounter, we have summarized a list of things you need to know before building an online store.

 

 

1. Know and define your product

At this stage, you have a product you are interested in selling or selling already. Well, you need to know the specifications of the product such as weight, variation (such as color, size), the selling price per item, and the packaging. These details are very crucial because they will need to be shown as part of the description of your product online.

You might also need to break down your different products into categories and/or even subcategories. For example, if you want to sell clothes, your categories might include Men, women, and children.

 

2. Find out about the logistics

It would help if you found out how your product will leave your storage facility and reach your customers. The more tech-savvy the logistic service, the better because you can integrate the courier functionality into your website. One of the constraints about going this route is the cost of your item versus the shipping price, so it is up to you to decide which service will work best to ensure seamless shipping of your goods from your facility to your customer.

 

3. Window shop for an online store web template

At this point, you should know what your website will look like. Theme forest is like a showroom for beautiful website templates. What we do for clients who cannot afford a custom theme, we look at the client’s business, culture, and the kind of product they sell to select the best theme possible.

Depending on the development budget, and user experience requirements, different E-commerce platforms such as Woocommerce, Prestashop, Magento, and many more can be used. More often, we encourage the idea of a custom platform because of certain benefits such as increased and custom security features, personalized experience, custom-made customer support, scalability, growth, and custom reporting goals. We strongly believe in providing value to our customers at whatever stage of growth they are while providing the best work.

 

4. Take great pictures of your products & write product description

When your site is built, you will need to showcase your products with appealing images and description text to get your customers to understand as well as interact with the details of the product before purchase. Your product will need a name, a description (usually a single paragraph should suffice), and different pictures of the product's variations.

 

5. Choose a payment method

Depending on the country where you are based, several payment gateways are available. We also advise clients to review their prices based on the commission taken by their online payment provider as well as the shipping costs.

 

6. Build the store

Now that you have all the details and know exactly what you want, you need to look at getting your online store built. At this stage, you need to find an experienced developer who can advise which route to take depending on your budget and requirements. A few things to consider on the technical side are:

  • Getting a domain name
  • Choosing a host
  • Choosing an E-commerce platform or going custom
  • The right payment method for the chosen E-commerce platform
  • Choosing or building a template

On the look and feel side, you should have:

  • A logo if you don’t have one
  • Images of your products resized to fit the website
  • Adjusting the template to match the color theme of your store as per your requirements

 

7. Contact, Support & information

You will need to let your customers be in contact with you. Your customers need to know that you are reachable via email, telephone, or chat.

 

8. Market your site

As soon as your site is ready, you will need to do some marketing on search engines such as Google and/or advertise your product on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and so forth.

 

9. Improve the user experience

At this stage, you should have interacted with your site, and gotten feedback from your customers, and got SEO scores and performance reports of your site. In addition to selling a great product and having happy customers, improving the user experience is crucial to retaining your online customers. Think of your online store as the place where your customers would come to make a purchase. You want it to be clean, welcoming, and fun to be at. When a customer enjoys the experience, he/she is likely to recommend your store to more people. Never stop improving...

 

 

The most important thing to know before, while, and after building an online store. One thing to note is that from points 1 - 4, you don’t need to hire a developer service at this stage. Having those at hand will save you lots of time and money when you hire professionals to build your online store.