You’ve decided that you want to create an online store that drives sales, and you’ll use WordPress as the platform to make it.
You’re now wondering how to create an eCommerce store using WordPress, seeing that it doesn’t have any built-in online store features.
In this article, I’ll explain eight simple steps to create your online store using WordPress. Let’s get started.
1. Choose the Right Product or Service to Sell
Just like a traditional brick-and-mortar store, you need to know and choose which product or service you want to sell. Focusing on a single niche makes your job more straightforward. You can focus all your marketing efforts on that alone and increase your chances of getting a conversion and driving traffic to your site.
To know what to sell, you first have to conduct product research. This will help you find ideas that will sell well on the market. To do this, simply follow the steps below:
- Choose a niche.
- Determine your target market.
- Find out and list down your top competitors.
- Conduct research online to know the current trends and demands.
- Fact-check the research by visiting various eCommerce sites.
2. Select a Fast Web Hosting Platform
For your website to go online, you will need to select one of the web hosting packages available online. Essentially, they are a service that hosts your site’s files so they can be accessed on the internet.
When it comes to having a successful website, your site’s performance and speed matter the most. This is because you only have a few seconds to capture your visitor’s attention. A study showed that users would leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
Adding to that, other research further highlighted that having a slow-loading website will also affect your search engine rankings. So when you’re looking for the right web hosting platform, keep the tips below in mind:
- Fast server response time and page load time.
- Easy scalability.
- Excellent uptime.
- Ample storage and bandwidth.
3. Pick a Brandable Domain Name
Besides a web hosting platform, you’ll also need a domain name. It’s the address and name of your site. But it’s not just that, instead it’s also a valuable marketing tool, should it be utilized in the right way.
With that said, an excellent way to create a domain name is by making it brandable. In this case, brandable means words that have no descriptive meaning. Things like Uber or Google are brandable names.
Having a brandable name conveys the values, character, and qualities of the things you sell. So when you’re creating a domain name, here are some tips to help:
- Keep it relevant to your business.
- Make it unique.
- Ensure it’s easy to remember – make it simple and easy to spell.
- Make it sound professional and trustworthy.
- Keep it brief – ideally less than fifteen characters.
4. Install an eCommerce Plugin
Since WordPress doesn’t have an online store function built-in, you’ll have to install an eCommerce plugin. WooCommerce is one of the most popular options you can take advantage of.
To install an eCommerce plugin, you’ll need to:
- Head over to your WordPress Admin Dashboard.
- Go to the Plugins sections and click on the Add New option.
- In the search bar, type in the plugin you want to install.
- Once you found the plugin, click the Install Now button located next to the plugin’s image.
- Then click Activate Now on the exact location where the Install Now button was.
- You’re now ready to use the plugin.
5. Customize Your Website and Configure Payments
This is the step where you can be as creative as you can and customize every element of your site. You’ll want to check the plugin’s dashboard to see what features it has and to what extent you can customize your site.
When customizing your site, there are some elements that you should include and things you should do. Some of those things are:
- An easy-to-use navigation menu and search bar.
- Social following and sharing buttons.
- Call-to-action buttons.
- Make sure it’s mobile-friendly.
- Try using a minimalistic approach to make your homepage or landing page clutter-free.
Once you’re done customizing your site, don’t forget to insert the payment methods. Here are some things you can do:
- Make the checkout process simple.
- Provide a walkthrough of the checkout process.
- Include an order summary.
- Ask only for the necessary information to make a payment.
- Include multiple payment methods.
6. Upload Products and Content
After everything is set up, you can now upload the products you want to sell and post valuable content. When you’re uploading your products, there are some things you should keep in mind, which are:
- Use high-quality images of your products.
- Provide a detailed product description.
- Include a pop-up box feature for your images.
- Display customer reviews and feedback directly underneath your product description.
You’ll also need to upload different content, so your customers become familiar with your business and products and create a blog to increase your credibility. When uploading content, here are some things you can include:
- Include a home page, about us page, and contact us page.
- Create informative content related to your industry.
- Make blogs focusing on the latest trends.
- Come up with exciting and engaging content.
7. Leverage Social Media
A good practice before launching your site is to create buzz around your website and business. You can utilize your existing social media accounts to help spread the word and get people excited for your site’s launch.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Create excitement around your business.
- Release teaser images and videos.
- Utilize social media ads.
- Allow pre-order of your products.
- Collaborate with influencers.
8. Publish and Promote
The last thing to do is to publish and promote your website. To start generating traffic, here are some of the promotion activities you can do:
- Use Search Engine Optimization to rank on search engine result pages.
- Utilize Google Ads for paid traffic.
- Give special and limited launch promotions and discounts.
Now you know the eight necessary steps to create an online store that can drive sales. All that’s left to do is start creating your WordPress online store.
Remember that you need a plugin to get the eCommerce features. Take your time to compare and find the best plugin for your online store.