It stands to reason that now people are staying at home they are turning to online shopping to get supplies. If you find that your business is lacking footfall and you don’t have an online presence then now would be a good time for you to consider doing so.
Creating an online store doesn’t have to be a difficult process. So it’s definitely worth a thought. It also doesn’t have to be a long-drawn-out process either. In fact, you could have an online store up in running in just a few hours. However, you probably wouldn’t have that many products on it. Adding your products to an online store can take a while depending on how many products you want to sell. Because each product has to be added manually with a photo, description, price and other details this can be quite an arduous task. It’s not difficult just time-consuming. Having said that your persistence is likely to pay off in the end.
Nor does creating an online store have to cost you a fortune. If you have a little computer savvy then you could quite easily do it yourself. If not, then you’ll probably know someone who does and may have time to help you out to the point where you have to add your own products.
Basically, all you need is a hosting provider, a website name, an eCommerce system.
Decide on and name for your website (Domain Name) and then do a search for ‘domain name search’. Most of the results you find will have an input box that you can add your domain name to.
Having found your domain name its now time to find a web hosting company. You should do a little research on the company you choose before diving right in. Make sure they have a good reputation. This website uses Krystal Hosting simply because they provide such a good after-sales service. When you have decided on your web hosting company, during the set-up process you can add your chosen domain name. You should also make sure that your new website has an SSL certificate. Many hosting companies will now allow you to add your own at no extra cost (or ask them to install it for you). An SSL certificate will provide you and your customers added security. Your website will then have an ‘Https’ prefix usually with a key symbol as opposed to the normal ‘Http’ prefix.
You must consider asking your website hosting provider to set up a daily back-up of your website and also the database too. You can do this yourself if you feel confident. It’s vitally important and very reassuring to know that if something you do breaks the website then you can have it up and running again using yesterday’s back-up.
Just for the sake of simplicity, you should consider using a WordPress Blog (many web hosting companies will actually install it for you). The really nice thing about WordPress is that its FREE to use. You need to set things up a little, like adding your country, currency, time zone, weights and measures, and store name.
Maybe, a blogging system doesn’t feel quite the right fit for an online eCommerce store. So let me explain! The WordPress blog allows you to install themes and plugins. Many of them are free. However, if you fancy investing a little on a paid-for version there’s nothing to stop you. The point is you don’t have to incur a lot of expenses to achieve your goals. As WordPress is such a popular blogging system it has more than enough themes and plugins for you to choose from.
Having installed WordPress you can now log in to the back-end with your chosen username and password. It’s now time to choose a theme. Make sure you choose a theme that is suitable as an online store. You could search for ‘Store’, ‘e-commerce’ or ‘shop’ to bring up some decent results. They are star rated which is useful. Install your chosen theme and activate it. You now just have to customise it to suit your needs which can be done in a very short time.
You are almost there! Now all you need to do is install the WooCommerce plugin. Once you’ve installed WooCommerce then you are good to go. Just activate it and start to add your products. WooCommerce is also FREE to use.
Guaranteed, this will not be the only plugin you install. For example, Yoast is a really good plugin for optimizing your website for search engines.
One last consideration is the cost of delivery. Be sure to get in touch with carriers and get details of the cost for delivery so that you can incorporate them into your price structure. There is usually a threshold where you can offer free delivery. However, that’s for you to decide.
You will probably hit a few stumbling blocks along the way. However, this is another reason why you should go with WordPress. If you go to YouTube and search for ‘WordPress’ you’ll get more results than you know what to do with. So be specific with your search. WordPress is so popular that it’s actually unlikely that you can’t find the answer to your question. It’s also a good idea to look for videos on plugins you want to install as it helps to know what they do and if they are the right fit for your needs.