Building an ecommerce website is completely different from making a content website. Building an online store can be quite tricky especially for a beginner. Given below are a few important steps that will help you build an online store to perfection:
1. Conduct thorough research: Conducting thorough research is definitely the first step in building an ecommerce website. This will mainly involve researching about the product/service and the industry as a whole. Apart from the product, you also need to focus on researching the target audience and the target market. It is better to enter a market that is not too crowded and has relatively less competitors. Also, you must ensure that you have a distinct USP that will help you attract people and give you an edge over your competitors.
2. Organize Product Information: The next step in building an ecommerce website is to compile and organize the entire product/service information beforehand. The information must be categorized into different segments like types, colors, sizes, price and so on. This information is the basis of your website structure and will determine the navigation channel of your website.
3. Register a Domain Name: Once you have organized the first two steps, the next step in building an ecommerce website is to choose and register a domain name. While choosing a domain name, make sure that it is catchy, easy to remember and suits your profile. Once you have chosen a domain name, you can get it registered with any domain registration company for a minimal cost.
4. Web hosting company: Mostly registering a domain and web hosting go hand-in-hand and are undertaken by the same company. While building an ecommerce website it is a good idea to choose a web hosting company that specializes in hosting ecommerce websites. Hosting your website here will provide you a website that has an integrated secure shopping cart.
5. Open a PayPal account: Paypal has really made online merchandising easy and convenient. With a paypal account you will be saved from hassles like opening a merchant account, integrating a payment gateway or a shopping cart. While building an online store, having a paypal account is the next thing most important thing to do.
6. Build Logical Navigation: For an ecommerce website, navigation is extremely critical. You must ensure that it is logical and enables users to find products and services with great ease. If your internet store has a complex navigation, it will just frustrate your users and drive them away forever.
7. Test: Once you have designed the website and uploaded the products, the next step in building an ecommerce website is to test it thoroughly. You must check your website for technical discrepancies like broken links, browser compatibility, screen resolution, html/xhtml validation and loading time. Apart from these, you also need to check whether every product has the right pricing, right images, right images and right description. It is a good idea to ask people outside your team, like your friends and family to test to check for any usability issues.
Each of these steps is the foundation of building an ecommerce website.