E-commerce has become a big deal in the global retail market. Things are changing, and most individuals now prefer shopping online rather than going to the store. It saves time, cost and enhances flexibility.
On the other hand, the rise of e-commerce has consequently led to stiff competition among merchants, and it is up to you as the business owner to do all you can to make your online store the most attractive and sticky.
How do you do that? While third-party e-commerce properties like marketplaces are seeing plenty of demand, my recommendation is that the first thing you do is build your own website. Then you can get started optimizing it and ensuring that it offers the best user experience.
You can build an online shop using any number of drag-and-drop platforms or self-hosted shopping cart solutions, but thanks to its versatility and vast ecosystem of developers, WordPress-based e-commerce may be the best option you have.
What does getting started entail? Here is a comprehensive overview of the steps involved, to set you in the right direction.
Decide on your domain name
You cannot have a site without a domain name, the “web address” that people will hopefully type into their browsers to find your site. This will be your online business’s identity. It can also be termed as your website.
Selecting a domain name is not as easy as it may sound. The name will play a huge role in how people view your company. Some of the things to keep in mind when selecting the name:
- keep it precise, short and memorable
- ensure that the name suits your site content
- get a .com if possible, as it’s the standard
Decide on Your WordPress hosting
There are lots of WordPress hosting services out there, and it is up to you to select the best for your site after evaluating the pros and cons of each.
Popular hosting plan types include shared hosting, dedicated hosting, managed WordPress hosting and the virtual private sector. You should consider the budget of each plan, speed, security, and space before determining which one will work best for you. The size of your business matters too.
After deciding on the domain name and getting a hosting account, the next thing to do when using WordPress for e-commerce site installing the WordPress infrastructure on the hosting account with your domain.
E-commerce sites are more complex and larger than the standard WordPress and simple blogs, and you should, therefore, make sure that the plan you’ve chosen will fit all your needs.
Install your e-commerce plugin
The best thing about WordPress is that it comes with a variety of plugins to help you customize your site in whichever way you wish.
You only need to choose an e-commerce plugin for your website and install it by following the provided instructions.
You can now start adding products pages and the products in your site. These should include product images, prices, and a short description – at the very least.
For starters, enter your WordPress admin dashboard, head to the “products” section and then select “add product.” At this stage, you will able to add both physical and virtual products to your online store.
Set up payment processing
This is the final step in setting up any store. Transactions will not take place without a definite means of receiving payments.
Your e-commerce solution’s plugin likely offers multiple gateways to choose from for processing checkout. Integrate your account with the plugin’s settings, and you’re good to go.
Start selling with these steps taken care of, you are ready to start doing business. The process might be easier than you think – it really doesn’t require much in the way of technical skills, and there are plenty of resources online to help get you through it. For faster results, you can always seek the assistance of a professional for guidance.