There are many similarities between opening a real store where you need a physical location, an address number, and an inventory room, and creating a website that will serve the same purpose. First of all, you will need a good space for such a store; when opening a web store, you will need good hosting that will satisfy all your needs (space, speed, and how much traffic it can allow). On the other hand, you will also need an address – so that your customers can find you, and in this case, this is called a URL address.
Where to Start?
Your URL address should be something short, memorable; something that will easily be embedded in the minds of people who’ll visit you once. Once that is done, you need to worry about your website, which is basically how you want to decorate your store.
While the similarities can be quite interesting when compared like this, there are a lot of unique factors that make having an online store a much different experience, but not necessarily always a cheaper one. The online world will give you unlimited possibilities, as people from all around the globe can visit your instantly; something that a brick-and-mortar store cannot say about itself.
But, the competition is fierce, so having a website is not a simple task, as that website needs to be unique, interesting and fast, as well as deliver what it promises – an engaging experience for your customers. Like we’ve mentioned already, you will first need to find a good hosting provider, something that even experienced people have troubles with – it is best to stick to large companies, as they offer the most possibilities and are usually the cheapest. Make sure to do a thorough research and find out as much as you can about any hidden cost and fees, and ask about what happens when you want to change your plan – either when you want to upgrade or downgrade.
Finding a good domain should be easy enough, as many hosting companies offer that as part of their hosting plan. It is best to get a top domain that ends in .com, and while this doesn’t mean a lot, it is usually the easiest to remember. After that, you will need to create your website from scratch. It is easiest to hire a professional for this, and create a good WordPress website – if you are on a limited budget, even a Shopify solution can be a good one, depending on your needs.
Easy and Simple Checkout Options
When your website is ready, before you start adding products, it is best to think about payment options. It is easiest to simply accept both debit and credit cards, as most people use them. This can be simple, as you can check out the best credit card processing companies and choose the one that fits you the best. Adding payment services such as PayPal is also recommended, as many people find them safer than other, more common payment options.
When it comes to the checkout process, websites usually require a registration. While this is a common practice, you should probably avoid it. Ask people if they want to register, and if not, offer them an option to purchase as guests, and ask them for an email address – this is not only important for sending them info about their purchase and shipping, but also for sending them promotional emails later on – but only if they agree to them.
In the End…
A good website must also be fast and responsive. People do not have a lot of time, and waiting for a page to fully load can be a deal breaker, and a person might simply close the tab and leave. A responsive site means that it works well on all kinds of devices. WordPress and Shopify handle this well – no matter if you open your website on a mobile phone or a desktop computer, pages will display correctly and people will be able to purchase what they need.
No matter what kind of website you had in mind, it will probably look a lot different when it is actually created and that is a good thing. If you try that, you need to optimize your website for your customers – not for yourself.