As time goes on, more and more people are determined to become self-employed bosses of their own. Working nine to five is becoming a thing of the past as fewer people are settling for routine jobs and more are opting for setting their own hours and working from home.
Thanks to the internet, eCommerce stores are gaining more popularity around the globe and online shopping increases every year. Pew Research found that 80 percent of people in the U.S. shop online, and that number is set to increase every year. Clearly, the demand for accessible eCommerce stores isn’t going anywhere.
If you’re trying to create your very first eCommerce store, here are 3 tips to help you along the way.
1. Know what’s required
Creating and running an eCommerce business is the same as any business: it comes with its trials. Go into it with the right expectations and mindset. This is your business, it’s important, and you’re determined to make it a success. It may not be a brick and mortar store but that doesn’t mean it won’t require persistence, patience, and a lot of hard work.
You also have to be willing to put in the time. Being your own boss means creating a schedule and sticking to it. The less you picture your online shop as a legitimate business, the faster it’ll crash and burn. Realize that this is significant work. If it’s going to be successful and bring in positive ROI, it requires a serious commitment from you.
A few things that’ll be required once you open up shop are:
- A domain
- A business name
- Licenses particular to your country, state, and county
- An SSL certificate to protect customer information
- A vendor if you aren’t creating all the products yourself
2. Choose the right platform
The eCommerce platform you choose for your store determines the kind of user experience (UX) your site will have. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of your potential platforms to see which one most benefits the products in your niche.
When choosing a platform, there are multiple things to consider:
- Price. Come up with a range for your startup budget depending on the elements your site will need. Take into account the size you estimate your business to grow to, maintenance fees, creating and shipping inventory, and monthly subscription costs to start.
- Web hosting. If you’re a complete beginner, the best option is to choose a fully-hosted provider that’s got everything built in and ready to use. These options require no coding, HTML, or CSS. If you’re knowledgeable with coding or prefer open source coding capabilities, go with a self-hosted provider.
- Features. What are its payment gateways? How about its compatibility with the products and services you want to sell? What are its SEO features so that you can be sure you’re ranking in search engines?
It’s important to consider what psychological strategies you can use to show consumers they want to take action right away. You can use a helpful plugin for your store like OptinMonster to create popups and optins that will get a visitors’ attention when your site feels they’re about to exit the page. Give them an offer they can’t refuse and they’ll willingly hand over their email address.
One of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market is WooCommerce which runs through WordPress. It’s free, easy to use and learn, and is one of the most highly recommended eCommerce plugins available.
To create an eCommerce site with WooCommerce, you have to create an account.
Then you’re going to download the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress.
From your WordPress dashboard, click Plugins and Add New.
Upload the WooCommerce plugin file you downloaded and click Install Now.
Click Activate Plugin.
You’ll then use Setup Wizard to help you through every step of your setup.
3. Always optimize for mobile
With 4.5 billion active mobile users globally in 2018, it’s essential your online store is optimized for mobile. People are constantly sifting through endless content on their phones, and online shopping is a huge part of that.
According to Statista, 200 million people shopped from their mobile phones in 2018. It’s a method of purchasing that provides ease, simplicity, and convenience. It’s no longer a requirement to go out, stand in long lines, and spend extra time browsing different products. People want the simplest solution to their shopping needs and mobile friendly eCommerce stores provide them with what they want.
Google announced earlier this year that it’s now migrating sites that use the best practices for mobile indexing. This means that now, instead of primarily looking at and focusing on desktop web pages, they’re now prioritizing web pages on mobile. If that’s not reason enough to create a mobile-friendly eCommerce store, nothing is.
Test your store’s mobile friendliness using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Simply enter your website’s URL and the results are a click away.
Creating your first eCommerce store doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right plugins and mental preparation, you’ll be up and running in no time. How will you go about creating your first eCommerce store?