Top 10 Steps to Building a Successful Ecommerce Site in 2020

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Top 10 Steps to Building a Successful Ecommerce Site in 2020

 

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This is The Top 10 Steps to Building a Successful Ecommerce Site in 2020

1. Get a Domain Name .

This is entirely clear. You need an area name that will superbly distinguish your image. Don’t overthink the procedure. Utilizing a site like GoDaddy, you can buy an area name for under $10.00.

Related: How to Choose and Purchase a Domain Name

2. Find a web developer.

This is a crucial component in launching your ecommerce site. If you want to launch your site in a relatively short time span and in a professional manner, make sure to do your vetting when it comes to hiring a developer. Get references from other ecommerce websites the developer has built. Get a timeline for how long they anticipate it will take to launch the site. Make sure they have a graphic design background so they can crop images that will align with your site. Be sure to ask if the developer has experience building sites on the ecommerce platform you choose (see step 4).

When Building a Successful Ecommerce Site in 2020 Too often, entrepreneurs move forward with a developer without doing their due diligence in terms of research. Don’t let this happen to you, as it can put a halt to your website before you really even get started. If you want to learn more about how long your e-commerce site should take to launch, feel free to contact a web design specialist.

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Related: 5 Tips for Hiring a Great Web Developer

3. Get all the paperwork you need for a legitimate business.

Register your business, get a vendor’s License and start looking into legal business issues. You should contact a local attorney to assist in the creation of your business. While it is an upfront cost, it likely will save you significant headache and expense in the future.

According to Alyson Letsky, an attorney at Eastman & Smith Ltd. in Columbus, Ohio, you will first need to strategize and determine the state in which you wish to be domiciled, then check the required filings with that state’s Secretary of State and department of taxation or revenue.

You will need to register the appropriate articles of incorporation or organization with your state’s Secretary of State if you are starting a corporation, nonprofit, limited liability company or professional organization. Additionally, if you will be making taxable sales, you will need to obtain a Seller’s Permit or Vendor’s License with the appropriate state agency. Many vendors will require that you have this as well before they agree to work with you.

If you are starting a nonprofit, check with the state Attorney General’s office to learn what charitable licenses and filings are required. Lastly, you will need the appropriate organizational documents. Contact your attorney for more information, but this is not a step to be skipped or overlooked.

Related: 4 Legal Documents You Need to Review Before 2017

4. Select ecommerce and website hosting platform.

To save time and money, select a popular ecommerce platform. I recommend ShopifyWooCommerce or BigCommerce. Most developers are familiar with these, making it easy to integrate plugins, payment processing, etc.

For our skincare ecommerce site, we decided to use WooCommerce because of the its WordPress capabilities. We chose WP Engine for the hosting, which costs $29.99 per month and provides a fast and secure hosting solution.

Related: Overwhelmed by the eCommerce Solutions Available? Here Are the Top 4.

5. Find a theme that matches your ecommerce vision.

To save even more time, you can purchase a theme from ThemeForest to find a layout that resembles the look and feel you desire from an ecommerce perspective. ThemeForest has over 28,000 website templates and themes from $2. They are the #1 marketplace for website templates.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Rather than building your site from scratch, download a template from ThemeForest or a similar site. We learned from experience that the customization process can be a very timely and frustrating one. So, if you can find a theme you like, you’ll likely save yourself quite a headache.

Related: 5 Ways Store Colors Can Influence Shoppers

6. Take your website live.

As soon as you commit to starting your business, take your site live, even before listing any of your products. Have your developer created a homepage, an “About Us” page and a contact page. It doesn’t have to be beautiful but having a functioning site will be helpful for numerous reasons:

First, it will allow you to establish legitimacy when negotiating deals with vendors. You’ll have more than just an idea. Second, when reaching out to reporters and bloggers, they can see that you have a website and are credible. Third, it will give you a place for all of these sources to link back to your site, which is, of course, key for building SEO.

Related: Five Things To Check Before Your New Website Goes Live

7. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is one of the greatest tools for PR and SEO any business owner or digital marketer can make use of. It’s free, it generates amazing exposure (if executed properly) and it can really be a game changer (again, if executed properly).

HARO provides journalists with a robust database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources to secure valuable media coverage. Sign up and use this resource as much as you can to build credibility and establish media relationships for your site.

When it comes to HARO, there are several key components to executing. The first is timeliness. When a reporter submits a query, they can receive hundreds of pitches in response. Each query has a deadline as well, so making sure you respond immediately, in the morning, afternoon and evening is critical for both reasons.

The second key element is finding a true industry expert with ease of access. Fortunately, we had a dermatologist at our disposal at all times for DermWarehouse. This provided us with an advantage over the thousands of pitches that deal with entrepreneurship (which we still responded to also, but had a lower conversion rate).

If you spend the time and send back two pitches per day for a one-year timespan, you will get tremendous exposure on some of the most popular sites on the web. This will not only help increase your brand exposure, it will greatly help your SEO as well.

Related: 5 Tips for Getting Media to ‘Swipe Right’ on Your Press Release

8. PitchBox.

Developing relationships with media contacts is a very important. This is where Pitchbox comes in. Pitchbox automates the outreach grunt work so you can focus on what you do best — creating real, person-to-person connections with the people you want to reach. Pitchbox helps scale your outreach efforts. It handles all aspects from the prospecting to the emailing to the tracking and managing the workflow.

After PitchBox sends an initial pitch, if someone doesn’t respond, their SaaS software will send a follow-up email based on a timed schedule. You can craft your own emails (both initial and follow-up) so that the message still sounds personal.

Pitchbox starts at $95 for startups and is a great resource to generate high quality relationships. We used this service for vendor outreach and also for media outreach. It saved us an enormous amount of time. If you’re also a Moz user, you can integrate Moz within Pitchbox, allowing you to filter your search results based on domain authority.

Related: 7 Tips for Mastering the Fine Art of Following Up

9. Personalized outreach.

Personalized relationships are very important, both for vendors and for the media. If you have successfully implemented an SEO strategy, you definitely understand the value of personalized relationships.

Make sure to pitch the website something of value. It is important to do research on reporters and editors so when you pitch them a story idea the email doesn’t get buried in their inbox or deleted unread.

Let’s say your ecommerce store sells “Pete’s Pasta Sauce.” Share your expertise through articles teaching readers and cooking aficionados about your most delicious recipes. Send an editor a sample of your pasta sauce to help explain to them why your pesto stands out among the competition.

If you’re only selling your own homemade pasta sauce, you won’t be dealing with vendor relationships but if you’re selling different brands and products you will be working closely with these vendors. Or at least you should be!

Pick up the phone or meet your rep for coffee. The vendors are the people who dictate sales and promotions. They can keep you up to date on the latest trends for their brand to help bolster your sales. They are the people who know the most about the products you’re selling, so it’s very important to establish relationships with them. Let them know that you’re a team and you want to work with them to garner success for both of you. They will appreciate it and think of you anytime they have a special deal or promotion, or even a great marketing idea. If you’ve built a relationship with them, yours is the website that they’ll want to share these ideas and offers with.

Related: Why a Phone Call Is Better Than an Email (Usually)

10. Get a payment gateway.

Did you ever wonder how credit card payments were accepted on ecommerce websites? It’s through a payment gateway and also a credit card processor. You are likely most familiar with PayPal or Stripe. But if you want to accept credit cards, recurring billing and mobile payment, a gateway like authorize.net or 2Checkout.com provide great options. WooRockets.com provides a great list of the “5 best payment gateways for e-commerce websites.”

Getting approved for a payment gateway and credit card processor is not an easy process, so do your research and make sure you’re prepared. Before you can apply, you’ll need to set up a secure checkout process on your website, create a Privacy Policy and Return Policy, figure out your shipping and delivery methods, plus have a working customer service phone number and email address.

February 21, 2020
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