Gone are the days when Brick and Mortar used to be the only way of doing business. Now, more than ever, an ecommerce stores has become the way to go and almost everyone can now create an online store to market and sell their products and services.
Though, the real question is: How to start an ecommerce store?
Well, although it’s quite simple, yet there are some important decisions that define the prospects of your business. You need to make the right choices at various instances in order to succeed.
From a mere fascination or vision you can create an online store and there are various tutorials that could help you along the way. However, fact of the matter is, many aspiring individuals and startups make the mistake of choosing the wrong Content Management System or Platform to power their store.
So, in this article, I’ve listed down some of the essential steps of starting an ecommerce store including the decision of choosing the perfect Platform: Magento (I’ll give you all the reasons).
Define the Nature of Your Business & Know Your Audience
First and foremost, you need to decide on a niche, an industry or even a sub industry. You can’t start off without knowing the industry. This means that you will have to conduct an extensive research of the niche and find out everything there is to know. From competitor analysis to regulations.
Once you have listed down all the prerequisites of doing business in this industry, you can move on to outlining the structure of your business. It is of utmost importance that you write down every single detail of your business, its structure, supply chain, marketing techniques and an overall feasibility.
Lastly, do some research on your target audience. You need to know the consumption habits of your audience. This includes their preferences, patterns of consumption and demographics. All this will help you in perfecting your marketing techniques and preparing your budgets.
Design a Website
Your website is the face of your business. Think of it as a physical retail store and the importance of its appearance. Similarly, your website needs to represent your business, its objective and how much you value your customer.
The design of your ecommerce store can either be fancy or just a simple one. It just needs to serve the purpose of catering to that particular audience. Go with the design the theme or design that directly communicates with your target audience.
So once you’re done with establishing your brand and business, build a quality website that attracts customers and resonates with your audience.
Choose an Ecommerce Platform
This is probably the most crucial aspect of setting up an ecommerce store. You can settle for a cheap Content Management System that fulfills the needs of your business in the short term or you can choose a platform that lets you scale as your business grows.
To secure long-term success and have a sustainable business, I recommend Magento. The ecommerce platform has all the features that you’ll need to take your business to the next level.
Magento is one of the most robust platforms in the industry. There is no compromise on the performance of your ecommerce store if you properly set it up with Magento. The open-source platform not only gets praised for its performance but also the flexibility it offers. This is why some of the biggest names in the industry use Magento to power their stores.
At the same time, Magento comes with a strong architecture and has the ability to host thousands of products and high traffic during peak times. And if you ever need help or expert advice, you can always rely on the huge community of the platform. Developers and other community members are always there to resolve technical issues.
Choose a Hosting Provider
Now that we’ve established the importance of a CMS, it is important to understand that your store is incomplete without a reliable and efficient hosting environment. In essence, you need a hosting environment so that you can manage and cater to the needs of several clients at once. You also need the peace of mind without having to deal with server-level hassles and concentrate on the needs of your business.
In order to get optimal user experience on your Magento powered ecommerce store, I recommend that you opt for managed cloud hosting for Magento instead of shared hosting. Cloudways offers managed hosting service that is one of the best in the industry. With some of the most astonishing features, Cloudways offers matchless managed hosting experience for Magento powered ecommerce stores.
You can sign up for a FREE trial and try out all the amazing features of the Cloudways platform. Some of the most prominent features include:
- Free SSL
- Full Page Cache for Magento 1.x
- Varnish Cache for Magento 2.x
- Optimized Stack with advanced caching
- Unlimited Staging Areas
- 24x7x365 Support
So, all you have to do is launch your Magento application on your desired cloud infrastructure provider using Cloudways. It’s a matter of a few clicks. Within just minutes your store is all set. You can follow these guides to learn how to launch your Magento application on AWS, Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode or Kyup.
Build a Store on Magento
Here are some of the prominent and the most important steps on building an ecommerce store on Magento.
- Choose a domain name that is relevant to your business and the business name.
- Install and host Magento on a server of your choice.
- Pick a Magento Theme or build one.
- Choose and Install the necessary Magento Modules for your online store.
- Customize the design and functionalities so that they match your brand’s features, colors, and font style.
- Integrate and Setup Payment and Shipping Methods accordingly.
- Setup Tracking Tools – Google Webmaster, Google Analytics, etc.
- Setup other relevant pages – Contact Us, Terms & Conditions, Privacy, FAQs, etc.
- Import Categories and Products to Magento.
- Finalize your store settings.
- Test your Magento powered store and take it live!
Ready To Start Your Own Ecommerce Store?
In recent years, ecommerce retailers were challenged to create an online store, keep up with the latest trends and create an engaging customer experience.
However, starting an ecommerce store now isn’t that overwhelming. Especially not with Magento Platform. Magento is the world’s leading ecommerce platform. Merchants, developers, and end-users love it because it is powerful and most importantly because it can be customized according to the needs.
Hence, the ultimate goal of this whole chapter is to give you some tips to build an ecommerce store in a thoroughly professional way. Starting developing your store and make your business successful.