Setting Up An E-Commerce Store In 2020

E-commerce stores will be all the rage in 2020. The fact that 88% of customers start their purchase journey online, according to Pymnts, makes having an online store a recipe for success. For instance, if your store has a blog, the chances are that they will find the information they want about the product on your site, and end up purchasing from you. However, building a successful e-commerce store needs a lot of effort and oversight.

You need to build the store with a lot in mind.

Ideally, it needs to be trusted by customers. You need to have a great business model, concentrate on uptime, and make sure that it can rank highly on search engines.

With the right strategy, creating a site that has a great shot at success will be quite easy.

Here’s how to build an e-commerce site in 2020:

 

1. Choose The Right Niche

When starting out, it can be a struggle to breakeven if you are concentrating on a diversity of niches. With major brands like Amazon and Best buy, the competition will be stiff. Instead, it might be ideal to start with a single niche.

Look at what customers are willing to buy, and how you can best help them out. It also pays to understand the current marketplace.

If the niche is overcrowded, it might be tough to stand out in this noise.

On the flip side, choosing a niche with very low competition levels can be a mistake, unless you have a solid business plan. Such a marketplace suggests that there might not be a demand for the product you are trying to sell.

Niching down will also offer you other business opportunities when it comes to cross-selling.

Since there are many products that could be related to your niche, you can also offer them to customers.

You can add the value of your products by selling them alongside your primary product or even become an affiliate for other businesses.

 

2. Choose A Great Website Builder

Setting Up An E-Commerce Store In 2020

It’s always wise to hire a web designer to help you set up your e-commerce store

Building your e-commerce website from scratch, or using WordPress to build it, can be costly.

The sites demand a lot of technical expertise, which might mean hiring website designers. The better alternative is to use a website builder.

You can rely on these tools to drag and drop templates and refine the appeal of your website.

Most website builders will offer you the option of also buying a domain name.

Some other benefits of working with website builders include:

  • Sorting out site security certificates
  • Providing tailored sales features
  • Ensuring the uptime of your website
  • Hosting your store
  • Providing support for issues with your site
  • Offering your marketing tools
  • The presence of an online store

The tools that come with these sites can improve the overall productivity of your business. For instance, you can sell products in bulk, track finances, and also keep tabs on your marketing campaigns as well as onsite visitors.

Before picking the website builder to use, however, it is essential to test different platforms and compare them to your business model.

Most builders offer a free trial period, which you can use to test different sites simultaneously. 

 

3. Focus On Security

With the presence of major cyber-attacks like that of Equifax, customers are becoming more conscious about the security of their data.

In fact, customers are more willing to work with businesses that prove that they consider data security a priority. In case you were to go through a data breach, your business will take a huge blow. You can lose valuable customers, not to mention other stakeholders, like investors and partners.

You might also make losses from having to settle lawsuits and fines from regulatory bodies. Ideally, the best way to ensure that customer data is secure is to design your website with security in mind. This means installing security controls as you design your site.

Complying with common regulation, like the PCI DSS, can offer you a blueprint of how to ensure the security of your business.

Compliance with these regulations is more of a necessity than a luxury. Besides, security-conscious customers, investors, and partners will look for certificates of compliance on your website to rest assured you will commit to protecting their data.

Alongside focusing on cybersecurity, you should also commit to risk management.

Identifying the aspects of your website that pose the greatest risk to data security will make you proactive in dealing with these issues.

Remember, a single hour of downtime could have a massive impact on the sustainability and profitability of your e-commerce store.

 

4. Set Up Your Payment Options

Setting Up An E-Commerce Store In 2020

Payment options play a crucial part in converting browsers into buyers.

Nowadays, there is a diversity of payment options, and choosing the right one can prop you up for success.

Ideally, when choosing payment options, you should concentrate on your needs as well as the desires of the customers. 

For instance, Canadian customers will prefer using a different payment option when compared to American customers.

Conduct research to identify the most preferred options of your ideal customer.

If you have an international customer base, offering diverse payment options is ideal.

You should also weave security into your choice of payment options.

Most customers are wary of sites that do not have SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates.

Ideally, this is the padlock sign that shows up on the URL bar of secure websites. It ensures that data is encrypted, increasing customers’ trust.

Be sure to invest in it, alongside complying with security regulations, to attract the right customers.

Even better, such an investment will help you rank highly on search engines.

 

5. Preview And Test Your Online Store

Testing your online store is a sure way to ensure that your website matches the idea of what you wanted to create. You can identify issues or aspects that need tweaking to give customers satisfying shopping experience.

Ideally, you need to pay attention to:

 

a. The Store’s Content

Look for mistakes in the way you have set up the store’s content. Mistakes can not only make the customer experience a less-than-quality but also make you look amateurish.

Go through the site looking for spelling and grammar errors. It might also pay to comb through the site’s pictures to ensure that they are optimized for your site’s speed and can accurately promote products.

Also, you should focus on the call to action buttons to ensure that they contrast enough from the rest of the site’s theme.

 

b. The Site’s Mobile-Friendliness

A man holding a credit card in one hand and mobile in the other.

Having an e-commerce store that’s mobile-friendly is crucial

Nowadays, customers are using their phones to search for products and make purchases online.

As such, having a website that is mobile-friendly is a necessity.

The site should not only be fast enough but also match the different screen orientations and ratios for smartphones.

The navigation menu should also be intuitive enough to adapt to the needs of a customer’s device. 

Ideally, working with a website builder will allow you to preview your site’s responsiveness to different devices.

You can test the site with regard to how it will look on a desktop device, smartphone, or tablet. It might also be wise to use Google’s mobile-friendliness tool to identify website pages that are underperforming.

 

c. The Store’s Settings

Your store’s settings will have a huge impact on its profitability. Without ample control over the settings, it might be tough for your store to run properly, not to mention giving the customers a great experience.

Head to the settings and tweak anything that needs to be changed.

This includes:

    • Language
    • Currency
    • Address
    • Time zone
    • Store name
    • Product settings
    • Order settings
    • Contact details
    • Address

If you are unsure of how to tweak these settings, ask the support team of your platform to help you work everything out. 

 

d. Site Functions

It can be frustrating to keep on clicking a button on your site only to have it not respond, or to be redirected to an error 404 page.

Ideally, this can frustrate customers to the point of them abandoning their carts. Even worse, they may urge other customers to shy away from working with your site.

Browsing through your site should feel like sailing around a calm lake for customers. You can always contact family and friends to help you test your site, since getting an outside opinion can be quite helpful.

 

e. The Checkout Process

Cart abandonment rates can eat into your profitability. If customers get frustrated during the final part of their purchase journey, you need to get to the root of the problem.

Ideally, your checkout process should effectively offer customers information about discounts/promotions, items on their cart, payment methods, and taxes.

The best way to test the checkout process would be to place an order and refund yourself. Write down how well you go through the process to identify loopholes that need to be fixed. 

 

6. Set Up A Blog

Setting Up An E-Commerce Store In 2020

A blog can help your e-commerce store in several ways

While it isn’t necessary to blog if you own an e-commerce store, blogging is a necessity if you want to be competitive enough.

Blogging ensures that you can provide clients with enough information about your products, as well as offer them tips for using them.

Whenever potential customers are searching for products online, there is a likelihood that they will land on your website. 

If what you post on your blog resonates with them, the chances are that they will be willing to buy from you.

Ideally, blogs are essential to creating authority in your industry.

They also increase the number of site visits, which further makes your website rank highly on Google. 

However, you need to commit to blogging to ensure its success.

Other than creating quality content, you should focus on the SEO part of blogging to attract customers.

This includes using intuitive keywords throughout your blog posts, mixing content types, and making the content good enough for an online audience. 

Your site should attract not only customers but also have a strong uptime.

Customers should feel that they can rely on the site, both in terms of availability and security.

It should also be quite easy to navigate through the site, as well as check out.

Use the insights above to ensure that you create a profitable and sustainable e-commerce store. 

Ken Lynch

Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity's success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.

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