Starting your own website has become more accessible than ever before. The advent of WordPress allows pretty much anybody to manage their own website. WordPress is known for its ultra-friendly user interface. Thirty percent of all websites on the world wide web is built using WordPress.
The incredible versatility and ease of use of a WordPress website attract more and more online entrepreneurs. There are so many downloadable plugins developed for WordPress, those website owners that don’t know even a single line of code can efficiently manage and edit their website. You guessed it, there are plugins to make a WordPress website into an online store.
The most popular one being the Woocommerce plugin. Visit the official WordPress plugin directory to find plugins for any of your website needs. Choosing a WordPress site for your e-commerce business is only the first step in getting started. Here’s a list of all the tasks you need to do to get your website rolling.
Choose the Best Niche to Get into
Selling online has become very popular over the years. Depending on where you’re located there are thousands, sometimes even millions of online sellers to compete with. This is why choosing the right niche to get into is very important.
You don’t want to dive into a niche that is already dominated by dozens of top sellers. It would be complicated for a new seller to climb the SERP(Search Engine Results Page) and rank their products. The chances for success in that kind of scenario is very slim.
Your efforts would be better spent in first selecting a niche with only a few sellers. It is crucial to take some time to research promising products as well as the niche they’re in. One of the most natural methods to do this is to use third party software like Jungle Scout or Merchant Words to research product keywords.
Some of the best business books will tell you to invest in the right tools, and you can use both of these tools in conjunction. First, use Merchant Words and type a product keyword that you feel passionately about. It is also important to sell products that you will take pride in selling.
Use other eCommerce Sites to Scout for products
Even if you are converting a WordPress site to sell products, you might as well post the products on Amazon to reach the maximum number of potential customers. MerchantWords is an excellent tool because it searches how often Amazon shoppers type specific keywords into the search field looking for products.
All you need to do is to type a generic product keyword, and it will generate results that show the category and search volume of the broad keyword. Select the category you want to build your niche in and then choose the specific type of product which you would want to sell.
Choose a keyword somewhere in the middle of the results page because more often than not the top results are already saturated with sellers. Then take that long-tailed keyword, pull up Jungle Scout and search it on there as well.
Jungle scout will show you the estimated sales volume, possible revenue, various selling prices and even the amount of competition for any product. Then check Alibaba.com for the source price of the product.
If you think the product will be profitable and well worth your time to sell then add it to your list. Make sure to indicate the prices on Alibaba and later on Amazon. Doing so will give you an idea of the profit margin for each product.
Do the research and make a list of about twenty products that you would like to get into selling. That shortlist will help narrow down the different niche options to get into. Make sure to only source top quality merchandise.
If you want to create your very own Amazon FBA private label, then you will need to contact the manufacturer to print your brand name on the product. To stand out even further you can add a useful feature to the product that would then be unique to your brand. It is a fantastic way to dominate a product niche.
Finding the right Domain
Once you have found the perfect niche for your e-commerce business, then you can start deciding on a domain. Your website’s domain name needs to be closely associated with your business niche.
In case your e-commerce business already has its own brand then you need to use the brand name as the domain. It is vital that the domain name matches the identity of your companies brand. Create a list of at least ten possible domain names.
There is a big chance that the first picks for your domain are already taken. You can double check the availability of the domains through web hosting sites such as Bluehost or GoDaddy. Choosing the best domain for your e-commerce business is a big decision.
Run it by valued friends, family, and even business associates. Ask them to give you their honest feedback. A fresh perspective on the aesthetics for your business is always a good idea. Take any criticism constructively and only make changes after careful deliberation.
After checking web hosting services and verifying the domain is indeed available, it is time to buy the domain. You can purchase the rights to a domain annually. If you’re serious about your move to create an e-commerce website, purchase the rights to the domain for at least five years.
Google search looks kindly on domains that are registered to a business for five years. It speaks volumes for the credibility of your business. Buying it annually is fine as well if you just want to try it out.
Get the right hosting and Theme Set up
Signing up for web hosting services can be confusing. Let’s get down to the basics. Website hosting services mainly house your website on the world wide web. Your site would live in one of the servers of the web hosting company.
The services provided depend on what kind of hosting package you have signed up for. Fast loading speed is crucial for e-commerce websites. Online shoppers have very little patience when it comes to how slow the loading of a page is on their screen.
They are likely to close the browser or app rather than wait for a page to load. Choose a website hosting service that is compatible to the site you’re trying to build. It needs to have sufficient bandwidth, secure and reliable as well.
The most popular website hosting services that specialize in WordPress sites are Bluehost, iPage, Hostgator and GoDaddy. Any of these website hosting sites would fit your eCommerce needs nicely. There are tiers to the level of services for your site.
Shared hosting means just that, you will be sharing the server with random websites. All of the resources of the server are shared from the CPU to RAM or ROM. A VPS(Virtual Private Server) is a step up from a shared server.
The website hosting service will create a virtual server for the exclusive use of your website. While it may technically still share a physical server with other sites, the website hosting company has allocated computer resources for your exclusive use.
Dedicated hosting provides clients with their own server. It is the BMW of web hosting services and provides the website owner with a whole slew of functions and features not found on shared or VPS hosting. Choose the web hosting plan that is right for your business, SiteGround is one of the best one to go with.
Create a site using plugins like Woocommerce and Page Builder
Building an e-commerce site using WordPress is easy even for non-programmers. Non-coders can just download plugins to mimic the work of season computer programmers. Merely go to the official WordPress plugin directory.
To be a website designer, you don’t need to know HTML or Java you just need to download plus install Page Builder. Page Builder plugins will allow you to design a website through an optimized drag and drop editor.
This tool is one of the most popular website creation plugins for WordPress. To add e-commerce functionality to your site, all you need to do is download and install the Woocommerce plugin to your WordPress site. This plugin will give you all the features of an e-commerce store. It is fully customizable, and the best part is that is is a free download.
Of course, you can choose to pay for the premium version which will get you more features to work with. The beauty of WordPress is its simplicity that does not diminish any function. There are plugins built to accomplish almost any function that you need to be made on a website.
Building your e-commerce website through WordPress in an excellent idea. Gone are the days where you would have to pay a webmaster to develop and manage your site for you. Find the most profitable niche that you feel strongly about and source the best product.
Find a suitable domain that will be the embodiment of your brand and create the website. The building, designing and running your e-commerce store is made simple through WordPress, and it’s powerful plugins.
Guest Author: Nathan Sharpe is a London-based entrepreneur with a penchant for learning skills, especially those that can help grow our bottom-line. If you’re looking for practical business advice and tips, you will love what he has there at the BizNas Business Blog!