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Setting Your First eCommerce Website

Everything is moving progressively to the vast realm of the Internet, but today we’re interested in online retail stores. Millennials seem to use their phones and tablets a lot, when it comes to searching for products to buy and the very act of purchasing. Last year, some experts were predicting that eCommerce sales will surpass the number of astonishing $2 trillion, in the next few years, which makes eCommerce one of the fastest growing industries.

Are you thinking about starting your own online store? Yes, it can be a bit complicated (especially if you’re not tech-savvy), but you’re not helpless. This is a short, but essential guide to setting up and launching your first eCommerce store.

1. Hire a web developer and purchase a domain name

If you’re not one yourself, then hiring a developer is the only way to have an eCommerce site created for you. However, before you hire someone, make sure to do your vetting so to make sure that the person is reliable and professional. Ask if the developer has any experience with building websites on the eCommerce platform you choose. Entrepreneurs often don’t do their research and keep going moving forward with a developer, but it can put a stop to your website before it even got started. Also, you need a domain name for your site, and you can purchase it for under $10 on sites such as GoDaddy.

2. Get the paperwork in order

You’re about to start a legitimate business, so you need to get all the required paperwork. You have to strategize and determine the state in which you want to be domiciled, and check the requirements with the department of taxation or revenue and Secretary of State. Determine the type of your company (limited liability, corporation, nonprofit company, or professional organization).

3. Choose a hosting platform and choose a theme

Opt for a popular eCommerce platform to save yourself some precious time and money. With the integration of WordPress and WooCommerce, users are enabled to easily integrate website plugins and payment processing, because popular developers are familiar with the requirements of a quality eCommerce site. WordPress provides secure and fast hosting solution. You should a theme that matches your website vision (a WP theme will cost you about $2). Download a template instead of starting to build your site from scratch, and you can customize it to suit your needs.

4. Add a payment gateway

Payment gateways are also credit card processors, used for receiving credit card payments from your customers. PayPal and Payoneer are among the most known payment gateways, but be sure to add more of them to meet your customers’ preferences (some people don’t like using these online payment corporations). If you want to accept mobile payment, recurring billing, and credit cards, gateways such as 2Checkout.com or authorize.net are great options.

Make sure you’re prepared and do your research, because getting approved for a credit card processor and payment gateway isn’t an easy process. Create a Return Policy, a Privacy Policy, set up a secure checkout process, and figure out your methods for delivery and shipping. You should also have a clean credit history, a bank account for the business, and a state ID/driver’s license of the country you’re domiciled in.

5. Shipping/storage options and packaging

Figure out how to ship and store your inventory before you launch your website. What shipping service will you use? Will you store your inventory in a warehouse or utilize drop shipping? What size packaging do you need? Are you going to include promotional items in your packages?

Launching an eCommerce website is a detailed and involved process, as you can see. Take the right steps to get it up and running by following this checklist and not leaving anything to chance. Be proactive and create the best SEO marketing strategy for your eCommerce site. Good luck!


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