You might wonder whether or not it’s easy to start an online store and are now looking for guides on how to create a cost-effective eCommerce site.
Well, you’ve come to the right place because this article will explain eight simple steps that will help you launch an online store, and along with the ways to maximize cost-effectiveness at each one.
Let’s get started.
1. Research and Find Your Niche
Like any store, you first need to know and choose what kind of products you want to sell. To do that, you need to find your niche and then decide if you wish to focus solely on selling one product or multiple products.
To do that, you need to conduct product research which will allow you to discover various ideas that will sell well in the market. You’d want to choose a product idea that you’re already familiar with.
To conduct product research, there are a few steps you need to take, which are:
- Choose your product niche.
- Pick your target audience.
- Make a list of your top competitors.
- Conduct research about current market demands and trends.
- Do keyword research.
- Check whether your research results are factually correct.
2. Use a Budget-Friendly eCommerce Builder
The next step is to choose a budget-friendly eCommerce builder for your business. There is a plethora of hosting providers out there that provide eCommerce builders. So to help you choose the right one, here are some things to consider:
- Make sure that it’s easy to use.
- See if it has plenty of premade templates to help you start.
- It’s a plus if it has SEO features to help optimize your website to rank on search engines.
- Of course, try choosing one that brings the best value for money.
3. Pick an Affordable Hosting
Once you’ve chosen an eCommerce builder, take a look at the different plans they provide.
I would recommend choosing the Shared hosting option for a small, local business since it’s the most affordable and happens to be great for beginners. Here you don’t need to worry about the back end and server administration tasks.
However, if you aim to grow – which you probably do – I would recommend choosing the VPS option because it allows you to scale easily, provides dedicated resources, and essentially acts as the smaller and more affordable version of Dedicated Server Hosting.
4. Customize Your eCommerce Site
The next step is to start customizing your eCommerce site. Usually, you’ll be able to customize almost every element of your website. Check on your builder’s dashboard to see what kind of customization options you have.
You’ll be able to add, move and remove elements, change the page layout, fonts and colours as well. When you’re customizing, you should do a few things to give visitors a pleasant experience. Some of those things are:
- Ensure your homepage is free of clutter. You can use a minimalist design.
- Create a navigation bar and menu to help users navigate quickly.
- Insert call-to-action buttons strategically throughout your pages.
- Input strategic social follow and sharing buttons to boost traffic.
- Ensure it’s mobile-friendly.
5. Build Your eCommerce Site
In this step, you should now build your site and fill it with content and products you want to sell. When it comes to products, make sure you upload high-quality photos of your products and write detailed descriptions beginning with their best features.
Then, you also need to upload different content to your site. This is so visitors can get familiar with you and your business. Therefore you should at least have these pages:
- Home page – Showcase your products and business through the visual hierarchy.
- About us page – Elaborate more about yourself and your business.
- Products page – Upload your products here.
- Contact us page – Information allowing customers to get in touch with you quickly, such as email address, phone number, and opening hours.
6. Apply Affordable SEO Strategies
Ideally, your website should rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs). To be able to do that, you need to conduct search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps improve your site’s visibility on SERPs.
There are plenty of ways to do it, and using free tools like Moz will significantly help you optimize your site. Don’t forget that your eCommerce builder might also have SEO features built-in, so make sure to utilize it to its fullest.
Before you do SEO, you need to know the key performance indicators (KPIs) to rank high, which are:
- Organic Sessions.
- Page Load Times.
- Bounce Rate.
- Page Ranking.
- Session Length.
7. Use Social Media to Promote
It’s a good practice to promote your site before you launch it. You can do this by creating online buzz around your business and website. Use your social media accounts to help spread the word about your venture and get people excited before launching your site.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Release teaser images and videos about your products.
- Use social media ads like Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads.
- Allow pre-order of your products.
- Create excitement around your business.
- Collaborate with influencers.
8. Publish Your Site
The last thing to do is publish your website. You might get some starting traffic thanks to the online buzz you created, but you also need to do some additional promotion activities to generate more traffic. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Give limited launch discounts and promotions.
- Use Google Ads for paid traffic and appear on the top of SERPs.
- Regularly create and update valuable content.
Now you know the eight simple ways to build a cost-effective eCommerce site. All that’s left to do is for you to start building your online store.