According to Statistica, 12% of global sales came from ecommerce stores in 2018. This number is expected to increase to 17.5% in 2021.
Simply put, ecommerce isn’t going away. If you’re thinking about starting a business, there’s no better time to start than the present. The question is, which platform should you use to launch your online store?
Is WordPress The Right Platform For You?
There are many options for anyone to launch an ecommerce store without the need for a developer. One of the ways to do this is through WordPress. This content management system (CMS) is a good choice because it is an open source software makes it possible to customize an ecommerce website to your requirements.
WordPress is also the most popular CMS, powering over 30% of websites around the world.
WordPress Ecommece Pros:
- Easy to use and install. Depending on your web hosting choice, you can set it up with just a few clicks.
- It offers a lot of freedom. You can customize the moving parts of your blog or ecommerce site so you can have a website that does exactly what you want.
- Flexible customization options. Thanks to thousands of WordPress themes, extensions and plugins you can create a website for any type of purpose: business, portfolio, blog, ecommerce, company and many others.
- It’s affordable and even available for free. This is because it’s open source. There are also many free plugins available so the starting cost can be as low as you need them to be.
WordPress Ecommerce Cons:
- It’s not an ecommerce platform out of the box. You can add ecommerce functionality through the use of plugins.
- It’s also targeted by hackers simply because it’s a popular CMS.
- It also requires frequent updates. Managed, SaaS ecommerce platforms automatically update their platforms without needing you to make any actions. WordPress on the other hand does not only update for the core software but also for the themes and plugins.
How To Start Selling On WordPress
Decide What To Sell
You have to be clear on what you’re going to sell even before deciding what ecommerce platform to use. This decision will guide you for the ideal technical implementation process.
Don’t just sell a product. Find something that the market needs so you can fill in a gap or a product that you are passionate about.
Before you start selling you also need to think about how your product is different from others. The unique selling proposition (USP) will differentiate your product from others.
Set-up Your Website
Choose a domain name. Generally a website that ends in .com is advisable. If your domain name is taken, think about other alternatives like .biz, .org and other extensions. Also, keep your domain short so that it’s easy to remember.
Sign up for hosting services. This is where the files of your site will be located. In some cases, domain registration is free with the hosting services. In the end, it all boils down to reliability. If your website is down, your customers will look for other stores to shop.
Install the WordPress CMS. In some cases, set-up will be managed by the host without requiring you to take care of the backend process such as creating a data base.
Choose an Ecommerce Platform
WooCommerce is perhaps the most popular WordPress ecommerce plugin. Not only is it powerful and free to use, it also has a close association with WordPress. According to sources, WooCommerce powers 20% of all ecommerce websites today.
The advantages of using WooCommerce include ease of use, open sourced, flexible, scalable and it’s here to stay.
Set-up Your WordPress Store
There are 2 complimentary aspects to consider during this process:
- The backend stores data including including payments, shipping, tax rates, coupons and discounts — all technical details that visitors don’t see.
- The frontend is your theme or content, design and customization. This is what visual shoppers are exposed to.
Initial website set-up steps can be overwhelming. A Sydney WordPress Web Designer can help you design services that will provide you the perfect website to meet your client’s expectations.
Pressure-test Your Ecommerce Store
Before launching, test your website to ensure that everything is working correctly. Here are a few things to test:
- The checkout process.
- Responsiveness. You want to make sure that your site is also viewable on mobile devices.
- Grammar and spelling.
- Useability. Does your navigation make sense?
Spread The Word
Once you feel confident about your online store, it’s time to launch. There are many ways to spread the word. One of the best ways is through social media. Start sharing on your own social networks and then lock down social media handles for your own branding.