Before diving into e-commerce, you have to have the right mindset and tools from the onset. E-entrepreneurship is a ruthless affair. It has claimed and continues to claim many victims. If you get into it devoid of proper preparation, you will be setting yourself up for failure.
There are critical questions that anyone looking to set up an online store should ask him or herself first. Which products or services will I be offering and to whom? Is the online business my primary business or a side hustle? Who is my competition and how do I differentiate myself from them? What resources do I have?
With answers to these questions, you will be able to pick the right domain name that is suitable for your preferred niche, choose a reliable e-commerce solutions provider and plan your search engine optimization and advertising.
Choosing a technical setup for your e-commerce site
The first step in setting up your e-commerce site is selecting a technical setup. There are many solutions to choose from, and your choice should be dependent on the kind of shop that you want to set up. Your technical knowledge and resources available also play a significant part in the selection process.
Do-it-yourself e-commerce packages
Simple do-it-yourself packages that integrate e-commerce shops seamlessly into websites are suitable for e-commerce newbies with limited to no previous knowledge of e-commerce website creation. These all-round packages are very cost effective. They come with a domain, web hosting, e-commerce websites templates, 24/7 customer support and other amazing features.
Software-as-a-service e-commerce solutions
Software-as-a-service e-commerce solutions are recommended for small and medium-sized companies who need easy-to-handle yet customizable e-shops. Such e-commerce services include the following among other features: professional design templates, sufficient web space as well as payment and shipping methods.
Open-source e-commerce platforms
Magento, PrestaShop and other open-source solutions are suitable for building professional e-shops designed for growth. Using these website builders require technical prowess in programming and corresponding technical equipment. Setting up and management may be complex, but these software solutions provide a high-performance environment for the e-commerce shop. They give the user flexibility to adapt the performance of his/her online store according to arising needs.
Getting found online
After setting up your e-commerce site, the next step is making sure that shoppers find you online and purchase whatever you are selling. Some e-commerce platforms provide tools that support the planning and execution of SEO and SEA. Make your e-shop as user-friendly as possible by improving security, maintaining fast loading speeds, ensuring secure and uncomplicated payment processing, just to mention but a few.
Get all these steps right, and your e-commerce venture is guaranteed to be a success.
What Makes the Best free e-Commerce Website Builder?
Thanks in large part to advancements in consumer technology the pace of business in today’s online retail environment is faster than ever before. To stay ahead of the pack, online retailers require sophisticated e-commerce solutions that free them to focus on strategic retail initiatives. With the proper e-commerce solutions, retailers can build amazing e-commerce sites and be free to focus on driving innovation and exploiting new market opportunities.
Features to consider when choosing the Best free e-commerce website builder
So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? You can consider some essential features right from preset layouts and templates that speed-track your store set up to integration connections with social networks, payment gateways, and app markets.
Here are some essential features that you must consider to help you narrow down your search for the best online store builder.
1) Ease of use
This refers to how easy it is to learn how to use a website builder whether you have the required technical skills or not. Hosted e-commerce solutions like Shopify are easier to use than he self-hosted ones like Magento.
The wisdom of the crowd makes popularity a dominant factor in ranking a website builder. The number of users determines the popularity of a website builder. However, to gauge popularity, you have to make further inquiries. These include:
- Is the builder popular on Google trends?
- How long has the company been around?
- Are the number of users growing?
3) Features and flexibility
This refers to the features that the website builder offers and the number and type of apps and websites that it can support. Some e-commerce site builders have app stores that allow you to integrate third-party features and tools at the click of a button.
Different e-commerce website builders have different payment policies. Website builders charge both monthly fees and transaction fees. For example, if you use Shopify, you will be charged transaction fees of 2%, 1% and 0.5% for the Basic, Pro and Unlimited plans respectively. However, you can Use Shopify payments to manage your payment gateway directly at no charge.
5) Template design
E-commerce websites templates play a significant role in the creation of an e-commerce store. Most website builders provide free themes and templates to help you create a fully functional online store. They also sell premium themes if you want to customize your store further for an improved user experience.
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