If you’ve been thinking about building an ecommerce website, there has never been a better time. An ecommerce site can give you access to a worldwide market and helps you establish brand recognition right out of the gate. An ecommerce website also gives you the ability to fully control every aspect of a prospective buyer’s experience, which means you’ll be able to easily establish a strong connection with your website visitors, build customer loyalty a number of different ways, and ensure the onboarding experience is the best that it can possibly be. And all of that aside, an ecommerce website can ultimately be your key to financial freedom.
It’s no secret that ecommerce is growing every day. In fact, ecommerce will make up 22% of global retail sales by 2023—compared to only 14.1% in 2019. In this special report, you’ll learn how to create a successful ecommerce website and what tools and resources are used by successful shops to connect with potential customers, maximize conversion rates and boost sales. You’ll also discover some of our top strategies for creating a unique shopping experience, as well as how to immediately strengthen your brand, and much more. So, without further delay, let’s begin!
5 Steps to an Ecommerce Website
Building an ecommerce website doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. In this chapter, I’ll quickly take you through the 5 steps to building your website.
Step 1: Choose a name and register your domain
Many of us spend a lot of time deciding on the name and domain for our website, and for good reason. This is the first step in creating a brand and so your business name needs to be memorable.
In addition, make sure that it’s also easy to pronounce, as you want customers to tell their friends about it.
Avoid hyphens and numbers because this makes it harder for people to easily share the web address. You’ll also want to try and match your company name with a top-level domain extension, primarily the .com. If it’s not available you could register a different extension, just keep in mind that most people will type in .com first and if someone else owns that domain you may be at their mercy in the event they create a similar ecommerce website.
Always look for names that include descriptive keywords or key phrases that’s closely connected to what you sell. For example, if you sell custom dog collars, you might register CustomDogCollars.com. When you’re ready to purchase your domain, you can choose any registrar you wish, such as GoDaddy.com, NameCheap.com or BlueHost.com.
Step 2: Choose your Ecommerce Platform
Your ecommerce platform is where your website exists. It houses your pages; it contains all of the information that a prospective buyer needs. There are many free ecommerce platforms to choose from, however keep in mind that many of those will only offer limited features. Further, most of the free platforms are built on the WordPress platform, which can require a lot more attention, such as ensuring plugins and the software itself is constantly kept up to date. On the contrary, choosing a dedicated ecommerce platform will put you in better control, while giving you many other options. These services are very robust, expandable, and easy to use. Plus, with the extra features at your fingertips you’ll be able to take advantage of powerful built-in functionality that enhances your customer’s experience.
Here are the top three dedicated ecommerce platforms:
Shopify – https://www.Shopify.com.
BigCommerce – (https://www.BigCommerce.com)
Wix – https://www.Wix.com
FidHost (https://fidhost.co.uk) is also a very good option as their free website templates are WordPress based and are non-proprietary, it’s yours to keep. You will be using the versatile and powerful OceanWP theme and Elementor web builder.
Finally, you could also decide to go with a website builder like ProductDyno, Weebly or Squarespace and simply take advantage of their ecommerce functionality.
This works well if you already run a website on any of these platforms and want to add sales features without having to create an entirely new website.
ProductDyno – https://www.ProductDyno.com
Weebly – https://www.Weebly.com
SquareSpace – https://www.SquareSpace.com
Step 3: Create Product Pages
This step involves completing brand imagery, creating your logo and of course, your product pages.
To start, you always want to ensure you’re using only high-quality graphics and photos for your products, and that you take time to create detailed descriptions that include high-powered keywords.
Remember, the more detailed your product descriptions are, the less support work you’ll have to do as all your customers questions will be answered in your copy.
Product pages are among the most essential pages on your site, as they show your customers exactly what you have to sell.
Take the time to ensure you display your new products in the very best way possible by including fully-optimized product descriptions, attention grabbing images, and easy to navigate categories so people can quickly find what they’re looking for.
And while royalty-free photos from places like PixaBay.com can be used to build your website, using your own branded images will more effectively tell your story and help you connect with your visitors.
Important Note: It’s essential that each product image on your ecommerce website is the same size, as different sized photos can often misalign your gallery and will look sloppy and unprofessional.
Use an image editor, such as Canva.com, to adjust each picture, if necessary. When it comes to the type of content you should share, outside of your products/services, it’s entirely up to you.
This is your chance to connect with prospective buyers, to tell your story, to explain why your brand exists and how it will benefit them. Consider creating an ABOUT US page, or at the very least a section on your website, that offers insight in regards to your personal journey. And of course, you always want to ensure your support options are visible one every page. This might involve creating a direct support link that appears in the navigation menu, or a dedicated support page on your website.
Step 4: Payments, Shipping & Beyond Now it’s time to set up your payment, shipping costs (if any), tax and marketing tools
Depending on the platform you decide to use will determine how you set these up, but if you’ve decided to go with a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify, all of this will be easily set up from one centralized admin page inside of your account. If you decide to use a powerful tool like ProductDyno on your existing website, you’ll be able to easily set up pricing, delivery/access and customize your onboarding sequence, all from within one area.
Step 5: Test your Website
The last step in the set-up process is to thoroughly test your ecommerce website. You’ll want to proofread the content, test out every link, send a test support ticket to your help desk, and of course, run several test orders, paying attention to every part of the process (successful purchase, delivery details, back-end follow up emails sent out, etc.). The more thoroughly you test your ecommerce website prior to launching, the better. You should also invite a few close friends to test the same processes as well in case you’ve missed something.
Plus, having different users run tests on different computers and on different browsers will ensure the same user experience across the board.
Boosting Sales by Focusing on the Customer Journey
Your customer’s average journey involves multiple steps. The reality, is very few people will land on your ecommerce website and make an immediate purchase—unless they are already familiar with your brand.
In fact, most often, people will spend time researching your company, the product or service they’re interested in, and they’ll read any available reviews. Even after all that, many customers will “test” the waters to see whether you are worth doing business with.
Sometimes this involves subscribing to your mailing list or newsletter in order to get a better feel as to how your company operates and the type of content it offers. Or, perhaps they’ll search for a discount or coupon code in order to reduce the cost of their first purchase.
Regardless of the market you’re in, chances are prospective buyers are doing their due diligence in at least one way prior to making the decision whether to purchase from you or not. What does this mean to you? If you want to boost conversion rates, you need to provide every visitor the most unique shopping experience possible.
The customer experience encompasses everything that takes place from the moment someone hears of your brand, to the time they actively decide to stop doing business with your company. And no matter the industry, their experience as a customer will generally follow the same process, in which they will get to know more about your company and your products and thoroughly evaluate your offers. The customer experience often involves a series of on boarding sequences, where you offer a prospect something in return for joining your newsletter.
This might be a discount code or an invitation to your loyalty program. As long as the offer is enticing and likely to result in a subscription, it really doesn’t matter. Once they’ve successfully subscribed to your company newsletter, you can begin to build a relationship with them through a series of emails designed to interact at whatever level or stage they’re at in the buying process. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to create a successful, highly-targeted onboarding system that includes things like videos, stories and personalized services, but the key is to always focus on creating a unique customer experience. And the customer experience doesn’t always mean it ends at the checkout page.
You can and should continue to follow-up with your customers, provide them with incentive to purchase again, and offer them with different avenues in which they can learn more about your brand (social media, etc.)
In other words, your job has really just begun. Your focus will then shift onto keeping your new customers engaged and coming back for more! Finally, pricing, returns, support options and even your company policies, can all factor into the buying decision, so keep this in mind when creating your ecommerce website.
Not providing some important information, such as returns/exchanges/refund policies may essentially end the customer experience before they even become a customer.
Quick & Easy Traffic Strategies
Every ecommerce website needs the same thing to be successful: a direct traffic source that converts well for your vertical. It doesn’t matter what market you’re in, or the type of products/services you offer; without a steady stream of highly-targeted traffic, you’ll never get off the ground. Thankfully, creating successful traffic-generating campaigns doesn’t have to a long and complicated process, and it doesn’t have to cost you money, at least not when just launching. Here are a few quick and easy ways you can get started: Social Traffic This is usually the first place most people go when they want to launch their ecommerce website without investing in paid advertising. It makes sense: social media can be a highly-targeted source of quality traffic. It’s often easy to reach your ideal customer and target a large segment of your audience. The key is to share a balanced mix of promotional-based content with informative, useful content that’s relevant to your market. You should also consider providing incentives within your content that will drive people to your website, such as by offering coupon codes or limited-time discounts.
If you run a digital-product website, you could even create a free “light” version of your product in order to gain trust and acquire new customers. Start by studying the social media accounts of successful ecommerce website owners in your market. Pay attention to the type of content they’re sharing that’s receiving the most attention. Look for ways you can create similar content that will resonate with your audience. Take notes; everything matters. Being able to look back on ideas you’ve come up with while studying the leaders in your market will help you formulate a plan of action for your own website.
Remember, the idea is to study what is working—not to copy them. You want your brand to be unique and to not look like it’s simply a copycat of another successful business.
Referral Marketing With over 80% of consumers specifying that a recommendation from a family member or friend was responsible for their recent purchase, you’ll want to seriously consider setting up a referral program for your ecommerce website.
Setting up a referral program doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. You could start by including a simple way for customers to view current reviews on your website, or allow them to share content from your site (such as discount codes and coupons) with people they want to recommend your products to. According to a survey from Nielsen, “92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.”
And HuffPost says, “for businesses, word-of-mouth is the cheapest and most effective way to generate sales. Furthermore, customers referred to a brand tend to be more likely to purchase, less thrifty and more loyal than customers acquired through other marketing channels.”
For ecommerce marketers, referral marketing is a great way to raise awareness about your product or service without having to spend money on paid advertising.
Just keep in mind that referral marketing is different from affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is where people are getting paid to promote you. They typically earn a commission from every purchase made through their unique affiliate link or ID. Referral marketing involves people making genuine recommendations, and in almost every instance, it’s far more powerful than affiliate marketing, though there’s no denying that both strategies can be extremely effective. With referral marketing, there’s simply an element of trust that doesn’t always exist in affiliate marketing.
Here’s a detailed post that will help you set up a referral program:
https://www.referralcandy.com/blog/referral-program Run a Viral Giveaway Giveaways provide an incentive for users to visit your ecommerce website and will ultimately boost engagement.
And you can offer additional reward points if they share your post on social media, invite more people to participate in your giveaway, or provide an email address.
Here’s how to get started:
1: Start with a Concise Goal Having a clear and concise goal will help you create a highly-targeted, effective giveaway. This could include building your email list, getting more social media followers, or simply boosting brand awareness. Defining your goal before you decide on a prize and create your giveaway will let you easily measure the results and determine how successful the campaign was.
2: Choose a giveaway plugin or platform. Of course, in order to launch a giveaway, you need a platform to run it on.
Here are a few links to help you get started:
Promo Simple: https://promosimple.com/
3: Pick an Amazing Prize. One of the most important elements of a giveaway is, of course, the prize. The prize is what draws people to your contest initially, so you need to make sure the reward will grab the attention of a lot of people and not just a small segment of your audience.
The most popular giveaway prizes are:
– Gift Certificates
– Free Products/Services
– Cash While these all make fantastic prizes, consider choosing one that’s not only relevant to your business, but most beneficial.
For many, this would be offering free products or services instead of cash.
Not only is it a beneficial reward for both the winner and your business, but you could end up with a loyal, lifelong customer who provides glowing reviews just from giving away some of your products. Create Video Content Create short, engaging video content that’s relevant to your market and your business. Then, post it on your business’ YouTube channel, social media and on your own ecommerce website.
Videos are one of the easiest ways to boost engagement, capture attention and further brand exposure.
You can even use videos to answer frequently asked questions about your business, or create a series of explainer videos that demonstrate how your products work. Content Marketing Content marketing refers to any content that you create that offers valuable, relevant and engaging information that will help you connect to your target audience. The immediate goal isn’t always to secure the sale, but to introduce your brand and to stimulate interest in your products. Tip: Create a series of infographics and share them via social media channels, or create a blog that includes a series of high-quality 1500-word articles that will appeal to your target audience. You can then link this content to product pages on your ecommerce website. This will help you rank in the search engines, but will also give you a place where you can run giveaways, create landing pages for different mailing lists, and simply offer additional information that will help build your brand and promote your products.
Note: Make sure you brand your infographic with your business’ logo and a URL to your site so that when people share it, you’ll gain brand recognition. Optimize Your Website Above all else, you’ll want to optimize your website for both visitors and the search engines before you even begin to create traffic-generating campaigns. For visitors, you’ll want to ensure that your website is organized with an uncomplicated structure, product categories, clear CTA’s, detailed product descriptions, and the ability to filter search. For the search engines, you’ll want to pay close attention to your site’s metadata (SEO titles, descriptions, slugs and headers throughout your website’s pages).
4 Easy Ways to Maximize Sales
There are many different ways to maximize sales and help your brand stand out, even in a crowded market, but it all begins with having the right ecommerce strategy in place. Here are a few of our top ecommerce strategies that will help you quickly increase sales:
1: Include Advanced Filtering
The easier you can make it for customers to find what they’re looking for, the better. This involves including advanced product filtering so that visitors can perform an advanced product search and find every product associated with their query. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify allow you to add up to 250 tags that help filter your products so that customers can find them easily, so take advantage of these options in order to showcase your products and improve user experience.
2: Offer Additional Payment Options
Try not to limit your payment options to just PayPal. Instead, providing several payment options enables you to cater to a wide variety of customers. In fact, the more payment options available on your ecommerce website, the easier it becomes for your customers to purchase from you because they’re able to find an option that works for them. Depending on the ecommerce platform you decide to use, it should be very easy to integrate additional payment options into your website. Just make sure to run a test purchase for every payment gateway you decide to integrate.
3: Offer Discount Codes & Coupons
There’s no easier way to boost sales and motivate people to purchase products then with a discount code or coupon.
This is also a fantastic way to acquire new customers as well.
Not only will discounts save them money, but it will make your audience feel good about buying which goes the distance in establishing a strong connection and building brand loyalty.
4: Run a Loyalty Program
An ecommerce loyalty-based program, rewards customers for making repeat purchases. These rewards may include discount codes for future purchases, free items, trial products, or even cash-back.
It’s likely that you’re a member of a few different loyalty programs from some of the brands you love. These programs have been a common way for businesses to focus on customer loyalty while giving customers something in return. A loyalty program can drastically boost customer retention, encouraging customers to remain loyal to your business. And in many cases, a customer will choose a brand that offers a loyalty program over a competitor simply because they’re getting something in return for their business. To start, you’ll want to choose loyalty rewards. Try rewarding customers with a discount when you’re just launching your program. Or, you could offer free shipping or an exclusive product in order to launch your shop and maximize traffic. You should also consider a point-based rewards system. That way, you can offset the costs and remain profitable, ensuring you’ll always break even. And finally, you’ll want to ensure that your loyalty program is connected to an email marketing workflow system so that customers receive emails promoting the program. These emails can also include upsells and remind customers that they’ll earn additional points with their next purchase.
This keeps the momentum going. 🙂
A well-built ecommerce website is far more than just a place to sell products. It’s where your business can create a memorable and positive customer experience that works towards strengthening your brand. It’s also where you draw in new customers, convert casual shoppers into loyal brand ambassadors and continue to grow your business. in other words, it’s the very foundation for a successful and rewarding career doing what you love most so take your time building it, nurture it, and continue to expand your outreach every day. If you want to build your own eCommerce web site quickly, easily and the cheapest possible option, visit FidHost at https://fidhost.co.uk.
If you need step-by-step guidance, a training program like the Ecommerce Accelerator, will eliminate the learning curve so you can launch a successful ecommerce website faster and easier than you ever thought possible. You can find out more here: https://promotelabs.com/ecommerce/