How to build an E-commerce Website in 8 Easy Steps

How to build an E-commerce Website in 8 Easy Steps

How to build an E-commerce Website in 8 Easy Steps.

Since the introduction of COVID-19 in the U.S. several months ago, consumers have drastically shifted how they shop. Over 95% of Americans affected by stay-at-home orders at some point.  Companies have had to adjust accordingly to ensure that consumers can still shop with them—and that their businesses succeed through the changes. This means shifting to an e-commerce business model, giving consumers access to their products online while staying safe at home.

It’s not just small, local businesses that have been affected by this change; large companies are also feeling the effects.  People are uncomfortable going into stores, and online shopping is a natural alternative.

It’s not enough for companies to list their products for sale online, though. Creating an effective, well-functioning website is key to keeping your business afloat through these times.

It’s time to build a website that meets your company’s needs and satisfies your customers’ preferences. Use these eight simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to having a thriving e-commerce website.

1. Do Your Market Research

The first step to selling a product is to make sure there is an audience for it and that the market is not overly saturated with too many similar products that could prevent customers from choosing yours. Having a bit of competition is good—it gives people options. However, you don’t want to be caught in a situation where your business and/or product gets lost among a sea of others.

Before investing time and capital into your e-commerce website development. It’s wise to use these available tools to determine whether demand is high enough for your business to succeed:

  • Google Trends: This valuable tool analyzes how popular certain keywords and search terms are in different regions and languages and can measure their growth over time. Business owners can use Google Trends to understand the patterns behind consumer purchasing behavior.
  • Social media: Use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to see what products are trending and how product owners are marketing them to consumers.
  • Amazon: Research the best-selling products on Amazon and read reviews to gain insight into what people like and dislike about the items they’re buying.
  • Consumer surveys: If you already have a customer base that used to shop with you in-store, why not ask about their e-commerce preferences? Various survey sites make it easy to create a poll and send it to your existing email list.

2. Choose A Domain Name And Hosting Provider

There are two main things to remember when choosing a domain name: It should be relevant to your business or product, and it should be easy for your audience to remember.

You can use a domain search website like Instant Domain Search. Check if your preferred domain name is available to buy, or the hosting provider you choose will offer this service. You’ll need a hosting provider to make your e-commerce website accessible on the internet. These providers also offer various services to maintain and improve your website. Which including security protection, email, and assistance with your website platform.

3. Pick An E-commerce Website Builder

Now that you have your products and domain set, it’s time to build the website. There are a variety of e-commerce website builders and many features to choose from for your site.

Examples of these elements include:

  • Themes: Choose something relevant to your business, brand identity, or even the specific product you are selling.
  • Blog posts: This provides another opportunity to increase traffic by incorporating SEO-friendly blog posts about your industry.
  • Facebook Pixel: This allows you to take data from your website metrics and use it for your Facebook ads to increase traffic and boost sales.

One of the most important elements to consider when choosing a builder is how well it supports e-commerce initiatives. For example, is it relatively easy to add product pages with fields for SEO keywords, product descriptions, photography, and inventory? Some of the most popular e-commerce-friendly builders include Shopify, WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.

Your business may be best served by choosing to hire a web developer to help with building your website to make sure everything is done effectively and flawlessly. A trusted web developer can also be a great resource for suggestions. If you aren’t sure which builder to select for your site. ‍

Upwork has plenty of independent professionals with extensive web development experience working with all major website platforms. Choosing the right web developer to build your online footprint can be a great help to you as you turn your e-commerce website plan into a reality.

4. Plan Your Site Structure And Key Pages

There are certain fundamentals of every successful e-commerce website. Before you begin building the site, plan the way you want it to be structured and organized.

Remember to make it as user-friendly as possible. You want your customers to be able to browse with ease and not be bombarded with complicated procedures or too many click-throughs to find the product they’re looking for.

The specifics for building out your online store will depend on your website platform. But essentially, it should include these general elements:

  • Menu navigation and a quick access search bar.
  • General product pages with descriptions, photos, pricing, and customer ratings and reviews.
  • Product recommendations that generate based on customers’ previous searches.
  • “About” and “Contact” pages.

Your website should also be visually appealing, with pages that follow a similar pattern or theme. Use Upwork to hire an independent professional who excels in web or graphic design to accelerate the creation of your desired look and feel.

5. Customize your Site with Expert Assistance

There’s more to a website than what’s visible. There are a multitude of customized and complex themes, widgets, apps, and plug-ins that further enhance your e-commerce site and make the customer experience more fulfilling.

To make sure you’re taking advantage of all the benefits of these features, consider hiring an expert developer who has experience building e-commerce sites, especially one who has worked with the specific website builder you’re using. Upwork’s independent talent database is the perfect place to find and engage with professionals who can perform front-end development services for your business’s website.

6. Set Up Your E-commerce Payment System

The primary purpose of your e-commerce site is to sell something. It’s important to have a user-friendly payment system, so the purchasing process is as easy as possible for your customers. Other things to consider are the payment methods accepted (does it allow users to pay via PayPal?), additional fees charged (does it charge you a percentage of each sale?), and most importantly, whether it’s compatible with your website builder.

Some e-commerce payment systems also allow for the integration of social media. If you plan to use your business’s Facebook or Instagram accounts to promote and sell your products.

7. Track Visitor And Marketing Metrics

It’s crucial to be aware of and understand your website’s analytics, especially traffic sources and demographic statistics. These data are key to optimizing your site. The right independent professional can help customize and enhance your website by setting up key metrics, allowing you to understand real-time insights better.

When you know where your website traffic is coming from and the demographics that make up that traffic, you can target that audience more specifically with marketing techniques to improve SEO.

8. Adjust According To Visitor Behavior

Change is inevitable. There’s a chance that your customer base may change, and taste preferences might alter. There may be new products and/or services your business offers, and there are always going to be ongoing developments and advancements in technology. Your e-commerce website must remain flexible enough to adapt to these changes as they happen.

Having a go-to team of professionals in web development ensures that your website keeps up with necessary changes. Hiring independent professionals for these types of tasks can be beneficial because you can call on them at any point, whenever the work is needed. These workers can supplement your core team, giving you the advantage of having a skilled hybrid team to lead your e-commerce website to success.Build your e-commerce site right with the top independent talent

With e-commerce sales expected to surpass $476 million by 2024, it’s essential to invest in a fully functioning, flourishing e-commerce website that attracts customers to your business and gives them easy access to your products.

However, It takes more than simply following these steps. You need the right team of skilled independent workers who have the technical background and experience to get your website running smoothly. When you use Upwork’s services, you’ll be connected to independent professionals who can effectively and efficiently perform the work needed to launch your dream e-commerce website into reality.


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