Article on How to start your online shop

In today’s business milieu, ‘online store’, ‘digital marketing, ‘e-commerce’, are oft-repeated buzzwords. The World Wide Web seems to be the ideal place to start a new business.  But for people who are tech challenged, setting up an online business can be quite daunting. Here you will find a quick guide to how to start your own online shop.

Anyone with a computer can start an online store. In the beginning, the 3 important factors one must be aware of are:

  1. Domain name:      One must have a domain name idea which will be the name of the store. This can be registered for free, and we will show you how.
  2. Web Hosting Account:        This is the platform that will house the store’s website. Choosing the best hosting provider is one of the most important decisions one has to make for his eCommerce business.
  3. SSL certification:   This is required for accepting payments for the products on sale and ensuring the security of the sensitive information received like credit card or bank details.

WordPress is a well-recognized platform that has a free plugin called WooCommerce that can easily convert a website into an online store where you can sell both physical and digital products and services. The steps to set up an online store using WordPress + WooCommerce are as follows:

Step 1:Get a domain name and web hosting.

  • Domain name will be your online shop’s unique address on the web
  • Web hosting is a remote computer that will store your shop online and present it to your customers. You will have to pay a small fee for the service. The following are some hosting providers that are officially recommended by WordPress.

Step 2: Install WordPress. You can do this by using any of the above-mentioned hosting providers.

“Ecommerce isn’t the cherry on the cake, it’s the new cake”

Step 3:    Install the WooCommerce Plugin. This will turn a blank WordPress website into a fully functional eCommerce store. And to achieve that, you have to fill in details into the plugin.

  • Store details: You have to fill in the details of your store
  • Industry: You have to pick out which industry your shop is involved with, and you can choose more than one option
  • Product types:   You have to select what type of products you will be selling. The options include physical goods, downloads, subscriptions, bookings, and many more
  • Business details: You have to specify whether you already sell online or if you are a first-timer
  • Theme: WooCommerce works with any WordPress theme, and there are great ones that are preset. The main intention here is to make each page attractive

Step 4: Choose a Payment Gateway, Currency, Shipping and set up Taxes

  • Choose a Payment Gateway: Being able to accept payments online is the key to a functional eCommerce store. At WooCommerce a number of payment options are integrated, primarily PayPal and Stripe. You can choose other options too.
  • Understand Sales Tax and define Currency:  WooCommerce has a “Enable tax rates and calculations” feature that saves you a lot of bother. You also have to specify the currency you wish to deal with.
  • Shipping: This is relevant only for those selling physical products. You can define shipping zones and classes, set fixed prices, offer free delivery, etc. WooCommerce also has an extension to manage drop-shipping

Step 5:  Build your Store

  • Create pages: Before adding products, you should create pages like
    • Home Page
    • About Page
    • Contact Page
    • FAQ Page
    • Privacy Policy Page
  • Add products or services:
    • Product name
    • Product description
    • Product data
    • Product categories
    • Product tags
    • Product Image
    • Product gallery
  • Publish:  Once you have completed the above details you have to click on the Publish button to make your store visible to your customers.

Step 6: Make the eCommerce store user-friendly. Some crucial factors are

  • A clear design
  • Good product images
  • The center display has to catch the visitor’s attention
  • Responsive and mobile-optimized
  • Good navigation structure.
  • Cart and Check-Out are the most important pages.

If one follows the above method, it should not be too difficult to set up an online store. The task becomes easier thanks to hosting platforms like WordPress, WooCommerce, Shopify, and other such websites.

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