How to Create an Online Store
Since the first eCommerce transaction took place back in 1994, the internet has become the new frontier for global trade. Today, there are thousands of online stores and new ones are sprouting up every day. This has led to increased competition among online traders and eCommerce websites. To be successful in such a competitive market, you have to do plenty of research before setting up your own online store. Fortunately, various online tools can help you create a bespoke online store for selling your goods or services. Though there is no universal process to follow when creating an online store, there are certain factors that you need to consider. These factors are discussed below.
The web builder platform to use
A web builder platform is an online software that helps you create a custom online store without the need for technical skills required when creating a website. Web-builder platform are popular among small-scale retailers and are perfect if you are a beginner. These platforms offer more flexibility and control than selling your products on websites such as Amazon or Ebay. Also, these platforms are less costly compared to creating a new website from scratch.
There are quite many platforms you can use. When choosing a web-builder platform, it is important to consider its customization simplicity and convenience. In this regard, go for web builders that use a drag and drop system of customization. Prime examples of builders that use this system include Wix, Weebly, and Shopify. A platform such as Magneto can be complicated to use especially for beginners.
Another important factor to consider is pricing. These web builders offer different packages of varying prices. For instance, Wix’s plans range from $ 9.08 to $ 26.25 per month. Of the platforms available, WordPress is the cheapest with packages going for as low as $ 2.99. Essentially, it is important to compare the prices of different platforms and choose one that suits your budget.
Also, the payment options available on a platform will influence your decision. Some platforms such as Wix accept all major credit cards but are not compatible with PayPal. Others such as Weebly accept all major credit cards and are also compatible with PayPal. So it is important to choose a platform whose payment options you can work with. View eCommerce Software Apps
Theme to use
Once you have selected a web builder platform that you feel meets all your needs and requirements, the second step will be to choose a theme. The theme you choose will influence how responsive and appealing your web store is. As a beginner trying to cut down on costs, try to avoid premium themes and stick to the free ones. When starting out, you can choose a free theme that is easy to customize and then change it as your store grows.
However, if you’re able and willing to splash money on a great theme, a premium theme will work best for you. Also, platforms such as Shopify have qualified experts who can help you customize your store further. Hiring these experts can be a great way of improving your web stores performance. However, it can also increase the financial demands of your store. Essentially, choose a theme that works best for your niche.
Different themes are designed for different niches. There are those that work best with auto stores and others that work with fashion stores. Thus, before selecting a theme find out which niche it works best with. If you are using WiX as your preferred web builder, you can choose a blank template and fill it with your content. However, if you want something that you can build on finding a template with example content to guide you.
Customization is an integral part of online store creation. It is for this reason that it is recommended for beginners to pick web builders with a drag and drop feature. This allows for easy customization. Depending on the theme that you choose customization can be time-consuming. Also, depending on the platform, you are using customization can include installing additional tools.
For example, Shopify has an app store where you can download and install other tools for your web store. These apps help you with various aspects of the business key among them inventory management, shipping and marketing, social media integration and bookkeeping. While some of these tools are free others are not. Again if you can invest in a wide array of tools, there is no reason why you should not. On the other hand, if you’re working on a tight budget, restricting yourself to the free tool is a good idea. As your business grows, you will feel the need to download and install the tools.
In conclusion, the best platform for you to pick is one that will be easy to use as a beginner. Some platforms such as Magento may require you to hire a designer or coder. However, there are those such as WordPress WooCommerce plugin that are easy to use and do not require technical skill.