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10 steps to successfully creating your e-commerce site

You have finally decided to create an e-commerce site. You want to know what steps to take. Rest assured, you made a good decision. Indeed, whether you are an individual, a merchant or simply an entrepreneur wanting to make residual income, e-Commerce has a place for you. However, in order not to waste time, it is necessary to take a little time to get better organized. Here we give you 10 important points to consider to avoid any surprises. They are based on our personal experience and that of many of our customers. If you want to have personalized advice at the end of this reading, do not hesitate to ask your questions in the comments. You can also contact us.

1- Type of e-commerce site;

There are several types of e-commerce: DropShipping, the sale of affiliate products or the sale of your products. DropShipping or the sale of affiliate products will consist of offering the products of a company to your acquaintances, network or via the ticket of a marketing strategy. At the same time, the sale of your products requires that you have available stock to offer to your customers. In this step, you will have to decide what type of trade you want to do. The decision will have to take into account your budget, the time you are willing to invest to get a return and, above all, your patience and determination.

2- The domain name;

To create an e-commerce website, you need to think about a domain name. It would help if you choose a short domain name relevant to your business. Indeed, people will remember your domain name more if it is short.

Choose a domain name.

The domain name is of paramount importance in any activity on the net. In effect, it helps identify your website while defining the brand you want to grow. To facilitate the visibility of your e-commerce site and facilitate the memorization of your site, you must keep a short domain name, easy to remember. I would recommend that you do a little Google research to see domain names used by potential competitors. If you can afford to pay marketers for a little research to suggest the best name for your business, that would be great. Otherwise, a Google search will give you an idea of the type of name used. The most important information to remember is SHORT and EXACT (closest to your business). A short name is easily remembered. At the same time, a specific domain name avoids asking too many questions.

Find your domain name.

When you have decided on a domain name, you can search for the domain name providers of your choice to make sure it is not taken yet. Some vendors we can recommend are Prosite.ca , GoDaddy , HostPapa . There are several on the web. Our favorite is GoDaddy .

3 – Choice of hosting plan for your e-commerce site;

Depending on the CMS you have chosen, you may need to choose a web host. With Shopify, for example, you don't need hosting, because your website is hosted with the provider. However, with CMSs like Woocommerce and Magento, you choose the self-hosted (hosted) or provider-hosted option. Each of the two cases has advantages and disadvantages. A self-managed website offers the particularity of being cheaper and more flexible in the long term. However, the downside is that you have to take care of server management and site maintenance yourself. In contrast, with a vendor-managed platform. like Shopify.com or WordPress.com, they take care of the maintenance and a good part of the technical aspect and a subscription (monthly or yearly). Personally, I prefer self-managed sites because of the control and flexibility.

4 – Write the content of the site;

The content of your site will play an important role in the ranking of your site on search engines. It would be best if you could do some keyword research on your industry. Indeed, a word according to your terminology is not necessarily what many Internet users use. For example, the term baby carrier might be known as a stroller. Thus, using the word stroller would have more benefits in terms of search engine positioning in your content.

The content depends on the type of e-commerce.

If you decide to do affiliate product sales or drop-shipping, content writing boils down to general pages such as privacy policy, terms and conditions, about… However, to sell your products, you must do it yourself. The important thing to remember is that the more you describe your products, the better.

5- Pictures of the products;

Importance of images in e-commerce

Unlike a physical store where the customer can see and touch, shoppers rely on product images to make their decisions. Images that are plain to look at will scare your customers away, while beautiful images generally have more conversions. When taking photos, you need to make sure you're taking great photos while being honest. Many people are reassured to only photograph the beautiful parts of their products and have many product returns. The idea is to increase sales and avoid after-sales product returns.

Image performance factor

Another factor to consider regarding images is the format (PNG, JPG, GIF…) and the size of the images (1 MB, 900 KB…). You should be aware that the size of your images can impact your site's performance. To this end, cluttered images should be avoided. It is recommended to have images below kb (less than 900 kb). Given the maximum size of the screens, it is not necessary to have huge images. To decide on the exact size, you need to consider your target audience. Recommendations of our images are size – less than 900, dimensions above 2000 PX and JPG format. You should only use PNG for logos or transparency (if you want to maintain design consistency).

6 – Method of delivery;

Choose reliable delivery for people.

Before you start selling online, you need to ask yourself how your customers will receive their products. In the sale of affiliate products, the question may not arise as long as the supplier takes care of it. However, if you sell your products or do drop shipping, you need to consider this factor. Therefore, it assesses the various delivery people in your area, arranging for them to do so on time.

Questions you need to ask yourself

Some questions you might ask yourself when choosing a delivery method, for example, are:

  1. How long will it take my customer to receive their product?
  2. How much does it cost to send him his product?
  3. Are there any edgy areas?
  4. What is the carrier's policy in the event of loss or damage?
  5. What is the carrier's history?

Include methods and conditions in terms and conditions page

When you have decided what type of delivery method to choose and who you will be dealing with, it is important to clarify all of this on the terms and conditions page of your site. One of the biggest customer frustrations is being misinformed. For example, customers might expect to receive their product in seven days, while your courier does in three weeks. Indeed, many companies could you inform their customers about the delivery conditions. As a result, very often there is a loss of time and money, as well as potential customers.

7- Payment gateway;

The payment gateway allows you to connect your website to your bank account. It is therefore an important tool in online trading. If your business targets people in your locality, choosing the gateway may be optional. However, remember that many people can withdraw at the last minute by wasting their time. There are several gateways you can use depending on your country and your financial situation.

Some payment methods for your e-commerce

  • PayPal — Fashionable gateway present in almost all countries of the world. It has the particularity of having several currencies depending on your country and of protecting the consumer in the event of a dispute. A PayPal limitation for some countries is that you must have a bank account to sync your account. For this, PayPal is not very suitable for countries that are still developing.
  • Stripe – Fairly easy to integrate; but not available in several countries. For the moment, Stripe is only present in 34 countries ( Stripe Module ), unlike PayPal present in more than 200 countries and more than 25 currencies.
  • We Cash Up – A better alternative for developing countries. ( We collect ). If you do not have a bank account and are in a less industrialized country with people who do not use banks as a method of financial transaction, We Cash Up is recommended to help you.

A choice based on technology

There are many payment gateways out there, and the choice will largely depend on the technology you use or how much you are willing to invest in development. You might, for example, find gateway extensions that only work on Magento and not on WooCommerce. This is why you are evaluating multiple gateways in terms of pros and cons. Your analysis should consider cost per transaction, ease of integration, and most importantly, ease of use on your site.

8- Marketing Strategy / Social Networks;

As you probably already know, having a website is not enough. It would be better if you have a marketing strategy to promote your platform to generate revenue. Considering your marketing strategy or the channels to use gives you an idea of integration as a marketing solution. Several developers have released extensions that make it easier to manage your social media platforms or marketing strategy. Some examples are website login extensions to email marketing platforms. You may also need to link your website to Facebook or Google Analytics platforms to continuously monitor and improve.

9 – The security of your e-commerce site.

The security of your platform is an aspect that should not be overlooked. As customers will be required to insert personal information in the forms on your site, you must ensure that your platform is as secure as possible. There are several settings to put in place for maximum security. Some of these elements are SSL certificates, Captcha (to protect forms), protection against brute force attacks with SiteLock…

10 – Choice of technology to be used in the e-commerce site

Once you have completed the 9 points mentioned above, the choice of technology will be easier. You only have to ask yourself if the CMS (or Content manager) you have in front of you meets the required conditions. There are e-commerce platform development tools, including Shopify, PrestaShop, Magento, and WooCommerce. It would be helpful if you could determine which CMS best suits your short, medium or long term goals. Some tools are more for e-commerce sites than others

For example, you can ask yourself questions such as:

  • Will I be able to update my content?
  • Do I have the necessary means to manage bugs?
  • Will the tool allow me to reach my target easily?
  • Would it be easy to import my content simply?

Please make your choice based on the manageability of your e-commerce site.

Each content manager has its pros and cons. The ease of managing each depends on your personal skills or financial resources. For anyone new to e-commerce, we recommend Shopify or WooCommerce, as setup and management doesn't require constant technical knowledge.

Conclusion

An e-commerce site is an asset and a business that everyone should do. Regardless of your profile, you can, if you wish, get started. However, the ability to continue depends on your level of commitment, determination and, above all, your planning for its implementation. Our role as an e-Commerce developer is to support you at every step to allow you to better focus on the essentials.

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