Creating your first website will always be a learning experience. While anyone can watch a few tutorials and get a WordPress blog up in a matter of hours, creating a full-fledged e-commerce website will take either a lot of effort or money. You can hire a professional website builder or a team of developers to create a website. The cost could range from a hundred dollars up to hundreds of thousands, depending on the functionalities you need.
In this article, we will give you some guidelines that can help create an e-commerce website on a budget.
1. Start with a business plan.
Identify your customers, find the products you can sell them and keywords your customers will use when searching for those products. Identify your source of supply. Will it be drop shipped? or are you creating an in-house physical product? Trace out the product flow starting from how you get it, up to how your customer will receive it.
2. Choose your e-commerce store.
The cheapest way to create a good e-commerce store is to either run a WordPress based store like Woo Commerce or sign up for a readymade store like Shopify. Shopify gives a 14 a day free trial and their cheapest model costs only $9 a month. There are hundreds of customisation options to make the store look unique and reflect your brand values.
If you sell a limited number of products, you can even set up a ‘Buy now’ button using Paypal. It won’t cost you a thing. Most WordPress based stores have an inbuilt option for payment gateways. The first version of your website need not be perfect. If it is functional, and you have a great product, that’s half the job done.
Once you figure out the store, it is time for the next step.
3. Get customers.
Unlike a physical store, just creating a shop is not enough. You have to attract the attention of your customers. Hire an SEO guy and a content writer to create content and backlinks for your site. You can also bring customers via social media by creating shareable content or running an ad campaign. If you are spending money on ads, always test with a small amount before spending too much money. If an ad fails to bring customers for $10, it will fail even if you spend $100. Try different things and see which one works best.