Modern Retail

How to Build an eCommerce Website From Scratch

build an ecommerce website

So you want to create an eCommerce website, but you don’t know how to start and don’t have the technical knowledge to make one on your own. 

Well, worry not because, in this article, I’ll give eight simple steps to create a website without needing any coding experience. I’ll even hand in some characteristics of what makes a great ecommerce website so you can use them as your benchmark.

Let’s get started.

1. Choose an eCommerce Builder

The very first step you need to take is choosing the right eCommerce builder for your business. There are plenty of hosting companies that provide website builders. When choosing the right one for you, here are some things that the builders should provide: 

  • Plenty of template choices – Check if the website builder has a lot of premade templates. 
  • Ease of use – Ensure that the website builders are indeed easy to use.
  • SEO features – This will give you a head start by helping you optimize your ecommerce website to rank on search engines.
  • Affordability – Try finding the one that brings the best value for money.
ecommerce website building

You can create an online store with Zyro. It provides plenty of designer-made templates, it has AI tools that will help you create an ecommerce website, and it is one of the more affordable options than others.

2. Select Your Desired Plan

Once you have chosen a platform, you should take a look at the different plans they provide.

Usually, I would recommend choosing the Shared hosting option for a small business because it is the most affordable and great for beginners. This is because the host will take care of your site’s backend, and the shared hosting control panel will be far easier to use compared to the alternatives. 

A small tip for me is to pick a hosting provider that allows you to change your hosting plans as your business grows because shared hosting is only significant for small companies. Once your business expands, you’ll want to go for VPS hosting or Cloud hosting for more effortless scalability and growth.

3. Register Your Domain Name

Next, you need to choose and register your domain name, which is essentially your website’s address and name. 

Take your time when choosing a domain name because it is the first impression your site will make, and you can’t change it once you’ve registered it. Ideally, your domain name should represent what your site is about. 

To create a good domain name, here are some tips when making the right one:

  • Make it easy to spell and memorize.
  • Keep it short and straightforward.
  • Avoid slang.
  • Avoid hyphens, numbers, and doubled letters.
  • Make it brandable.

Once you’ve got the domain name, run it through a domain name checker and see if it’s available. If not, the checker will provide you with great alternatives.

Next, from your hosting provider, register your domain name. Usually, it comes for free once you choose one of their hosting plans. If not, you’ll have to pay a small fee to get the domain name.

4. Pick a Template

Once you’re all set up, you can now start building your eCommerce site. You’ll need to choose one template from the various choices your web host offers. Usually, you can preview the templates first and see how the layout and elements work.

When choosing a template, make sure that it is:

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Function correctly

Here are some templates from various eCommerce platforms:

  1. Tobi by Zyro
ecommerce website building
  1. Streamline by Shopify
ecommerce website building
  1. Block Shop by WooCommerce
ecommerce website building

5. Customize Your Website

Once you’ve chosen the right template for you. The next thing you can do is customize every element of your site using the drag and drop features. You can also add new elements, change the fonts and colors, and do plenty more customization. Use the dashboard to know what else you can do on the builder entirely.

Here are some things you should do and include in your site:

  • Create a navigation menu and search bar that skillfully guides visitors to find what they need.
  • Place call-to-action buttons strategically and make them stand out.
  • Insert social sharing and follow buttons.
  • Make sure that your homepage is free of clutter – Don’t place too many elements and content on one page.
  • Make sure that it is mobile-friendly.

6. Upload Your Products and Content

The next step is to add what you want to sell. Take high-quality pictures of your products and cover every aspect of them. Then upload it to your site and write product descriptions starting with the best features.

It’s necessary to have content to let people get familiar with your products and business in general. Here are some pages that you should include:

  • Home page – Visually showcases your products and business.
  • About us page – Tells more about yourself and your business.
  • Products page – Give detailed descriptions of your products.
  • Contact us page – Place your contact information and opening hours, so customers know how and when to reach you.

7. Configure Payments and Shipping

Make sure that your checkout process is straightforward. You should include an order summary where you only ask for the necessary information to make payment. Also, provide multiple payment options. This way, customers can pay quicker should they find the payment method they often use.

Next, you should have a mechanism for delivering your products. You can either do the shipping and packing yourself by using a delivery service or use an order fulfillment system where a third-party service does everything for you from packaging to delivery. 

8. Publish and Promote

Lastly, you need to promote your online store to start getting traffic and sales. To do this, you can:

  • Promote special launch discounts – To spread awareness about your product and site.
  • Create useful and informative content – So, people looking for similar products might come to your site.
  • Increase your digital engagement through social media – Use appropriate hashtags and existing social media pages to promote.
  • Use Google Ads – Bid for keywords, so you appear on top of search engine results.

Characteristics of a Great Online Store

  1. Well designed website
  2. Fast loading speed
  3. 99.9% guaranteed uptime
  4. Provides valuable and relatable content
  5. Easy checkout process
  6. Multiple payment options
  7. Mobile friendly
  8. Great customer support
  9. Optimized call-to-action buttons
  10. Offers special promotions

Conclusion

Now you know how to build a website from scratch and what factors make a fantastic online store. All that’s left for you is implementing these steps and using the characteristics as a benchmark when creating your eCommerce website.

Remember, you should take your time when choosing a hosting provider and your domain name because it will be challenging to switch to another one if you are unpleasant with the results.

Good luck!

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