The Complete Guide to Preparing Your Ecommerce Store in 2022!

Navneet Singh, Founder

Ecommerce SEO

If you’re thinking of running a successful online store, you might think of several steps which will help to make your online store a success. Success in e-commerce stores gets defined by just a simple formula. Reduce the expenditures and increase the sales to cash in on the various profits. 

If you are a small business owner, you have more chances to make your customers feel connected to you rather than going another way round. The latest ways to un and e-commerce business make it easier for small businesses to run their operations on a small budget. They also do not need to have an inventory (for dropshipping business owners). 

A lot of global events across the globe have triggered digital sales. The year 2020 was marked by major turmoil. But, it also was characterized by a growth in digital sales. Selling online is something which you cannot miss at all in the coming times.

What Are the Exact Statistics?

About 46% of the buyers placed orders with new retailers in the previous year. Online shopping helped dissolve geographical lines, and the consumers were also shifting the brands actively.

A study also indicated that by September 2022, 50% of online expenditure would be done using smartphones. US consumers have spent more than $190 billion through mobile resources. 

The small e-commerce stores recorded a 96.5% (nearly double) growth in digital traffic from the last year. 33% are reporting nearly doubling or tripling of traffic or a 100 % to 200% increase. More growth is expected in the coming time.

Based on such points, you can tap on a tremendous growth opportunity in the coming time. Based on teh time of the year, you can make the most of the different opportunities. In various regions of the globe, the market conditions for launching an online store will be different. The market conditions for running an online store are highly favorable despite the economic uncertainty. 

Utilizing the best opportunities for your online store gives you a smooth experience for online shopping. Giving your customers a good and top-class shopping experience on their small devices helps you create a huge difference.

How can You Create An Online Store?

The best part of launching an e-commerce store these days is that you can launch new products and a great website in just a few simple steps.

Here are the step-by-step instructions you need to follow:

  • Find your niche for developing your business plan.
  • Spot your domain name.
  • Choose the right e-commerce website builder.
  • What will be the outlook of your online store?
  • What are the products you want to add to your online shop?
  • Set up your shipping.
  • Plan and launch your online store’s marketing.
  • Launch your online store.

Developing a Niche Plan

The e-commerce market is highly diverse these days. Marketing giants like Amazon are focused on their niche retailers. Background research in your eCommerce niche helps you identify and focus on various areas. 

Carry Out SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats. Moreover, it will provide an effective method for analyzing and assessing all the opportunities on different products and niche ideas. For example, if you want to sell second-hand clothing with your store,  here is the SWOT analysis for the same.

Strength

  • High entry barriers.
  • High gross margins.
  • Highly visible website.
  • Limited start-up risk.

Weakness

  • High competition 
  • Limited start-up cost
  • Lesser flexibility for pricing
  • Higher transportation cost.

Opportunities

  • Higher scope of expansion of online sales.
  • Developing additional stores.
  • Acquiring additional rounds of capital.
  • Significant P/E on sale of a business.
  • Affiliate relations with vendors.

Threat

  • Impact on business due to changes regulations
  • Continued increase of insurance costs
  • Upward pricing with higher price inputs.

Recognize the Industry Gaps

It is essential to recognize the existing gaps in the industry. All prominent niches may seem to be filled already. However, if you have something new to offer, you can always make a place for yourself. Recognizing the industry gap means that you must understand the customer demands that yet remain to be fulfilled. 

Places Where You can Find Gaps

Search the following platforms including:

  • Social media
  • Google trends
  • Most popular selling product on major shopping platforms.

Analyzing Your Customer Persona: The best e-commerce products are based on your customers’ needs, interests, and preferences. The best buyers personas will require the use of:

  • Demographic data
  • Psychographic data

Notice the patterns your audience uses to buy products you have to offer. Think of the right way to reach out to them.

Find the Right Business Model

Always find out where and what products your audience wants to buy and how they want to be reached out. 

The different business models include:

  • B2B Model: Do you want to sell more to wholesalers? 
  • B2C Model: Do you want to market your products directly?
  • DTC: The DTC model removes the need for selling directly to the customers.
  • Dropshipping: As you do things to pass on the fulfillment task to another party, it means you won’t need to stock any inventory. 
  • Online Marketplace: E-bay, Etsy, and Amazon are some of the best places that your audience can access. Moreover, the DTC sellers will also eradicate the need for wholesalers or multi-brand retailers.

What’s Your Domain Name?

The domain name is a unique identifier for customers. It should not just guide your customers to your business or online store but also make it easy for people to remember you. Moreover, it should help you in creating more brand awareness.

Be Unique: When you have exactly matching domains, it helps you rank quickly in the search results. Having keyword-rich names will help you to rank higher in SERPS.

Use the Right Combinations: Always use the right word combinations or a few descriptive real words. Also, experiment with the different unknown words. 

Do Not Use Unfamiliar Words

Never get overboard for being creative with certain foreign words because you may unintentionally create an inappropriate or unpleasing message. 

Some of the Inappropriate Words or Phrases Include:

  • Misspelled words.
  • Hyphens and number of words.
  • Difficulty pronounced words.

Keep the Domain Name Precise

Make sure that your domain name is less than 12 characters. It is the right length to make things easy to type and also very memorable.

If a full business name is longer, you can shorten it in many ways. For example, a business name may be Etsy Just in the Pot. But, one can make it shortened to EJIP to make a difference.

E-commerce Builders

E-commerce platforms are available with different features and extensions. The right choice for investment helps you to take care of the varied requirements. Also, go recognize varied SAAS and open-source options.

How Will the Platform Help Your Business?

It is highly important to choose the right platform for your business. Ask certain questions to yourself. For example, will that platform help to grow my business? Analyze the drop in sales threshold or traffic.

The Other Things to Consider While Choosing a Platform

Will the platform offer the most important Native and Core features? How can you invest in an extension to invest for taking care of native functionality? 

Assess the different store builders and compare their scores.

E-commerce data breaches comprise reputational and financial risk.

Security: There can be a lot of alternatives for modern consumers while they think of buying from an online store. Check if your system recently suffered from: 

  • A data breach or a system hack.
  • Lack of SSL security at checkout.
  • No information on data storage.

Mobile Optimization: The use of mobile indexing is important because an e-commerce shop offers a great mobile shopping experience. 

What Are the Ways to Determine a Website’s Position?

Google crawlers greatly depend on how the website is rendered on mobile for determining the SERPs results on mobile. 

SEO page rankings will suffer if you have lower website traffic, and you will miss mobile sales.

Here are things you can do to improve your mobile website ranking. Simplify your store setup and management. The parameters you need to consider for choosing a store include:

  • Business goals.
  • Operational model and verticals.
  • Technical requirements. 

Here are Some of the Top-Rated Options Available for You

Shopify

It is an important platform giving you a great range of features for creating an attractive online store setup or setting. Moreover, Shopify offers a superb balance for third-party integrations and native features. 

Features in Shopify

  • Visual page builder.
  • Proprietary payment processor integrated with 100+ payment gateways.
  • Highly secure shopping cart functionality.

Magento

It is an open-source e-commerce platform that is highly customizable but requires complete upkeep. Download Magento locally to get features for:

  • On-premise platform as a service. 
  • Customization or extension opportunities.

Virtually unlimited extensions and customization opportunities: Always set aside an appropriate budget. Setting up a Magento store may require a cost of nearly $20,000-$45,000 in the first go. 

Woocommerce Plugin

This is the open-source platform that is used in WordPress. Several businesses use it as a gateway to go for online sales. Woo-commerce helps in several functions, including:

  • Securing
  • Hosting
  • Configuring
  • And extending their functioning on the software.

Features

  • It will make 140 region-specific payment gateways.
  • It will help you install extensions for shipping, marketing, accounting, and more.

In What Way can You Design Your Store’s Look?

You get a wide range of themes for adjusting and fitting your business brands.

  • It means that you can customize text sizes and fonts.
  • Add branded visuals or high-quality assets.
  • Configure the color schemes.
  • Assess the several layouts and product listing types.

Adding Products to Your Online Store

It will be easy to find and shop for products in an online store.

Make sure that you set up the right product category pages with the proper product descriptions and upload the product images.

Creating Product Descriptions

An effective product description coaxes your users into buying a product. How to make a product description highly effective?

The best product descriptions will address all the customer problems. It will describe and highlight several product features.

  • It explains for whom the product is meant.
  • Enlist all the necessary product characteristics.
  • It helps to understand if someone needs a product.
  • It also explains where the buyer will use the product.

A simple water bottle is very drawing when you can describe several of its features, for example, the colors, wide-mouthed bottles. With ist attached loop, it will make handwashing so simple.

Product Images: How to Work on Product Photography?

Make sure that you hire a professional product photographer to carry out the job. 

Also, create the right setup at home for having attractive product photographs.

By having 3-D photographs for things like furniture, various types of clothing, and other equipment, you can get top-quality results.

Data suggest that such photographs can help render a 5% to 40% increase in product functionality.

Product Categories

Product categories are a must. This is because it will help to manage and establish interrelationships between the different product pages.

Properly made product categories help in the proper display of the catalog and make the inventory easily accessible and discoverable. 

Several garment sellers deal with categories like men’s, women’s, new sales, and accessories.

Ecommerce websites have a large stock for adding several bonus categories for assisting the discovery of products. Generally, customer search is also based on seasonal offers or gift categories.

When your target audience has a higher demand, it will give rise to the need of improving the product category pages employing more filters, for:

  • Color
  • Price range
  • Material
  • And more.

Setting up Shipping

It is important to establish how your users will be reaching out to your products. 

There will be so many product shipping categories making 56% of the consumers won’t b buying from people giving a poor delivery experience.

Shipping policy:  With the right shipping policy, you can have the right expectations set for your new customers. 

Important things to consider

  • Communicate properly
  • The costs
  • Terms

 And also limitations of the shipping policy.

Here are a few questions for you to consider

What is the Shipping Policy?

A clearly outlined shipping policy will help your customers have the right set of expectations. 

What Kind of Shipping Are You Offering?

  • Free
  • Flat rate 
  • Variable fee

A practical shipping policy will be highly appealing for the buyers. It will also help you go for a higher average order value. 

Having a flat fee structure is also a good idea for different kinds of deliveries, including:

  • Standard.
  • Faster.
  • 2-day. 

What Are Your Chosen Carriers?

There can be several variations in the ways the various shipping carrier operate. Make sure that you consider the different options you have. Now, choose the options offering the best value for your money. For example, if you choose a low-cost carrier, think that they might not accept heavier freight not having insurance. 

International Shipping Options: Always consider the selling and sharing options so that you can easily improve your market reach. Consider the several international fulfillment strategies. 

Go for e-commerce shipping solutions: While choosing a freight company: 

  • Compare the Shipping rates.
  • Print shipping labels.
  • Automate shipping updates.
  • Get shipping solutions.

Go for shipping solutions that you can integrate for common solutions and offer the right solutions. Once you choose a shipping carrier, the next step is to configure it according to your operations.

Marketing the Online Store

As you set up your online store, you also require having visitors on your online store. It’s the worst thing not to have an adequate number of visitors to your store. Now is the time to focus on e-commerce marketing. 

Here’s what you need to do to ensure that your team is full of new visitors.

  • Prioritize the various marketing channels.
  • Create and launch a promotion strategy for the same.

You will have to rely upon the following channels

Social Media: Make sure that already begun to build your online audiences before launching your e-commerce store online. On social media, here are the things you should do for building brand recognition and anticipation.

  • Quick product previews.
  • Teasers.
  • Behind-the-scenes previews.

The Other Things To Do

  • Plan and announce a launch day for building a higher engagement. 
  • Offer special discounts/promos to your page followers. 

Launching a Niche Store: It gives you higher publicity when you establish your network in various niche online communities and forums. 

Influencer Marketing: Businesses having zero audiences may like to take care of pre-and post-launch influencer marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing offers you three-tier benefits, including:

  • Increasing brand awareness/or issuing a product recall. 
  • Enhancing engagement of your organic content. 
  • Ways to direct leads and sales. 

Influencer partnerships can help in different ways to attract the first few sales and boost your website’s visibility for search engines because it will also lead to your interested consumers beginning to type your brand/domain name in the search. It means that you get an insight into getting a positive ranking signal.

Paid Advertising: The different channels you must focus on:

  • Targeted Facebook 
  • Instagram 
  • Pinterest campaigns 

They will help in brand and product discovery. Just like other performance marketing strategies, you will get a greater advantage for garnering more attention for meaningful actions such as: 

  • Clicks.
  • Visits.
  • Inquiries.
  • Sales.  

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This is a long-term strategy you need to take on and it will offer great results to you. It involves using your website or the online store itself as a marketing tool. Optimizing your website with the right keywords will help the search engine robots and the users to find your website in the top search results. 

Optimization of on-page elements will help in making a website optimized. The earlier you begin, the better will be the traction.  

Email Marketing is another long-shot strategy. Like SEO, it needs time to start and show you the results. So, just like SEO, the earlier you begin with this, the better will be the results you can get. 

Ensure that you carry out basic on-page SEO before launching the same. You also need to focus on content marketing and off-page SEO post-launch. 

Also, you need to have in place on-site subscription forms and give incentives for subscribing. First-order discount is another thing to do. It helps you to grow your email list right from the start.

Launch Your Online Store 

By moving your website from the first stage to the production stage, make sure you give a quick test-drive for ensuring that you are all set in terms of: 

  • Design
  • Performance
  • Navigation.

Here’s a Quick Checklist:

Take care of the call-to-actions to form titles on the homepage and landing pages.

Take care of your checkout experience.

Check the payment processing integrations  for: 

  • Credit cards
  • PayPal
  • Stripe

And more.  

All your images must be in high-definition and well-optimized.

Things to Check

  • Check if there are any missing 
  • Product descriptions
  • Categories.
  • And Characteristics.
  • Inspect 
  • Website navigation.
  • Active links and forms.  
  • Connect your helpdesk email and helpdesk software. 
  • Check if the taxes are correctly set up. 
  • You also need email marketing services. 
  • Ensure that your inventory has been listed properly.
  • Check if coupons/promo codes are functional. 
  • Check if your digital storefront is on desktop and mobile to find out if it works well.

Its Important to Create An Online Store FAQs

1. Setting Up An Online Store? 

Ecommerce store setup costs help your store and your store size alongside the eCommerce platform. Launch your hobby store with a small product catalog for a low cost of up to $29/mo. A complex solution may have several things for consideration including:

  • Custom design
  • Extensions
  • And payment methods

They will all help you to set up the right costs.

2. Can You Create An Online Store for Free?

You can download certain e-commerce software for free. A site launch may never be for free. You may require several apps or add-ons. Moreover, using open-source software will help you to download things for free. You will be responsible for your website’s maintenance, security, and hosting.

3. Profitable Are Your Online Stores?

Profitability is based heavily on up-front investment and also the profit margins on the product mix. Find out the amount you need to spend on several aspects such as: 

  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Operations
  • And shipping.

4. Start Your Own Online Store

There are several steps to strating na online store. It means that you have to 

  • Frame a business plan
  • Choose products 
  • Set your logistics. 

Choose an ecommerce platform which will deliver the things you need in relation to your functionality requirements at a low cost. 

5. Do I Need to Use a Developer to Start an Online Store?

The best part of starting an e-commerce store these days is that you do not even need a developer for the same. It can be quite a breeze to start an eCommerce store and you would not need only minimal support from developers. As you begin to scale, you can engage your agency or freelance developer in making customer-friendly customizations.

6. Making Your Online Store Successful

 

Four factors that determine your eCommerce success.

  1. Product relevance and quality
  2. Ecommerce website performance
  3. Pricing strategy
  4. Targeted marketing campaigns. 

You must source the different in-demand products. Price them correctly. Promote them well for the right target audience for delivering an excellent online shopping experience. 

7. Creating An Online Store

The timing is based on the store’s size. Generally, one can set up a pop-up store in less than a month. There can be various factors which you must consider such as 

  • Factoring design
  • Content creation
  • Configurations. 

SMBs need to plan for a longer time between one and three months. 

8. The Integrations in Your Online Store? 

Based on the features you want to offer the customers, you can choose the most useful payment gateway. You must find which payment gateway suits your needs and what is the best place to start. 

9. Starting Your Online Store Without Inventory.

If you’re starting an online store with zero inventory, dropshipping products is the best way to begin. Choose the right manufacturing and supply partner to negotiate shipping terms and sales. As you establish the right inventory on an online store, you can forward shipping information for sales. 

These are some of the basic things you need to know about starting your e-commerce store. Make sure that you do not miss on carrying out the marketing of your website and its products to get the best outcomes. Feel free to talk to the E-commerce SEO experts at Visibility Gurus to get more comprehensive information on setting up your online store.