E-commerce has already taken over physical stores in terms of sales and the e-commerce sector is going to generate 2 trillion dollars within the next few years.
It has become the darling sector amongst industries and it is also the fastest-growing industry. People always shop online because it offers seamless checkout in the comfort of your couch. It takes out the hassle of you going out and finding your product and it also ensures better customer satisfaction.
We here at Freelancer’s Hub specialize in providing digital services to e-commerce startups and help their brands get established and drove growth through the roof. With our experience in creating e-commerce brands, we have developed a simple guide for aspiring e-commerce startups that will help with e-commerce website development.
So let’s get into discussing how you can easily develop a high-performance e-commerce website. Now there are phases of e-commerce website development and that’s what we will talk about here.
Building The E-Commerce Website
There are two major phases to building a high-performance e-commerce brand and the first is the technical aspect or making of the site. Here in the first phase, we will talk about developing the e-commerce that will be geared high-performance. So let’s get into it.
Buying The Perfect Domain
This is a pretty easy job as you only need to purchase the domain name that fits your brand. You can buy a domain in sites like GoDaddy and Namecheap under 10 dollars even. But there are high-value domain names that can cost a lot more.
Partner Up With E-Commerce Website Developers
So this is one of the most crucial parts of establishing your e-commerce site. When you are looking to launch a site that is not only professional looking but is also a high-performance site. So what you need to do is make sure you partner up with a digital service agency that has a team of developers with a pedigree for building high-quality sites.
Check out their previous works see the other e-commerce sites they develop as reference. Talk to them about a timeline for the development and see how long it will take them to deliver the site. When choosing your e-commerce website development agency also check to see how good their web design team is. See their expertise in incorporating your graphical requirements within the site.
Another thing to inquire about is to see if the development team you are talking to has any previous experience working with your preferred e-commerce platform. Remember you need to do your due diligence if you want to have an amazing e-commerce website.
Often startups just go with the cheapest or the most expensive development option out there. Well, the trick is to find the right balance of expense and innovation.
Remember development is only half the work of establishing an e-commerce website. So make sure you talk with a digital service provider that is right for you.
Get Your Paper Work
So when planning to start an e-commerce business you have to think about the paperwork involved. Make sure you register your business and get a vendor list. Also, look into other legal business issues.
Contact a business lawyer who can draft up all the necessary contracts and other legalities that are needed to ensure your business is one hundred percent legitimate. Now it may seem like an upfront cost but it is better than the headaches this will cause later on.
Always find out the legal formalities of your local area and strategize around it when starting your business. Check your state’s requirement fillings along with requirement filings for the department of taxation and revenue.
Choose The Perfect E-Commerce And Hosting Platform
You don’t have to build a platform for your e-commerce from scratch. There are plenty of e-commerce platforms that are ready with customizable ready-made solutions for e-commerce startups. Shopify, Woocommerce, and BigCommerce are few of the most famous e-commerce platforms out there.
Good website development companies are familiar with these platforms and can easily integrate plugins, payment processing, etc for your site.
Find The Perfect Theme
A theme is what your visitors and customers see so you understand its importance. This too doesn’t have to be completely custom. By far the best theme marketplace is ThemeForrest. You can find a lot of themes there and then you can use that theme as a base and customized to your liking to create the perfect outlook for your business.
Theme Forrest has the biggest inventory in the world with over 28,000 website templates and themes that start from 2 dollars. There is no need to reinvent the wheel just innovate. Trust me when you have a good theme for your site you will easily be able to customize and create the perfect theme.
So going live is an important step but you don’t need to have the entire site made to go live. Talk to your developers and let them know that you need the homepage, an “About Us” page, and a contact page for your site and set it live. You don’t have to have it fully furnished just make it functional and set it live.
One of the first reasons you should have something up is because it allows you to establish business legitimacy. When you have something up it will help you when negotiating deals with vendors. Also when you are on your branding phase you can reach out to reporters and bloggers and show them a functioning site and it provides an outlet for your backlinks.
Establishing The E-Commerce Website
Once the site goes live the work is just beginning and there are lots of things you need to do. You need a one-year digital marketing scheme with a great emphasis on SEO. The digital marketing strategy for an e-commerce site needs to be very detailed and thought out. Then you would have to ensure that you execute the plan perfectly.
You have to craft unique and engaging content and individually load every page. Remember you will also need to negotiate with each manufacturer to list the products before you list the products on the site.
Many businesses start their digital marketing plan after the site is live however, you should start early and start doing the outreach and off-page SEO while developing. So here are some of the things you should be doing when you are in the e-commerce website development phase. So let’s get into it.
Fire Up Your PR Efforts
Your PR efforts should start early as long as you have a homepage, about us page, and contact page you can start working on your PR strategy. PR is the perfect approach to garner amazing exposure. You can use HARO or Help A Reporter Out. It’s a tool that can be a real game-changer for your e-commerce sites.
HARO gives you a robust database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources and helps you secure valuable media coverage. Places like HARO is an important tool for your e-commerce site. It would help you build credibility and establish media relationships that will build credibility and online authority.
Whenever a reporter submits a query on a PR tool like HARO they are bombarded with pitches. So whenever you are pitching having an expert to create your pitches will go a long way to provide you with an advantage over the others.
If you only send a few pitches a day throughout the year then you will garner a lot of brand exposure and it helps with your SEO performance as well.
You need to establish a personal relationship with vendors and for the media. A perfect SEO strategy has a killer outreach program. Make sure you know what the other websites want and tailor your pitch accordingly. Do your research and find out as much as you can about the reporters and editors of the sites.
Make the pitch pop so that you don’t get lost amid all the other pitches. If you have vendors then you also need to tend to that part of your business. Make sure you set up a lot of in-person meetings. These meetings with vendors can help you build personal relationships and ensure you keep up on the latest trends for their brand to boost your sales.
Let your vendors know that you and your team are dedicated to improving sales for both your brands and garner success together. Having a personalized outreach program for vendors will always keep you in mind when they have a special deal or promotion, or even a great marketing idea for you. They might even create special & unique promos and deals for your e-commerce site.
Install A Safe Payment Gateway
So you need to find out a safe and secure payment gateway for your e-commerce website. That’s how you will take payments for the products you sell. Service providers like Stripe, authorize.net, or 2Checkout.com provide you with great options for payment gateways.
Make sure you look over other options as well for your e-commerce site and choose the best option for you. To help you in your search you can also check out this great blog by WooRockets about the “5 Best Payment Gateways For E-Commerce Sites”.
Remember when applying for a payment gateway you need to have a clean credit history, a U.S. driver’s license or state ID, a U.S. bank account. You also need to have a federal tax ID provided along with a cover letter in your application.
Now with a lot of e-commerce sites regularly applying for payment gateways so remember that your first few pitches may get rejected. But keep trying and you will get your payment gateway.
Google Shopping + Facebook Product Catalog Optimization
Google Shopping and Facebook Product Catalog is extremely important for your e-commerce website. We talked about your business’s need to focus on SEO. Now when you are building your site you don’t have a functioning product page you need to optimize your Google Shopping and Facebook Product Catalog.
When you are building the website you should make sure before the official launch you can populate the internet with pictures that come up when they search with relevant keywords. So make sure you optimize your Facebook Product Catalog page and your Google Shopping page.
Figure Out Packaging, Storage & Shipping
So before you set your e-commerce website you need to sort out your storage and shipping options for your inventory. Remember to ensure storage for your vendors. Find out which shipping option you want for your company.
Determining whether you want to use FedEx, USPS, UPS & DHL is a big part of the final stage before your site launches. Often e-commerce businesses use a combination of all of the options to ensure a more cost-effective shipping operation. Find out what your shipping material should be and whether or not you will be including promotional materials.
Starting Up Your E-Commerce Website
So there you go this is the Freelancer’s Hub Guide to e-commerce website development for aspiring startups. Read the guide carefully and follow the instructions to the “T” and we guarantee that you will see your e-commerce website perform amazingly in sales.
Remember that we here at Freelancer’s Hub specialize in providing premium digital services like e-commerce website development solutions for startups.
So if you have a question about how to develop an e-commerce website or about the phases of e-commerce website development then feel free to contact us. Our specialists will help you out with your questions. Until then, see ya!