Running an online business can be a lucrative venture. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get started without sinking a large investment in the start-up. We have some tips that will help you launch your eCommerce store without breaking the bank.
Determine What Type of Store You Want
The initial cost of your eCommerce store will depend on what you plan on selling. If you are selling goods such as furniture, crafts, or books, you will need to factor additional costs into your budget.
For instance, you should consider the cost of creating and storing these items until someone makes a purchase. If you are selling services on your website such as writing, consultations, or financial management, the costs will be lower. You will also not need to worry about the cost or logistics of shipping.
Create a Website
The first step of the process is free, which is good news. You can use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress to build your platform. WordPress is commonly used for eCommerce websites because many themes support the operation of an online store.
These themes are premade, so there is no need for you to build your own. In addition to this, WordPress also offers many free plugins, which improve the functionality of the site.
Find a Good Host
One of your next priorities should be to locate a good web hosting provider. This decision is important because the hosting plan you choose will determine your website’s performance. For instance, without a reputable provider, you might get stuck with slow speeds for your website.
This will result in a loss of customers if they cannot easily access your website. Hosting providers charge varying amounts for their plans, depending on what is being offered. Do not overspend on a hosting plan if you do not need a majority of the features. Take the time to do your research to find an affordable and reliable WordPress hosting provider.
Choose a Domain Name
You will need to purchase a domain name for your eCommerce site, but you can save money on this cost. If you got a hosting plan that includes a free domain name, you should take advantage of that savings. Otherwise, you can purchase a domain name for a set number of years and receive a discount on the price.
Purchase an SSL Certificate
Having an SSL certificate is a reoccurring cost, but it will more than pay for itself in the long run. Having an SSL certificate means that your website is verifiable and deemed safe to use.
This will encourage customers to shop on your site because they will feel more confident that their data will remain confidential. Without an SSL, customers will be less inclined to shop on your site for fear of data breaches and identity theft.
Focus on Marketing
There are a lot of marketing campaigns that will cost you nothing or very little. If you already have an existing client base, you can reach out to them via email. This will remind them of the services that you provide, and it may drive them towards your website.
Another thing you could do is offer them promotional discounts. This could include offers such as buy one, get one, or free shipping above a certain amount. Do not go overboard with these types of offers, as being too generous will result in you losing money.
Improve Customer Service
If you are the sole employee of your business, you need to be completely on top of customer service. Customers may be asking questions about your products over social media, email, or on your website.
You need to always be monitoring these channels of communication. If you are late to answer a potential customer’s inquiry, you may lose their business forever. On the opposite side, answering someone’s question quickly is sure to impress them, and they may become a returning customer.
Simplify the Experience
Ideally, the goal is for customers to find your website easy and intuitive to use. To ensure this, you can do a thorough test of your site before it goes live online. Ask your family and friends to try it as well. If a link does not open, or a picture does not appear properly, you will have the chance to fix it before customers see it.
Create a Mobile Site
Creating a mobile version of your website will increase your customer base. This is because so many people use their mobile devices for shopping due to the convenience factor. If someone is browsing the web on their phone and is not able to access your site, they will not purchase from you.