Digital technologies are fuelling up small businesses; they are emerging as a tool of marketing and expansion.Most of the offline vendors think that setting up an online store will be an expensive deal for them. No, it is not!!!
Free tools are available, web hosting is getting cheaper, all you need is to hire a sensible magento 2 website development and brainstorm with them for creating a shopping cart and catalogue to fix in a website.
Your digital debut can become a fresh start for you; it can also become a side income for you as well. So think about your options all over again.
Factors to motivate you to create your own online store
You can walk on the online beaten track of success developed by big players like eBay, Amazon, and Shopify. You can learn it from the examples set by Walmart and others. How they are gradually increasing their online business.
Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay are direct sellers, Shopify is a covering site or a networking site and Walmart is a real world store enhancing a digital arm. These are three tangents that cannot be ignored, before setting up an online store you should learn the business models of these stores. They are dealing in broad categories; you can search out for your own niche markets and develop it with woocommerce experts.
Do it in your own exclusive way for a better identity in the market
Joining hands with a networking site can be fun; however, you can compare this experience with the experience of being a tenant rather than being an owner. An owner can decorate his shop the way he likes. Current E-commerce facilities give you a better control over the events.
Web hosting is cheap and you can always enjoy long-term branding revenues as it happens in the real world. With a networking site, you are always at their mercy. They can always allow your space to someone who is paying more for.
You can price your good accordingly as you do not need to pay listing fees etc. However, it can bring a dent in your pocket when you will update the content of the website in order to attract the SEO race.
Here we are listing down some steps which are essential and missing out on any of them can invite problems for you.
Step 1. Prepare hard before you play the first card
Right from the nomenclature of your business to the basic forms and inlays that you require should be assembled in advance.
Your WordPress development company will love it because it will give them a chance to think on the lines of value addition rather than the primary collection of the goods.
Treat the primary planning as the building brick or the foundation of your online store, if the foundation is strong then it will support rest of the things automatically.
Gather information related to the essential tools first hand
- A domain name (approximate cost $10/year)
Your domain name is your business card, check with an SEO expert, check the keywords of the search for the category of the products that you are selling.
Try to accommodate primary keywords in your domain name it will help you in the end and set a specialization for you.
- A web host (Approximate cost $72/year).
Search out for proper web hosting company; you can take the support of Life hacker readers to the task.
Bluehost and HostGator are some tried and tested names in the field.
While striking a deal make sure that you are getting things like “cPanel” with Fantastico scripts, if you are on a window based server then Ensim Power Tools can be handy.
- A dedicated IP address (Approximate cost $2/month) & private SSL certificate (Approximate cost $50/year).
Understand SSL, Secure Sockets Layer Protocol is a protocol that encrypts the data between web server and browser.
This feature is important for the security of customer data, shared SSL certificates can reduce the cost but they can generate warnings at all levels and create hindrances in the process of shopping.
- Having this type of an interface is important for the trust issues related to your web page.
It means that a private SSL certificate and dedicated IP address is necessary to have for you.
- Web hosts like HostGator, Bluehost normally sells private SSL certificates (Cost approximately $ 50 per year). You can get these certificates as a pre-installed facility or sometimes you need to pay them.
- There is another method for it, you can also purchase SSL certificates directly from the domain name registrars. Players like Namecheap can easily give away Comodo EssentialSSL certificate (Approximate price $ 25/year).
- A shopping cart system (free) Magento and WooCommerce are functioning as a backbone of many online stores. The best part of the deal is the fact that they are free. Search for more options on pages like Wikipedia, compare them and try to select a shopping cart system that goes well with your business model.
Most of the shopping cart systems can be installed manually, make sure that you are downloading proper editing configuration files and text editors.
As a first-hand advice, we can say that Magento eCommerce is the most popular and widely accessible option in these days
Selection of a payment gateway (Approximate cost varies)
- Search out for the in the vogue payment gateway, every area may have its own gateways.
Bring an online payment processor to act friendly with credit cards, associate a PO Box or a business address with it.
Payment gateways will help you in doing real-time business with your clients, for more efficiency you can also add a credit card merchant account in the same payment gateway and add new modes and options for payments in the deal.
PayPal can be an example here, it accepts all the major credit cards, or we can say that it is an effective solution that can be integrated with most of the major or minor shopping carts very easily.
In normal cases PayPal charges something in the tune of 2.2 percent to 2.9 percent, this deal can be worked out based on your sales volumes as well.
Apart from PayPal Authorized.net can also be an interesting option. Here you are required to pay an annual sum or monthly sum; however, they will only charge a minuscule sum of $ 0.10 on all the other transactions.
It may vary in different cases based on the quantum of the transactions. 2Checkout can be another gateway; merchants love it for its ease and speed. If you wish to accept international currencies, then it can become a promising way for you.
Pay $49 to initiate and they will charge $ 5.5 on all the international transaction.
If you have a profile of selling ebooks then agents like share –it! by Digital River can take care of billing and delivery for you. When it comes to revenue sharing then the equation is simple, it charges 4.9 percent of product price and an additional dollar.
It is advisable to go for sound research, GoalsOnTrack has many price comparison charts, Freshbooks can also help you when you will search for an overview of different payment gateways.
Step 2. Set Up Your Website
After securing the framework for the domain name and web host, it is time to setup a homepage for your website. Certain static pages are also required, these pages will carry necessary information related to various products and services that you are offering.
This is your personal domain to pick and choose information that you want to display on your page. Your shopping cart system can also be your stand-alone option in this regard; it can also create some static pages as well.
This is the time when you are required to setup some customary pages like FAQ, as well as coming up with shipping policy, return policy and terms and conditions are also a part of the same step.
Step 3. Installation of your shopping cart system
Tools like Fantastico or QuickInstall, cPanel (or Ensim Power Tools for windows) can enable you to install the shopping cart system manually. Check out the packages for the process of installation, most of them carries instruction to install.
You can also check out the demonstration of various sites and follow the steps to install it on your own. For instance, click on the new installation button, it will take you to a place where you will find fundamental shop features (like, name, email address, SSL option and the web address of the store).
Magento gives you an option where you can add an administrator username and password for additional security and ease. The process of new installation also decides that where you want to set the installation folder, save it in your root directory of your domain.
It will make sure that visitors are entering in the shop immediately. You can also choose a directory name like shop or catalogue for the purpose of installation. Here we are trying to bring home a point they are easily customizable when you are installing on their own.
Once you will do this procedure the system will set up the database in MySQL and provide you two addresses, one for the base shop and the other one for administration area.
Step 4. Customize Your Online Shop
Most of the shopping systems are feature rich, they allow you to customize various processes as per your needs.
For instance, you may require a stock reports update on a regular basis, you can also set up different tax classes and the possibilities are umpteen. Check out all the add-on modules and skins in various add-ons directories.
Changing the logo and footer
The next process of the customization is the removal of client logos, footers, and placement of your logos and footers there.
Study the admin panel of the system, store new logo and later on replace it with the existing logo.
For the footer, you need to search out for built-in cPanel file manager, remove the names of the primary suppliers and with the help of banner manager part replace it with your banner.
Step 5. Set Up Your Categories/Products
Catalogue section is the main sector of your website, it can also be considered as the key result area. On the step, five things will start acting like a plug-n-play solution for you. Now all you need is to customize the main headings with your product categories in a default design. Systems like Magento have ready templates for this section where you can insert image and description directly.
Some systems also facilitate add-ons that allow a direct import of products from various excels sheets and CSV files.
Step 6. Additions of Shopping Cart Modules and Customization
After the basic preparation, hosting and customization the next process is the addition of the community add-ons, these add-ons can facilitate many other things like FAQ desk, product boxes and other discounts etc.
The installation of third party add-on is an easy task which can be done by editing a few lines in the program.
Community add-ons can help in the placement of special offers and discounts quite effectively. Be very careful while adding these add-on’s, it is advisable to keep a backup copy of your previous work ready with you if you are taking an add-on from a new source. Most of the community add-on’s carry this message of “install-at-your-own-risk” with them. It is ideal to purchase some ready templates where they accommodate community add-on in advance or ask your ecommerce website design company to help
Step 7. Maintenance
Website maintenance is a never-ending process, keep yourself updated with news articles related to the online markets. Your Magento Development Company can also support you a fair deal in this task if you are going for an AMC.
In the first phase, be ready to go for some table top exercises. Follow the primary fundamentals of communication here; share your operational methods with them, give them this opportunity to experiment with your business model under the tools of Magento and WordPress development.
Contact us today for free consultation about setting up your online web shop in the effective manner.