The retail industry today has changed tremendously, thanks to the advances in internet technology. In the span of 10 years the e commerce sector has only be growing, and we don’t see it stopping anytime soon. The e commerce sector hosts thousands of e commerce websites all over the world. With each e commerce website offering something different to its visitors. In the world that we live in today, many seek the convenience of online shopping. With just a click of a button, your item is purchased and it will be delivered right up to your door step. As our lives get busier the less time we have, to go out to a mall to shop. So, the popularity of online shopping only seems to incline.
With technology being so efficient today, it is extremely easy for you to start your own e commerce page. There is no need for technological skills and knowledge for you to develop your own site. Here are a few steps that will help you develop your own DIY page:
The Beginning Process
1. Selecting The Right Web Designing Tools
Before you start developing anything, you have to have a business plan. You need to have a clear idea of what your business is going to be first. (We advice that you document your ideas down on to paper) When you are confident with your business plan then you can focus on developing your site. If you have a little bit of knowledge about programming, then you’ll know what HTML, PHP or MySQL is and start from scratch.
However, if you’re not that tech savvy and aren’t familiar with the technical aspects, you can also invest in web design software’s. Software’s such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression web will make life so much easier for you. But of course these software’s do not come for free, they are around $50-$300. But, it all comes down to the type you decide to purchase. Open source options are also available for your choosing if you’d prefer. Companies like BlueGriffon and KompoZer are great too. But, the latter options may not have all the features compared to the paid software. Yet, it is still a much better option compared to starting from scratch.
It is hard to advice on which tool you should pick for your e commerce store, as it completely depends on what your needs and wants are. Our advice to you is to pick a easy interface. If you’re planning on developing a simple website, go for HTML/CSS. If you’re website is going to be complex where your content frequently changes, then go for content management systems (CMS). Joomla or Drupal are two CMS’s that are worth checking out.
2. Choosing A Web Host For Your Site
When all the ground work for your website is done and dusted, your next step is to find a host. There are hundreds of web hosting solutions out there. Each of them may offer different services. Your goal is to work with a hosting platform that can help meet your e commerce site needs. The first thing to take into consideration is the price. Will the price fit your budget? Do some research, browse the net and compare the prices of different web hosts.
If you are working on a tight budget, you should not always pick the cheapest option. Sometimes, hosts with cheap base prices charge more in other areas. Or their service just isn’t really that great. For example, maybe customer service isn’t that great or most importantly poor tech support. These two aspects are extremely important if you are new to developing a site. You will need all the help and support you can get when something goes wrong.
Another important thing to consider is, features offered by the host. An example would be, the host being compatible with programming language you have picked for your site. To make it much easier for you, look for a host that offers an email server. In addition, look for hosts that provide security to your website. Things like firewalls and virus detection to ensure your sites safety. You never know when a hacker might strike. Lastly, pick a host that has an up-time guarantee. You need to be sure that your visitors will be able to access the site at all times.
Web hosting solutions such as InstanteStore, Shopify and Magento help you develop your own e commerce site. It is pretty simple, for a small fee every month, you no longer have to worry about programming. Everything you need to start you’re site is already at your disposal. For instance, InstanteStore is a browser-based eCommerce platform. It is simple and easy even for those with no programming knowledge or IT expertise. The solution boasts an array of features on top of its very impressive slick and easy to navigate admin or control panel. Setting up the store is quick, from picking template to the final payment process.
Finalizing The Process
1. Choosing A Payment Gateway
One of the key features of an e commerce platform is the payment gateways. It is important that customers are given an easy check out process. Also, a secure payment option is extremely important, your customers are trusting your website with their payment details. So it is your responsibility to make sure that their information is not compromised.
There are many payment processors that can help you with this issue. Google Checkout and the very popular PayPal are amongst the many. Instead of paying directly on your site, customers will be sent to an external site where they can process their payments safely. Another option is Authorize.net this will allow your customers to check out on your site and authorize the payment immediately, instead of being redirected. As some customers might be a little bit more skeptical when they get redirected to another site for payment.
When choosing a payment gateway, think of whether it is acceptable to your customers. It is advisable to go for more common payment gateways so customers have an easier time making a payment.
2. Checkout Cart Selection
E commerce stores have one thing in common with the brick and mortar stores, and that is the shopping cart. What is a shopping cart? It is that little icon of a shopping cart on the top of a retailers website. A shopping cart is where customers put all the items that they want to purchase in. From there customers can check out and make payment. There are many shopping cart systems available for your choosing. You also have the option of creating your own cart from scratch. You should also consider picking a shopping cart software that is supported by your host. Another option is to check with your e commerce host if they too provide a shopping cart software. For example InstanteStore offers both web hosting and a shopping cart software.
E commerce is a fast growing retail segment. Thousands of sites are popping up throughout the internet. You can easily join in the fun too! As you can see, building your own e commerce site wasn’t as hard as you thought. It is very possible for you to have your own site with little to no technological skills. All you need to know is what you need to do to build a fully functional website. Main factors to consider are the web design tools, website host, payment gateway and shopping cart software. Remember to have a clear business plan before you start building. Have the blueprints ready before you build your empire.