How To Build An Ecommerce Website: A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Build An Ecommerce Website: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Do you plan to promote your products or services on the internet but you are wondering how to build an ecommerce website?

I understand.

Learning how to make an ecommerce website isn’t an easy task.

There are many reasons for that:

First, you need to establish a practical marketing strategy for your online business.

Secondly, you have to purchase a domain name and host it. You also need to choose the right ecommerce website builder.

Once your ecommerce website is up and running, you need to develop a practical proportional strategy to make your online store known to your target customers.

This cannot only be challenging but it is also a complex task if you lack the required knowledge required in the ecommerce web design process.

I’m here to help you.

In this step-by-step guide, I will walk you through every step of how to design an ecommerce website.

Let’s get started.

Why Learn How to Build an Ecommerce Website?

No doubt, the ecommerce industry is growing fast. If you aren’t promoting your products online, then you’re missing out on a lot of huge business opportunities.

Consider this:

There are more than 2.14 billion online consumers worldwide.

How many people shop online
Source

Besides, by 2025, 24.5% of all the total global retail commerce sales will be done online.



Ecommerce Sales Worldwide
Source

And guess what?

There are only 26.2 million ecommerce sites across the entire globe:

global growth of ecommerce sites by years
Source

What does this mean?

There is a huge opportunity for anyone looking to sell products and services on the internet.

Thus, learning how to build an ecommerce website is a great idea if you want to make money online.

The good news?

Learning how to build an ecommerce business to sell your products or services is now easier than ever.

Why?

There are plenty of ecommerce store builders, hosting solutions, and free business tools that can help you build an ecommerce website without any coding skills.

Still need more convincing?

5 Reasons You Should Build an Ecommerce Website

If you’re hesitating to learn how to build an ecommerce website, here are a couple of reasons to convince you.

1. Attract New Customers From Search Engines

One of the greatest ideas about learning how to build an ecommerce website is that it helps you attract new customers from search engines.

This happens when you launch an effective ecommerce SEO strategy that enables your online store to show up at the top of the search results when people search for products and services relevant to yours.

According to a Think with Google survey, 49% of shoppers use Google to find new items or products online.

According to a Think with Google survey, 49% of shoppers use Google to find new items or products online.
Source

When you effectively optimize your ecommerce website for SEO, your store can show up in search results when shoppers use relevant keywords. This can help you attract new customers.

Further Reading: Shopify SEO Checklist: 11+ SEO Tasks to Increase Store Sales without Paid Ads

2. Building an Ecommerce Website Opens New Opportunities to Generate Revenue

There are more than 2.14 billion digital buyers online.

When you learn how to build an ecommerce website, you get a tool that can help you avail your products to a huge audience thus increasing the chances of generating more revenue for your business.

3. An Ecommerce Website is a 24/7 Marketing Tool

A properly set up and optimized ecommerce website enables you to promote your products to customers 24/7. 

This means that customers can purchase your products and services at any time from anywhere even when you’re asleep.

4. Low Start-Up and Running Costs

Setting up and running an online store isn’t as costly as running a brick-and-mortar store.

For instance, the total cost to set up and run an ecommerce store ranges anywhere from $40 to $30,000 which is inclusive of web hosting and website design cost.

On the other hand, when setting up a retail store, it is recommended that you set aside between $50,000 to $100,000. And this will depend on the type of business you want to set up. For some businesses, the cost can go beyond that range.

5. Increase Brand Awareness

Apart from gaining new customers through search, generating more revenue for your business, and enabling customers to shop at any time, building an ecommerce website helps to increase brand awareness.

More people will become aware of your brand and will spread the word about your business. This will help to grow your brand reach.

Let’s get started.

Further Reading: 7 Types of eCommerce Videos Your Website Needs to Increase Sales

How to Build a Successful Ecommerce Website in 6 Steps

Here are the main steps to build a digital business and connect with your customers:

1. Purchase a Domain Name and Web Hosting

The first step in building an ecommerce website is to get a domain name and find a reliable web hosting provider.



If you already purchased one from a trusted domain name provider, you need to transfer it to your ecommerce website builder or web hosting platform.

If you’re looking to purchase a domain name, conduct some little research on the most popular domain name registrars like Namecheap, Bluehost, Google Domains, Dreamhost, and GoDaddy:

using namecheap to search for a domain name
Source

Here are a few tips for choosing the perfect domain name:

  • Keep it short and simple to make it easy to remember and pronounce.
  • Keep it unique and brand-specific.
  • Avoid hyphens, numbers, and generic names.
  • If possible, include your main keyword.
  • Keep the domain name relevant to your digital business.

Remember to choose a reliable web hosting service provider with powerful servers to host your ecommerce website.

Consider uptime and speed when choosing a web hosting provider to avoid hurting your website performance.

Preferably, choose a web host that can offer a minimum uptime guarantee of 99.9%.

Note that if you use the most popular ecommerce website builders you don’t need to find web hosting since they provide that.

2.  Find The Right Ecommerce Website Builder

When learning how to build an ecommerce website, you need to choose the best ecommerce website builder.

Here is why?

The right ecommerce website builder can help you set up a beautiful fully functioning online store fast.

What’s more?

A site builder can help you develop an amazing design, process payments, fulfill orders, and drive traffic to your site.

The best part?

You don’t need any technical or coding skills to design your ecommerce website. Plus, you can launch any type of online business.

There are plenty of ecommerce website builders out there including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and more.

Based on my experience using different types of website builders on the market, Shopify is the best ecommerce platform.

Here are a few reasons you should consider Shopify:

  • Easy to use.
  • Comes with tons of themes.
  • Integrates with multiple third-party payment providers.
  • It provides support for blogs.
  • Shopify analytics can help you track customer data to know the performance of your online store.
  • It’s optimized for SEO.
  • It enables HTML and CSS editing.
  • It integrates with shipping carriers like FedEx, UPS, and Canada Post.
  • And more.

Another amazing thing about Shopify is that it offers step-by-step tutorials to guide you when learning how to create an ecommerce website.

Here are practical tips to help you choose the right ecommerce website builder:

  • Consider the features, usability, and cost.
  • Choose a site builder that enables you to easily manage inventory.
  • It must offer you the flexibility to switch plans as your needs change.
  • Consider your website-building skill level.
  • Look at the tech support and platform policies.
  • It must support third-party integrations.
  • It must integrate with marketing tools.

Lastly, compare available features and tools before you make your final decision.

Further Reading: 17 Best Ecommerce CMS Platforms to Build Your Online Store

3. Develop Your Website Structure and Main Pages

Once you have chosen the best ecommerce site builder, the next step is to create a structure for your website.

Since you will need to list tons of products on your website, you need to group/categorize them well so that customers can find what they want without having to dig inside your website.

Here are the key benefits of developing a well-structured ecommerce website:

  • Helps search engines to crawl your website and index your pages correctly.
  • Improves user experience and conversion rates.
  • Google will automatically show sitelinks and sitelink search boxes if you optimize your website structure.
  • Improves website navigation.
  • Increases website engagement.
  • Makes it easier for people to browse different products and compare options.

Using a hierarchical structure is a great idea:

hierarchical website structure
Source

This enables you to create numerous categories and subcategories to list your products or services in a hierarchy.

See how the website below groups its products into different categories like bestsellers, skincare, body & hair care, etc:

Create the Website Structure and Main Pages

Another good example is this website, which organizes shorts into different categories and pages to make it easy for customers to find their desired shorts:

Chubbies

As you can see, these websites are designed to provide a great user experience to customers.

Once you have developed the structure of your ecommerce website, the next thing is to create the main pages which include:

  • Homepage
  • About Us
  • Contact Us

Other important pages you need to create include a Privacy Policy page, Refund Policy page, Product pages, FAQ, Category page, and Terms of Service.

4. Populate Your Ecommerce Store With Products

This is the most interesting step in learning how to build an ecommerce website.

Now that you have developed your website structure and created all the required pages, you need to start adding products to your website.

Here are useful tips for adding products to your ecommerce website:

  • Optimize product titles
  • Write compelling and optimized product descriptions.
  • Use attractive images of the products.
  • Organize products into their respective categories.
  • Display product reviews to gain customer trust.

Further Reading: How to Promote Your Ecommerce Store’s Promo Codes on Social Media

5. Set Up Payment and Shipping Options

The next step after adding products to respective pages, you need to set up payment and shipping methods.

If you decide to use an ecommerce website builder, adding payment and shipping methods is a breeze.

All you need is to follow the simple instructions provided.

If you decide not to use an ecommerce site builder, you will need to integrate a trusted ecommerce payment gateway, otherwise, customers will abandon their carts.

Ensure you set up multiple payment options so that customers can choose their preferred checkout method.

A good rule of thumb is to set up different payment methods like PayPal, Amazon Pay, Authorize.net, Stripe, Square, Apple Pay, etc:

how to set up payment options in Shopify
Source

I recommend using a payment gateway that’s not only easy to integrate with your online store but also enables customers to complete their transactions.

Once you have added payment methods, set up shipping options that enable customers to track their orders, shipping fees, etc.

6. Test Your Ecommerce Store Before Publishing It

Congratulations!

You have successfully learned how to build an ecommerce website.

Your ecommerce store is now ready to go live.

But before you hit the publish button make sure every element is working as it should be.

Test your website thoroughly to make sure there are no broken links, your payment processing is working properly, and your website loads fast on both desktop and mobile devices.

Also, configure settings for time zone, language, etc.

Once all the boxes are checked, publish your website and start selling your products.

Remember to promote your ecommerce website across all social media platforms, and keep it updated with fresh content consistently.

Further Reading: Instagram for Ecommerce: An 8 Step Guide to Making Sales on the Gram

Final Thoughts

Learning how to build an ecommerce website takes time and resources.

However, when you nail your ecommerce website design process, it can reward you greatly.

Moreover, with the right ecommerce tools and platforms, you can set up a professional website in minutes.

I hope this guide will offer you the right guidance to help you design your ecommerce website effortlessly.

Happy selling!

Further Reading: 10 Ways to Leverage Social Media in eCommerce

Author Bio

Boniface Kisina is a top rated blogger and SEO content writer who writes high-value SEO-friendly blog posts and articles that rank high in search engines to drive organic traffic, spark engagement, and generate revenue for your business.You can connect with me on LinkedIn.

Hero photo by Danist Soh on Unsplash

How To Build An E-commerce Website FAQs

Can I build eCommerce website on my own?

Building an eCommerce website on your own is entirely possible! With the rise of website builders like Shopify and Squarespace, you don’t need to be a tech whiz to get started. Of course, there will be a bit of a learning curve as you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of eCommerce, but with the right tools and resources at your disposal, building your own eCommerce website is a realistic and achievable goal.

How much does it cost to build an eCommerce website?

The cost of building an eCommerce website can vary greatly on a variety of factors such as the size of the website, the complexity of its functionalities, and the level of customization required. For small businesses, a basic eCommerce website can cost as low as $2,000, while large businesses might end up paying upwards of $100,000 for a fully customized, feature-rich website. Ultimately, the cost of building an eCommerce website depends on the goals and needs of the business.

How do I set up an eCommerce for my website?

Setting up an eCommerce is easier than ever. To begin, choose your eCommerce platform, which will serve as your website’s foundation. Next, select a domain name and hosting service. Once you’re set-up, it’s time to get to work on creating a unique and user-friendly website that showcases your products and attracts customers. Don’t forget to optimize your site for SEO and include a secure payment method for your buyers.

How do I create an eCommerce website for free?

Fortunately, creating an eCommerce website has become easier and more accessible than ever before, even for those on a limited budget. There are numerous platforms that allow you to build an online store for free, such as WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify. These platforms offer a variety of templates and customization options to make your website unique and eye-catching.

What are the 3 types of e-commerce?

There are 3 types of e-commerce. Firstly, there is B2B (business-to-business) e-commerce, where transactions occur between two businesses. Secondly, B2C (business-to-consumer) e-commerce involves the selling of products and services directly to the end consumer. Lastly, C2C (consumer-to-consumer) e-commerce occurs when consumers buy and sell to each other through online marketplaces.

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