Sep 19, 2022
How to Make an eCommerce Website in 2022: A Guide to Success
With 2.14 billion digital buyers worldwide, it should be no surprise that the number of eCommerce websites continues to grow. Internet shopping allows people to purchase anything they want without dealing with traffic, parking, crowds, or bad weather.
Luckily, establishing an eCommerce store to market goods or services is now easier than ever. There are numerous eCommerce hosting solutions and online store builders that help users create a website that looks professional without any coding skills.
With features such as free templates and customization tools, your eCommerce site will be ready in just a few clicks.
If you are still unsure of what to do, we will walk you through everything you need to know to build an eCommerce website and start selling online.
How to Make an eCommerce Website Video Guide
Follow this step-by-step guide on how to make an eCommerce website to start making money online.
3 Reasons Why You Need an eCommerce Website
As with establishing any business, building an eCommerce website requires a business plan and a marketing strategy.
Once you figure out what to sell and how to do it, you’ll need to market your products through a full-fledged eCommerce store.
If you are still hesitant to sell online, keep in mind that starting an eCommerce business offers a lot of flexibility. Since they don’t require physical locations, online stores are easier and more affordable to launch.
Additionally, partnering with courier service providers allows online businesses to sell products globally. As a result, you can attract a large customer base with trending products.
Let’s look at three other good reasons to start selling online.
1. Customers Prefer Shopping Online
In 2020, the global consumers’ spending preferences shifted to online shopping. With online sales accounting for nearly 19% of all retail sales worldwide, the eCommerce industry is set for continued growth.
It is easy to understand why more people appreciate the convenience of shopping online. Customers benefit in several ways, such as:
When customers arrive on the checkout page, shipping expenses can significantly increase the item’s price.
Thus, customers are drawn to online stores that offer free shipping, either as a reward for spending a certain amount of money or an automatic discount.
Shopping via an online store is ideal for people who lead busy lives. They can purchase anything with a few taps on their mobile devices rather than spending hours physically moving from one shop to another. Smokehouse, for instance, shows an example of the greatest eCommerce website designs by utilizing a drag-and-drop feature to streamline user’s experience.
Easy return policy
Occasionally, customers may need to exchange a product that does not meet their expectations due to size or quality factors. Since they cannot just walk into your eCommerce store, a hassle-free return policy can improve customer loyalty. Moreover, research shows 96% of customers would return to a business that has an easy return policy.
Easy payment processing
Based on eCommerce trends, customers prefer not to deal with checkout lines and can quickly select their preferred payment method when making purchases.
More savings with better prices
Discount pricing on eCommerce sites has a significant impact on consumer purchasing behavior. A study has discovered that 81% of people prefer online stores that offer discounts, deals, or loyalty rewards.
In addition, price-savvy customers can save money by browsing through coupon sites.
2. Smaller Financial Risks
For the most part, selling products online is less risky than opening brick-and-mortar stores. Online marketplaces cost less to maintain as you save money on staff, electricity, and rent.
The cost of building an online store typically includes site setup, maintenance, and marketing. Although hiring staff is still possible, the overall costs will be much lower and more predictable.
3. Maximizing Your Options
An eCommerce business gives offline shops the opportunity to explore new ventures. Along with other big brands, Puma, for example, has decided to invest in eCommerce.
With Puma closing its physical stores worldwide to survive lockdown, the eCommerce platform became a priority for the brand. In the first quarter of 2020, Puma’s eCommerce business grew by approximately 40%. This figure increased to 77% by April 2020.
As a consequence, Puma has made significant adjustments to its marketing activities. The brand has shifted its spending towards performance marketing and logistics to meet the increased eCommerce demand.
With brands migrating to online stores, there are other benefits and advantages to keep in mind, such as:
A passive income stream will not depend on solid salespeople or long opening hours. With an eCommerce site, your shop can operate 24/7 to serve audiences globally.
Money saved on advertising
When compared to conventional media, digital advertising is less expensive and more flexible. There are several eCommerce marketing strategies that business owners can implement themselves to run a successful online store.
Less staff expenses
You can take the opportunity to integrate a chatbot into your social media and customer service activities. A virtual assistant helps handle customer support and other duties 24 hours a day, improving customer experience.
Reduced monthly rent expenses
There will be some upfront costs for the establishment and maintenance of your eCommerce website. However, they will still be lower than opening or maintaining a physical store.
How to Build a Successful eCommerce Website in 5 Steps
Now that you know the benefits of having an online store, let’s go over the main steps to build one.
1. Get a Domain Name
A domain name acts as the web address that a site visitor uses to access a website. It reflects and represents your entire brand and should give people an idea of the business’ activities. Not only can it help establish a website’s credibility, but it can also differentiate the site from its competitors.
Domain name extension can help you stand out even more. Consider .store or .shop domains to make your online store address truly unique.
When deciding on a domain name, you can be imaginative and creative. The main thing to keep in mind is to make sure it is memorable and pronounceable.
Use a domain name generator to come up with new ideas. If the chosen domain name is available, all you have to do is purchase it.
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2. Find a Reliable Hosting Provider and Pick a Hosting Plan
To get your eCommerce site up and running, you’ll need web hosting to store its files.
A good web hosting plan must be efficient and adjustable to accommodate future growth as your eCommerce business develops.
Choosing the wrong plan can impact your online store negatively, resulting in lost sales and opportunities as a result of poor performance and slow page loading times.
As appealing as lower-cost solutions may seem, keep in mind that such platforms may limit an eCommerce site’s overall capabilities. Thus, it is essential to select a reliable hosting plan.
Consider the following aspects when selecting a web hosting provider:
- Bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data a website can transfer to its visitors over a specified time. If possible, choose a hosting provider that offers unlimited bandwidth.
- Storage. An eCommerce website needs to have enough storage to accommodate site content such as text, product pictures, and databases.
- Speed and optimization. Speed is a critical element when running an online store. Choose a hosting provider that ensures fast page load times so that your eCommerce site won’t suffer from high bounce rates and slow website traffic.
- Security. Choosing a hosting service with high levels of protection will ensure the safety of your eCommerce site and customers’ data. Check if a web hosting provider offers access management, an SSL certificate, multiple layers of firewalls, automated backups, and updates. Make sure that you keep up with the best eCommerce security practices.
- Ease of installation and use. Look for web hosting with an intuitive interface, as it will simplify the management of your files, domains, and applications.
- Customer support. Providing multiple communication channels such as live chat, email, or phone calls 24/7 can be a good sign of a hosting provider’s reliability. Good hosting providers offer vast information and resources to assist you with getting started.
There are several types of web hosting, with the four most common being shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting.
Due to its simplicity and affordability, shared hosting works well for small online stores. Starting at ₹69/month, Hostinger offers three shared hosting plans that include a free SSL certificate and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you need both hosting and a domain name, opt for either the Premium or Business plan. They come with unlimited bandwidth and databases and can be used to host up to 100 websites.
If you’re looking to host a WordPress eCommerce website, it’s a good idea to look for the best WooCommerce hosting solution for you – these plans are specialized and optimized for hosting a WordPress store with WooCommerce plugin.
Cloud hosting is ideal for medium to large eCommerce websites that receive higher traffic and need more processing power and disk space to store files. Starting at ₹799/month, Hostinger’s cloud plans include features such as free email accounts, free CDN, and a dedicated IP address.
3. Choose an eCommerce Platform or a Website Builder
Creating an online store may be easier than you think with the help of eCommerce platforms.
You can use them to develop a fantastic website design, improve customers’ shopping experience, and streamline the daily task of processing online sales.
To choose a platform to build an eCommerce website on, consider its cost, features, and usability factors. Spend some time evaluating your options to find something that suits your business model and can accommodate its growth.
While there are many other eCommerce platforms available, you may want to start with one of the following popular online store builders:
Follow this step-by-step guide on how to make an eCommerce website to start making money online.
Zyro is one of the best eCommerce website builders that offers excellent online store features for freelancers and small to medium-sized enterprises. It comes with a drag-and-drop editor that lets users easily incorporate text, image, or video sections into the online store.
By default, all its designer-built templates are mobile responsive. There are 20+ eCommerce website templates that you can cater to any business, from an online clothing store, or creating a t-shirt business to a professional portfolio. So feel free to experiment and see which one suits your website the most.
Another exciting element of the Zyro website builder is the AI-powered tools. Use them to generate a business name, logo, and even text, speeding up the website creation process.
To maximize sales, Zyro lets you add multiple payment options to the store, including PayPal and Stripe. Moreover, users can integrate tools such as WhatsApp and Messenger live chat to improve customer service.
Zyro offers two eCommerce plans: Online Store for $8.90/month and Advanced Store for $15.90/month. Both plans include web hosting, a free domain name for one year, and an SSL certificate.
If you have an existing WordPress site or are familiar with the platform, consider WooCommerce. It is a free plugin that converts your site into an online store.
WooCommerce suits businesses of all sizes. This open-source plugin comes equipped with a full range of eCommerce features.
They include extensive theme options, built-in SEO tools, and extensions for integrating payment gateways and shipping carriers. If you don’t have a WordPress website yet, you’ll only need to obtain hosting and a domain to get started.
Once you have installed WooCommerce, simply follow the setup wizard to get the eCommerce store ready to start selling products online.
Other than WooCommerce, Shopify is ideal for both new and experienced sellers. It provides general website features such as web hosting, an easy-to-navigate interface, and a variety of themes. However, Shopify charges transaction fees that range from 0.5% to 2% of the price of the product.
Users can choose from three plans: Basic Shopify for $29/month, Shopify for $79/month, and Advanced Shopify for $299/month. Shopify also offers a 14-day trial, allowing customers to test the platform before committing to a plan.
In addition, users can sell products on any WordPress website using WP Shopify.
4. Create the Main eCommerce Website Pages
To attract and generate sales from your target audience, the information on your website’s main pages should be easily visible and accessible.
In addition, there are some pages and elements that all eCommerce sites should have.
Since the homepage design is the first thing most shoppers see, it should contain compelling and clear information about your site, along with stunning graphics. It is essential for a homepage to load quickly.
If your online store takes longer than three seconds to load, you will lose visitors. Therefore, it is no surprise that Google considers site speed a ranking factor.
About Us page
Customers discover more about a brand’s story, motivation, mission, and passion on this page. In fact, most people tend to visit the About Us page right after landing on the homepage.
Thus, keep the content here concise and clear. Show the visitors what your brand’s main values are and what makes it stand out from the competitors.
Contact Us page
A contact information page lets customers verify a business’ availability and reliability. Make it easy for them to find your contact details, such as the phone number, email, and a physical address if you have one.
To improve your credibility, remember to be approachable and transparent. Customers are more likely to make first or repeat purchases if they trust a brand.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page
Customers usually have numerous concerns about the purchasing process. Think of the most common customers’ problems or questions, such as shipping options, order tracking, and countries served.
Provide in-depth and helpful responses as well as insight into online business, products, and services.
In addition, include a search bar on the FAQ page to help customers find information.
Return and refund policy
Offering a detailed return and exchange policy demonstrates that a business stands behind the quality of its products and values its reputation.
Shopping cart and secure checkout process
Customers like to know what they have added to their shopping cart while browsing other items.
That is why all items must be neatly organized and include pictures and prices. To provide further transparency, the breakdown of expenses and estimated delivery time should also be visible.
Remember to ensure that forms are easy to fill out to make future purchases more straightforward for customers. Guest checkout is a great feature to improve conversions, as it lets anyone make purchases without registering first.
Choosing reputable eCommerce payment gateway and card processing providers such as Paypal, Stripe, or Apple Pay will help secure payments and protect the customers’ data.
According to the most recent eCommerce statistics, while most worldwide eCommerce sales are made via credit card payments, digital wallets are likely to become the most preferred online payment method soon. Thus, offer a wide selection of options to improve conversions.
Apart from payment options, it is also essential to provide multiple shipping methods.
Be sure to include information such as taxes, estimated delivery date, and whether international shipping is available.
Also, consider what methods your customers might prefer. Real-time shipping costs are an excellent choice if your products significantly vary in size and weight.
However, if they are similar in size, consider offering flat-rate shipping.
Call to Action (CTA)
A clear and straightforward call to action (CTA) is an integral part of a website with good navigation. CTAs are text, images, and buttons that tell customers what to do next. Examples include Sign up for a newsletter, Register an account, and Add an item to your shopping cart.
Use bright colors on CTA buttons, as the color choice can have a big impact on a page’s conversion rate.
Product pages are crucial in the customer decision-making process. With eCommerce, shoppers cannot hold, feel, or try out the product. Instead, everything is based on what they see on their devices.
For this reason, having professional quality images and providing complete product descriptions is essential. Covering all aspects of the product, including size, materials, uses, and benefits, can help customers make informed purchase decisions.
Here are a few tips to take great photos of your eCommerce products:
- Use a white background. The background of product photographs should not be distracting. A white background can make the item stand out since it complements any style or color scheme.
- Use high-quality and large pictures. Visually appealing graphics can effectively sell a product. In fact, 47% of US internet shoppers consider high-quality product photos a determining factor when deciding on a purchase. Large images also enable customers to zoom in and check the product’s features from up close.
- Maintain consistency. Using images in line with the look and feel of the rest of the online store will foster a clean and uncluttered experience.
Security and privacy
Since eCommerce businesses handle payment details and other personal information, your online store must be completely secure. Make sure to install a valid SSL certificate to keep all your website traffic encrypted.
Once you have installed an SSL certificate, customers will see a padlock icon next to the URL on the address bar.
5. Construct a User-Friendly and Convertible Design
User experience (UX) design aims to improve a website’s ability to handle interactions and sell products by streamlining the user experience. Meanwhile, user interface (UI) design helps optimize a site’s visual aspects, appearance, and feel.
Both design elements usually go hand in hand with one another, improving the performance of your eCommerce site. No matter what platform you use to develop an online store, a responsive design is crucial to attract customers.
It is essential to have a website that will adequately load across all devices as, according to statistics, a large part of eCommerce transactions is made through mobile phones. To have an eye-catching and mobile-friendly website design, start with a responsive eCommerce template.
At Hostinger, we offer SSL certificates to strengthen your eCommerce site’s security. A secured online store makes a good impression and ensures your customers feel safe when making transactions.
Simple Ways to Market Your eCommerce Store
Now that you’ve learned how to establish an eCommerce website, you are ready to start selling online. However, to boost your sales, you will need to know how to market your online business idea properly.
1. Get Started with Content Marketing
While a content marketing strategy does not yield quick results, it is an excellent method to establish a loyal following for your online business.
In addition to that, combining it with a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy brings in several benefits, such as increasing authority, attracting more relevant visitors, and establishing trust of your target audience.
Setting up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the most widely used website analytics tool. It allows website owners to examine how users discover, engage with, and navigate their sites.
As an online business owner, use Google Analytics to gain insights into your visitors and formulate better marketing strategies.
A business blog is frequently the jumping-off point for content marketing. Publishing regular high-quality blog entries on topics that matter to your audience helps show that you have a legitimate business. Employ eye-catching infographics and high-quality product visuals to increase the engagement of your content. A business blog is also an excellent method to improve your website’s SEO.
Nowadays, video material is the primary source of information for many internet users. Create video tutorials or promotional videos based on your target audience’s preferences.
2. Conduct email marketing campaigns
Given that there are over 4.1 billion email users, it’s unsurprising that email marketing has developed into one of the most effective tactics to increase sales.
eCommerce email marketing is an excellent way to provide your audience with the latest information on new products, discounts, and other promotions. It also allows building a closer connection with them.
To boost customer trust while conducting an email marketing campaign, the first thing any brand needs is a professional email address.
Hostinger’s shared hosting plan is a good option for hosting a business email and online store at the same place with no extra cost, starting at just ₹69/month.
Both email services include advanced security measures to protect your account, such as anti-spam filters and anti-virus checks. Once you decide on a plan, set up your professional email address directly from the hPanel dashboard.
3. Be active on social media
Social media significantly impacts eCommerce sales – 51% of consumers say social media advertisements affect their purchasing decisions.
In addition, social networking is an excellent way to increase brand awareness and direct traffic to your online store.
To optimize your content for Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms, monitor each social channel and keep track of the latest opinions about your products.
Negative feedback can provide valuable insights into improving your eCommerce business, while positive comments are potent forms of social proof.
If you want to learn how to create a social media strategy to strengthen your online presence, check out our webinar Social Media: Growing Your Brand and Business.
While making a well-designed eCommerce website takes time and resources, it is well worth it. Remember that eCommerce provides opportunities to make money 24/7.
To recap, here are the five steps to make your own online store:
- Get a domain name
- Choose the right eCommerce platform or a website creator
- Find a reliable hosting provider and pick a hosting plan
- Create the main eCommerce website pages
- Construct a user-friendly and convertible online store design
Be sure to spend time double-checking each page for typos, broken links, and other issues before launching your eCommerce website.
Additionally, it may be necessary to perform a few test purchases to ensure everything works properly.
Furthermore, there are several marketing strategies you can adopt to gain greater recognition and build a successful online business. It’s important to maintain a presence on social media platforms and employ email marketing tactics to attract the widest audience possible.
If you want to know how to build a headless eCommerce site, read our tutorial.
We hope this tutorial has helped you gain valuable insight into building and marketing an online store. We wish you the best of luck with your business.