As an e-commerce manager of my solar and green friendly business 10 years ago, I have had the privilege to understand what works and what doesn’t, with online customers who spend money through the internet.
I did not use WordPress or Amazon or Shopify or any other online store plugin except for Yahoo Stores. I signed up with Yahoo Stores because that was the only online shopping cart that allowed me to create a secure system that I was comfortable with. This again was 10 years ago and A LOT has changed since then in the way of how to get an e-commerce business off the ground and make it profitable. And in this blog post I’m going to provide you with an ecommerce checklist so you know what is required to create an online store. Remember, you’ll need to start marketing your store, building backlinks, creating videos and all the other things that are required to build trust online so then customers will want to pay you for your products on your online store.
Let us get started:
Web hosting is a mandatory requirement for any online site, you couldn’t even say that you have an online website unless of course your website was “online” And there are literally hundreds of web hosting companies that offer e-commerce solutions, however, they are going to expect you to sign up for a package through their host.
Domain Names –
A domain name is what you need so that you have a name to tell someone like your customers on where to go to find your products. You don’t have to have a keyword rich domain name anymore unless that is what you prefer. I recommend to people to purchase an aged domain name so it creates trust and authority in the eyes of the search engine bots.
Online Store Platform –
There are some online store platforms like Shopify, YahooStores, BigCommerce or You Can Use WordPress. Mmost online users call it a “Shopping Cart”. I recommend WordPress because that is what I have used to achieve results with online customers, and so that is why I recommend to you. Plus, the search engines and other reputable online companies trust wordpress sites as well as use WordPress for their own internet presence.
If you do in fact use WordPress, you’re going to need a Plugin and or Theme that caters to Ecommerce aka, a Shopping Cart.
Here are some ecommerce wordpress shopping cart solutions:
SSL – Securing Your Online Store
SSL certificates is required with any website especially since that Google and search engines are already indicating to their users which sites are NON-SSL aka Non-Secure websites. Some hosting providers do in fact provide SSL security seals, however, most of them do not. Even Godaddy as big as they are, do not provide SSL certificates within their purchase of a domain name. You have to purchase the ssl certificates separately and then you have to get it installed on the website itself. We haven’t even gotten to the part where you need a PCI compliance website on your checkout page so then you can process credit card transactions. That part of the site needs to sit on an SSL certificate enabled url in order to even process the transaction. That’s further down on this page, just look which SSL certificate you would like to purchase.
Web Design/Development –
You can hire DomainGeek.net to design your ecommerce website using any of the shopping carts mentioned above or you can purchase a subscription or one-time payment for a WordPress Theme.
If you need a developer, you Freelance or the website, Upwork formerly known as oDesk.com has many developers that you can hire to get your site developed. It is a good idea to hire a developer if you need custom work done or more features that themes or shopping carts don’t offer. That is one of the best parts of having a website and online store, once you have it up and running, you can always add more features and customization to the site by hiring a developer. And thinking about it, it is one the best parts of having the internet exist in the first place.
Payment Processors –
If you plan on having e-commerce sales, you have to a system in place so then you can receive credit card sales, nothing is worse than having an awesome ecommerce site with no way of allowing customers pay with visa or mastercard or crypto currency if that payment processor isn’t in place. Here are a few payment processors that are reputable. I have had good and bad experiences with them and with payment processors, it will come down to transaction fees and monthly rate. Get the lowest rate and transaction fees so you can receive as much as your profit margins as possible.
Social Media –
Having your on-site checklist completed is one thing, but have your off-site checklist is another and that is where social media will come into play. People want to know you are real or the very least, reachable. They want to see how you are playing along with people on the internet and not just on your website. And social media platforms are the best way to express who you are or who and what your company is about. I’ll list some of the top social media sites as well as some marketing tools that will help you to syndication your marketing efforts through paid and free tools.
Inventory and Dropshipping
You can order your products from any place you would like, however, if you would like dropshipping, I recommend WorldWideBrands.com because they have been in business for over 20 years and have done all the hard for people like yourself looking to sell physical products online without having to carry the inventory. I have used them before and they are a trustworthy site.
You can also contact the supplies manager and or website contact person who will allow for retailers to dropship their products. Most of them require you to purchase a min. inventory or make a purchase order so that they can send you a crate or pallet of inventory, however, it is based on your resources and what you are hoping to achieve in the e-commerce industry, that will achieve your goals.