Build an E-commerce Website

By Catherine Johnson

  • Overview

    As more and more people turn to the Internet for everything from finding information to purchasing groceries, creating an online store is an effective business model that allows you to target an increasingly growing market of shoppers from all over the world. Building an e-commerce website can seem intimidating at first, but there are numerous tools and companies that can help you quickly set up your first online store.
    Build Your Own E-commerce Website
    • Step 1

      Research and select the products you want to sell. Use Google's free Adwords tool to see how many searches were done using the keywords for your product. Keyword searches will help you clearly define the exact type of product you want to sell and will give you a better understanding about the business viability of your store. Keywords that weren't searched much on Google won't be good products to sell.
    • Step 2

      Decide on the best way to ship and transport your products to customers. Research exactly how much shipping will cost, and whether you should handle the shipping yourself or outsource the process to a warehouse or distributor.


    • Step 3

      Organize all of your product and shipping information. This will help you save time in building your website. Use Microsoft Excel to manage all of your product information. The following information is useful for each product you plan to sell: Product Category, Product ID, Product Options (size or color), Description, Price, Shipping Costs and Taxes.
    • Step 4

      Register a domain name for your e-commerce website. Your domain name should effectively convey the image and brand of your new store. There are numerous companies where you can easily register your new domain name online. GoDaddy.com and 1&1 (1and1.com) are both popular registrars.
    • Step 5

      Select a web hosting company. Carefully compare the packages and hosting deals offered by prospective hosting companies. Check how much bandwidth and web space they offer. The company you choose should have excellent experience with e-commerce and should include a secure shopping cart with your web hosting.
    • Step 6

      Open a PayPal account. PayPal is one of the most widely used payment solutions on the web. Even if your web hosting company provides you with a shopping cart, you should also include the PayPal shopping cart on your site as well. Follow PayPal's extensive instructions to install its shopping cart on your site.
    • Step 7

      Use your hosting company's web builder to create your website. Most hosting companies offer templates to help you get started. You can also learn some basic HTML coding to help you customize your site. If you want more complex options for your website, you can also hire a professional designer or programmer.
    • Step 8

      Input all of your product data into your store. Refer to the Excel file that you used to organize all of your product information. All items should go under the appropriate categories and subheadings, and it should be easy for visitors to navigate your site and find products.
    • Step 9

      Spread the word about your website. Unless you have a marketing plan, it will be very difficult to sell anything on your site. Use social media sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about your new store. Effectively use keywords so that search engines can index your site. Contact sites that complement your store's products and demographics and ask them to link to your website. Offer to link to their site in return.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Computer
    • Internet access
    • Microsoft Excel

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