Having an e-commerce website is beneficial on many levels for any business, regardless of its size. If you too want to reach new markets, take advantage of many opportunities, create a better shopping experience and strengthen your brand, you need to set up an e-commerce website. But, developing one is not something you can improvise. How should you go about it? Here are the seven steps to follow if you want to create a profitable e-commerce site.
Step 1: Find the really viable product idea
You probably already have an idea about the products you are going to sell on your e-commerce website. But to have a truly profitable platform, you need to make sure that there is a real demand for the products and that you are able to position yourself in its market.
Are people already buying your products online? What is the level of competition? Is it an over-saturated or still trendy niche? Is it possible to compete with the prices that are already being charged? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself to find the perfect products for your online store.
You can find the answers to these questions on the most famous sales platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba… You can also consult specialized Facebook pages, community websites where trendy ideas of products, items of interest are presented and where you will have a better idea of consumers’ opinions.
Step 2: Determine the prices of the products to be sold
What prices to apply to your products? This is one of the biggest challenges business owners face when launching their e-commerce site.
Pricing your products too low will make you lose money. You’ll also have a hard time breaking even. And if your prices are high, it will certainly be difficult to make many sales.
So you need to find the right balance. To do this, you need to make a complete list of your costs and then define the minimum margin you will charge.
Don’t hesitate to compare your prices with those of your competitors. You don’t have to match their prices. To stand out, you can offer options that work for all parties.
Step 3: Choose the ideal e-commerce website creation tool and start its implementation
Now it’s time to start setting up your e-commerce site. There are different options available to you here, whether it’s SaaS tools, CMS, open source software, etc.
Don’t look far. Choose from the best e-commerce website builder tools. These include Shopify, Wix and WooCommerce. They are affordable, easy to use and make it possible to get online stores up and running as quickly as possible. Shopify, for example, is a complete and scalable solution through which you can create online sales stores of any size and optimized for sales.
You will need to do some additional research to select the tool that best meets the specifics of the products you want to sell. Once you’ve chosen it, start building your e-commerce site.
Step 4: Really showcase your products
While designing your online store, you need to make sure you highlight the values of your products. If there’s one thing you need to remember, it’s that people don’t buy an item, they buy a solution or a promise.
You must therefore work well on the presentation of your products. In concrete terms, you need to draw your potential customers’ attention to what they gain by ordering from you. Insist on the advantages of your products rather than their characteristics. Also find visuals (images, gifts, short videos) that illustrate the strengths of what you sell.
Writing a strong sales pitch is especially recommended when designing a profitable online store. The sales copy is important to maximize your chances of convincing your site visitors. Therefore, consider ordering yours from a copywriter.
Step 5: Build your brand
A brand is meant to be memorable. So if you want to be profitable, you need to build a strong brand for your business. Indeed, building a brand allows you to sell much more than a product. Having a branded e-commerce site also means communicating values and a philosophy. The same ones that your potential customers are looking for or defend.
So, whether you are selling a single product, a range or a set of items, you must always communicate your values. They must be clear, simple and easy to remember.
To build a brand image that promotes the profitability of your site, you must choose a good business name for your sales site. But that’s not all. The purchase of the domain name, the creation of your logo, the choice of your colors, fonts, graphic forms are all elements that must be taken into account to create a brand that stands out, inspires confidence and brings you credibility.
Your brand image must be present at all stages of the customer journey on your page. So make sure you build it right.
Step 6: Set up an easy-to-use payment method
If you create an e-commerce site, it is to receive online orders. But do you know how to easily retrieve payments made on your website?
This is an important step, because it is in your interest to integrate payment gateways into your site that are adapted to the payment solutions your customers usually use. Online purchases are usually made by credit card, PayPal and Stripe.
Therefore, you must have a payment solution that accepts all these payment methods. Note, however, that some fees will be deducted from your revenue. The amount varies from one payment solution to another. Feel free to use an online payment solution comparison tool if you want to choose the most cost-effective option for you.
Step 7: Promote your e-commerce website
Once you have completed all the previous steps and have successfully tested your e-commerce website, it is time to make it known to as many of your potential customers as possible. You must therefore begin to promote it. Several solutions are available to you including :
- The imbound marketing (content creation, SEO…) ;
- Social media;
- Paid advertising campaigns…
As excellent as the design quality of your e-commerce website is, if it is not known, you are not likely to make sales. So, if you want to increase your revenues and really have a profitable e-commerce site, invest in its promotion.