Your Guide to E-commerce
If you’d like to create your own website to sell a service or product, it isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. Don’t be intimidated by the challenges involved with online marketplaces. Building an e-commerce website takes an investment of time and money but it is absolutely worth it in the end.
Begin With an E-Commerce Platform
The e-commerce platform that you choose will prove critical to your website’s success. This decision actually has the potential to doom your business or catapult it toward prosperity. When choosing a platform, your primary considerations are ease of use, scalability and cost. The best platforms for beginners are Magento, Bigcommerce and Shopify. Each provides an array of features that e-commerce newbies can take advantage of without enduring much of a learning curve. Shopify is based on templates and costs as low as $29 per month. It even provides an app store where you can buy products that will integrate right into the platform. Its only flaw is its bare bones checkout section that can’t be comprehensively customized.
Bigcommerce also starts around $30. It features an extremely simple user experience design. You’ll be able to establish the details of your e-commerce website with Bigcommerce from aesthetics all the way to merchandise management in little time. Bigcommerce is chock full of excellent marketing features, easily sortable categories and an array of administrative options.
Magento is ideal for those who desire the ability to fully customize their online store. This is a self-hosted, open source e-commerce platform that empowers business owners to tailor each and every nuance of their new website from day one. If you can afford the thousand dollar fee, go ahead and align your e-commerce fate with Magento.
Once you choose an e-commerce platform, the next step is to select a payment provider. Don’t take this decision lightly as this company will be handling your income. The top considerations should be fees, support for international customers, ease of use, reliability, compatibility with your selected e-commerce platform and the availability of technical support.
PayPal and Stripe are two of the most popular payment providers. Stripe is loaded with helpful features that ameliorate the processing of all sorts of online payments. It can also be extensively tailored to your unique e-commerce desires. PayPal has a presence in over 200 worldwide markets. It supports all the popular currencies and even some lesser known ones. PayPal is the lead dog in payment processing as it allows e-commerce parties to accept an array of payments ranging from credit cards to eChecks.
Analyzing E-Commerce Progress
Once you get your website rolling, you must study its activity in-depth. Closely analyze sales in terms of channel conversion rates, net profits compared to revenue, the success of specific products and marketing efforts, customer behavior, refunds etc. This information will help you better understand sales patterns, customer perspectives and the viability of specific sales channels. You can glean such information with services like Google Analytics and SavvyCube.
Instead of tabulating revenue, expenses and other financials manually, conserve effort with automated e-commerce accounting software. It’ll save you an incredible amount of time while enhancing your accounting accuracy, inventory management, budgeting and estimates. You’ll likely need more information about starting your e-commerce website. This helpful e-commerce guide for beginners offers unique insight regarding what it takes to successfully launch an online business.
Simplemachine is Here to Help
If you need help growing your new e-commerce website, reach out to Simplemachine. We can help you with every aspect of your new online business, from content marketing to web design, SEO and social media.