10 Steps to Create your Online Business on ecomz Ecomz Technical Support November 12, 2020 11:01 Updated There has never been a better time to get online! Building an online store is a fantastic way to make a bit of extra money but it’s difficult to know where to start. The good news is you don’t need lots of money, time or technical knowledge to create an online presence. All you need is an internet connection and a great business idea! Here’s a 10 step guide to help you easily create your e-commerce store on ecomz: 1. Choose an e-commerce website builder When starting an online store, the first step is choosing the right online store builder.Gone are the days where you had to throw hard-earned dollars at a computer programmer or an agency to create an e-commerce website. E-commerce platforms are the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to build an online store. Instead, your online store builder will: Host your store, giving it a place to live on the internet. Let you buy or connect your domain name – yourstore.com, for example. Keep your site up and running, making sure your store doesn’t crash. Sort out security certificates to keep your customers’ details safe when takingpayments and handling their data. Let you sell a range of products, such as physical, digital, and service-based goods. Give you marketing tools to promote your business. Provide you with tailored sales features like shipping discounts and automatedinventory tracking. Save money with affordable plans. ⭐Tip: Many companies offer a 2 week free trial to set up your online store. This is a good opportunity for you to get started. 2. Choose a hosted platform The second step is to decide if you want a hosted or self hosted e-commerce platform, they each come with their own set of pros and cons. Here are some points to consider: A self-hosted e-commerce platform (such as Magento or WordPress): Requires security for online payments Gives the users more flexibility on the design and functions of their store Offers more control over store’s maintenance Requires extensive coding skills A hosted e-commerce platform (such as Shopify, Woocommerce or ecomz): Provides an all-in-one e-commerce solution Doesn’t require technical skills Includes hosting as well as technical support ⭐Tip: With self-hosted sites, the cost of your website setup would have to be upfront and you will need to set-up your site all by yourself or will have to hire a skilled developer. On the other hand, hosted platforms work on a subscription model, where you need to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to the provider. 3. Get a domain name for your store A domain name is the bit in a URL that identifies your store’s name. You can buy one through ecomz domain store, Godaddy, Namecheap, etc.. Pick the right country code. If you’re selling to international customers, choose a .com domain. Country-specific codes are only suitable if you’re selling to consumers in that country. Don’t include a brand or product name in your domain; it can get you into legal trouble. Be unique and play with words to stand out from the crowd. Add a keyword to help you climb search engine rankings. The higher you rank in Google, the more traffic you get; the more traffic, the more sales. Set a calendar reminder to renew your domain name before the expiry date. Pay the domain name registration fee which can cost as low as $2 per year. ⭐Tip 1: Secure your website with a SSL certificate to keep your store’s data completely private with maximum security measures. 4. Pick a template and customize your site Your homepage is the first thing your customers see. It’s like your shop window. As most shoppers leave a website after 10-20 seconds, it’s crucial to make a good first impression by offering customers a seamless and convenient shopping journey, from navigation, to product discovery to checkout. Make sure to choose a theme that: Focuses on the customers’ experience: from navigation, to product discovery to checkout SEO optimized to drive more traffic Mobile responsive ⭐Tip 1: Your homepage could be a simple image, a slideshow or a video. Decide which to choose based on your business goals. ⭐Tip 2: Internet users scan a page in an “F” shape, so stores that have a distinctive header and sidebar on the left of the page work best. ⭐Tip 3: Check out ecomz’s themes that are carefully designed to enhance the shopper’s experience. 5. Add your products Now that you’ve created a stylish online store using a template, you need to add your products. When adding a product, make sure to have the following: Name (the standard rule is: brand + model/product type + key attributes) Description (ingredients, materials, age group, etc.) Price (in the country’s currency) Category and subcategory (for easier navigation) Dimensions (for physical products) File (for downloadable products like ebooks) Different e-commerce website builders have different limits on: The number of products you can upload The number of size variances for each product (the same product but in a different size or color). The number of product variants (a combination of two options: for example, a blue t-shirt in size medium). ⭐Tip: Make sure to write winning product descriptions by highlighting the benefits and avoiding slang, complex jargon, and long sentences. Use SEO techniques as this will improve your ranking on Google when customers search for products like yours. Higher ranking will improve traffic to your website and ultimately increase sales. 6. Choose your payment methods Finding out which payment method to use is important when creating an online store.There are different types of payment methods available out there. Choosing the right ones for your business lies in carefully understanding how each method works and most importantly, who your target audience is (age, location, tech savviness, etc.). Here's a list of payment methods that you can use in your e-commerce site: Credit and debit cards (MasterCard and Visa) Mobile payments Bank transfers E-wallets Prepaid cards Cash on delivery (COD) ⭐Tip: Having different payment methods allows you to optimize customer experience and ultimately increase conversion since it allows shoppers to use their favorite method. 7. Integrate with payment gateways How will you get paid? The answer is through a payment gateway. A payment gateway is simply a service that processes credit card payments in a fast and secure way. The most popular payment gateways are Stripe, 2Checkout, Areeba, CyberSource, Hyperpay, Payfort, PayPal Express/Pro and PayTabs. There are different types of integration methods: Hosted gateway It uses third-party services like Payment Services Provider (PSP) to complete the payment services. When customers want to pay, they will be redirected to the PSP page where they provide their payment details. Once credit details are verified, the payment is made securely through the service providers page. After paying successfully, customers are again redirected to your e-commerce website. The most well-known hosted payment gateway is PayPal. Self-hosted payment gateways This option allows payment credentials to be collected by the e-commerce store. Then those details are forwarded to the payment gateway URL. This integration method charges customers on your store directly rather than redirecting them. Tradegecko is an example of a self-hosted payment gateway and it is powered by Stripe. Non-hosted payment gateways This enables your e-commerce website to handle the checkout process and controls the transaction during the payment process. Customers’ payment details are directly entered into the checkout page of the website. All payment details are stored in your website which can be accessed during the payment directly. Some examples of non-hosted payment gateways are PayU, FirstData and BrainTree. Local bank integration This method redirects customers from your site to the bank’s website to make the payment. After the transaction is complete, they are redirected to your site. ⭐Tip 1: Ideally you should have multiple payment gateways in your store because not only helps increase international sales, but also offers customers several payment options. ⭐Tip 2: To learn more about payment gateways, check out our “Processing YourTransactions with ecomz: Effective Payment Methods + Secure Gateways” blog. 8. Configure your shipping settings What's next? You should continue by configuring your shipping settings to deliver your products to your customers. Your website should incorporate different shipping options to ensure utmost flexibility. This can be done by including: Custom shipping by integrating your own shipping service with your online store. Pick-up from store by allowing your customers to place their orders online and pick-up their products from your physical store. Third-party integrations by partnering up with local and international shipping providers to streamline your deliveries. Make sure your website supports international and local shipment and has the following features: Shipment manager to fulfill your orders on time. Rate calculator to manage and systematize your shipping fees. Shipment tracking for better customer satisfaction ⭐Tip 1: Some website builders offer preferential rates when integrating with shippingproviders. For example, ecomz offers special rates with Wakilni when integrating shipping with your store. ⭐Tip 2: To learn more about shipping methods and solutions, dive into our “ecomz Shipping Services: Delivering Your Products Across the MENA and Beyond” blog. 9. Manage your store’s settings Go to the store settings section of your platform and set your preferences for each of the following: Language Currency Timezone Address Store Name Contact Details Order settings Product settings Features and add-ons ⭐Tip 1: If available, personalize your website using multi-currency and multi-language features to reach a wider audience. ⭐Tip 2: Activate features and add-ons, such as product recommendation, gift card, wishlist, and coupons to provide your customers an pleasing shopping experience and increase your conversions. 10. Preview, test and publish There’s one important step to go before you’ve finished creating your online store: testing. So make sure to: Test your checkout by ordering and then immediately refund yourself. Have an easy navigation bar and make sure any clickable button or link is working. Proofread your content and check all your pictures. Have a responsive store on mobile, tablet, desktop and different browsers. ⭐Tip: You can test this on your platform’s preview mode, and toggle the mobile icon to startexperimenting. Debunking the myth Gone are the days when creating an e-commerce website was not only a hassle, but also a costly and time consuming project that required the input of developers or agencies. The advance in technology has produced a new model where e-commerce platforms have become the go-to solution to create an online website thanks to being very inclusive, affordable, and user-friendly without any prior experience in coding or design. E-commerce platforms are at the cornerstone of this shift, undoubtedly disrupting consumerism, empowering entrepreneurship, and creating sustainable ecosystems. Got further questions, or simply want to say hi, our 24/7 support team is always there! Head to our live chat, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our Community forum to discuss and share ideas and thoughts with ecomz creative community! Was this article helpful? Yes 0 No 0 comments Have more questions? Submit a request Return to top Related articles E-commerce Platforms Comparison Chart ecomz Overview Enabling Perishable Products Option on ecomz Setting up and Linking Facebook Shop to your ecomz Store Adding Product Support Details on ecomz 0 comments Please sign in to leave a comment.