How to create an online store
Believe it or not, a question frequently asked by our customers and visitors is: “How to create an online store?”
Creating an online store from scratch can be a daunting task. We know it because we were in your position a few years ago.
At the time, we wanted to create an online store to launch a business parallel to that of our eCommerce website creation agency, which we still operate today, with the dream of growing it into an income on time full.
But when it came time to get started, we had no idea where to begin!
Here are just a few questions (about many more) that have shocked us and paralyzed us to move forward and take decisive action:
- Should we use PayPal? Stripe? Moneris (Yes, we are Canadian)?
- What other options or online payment gateway are there?
- How should we evaluate our products?
- What should be our colour scheme for our brand?
- What about the logo?
- What domain name should we have?
- Where do we find customers? How do we use advertisements?
- Do we need to hire an encoder / designer to help us?
- How to build an online store from scratch?
- What is the best way to design my product pages?
The list goes on and on and the ones above are just a very small list of what was overwhelming us.
BUILD AN ONLINE SHOP – DO NOT LET YOURSELF SUBMERGE BY ALL THE DETAILS.
Do not let all the details paralyze you when building your business. You will never have all the answers - So start right away!
Now we cannot tell you how to rate your product or how to build your brand. But we can tell you one thing based on our experiences is that, whatever your answers to these questions, most often (for most companies), they will continue to change and evolve as your business is growing.
So, our first advice to you is – “Do not let yourself be overwhelmed by all the details”. We know we know, it’s hard … “I MUST get all the perfect details before I start …” “Everyone tells me to plan everything before I start work …”. And that’s normal. An online store (especially your first one) is a reflection of who you are, so it must be perfect.
But must it be perfect before starting? And How to Build an Online Store – Perfectionism
What you need to know is that you can sit and scribble your pen for days and weeks, and things will never be perfect. So, perfectionism can really hurt your progress. Your strategy, your products, everything, will change and evolve as you evolve and as you collect feedback from your customers, test things and find out what works and what does not work .
Do not be submerged by the details, and get started.
Just start – this is the key to gaining momentum, achieving small (but significant) wins, and ultimately success. We are not saying that these are not legitimate issues. They are very legitimate, but they are not questions that should prevent you from starting. You will find answers to these questions along the way.
And do not worry too much about how much it costs to build a website either. Gone are the days when you have to throw thousands of hard earned dollars at a computer programmer to help you build a website – and you will not know for sure if they will run away with your money.
Do I have to hire a designer? You are not obliged anymore. There are thousands of eCommerce professional templates for you to use. One less thing to worry about!
WHAT ECOMMERCE WEBSITE AGENCY TO CHOOSE TO CREATE YOUR ONLINE SHOP?
Choose an eCommerce agency that is flexible and has the potential to grow with you as your business grows.
What we can do to help you is to share with you, which eCommerce platform is best able to meet your needs to build your online store. After all, you will need an eCommerce website to get started, right? Once you have an online store, you can start collecting feedback, testing your ideas, and start making changes (if necessary) to grow your business.
Your first version of your online store does not have to be perfect, but just a store to get you started. Having a “primitive” version of your shop is better than having nothing. So when choosing your platform, keep in mind to find one that is flexible and can grow alongside your business.
Before introducing you to the platforms that can be used to build your online store, we simply want to make sure that you know that we are not just there to build your eCommerce site, but also to help you build your business.
Here are our recommendations of the best eCommerce platforms depending on your needs, your means or your position in the market.
Start-up and small businesses
Hundreds of thousands of SMEs operate their online store under WordPress. In fact, although WordPress is not strictly speaking an eCommerce platform, it remains that thanks to the WooCommerce plugin, nearly 940,000 online stores have been mounted on WordPress.
SMEs and large companies
PrestaShop is one of the industry leaders with more than 200,000 eCommerce websites operating under this platform. Robust, supported by thousands of users and what’s more, PrestaShop is fully open source. In our opinion, this is a major criterion when it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform. In other words, it allows you to think outside the box if necessary.
The most important decision you must do is to choose the eCommerce agency you would like to work with.