A person pointing towards a laptop screen telling the other person about how to build an E commerce website. A person pointing towards a laptop screen telling the other person about how to build an E commerce website.

How to Build an E-Commerce Website: 10 Essential Steps

E-commerce depends heavily on the services they offer online. It is unlike a physical store where people go and buy themselves directly. You need a perfect online store builder who builds an e-commerce website for you with which they can attract customers to buy from them.

Online shopping is a new trend that people don’t have time to go to the store alone. This is the time to shine by opening a full store and selling online. However, you need to develop an e-commerce website that instantly lets customers click on it and scroll through it.

You must allocate a lot of money, resources, and time to build an e-commerce website. Every decision you make when building your website will change based on the factors mentioned earlier.

A blue-colored e-commerce direction sign is in between two traffic lights.
By Mark König, Unsplash Copyright 2020

1. Creating Your E-Commerce Website

Creating your e-commerce platform is not as complex as it sounds. Nowadays, there are a lot of companies that outsource your job to create your e-commerce website. But you should know how the whole thing works, even to make others work for you.

Your e-commerce website is like a virtual storefront, just like how you enter a physical store. The basic idea of an e-commerce site is also the same.

You need to keep the audience engaged and give them an agreeable experience. Your e-commerce website should tell them who you are and the representation of your brand. The tone of your company should reflect on your e-commerce site.

You need not be a tech guru to build an e-commerce website. You just need proper web hosting, a website builder, and a domain name. With technological advancements, your job is much simpler nowadays. You need to know everything happening in the industry and know the right people.

However, to build an e-commerce website, you must consider some important steps to help you with the process.

An E-commerce website builder is opened on a computer screen to know how to build an E commerce website.
By Mailchimp, Unsplash Copyright 2022

2. How to Build an E-Commerce Website

Suppose you want to build your online store and create an e-commerce platform, then follow these steps, which will be a beginner’s guide to creating an e-commerce website.

2.1 Choose Your Content Management System (CMS)

The basic element or the first step towards creating a foundation of every e-commerce platform is choosing your e-commerce website builder.

You can make them design your website, streamline your daily tasks, and give them customer feedback details to create a user-friendly website.

There are a lot of content management systems to choose from in an open-source platform. The selection choice will mostly rely on the company’s needs, objectives, budget, experience, etc., because there is a pre-determined format for what a particular niche would have on its website. But if your e-commerce site is not like that, it needs a unique website builder.

2.2. Best E Commerce Website Builder

Some of the best e-commerce website builders include:

2.2.1. WordPress Site

This open-source platform is widely used among people and is a leading CMS, giving you the option for customization. Suppose you are a beginner and want to build an e-commerce website. WordPress is the best option for you. It is a beginner-friendly platform.

2.2.2. Shopify

Shopify is an ideal platform for e-commerce businesses to build their e-commerce website. Because most e-commerce deals with dropshipping, it has a lot of tools and features to help businesses.

2.2.3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is more than an e-commerce CMS; it helps you manage and process orders, integrate with leading payment providers, and more. Most businesses that run omnichannel commerce use this platform.

2.2.4. Square Online

Square Online is a great platform for existing retailers who want to sell online. This is also a free website builder that offers various services and an easier route for brick-and-mortar businesses.

2.2.5. Wix

Wix is a platform with many features to create a customizable template for your website, and it provides tools to design the website. This is also user-friendly.

2.2.6. Squarespace

Squarespace offers its users various services, especially exclusive content management, even if you don’t have any experience in web design. It will guide you through each step of the process. To change from a beginner to a professional website builder, you can use Squarespace.

A computer screen showing several website builder apps. To change from a beginner to a professional website builder you can use Squarespace.
By Justin Morgan, Unsplash Copyright 2021

2.3. Customize Your Ecommerce Website

The next important thing you need to do is to develop a theme for your e-commerce website. Every website builder offers built-in features that you can use to create a theme. These templates will guide you on what information you should feed on the page. This will make your online store look unique.

This includes fonts, colors, layouts, etc. This will tell customers about the brand. The main reason to use website builders is that you need not code the changes you think are needed. Customizing your e-commerce website’s web pages to meet your needs is a great advantage, especially for small businesses.

Ideally, your e-commerce website should include:

  • A homepage that the customers will see first once they open your website.
  • Separate product category page, which helps them browse various products you sell online.
  • An “About Us” page is necessary to make the customer understand the history and background of your company.
  • A customer service page is necessary for them to check for a return policy or help.
  • Contact Page to help customers reach out to you.
  • Have a legal page putting out the terms and conditions.
    Every E-commerce Website Should Have These 12 Elements

2.4. List Out Product Offerings

The product listings page is the most important part of your e-commerce website. This is where customers will know what products or services you offer them.

You need to create a product catalog and give information about the product. It should be in the correct sequence to avoid miscommunication among the customers.

Consider adding the points below to your product listings.

2.4.1 Product Names

Every product or service you sell online should have a name attached to it. It should be kept so that it registers in the customers’ minds. An appropriate font style and size should be used to highlight the name of your product.

2.4.2 Product Images and Videos

People need a visual piece to understand what they will buy before ordering. So, providing a picture or video of the product will help the customers see it and decide whether to buy it. Ensure you upload high-quality images and well-informed videos telling customers everything they need to know.

2.4.3 Product Descriptions

The product descriptions are the next thing people want to see after seeing the photos. The product descriptions help you acquire more information about the product’s features, weight, size, color, etc. This will help them know the uses of the product and how it works.

2.4.4 Product Options

Even in one product, there are multiple options that many e-commerce businesses offer, like different sizes, colors, etc. These different variables should be added alongside the order option to make it easier and customizable to meet the needs of every customer.

2.4.5 Product Price

This is one of the main parts of the product listings. Many e-commerce sites provide options with single-item and group-item pricing for their products. This is mainly to make customers add more items to their cart and offer payment options for all.

It should also make each product’s discount or sale visible to the customer. The sale of a particular product should be monitored by a person and updated on the e-commerce website.

Note: Make sure you have the filter option so that it helps customers choose the particular product based on their needs.

2.4.6 Customer Reviews

To build trust among the customers, you need to display customer reviews on your site to make new customers believe in your service and the products you sell.

More customers buy the product based on the reviews provided by other customers. The product rating system will help you set a demand for your product. As with more ratings, there is a high chance that the sale will shoot up.

2.5. Set Up Payment Gateway

The payment gateways depend on the kind of website builder you choose. Some website builders like Shopify and Square Online have built-in payment processing systems they provide clients. This is easy since payment processing is on hold.

Other website builders don’t have an inbuilt payment processing system. So, if that’s the case, you can choose an external online payment processor as the solution.

However, you must ensure that when you redirect your customers to an external page, their data is fully encrypted. PCI ensures that users’ credit card details are kept safe and not misused.

However, choosing the right payment gateway processor depends on the transaction fees they charge and the security they provide. They also have a subscription option that charges payment gateway monthly fees according to their plans.

A phone screen showing a payment app. Set up a payment gateway for your e-commerce website. The payment gateways depending on the kind of website builder you choose
By Roberto Cortese, Unsplash Copyright 2020

2.6. Shipping Solution

The proper shipping method should also be discussed with your website builder. Only then can you create shipping charges and charge customers.

Shipping rules should consider the product and the region. You should have multiple shipping options available to secure more customers. You should also decide whether to do the packaging or drop ship it.

You need to decide on the area of operation. Even though it is online, placing an order for anyone worldwide is easy. But you need to determine if you can sell internationally.

When placing an order, the customers should be given information such as delivery date, taxes, shipping label, etc. The shipping can also include real-time rates or sometimes flat rates for bigger orders to encourage more sales.

2.7. Test Your E-commerce Site

Before launching your website online, you must run several tests to ensure your website works perfectly. Just double-check on whether it is easy to operate or use.

However, most e-commerce website builders will provide you with a user-friendly template. Every button, link, and inbox should be checked properly to ensure it does not cause any user problems.

The main thing you should test in your e-commerce website is whether the set-up payment options are proper.

You need to check whether the portal works properly and whether invoices are generated for the chosen products. And check the website layout on your mobile device since the layout pattern will be different on mobile devices compared to desktop.

Before launching your website, you must ensure you have enough supplies to fulfill a decent customer demand. Suppose your website became a huge hit and got a hefty order on day one. If you don’t have the stock, it will create a bad image for your brand.

2.8. Build Social Media Profile

Every e-commerce store should have a social media presence to attract customers. This can start with creating an email marketing campaign to promote your new product arrivals and offers provided.

The presence of your company on social media is not only for promotion. It has become a point of contact between the business and the customers. They use it to give feedback and complaints.

Before launching your e-commerce store, you need to open social media accounts on platforms that you feel are relevant to acquiring your audience. And you need to indulge in the early promotion of your brand.

Share pictures and cool videos of your products on these social media handles to direct traffic to your e-commerce website. Search for bloggers and influencers in your area who can help you gain your intended audience and induce sales on your website.

A close-up of a black phone screen with social media apps visible on the screen. Build social media profile for your e-commerce site.
By William Krause, Unsplash Copyright 2021

2.9. Launch Your Ecommerce Website

Once all tests are done and a few promotions are made on social media, if everything gives you a green signal, you are good to go and can launch your e-commerce website. You can run a few Google ads and other promotions with the help of your website builder.

After launching the site, you can start selling immediately since you would have done the test orders to ensure everything is smooth. You need to review the audience’s traffic rate, engagement, and reactions. Only if you monitor and review them closely can you make the necessary changes and build a unique e-commerce site.

2.10. Why Build an Online Store?

With digitalization and the new trend of buying things online grown. This area is still a developing field. Big players like Amazon, and eBay have shown the level you can reach in this business.

Setting up an online store is easy. You don’t need many employees or resources to create an online store.

It is much cheaper compared to physical stores. Rent, electricity bills, maintenance, and many other costs are being cut down as everything here is online.

Creates a personalized buying experience for customers. They can filter options and select the products that they want.

High return on investment. Since you are spending less and have digital marketing campaigns, getting more than what you paid is easier.

A display of words written with a red rope on a black metal gate. The words are " online shop open!" the words are to encourage building an e-commerce site because of digitalization.
By Samuel Regan-Asante, Unsplash Copyright 2021

3. Conclusion

Building an e-commerce website is simple if you follow the steps mentioned above. You must buy a custom domain name for your site and choose your builder. Categorize and select the theme of your website.

Order your product listings properly, and channel the proper payment method. If the testing is all done, you can start selling online. It is a simple process that requires little knowledge, not just technical aspects. But you should know from where you can get things done.

Remember, there won’t be more buyers at the start of your journey. But you have to find the reason for it and make the changes quickly to grow. By the time your business grows, you need to update your website. Because over time, anything could happen. It is tough to predict the market. So, once you go to the top level, you must step up the game and bring in more features.

Many online site builders give you a free SSL certificate and domain name. The main reason is to protect the customers’ data from cybercriminals. The aspect of safety is really important since we are dealing with the personal information of the people, and they trust you.

E-commerce website is the epitome of online business since it is the only way customers can know what they buy. It is crucial not only to set up this online store but also to maintain it properly and fix it if there are any problems.

Last Updated on February 28, 2024 by Sathi Chakraborty

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