How to Create and Launch a Successful Online Store?

If you are selling on Etsy or eBay but still want more opportunities for your online business, maybe this is the time to put you energy into developing your own e-commerce website.

Making an online store has many benefits including more engagement with customers, better brand identity, and more opportunities for small businesses to have all the tools and options that meet specific needs.

The process of building an online store may sound daunting. However, using modern technologies even a non-tech person can do it. To learn  how to build an online store, read the article below.

 

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Why create an online store?

The realm of e-commerce shows a rapid grow in the last several years.

According to Statista report, sales in e-commerce in 2015 accounted for about 10.2% of retail sales worldwide. In 2021, the e-commerce sales are expected to be over 17%.

 

To be more specific, in 2017 sales for the e-commerce sector were 2.3 trillion dollars. In 2021, the revenue of online retail will grow to 4.88 trillion dollars.

 

 

Moreover, building an online store has even more benefits for your retail business, including:

  • Huge competitive advantage since all your customers can make a purchase 24/7.
  • Expanding your customer base and launching into new markets because your business is not limited by your geographic location.
  • Online shops allow owners to track buyers’ behavior so you can understand your customers better, providing them with items that are more relevant.  

When building an online store, take into account that the e-commerce website success depends on the integrated features. The feature-rich online shop will be convenient for shoppers while bringing extensive marketing and analytic opportunities to the owner.

The e-commerce retailer should have the full set of tools to manage the website successfully. Moreover, these tools should meet your business needs and fit business processes. For instance, when integrating the payment gateway to your website, remember to include security and multiple payment options. In addition, your future website should have email marketing capabilities to meet the expectations of the modern shoppers.

As an e-commerce development team, Dinarys incorporates the most important features of an online store:

  • The capabilities to manage the website content
  • Marketing tools like discount codes and promotions
  • The simple and optimized checkout process
  • Analytic and reporting tools
  • Integrated articles or blog section
  • Integrated e-mail marketing tools
  • The payment gateway with multiple options for payment
  • Powerful e-commerce platform to up scale your website

Now we move to the most important stage that all future e-commerce website owners should go through.

Below you will learn about choosing an e-commerce platform, modern platforms benefits, and other milestones of online shop development.

 

Finding the best e-commerce platform

At this stage, it is vital to concentrate on your business goals, because the right platform could be a real game-changer for your online business. Since all businesses have different needs, we have gathered the most common requirements toward a good e-commerce platform that might include:

  • A low entry cost
  • User-friendly admin panel and low cost of development
  • Opportunities to scale your online store
  • Moreover, your future e-commerce platform should have a great community of users and developers to analyze how this solution influences the business success.​

It is important at this stage to read some forums, platform blogs and even support material to get the full picture.

You might also like: 10 Best Open Source Ecommerce Platforms for 2018

Below you will find the information about the milestones you should include in your research.

Compose a list of questions the new platform must answer

For that, you need to imagine that you already use the platform for your online business. The first question that could arise is “Can I add my whole product catalog at once, or must I add products one by one?”

Ask all the questions of the support staff, or even the sales team. Another option is to hire an e-commerce agency and select the right platform according to your business needs.

If you are looking for answers on how to run a successful online store, take into account that some e-commerce solutions, like Shopify, have a free trial period. We recommend using this option to understand which one is the best for you.

Below, you can find the most common questions online retailers ask when building an online store.

 


 

Compare the fee of several platforms

If you want to know how to start a successful online store, we have even more useful information for you.

As you know, even open-source solutions are not actually free. Even if you set up an e-commerce extension for WordPress, you still need more services for online retail; including hosting, payment gateway, analytic tools and others.

When doing cost research, pay attention to the services they have included in the fee.

Many platforms like Shopware or BigCommerce have built-in features, unlike Shopify. If you want to surprise your customers with custom features, think twice since this is always a paid option.

The team does not recommend Magento platform for small businesses. The main reason it is even more expensive to maintain and develop than Shopify. Still, if you want to create a really outstanding online shop, or even a two-sided marketplace, you can consider Magento as your e-commerce solution.

To find out more about pricing and to find the platforms that fit your budget, contact Dinarys team for a quick consultation.

 

Platform

Initial Setup Cost

Hosting

Domain

SSL Certificate

Magento

$0

$20-$600+

$10/year

Free-$200

WooCommerce

$0

$5-$60/mo

$10/year

Free

Shopify

$0

$29/mo

$9/year

Free

 

 

Setting up the e-commerce website

Your future e-commerce platform should have an easy set up process. The manual should explain all the stages you need to do before launching an online shop. These stages are:

  • Loading products
  • Setting up taxes
  • Registration of a domain name
  • Payment gateway integration
  • Plus others

Moreover, it will be even better if the platform supports social networks and marketplace integration; so you can increase the number of sales channels and increase your income.

Small e-commerce website cost: $2,000 – $5,000

Big e-commerce website cost: $4,000 – $12,000

Keep reading for even more insights on how to create an online store.

Find the platform with good design capabilities

Remember, the design of an online shop is very important in terms of business success.

The online shop’s look and layout is the first thing your customers see. To provide them with an excellent journey, your online shop design should have a good UX.  

 

Image credit: Shopify

 

When finding the template for your online store, remember your brand representation.

Your future template should be customizable to make your online shop even more outstanding.  

You might also like:  How to Create a High-Converting eCommerce Landing Page

When looking for a way to run a successful online store, remember that e-commerce platforms have both free and paid themes and designs. Moreover, you can hire an e-commerce agency to develop an online shop design from scratch for more brand identity.

When looking for the most suitable theme, do not worry about colors. Try to concentrate on how the template displays your services or products.

The design of your future online shop should be both bright and intuitive. Remember, if your online shop design is overly styled, the customers will probably go to competitors who have a more convenient customer journey and check out process.

Another element you should pay attention to is an online shop navigation. It should be clear and intuitive to your customers.

With clear navigation, your customers are more likely to find the necessary items in various product categories and to make a purchase.  

If you have a wide range of products and product categories, select the template with a horizontal navigation on the top of the page.

Another option is to use a template with product categories placed on the right or the left side.  

Online shoppers do not want to spend time scrolling down the page. All important and relevant content should be placed at the top of the website.  

You can use your homepage to show your customers all your product categories. Allowing them to start their journey from the very beginning.

Mobile commerce is very popular these days, so ensure your online shop theme has a responsive layout.

Without a good mobile shopping experience and streamlined checkout, you will lose a significant share of your potential buyers.

Cost: free - $1000

How to make an online store and launch it

After completing all the previous stages, it is time to take your website live. However, before that, you need to check some essential features to be sure that your website will process orders correctly. The following steps will help you to set all the necessary features and run an online store.

Make sure your online store looks professional

You need to be sure that your online shop looks and feels good before the launch. Pay attention to the customer journey and the design. Moreover, the particular design might attract particular customers. To make sure your e-commerce website is suitable for your target audience, you can hire an e-commerce team to develop a customer profile and edit the design according to your customer preferences.

Another essential point is a product display. If a product page will be flooded with many elements, customers can not concentrate on the products they want to buy.

Online shoppers make the purchase decision within 3-5 seconds. If your website does not look trustworthy and easy-to-use, you will lose your profit because of high abandon rate.  

Below you can see the Marucci Sports example on how to use focused and clean design.

 

 

Select the right payment gateway

The payment gateway is essential for every online shop. If you choose the wrong or an inconvenient payment module, your customers will not buy at your shop.Check what payment options your e-commerce platform supports.  

 

 

You might also like: How to Integrate a Payment Gateway in Your eCommerce Website

 

Before making a decision on your payment module, you should ask the following questions:

  • Does the solution have set up fees?

  • Are there any transaction fees?

  • Does the gateway have minimum balance requirement?

  • How to deal with transfer delays?

  • Is there any technical support?

The cost of payment gateway integration varies from $250 to $5,000 initially, and from $0 to $150 per month for the gateway provider.

Find your perfect shipping module

This stage could be complicated for beginners in e-commerce. Still, shipping options are essential for your future success. It should suit not only your platform, but also your target audience, your business model and your type of products.

Remember that shipping is essential for the future success of your e-commerce website. It could be an important value proposition and attract your customers. However, at the same time, it could push them away.

 

Image credit: prestashop

 

If this is your first experience in e-commerce, it is better to start small.

You can provide your customers with domestic shipping before diving into international shipping.  

Below we have a couple of recommendations regarding online shipping for future e-commerce retailers.

1.    Take a close look at your competitors. That way you can get some insights on what really works in your specific industry.

2.    Your shipping policy should be straightforward. Moreover, most e-commerce websites put the shipment fees and the date of delivery on the product and checkout pages to avoid customer frustration.

3.    Modern shoppers do not want to wait too long for their orders. Try to find the fastest carrier. The time of delivery is as important as your business income.

Take into account that free shipping is a great way to increase your average order value.

Cost: free - $200

 

How to estimate the total cost of an e-commerce website development

 

 

Small

Mid-Size

Enterprise

Design

$5,000

$10,000

$35,000

Programming

$2,000

$15,000

$75,000

Integrations

$500

$8,000

$20,000

Data Imports

$0

$5,000

$10,000

Hosting (annual)

$500

$6,000

$10,000

SEO (annual)

$12,000

$36,000

$60,000

Average eCommerce Website Cost (Annual)

$20,000

$80,000

$210,000

 

Conclusion

If you are looking for answers on how to start a successful online store, remember it consists of several elements and stages.

First of all, you need to find the best e-commerce platform that will satisfy your business needs and goals. Then, you need to select the features that will be helpful in managing your online store while providing your customers with a smooth journey.

Do not forget to select the perfect e-commerce theme that will reflect your business identity and suit your target audience. If you have some ideas about the design of your future online store, contact the e-commerce agency to develop it from the scratch.

How to make your own online store with Dinarys

The team can help with your future e-commerce business from the very beginning. Starting with the industry analysis and QA, we provide a wide range of development services. If you already have an online shop, our team can give you some useful insight on how to increase sales based on our expertise.  

 

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