Now is the perfect time to launch your online business if you’ve always wanted to but have been waiting for the right moment. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar store, looking into expanding your online business or starting your own online store for the first time, this step-by-step guide will walk you through how to build an online store from start to finish. The wait is over, start growing your eCommerce store today by following these five steps that have been proven to get your business set up fast.
1. Select a Website Builder & Design Your eCommerce Website
There are many website builders available online that make creating a new website simple, such as Wix, Squarespace, Magento 2, WooCommerce, Shopify, and many more. While coding can be a big advantage to you when building your online business from scratch, you do not have to learn coding to start building your own online business.
There are many eCommerce platforms that allow you to create, launch and customize your online store. Customizing your own domain (or purchasing one), adding in your own designs, managing your inventory, receiving payment and more, are all features available on these platforms that will assist you in transforming your online store.
Signing up for a free trial or paying monthly for a website builder can help your business advance and grow faster. Check out “What Should eCommerce Merchants Focus On?” to learn more about the top five areas eCommerce Merchants should focus on to create a highly successful eCommerce business.
2. Use Search Engine Optimization & Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. By optimizing your online business with SEO it can help your business appear more in the organic search results, which can drive more traffic to your online store.
Another option to get traffic to come quicker to your online store is by using a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising strategy. You will have to pay for PPC advertising, but it is one of the easiest ways to get traffic to come to your new website or page faster. There are three advantages of using PPC over waiting for traffic to come to your website naturally:
First, PPC ads can be displayed on a search page easily and allow Google’s AI intelligence software to crawl better to find the content a searcher needs. Second, PPC ads give your business the ability to test different keywords as well as descriptions, headlines, prices and selling methods. Thirdly, PPC advertising can be dynamic and allow specific ads to be placed in front of specific audiences.
The use of PPC ads allow customers to discover your business while allowing your company to find top converting words that help on the organic side as well. This in turn allows a better ranking to appear on the organic search results improving your search positioning.
A great way to market your online business is to drive traffic to your website. It is important to build a marketing strategy that will increase your brand awareness, drive up customer loyalty, and increase your online sales. The following are a few marketing strategies you can use to drive more customers to your online store, particularly if you are selling specific products or services:
1. Run a Marketing Campaign
2. Use Social Media Sites to Advertise On
3. Improve Email Campaigns
4. Create Promotional Videos & Photography
5. Add in a Blog or Live Chat
If you apply a few of these marketing strategies listed above to your business, it can help establish your presence and reputation within this industry. Consumers use the internet to find information all the time and by establishing a solid marketing strategy, it can help drive more traffic to your website.
Consider producing free and engaging content while linking it to your website’s content. By distributing your content on the web through graphics, videos, social media and through other mediums, you are sharing valuable information and content with your customers.
By sharing content, you become active within the industry, and you are more likely to be recognized within your field, especially through social networking sites where your target market is located. With a comprehensive marketing strategy in place, you can generate relevant content that is appealing to your target audience, which in turn increases the return on investment for your business in the long-term.
4. Customer Retention Strategy
While constructing your online business you will need to consider creating a retention strategy to retain existing customers. It can be difficult to find new customers and even more challenging to get them to return to your online store to make another purchase. A customer retention strategy can help you nurture your sales funnel and increase your brand's loyalty. The benefits of a customer retention strategy can be measured in three ways:
1. Customer Lifetime Value: Personalized communication with your target market will keep them returning and increase their average order value (AOV).
2. Acquisition Costs: Acquiring new customers can be more costly than retaining existing ones.
3. User Experience: The environment and technology you provide to your customers can have a significant impact on their experience, both positive and negative.Your retention strategy should take advantage of creating a long-term retention plan that will allow your eCommerce business to grow.
5. Shipping Strategy
While you are busy constructing your online business it is easy to forget to focus on creating a shipping strategy. Having an effective shipping strategy in place is essential and one of the most impactful steps you can take in growing your online business. While many eCommerce brands start off by offering free shipping across the board or displaying unmodified shipping rates, more successful and experienced merchants use strategic shipping options to differentiate themselves from their competitors and increases their profit margins.
Crafting a shipping strategy for your online business allows you to identify everyone involved in the pipeline, helps you to better understand the process and can help you in setting goals for your team. Ensuring you are offering the right shipping rates and options to your customers is critical to your success as a business. That’s why it is important for merchants to pay attention to the product size, weight, destination, and shipping options available to cater to your business’s unique needs.
Integrate with ClickShip!
ClickShip is an all-in-one eCommerce shipping platform that can easily integrate with your online business to provide best-in-class discounted rates from top-tier carriers. With ClickShip you can streamline your order fulfillment, keep track of your shipments, and save money to invest into other aspects of your business. As your online business continues to grow, ClickShip can help you no matter its scale!
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