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Starting an online store: 5 easy steps

Robin Gandy, August 10, 2021

Are you looking to build an online store but aren’t sure how to get started with e-commerce? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you with the ins and outs of building an online store from scratch.

So, how do you design the perfect online shopping experience for your customers? From choosing the right platform to marketing your store, there are many factors to consider when starting to sell online. We'll walk you through everything you need to know.

Let's get started! 

Step 1. Choosing an e-commerce platform 

Choosing an e-commerce platform is an obvious yet crucial first step. There are many e-commerce platforms to choose from that vary slightly in terms of price, features, design freedom, and ease of use. Choose a platform that best fits your product, design, marketing, and customer needs. 

For example, as one of the leading e-commerce platforms, Shopify offers a large array of features, powerful analytics, and has many user friendly templates to help get you started with a store and website. However, Shopify’s themes have limited customization, and you will need to know how to code in order to design and build a custom website. Many users will integrate Shopify into another website builder such as Squarespace, Wix, or Webflow.

Pagecloud e-commerce offers a more flexible approach to designing a website and building an online store. Pagecloud’s powerful website builder allows for endless customization on an intuitive interface. When you sign up for an e-commerce subscription, you have access to your store dashboard that allows you to easily track orders and manage inventory. 

When shopping for the best e-commerce platforms, make sure to consider the following:

Step 2: Creating your e-commerce website 

You can’t create an awesome online store without having an awesome website. Your customer’s shopping experience will likely begin by visiting your website, so it’s important they are greeted with balanced design and easy navigation. 

What makes a great website you ask? There are many factors to consider when designing a website: color palette, font, images, text. But you should start by choosing the right website builder. Pagecloud offers drag and drop website building that makes designing a website simple for even a first time user! 

Here is an example of simple website designed on Pagecloud! 

Choosing a template is a great place to start when creating a website. Choose a template that reflects the overall look and feel of your brand. Pagecloud templates are fully customizable, so you can easily make changes and start inputting your content. A few things to keep in mind: 

Check out our ultimate guide to web design for more tips and tricks on designing a website. 

Step 3: Organizing your products 

Organizing and displaying your products properly is crucial to creating an online store that your customers can easily navigate.

 It’s important that your product shots and descriptions accurately depict what it is you are selling. Best practice is to upload high quality product shots on a white or neutral background. As mentioned earlier, reducing visual noise and unnecessary stimuli is important to keeping your customers happy. 

Here are some product shots from a Pagecloud e-commerce store!

Product descriptions and variations are another important aspect to giving your customers a seamless online shopping experience. Your customer should not have to guess at sizes, dimensions, colors, etc. of any product they wish to purchase. 

Using an e-commerce platform such as Pagecloud, you can easily manage all product options in your dashboard in order to keep your inventory organized. 

A platform like Pagecloud also allows you to sell services or digital goods. You can add booking and estimate forms to your website in just a few clicks, and your e-commerce dashboard allows you to upload digital files to be made available for purchase. 

Step 4: Marketing your store 

Now that you’ve set up your online store, it’s time to start reaching new customers. Through proper SEO optimization and connecting your store to other platforms, you can quickly start to build up your customer base. 

Most e-commerce websites allow you to optimize your content to rank in search engines. Make sure to tag heading, insert metadata, and add alt text for your product images! Check out this article for a complete guide to SEO

Pagecloud e-commerce allows you to connect your store to other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. You can start selling on Amazon in order to reach new customers and make more sales! 

Here's a snapshot of Pagecloud's e-commerce marketing page!

Step 5: Managing your store and customers

As you continue to operate and grow your store, managing your inventory and keeping your customers will be your number 1 priority. 

It's important to keep your stock up to date, and ensure your products stay organized as you add more product options and SKUs. Check out Pagecloud's tiered pricing plans in order to get the best plan for your product needs. 

Continuing to engage and delight your customers is crucial to selling more online and growing your business. Now that you've set up your e-commerce store and acquired a customer base, you can keep the ball rolling with marketing emails and promotions! You can check out this blog post for the 7 most effective ways to promote your website to customers

Here are just some of Pagecloud's marketing features!

Never miss an opportunity to sell more with the ability to track abandoned carts and send follow up emails to remind your customers of forgetting items. Furthermore, with targeted marketing you can create campaigns to target past customers! 

Now you have all the tools you need to get started with an e-commerce website. If you'd like to try Pagecloud e-commerce, sign up for a free today!

Written by

Robin Gandy

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