With more than 64% of shoppers switching to online purchases, there is no doubt that e-commerce is the MVP of the retail industry now. So if you have a lucrative business idea for an online business, then there cannot be a better time to give shape to your e-Commerce dream. In stark contrast to how things were a decade back, building an ecommerce website is no more a tedious task. All thanks to open source content management systems like WordPress, ecommerce honchos like eBay and Amazon have been able to turn their online dream into a reality with the useful designer plugins. So whichever sector may your e-business belong to, WordPress has a solution for you.
And, what’s more? You do not have to break your bank account for it either.
Now building an online store using WordPress may seem confusing with so many plugins to choose from. If you don’t know where to start from, then here is a detailed WordPress guide for your online business store.
9 Essential Steps to Start Your Ecommerce Store using WordPress CMS
Here are nine essentials that you need to tick off while building an ecommerce store along with the best WordPress plugins to implement the task.
Plugins you need to start your online WordPress store.
1. Choose a Unique Domain Name
While choosing a domain name, you may feel drawn to French names that sound classy. But my advice is that you keep it simple – something that people understands and will remember easily. Most importantly, make sure that you include the service that you will be offering within your domain name.
For example, a website like AllEssayWriter is an ecommerce store that offers (no brownie points for guessing!) essay writing services to students of course. Note that the domain includes the words “essay writer” indicating that a user can hire an essay writer by clicking on the URL. Once you have the perfect domain name ready, your next step should be registering with the domain from a domain registrar.
2. Set up your site with WooCommerce Plugin
When it comes to building an e-commerce store using WordPress, WooCommerce is your best bet. Following suit after Shopify, the best thing about WooCommerce is its cost efficiency, unlike its competitive half. After you install the plugin, you will find a ‘Welcome to WooCommerce’ notification on the admin page. Click on the ‘Run setup wizard’ button in the notification.
Next, explore the essential pages that you would need like options for shopping cart, sign-up and login account, and checkout. All you need to do is click on the adjacent buttons, and the pages will be created automatically. The plugin also offers several options for secured payment modes that you can set up for the payment options. WooCommerce comes equipped with PayPal, PayPal Standard, and Stripe gateways.
3. Select a theme for your site
The theme that you choose for your ecommerce site becomes a part of your brand and thus your online presence. So you need to choose it wisely. First, understand the kind of products or services that you will be offering. I recommend that you go for a simple theme that can be easily customized so that you can make changes as when required without having to call for professional web developers to help you.
CSS Hero is a plugin that will help you customize the WordPress theme for your ecommerce site directly from the frontend. You can also undo the changes that you have made if you do not feel like keeping them. You can also flip through themes to see which one suits your online store better and then activate it.
4. Optimize your store with Yoast SEO
We all know about the ubiquitous role that SEO has to play when it comes to an ecommerce business. It is only the correct SEO practices that can take your business to the zenith. Unless you optimize the titles and maintain the keyword density within the content, you are not likely to find the right leads.
This is where Yoast SEO comes in to ensure that the content on your website is fitting enough to bring in the desired crowd of customers and retain the old ones at the same time. A favourite among SEO analysts and digital marketers, Yoast will make it easy for you to find a more visible rank on the various search engines. Also, Yoast is the WordPress plugin that regulates landing page speed by optimizing the pages.
5. Make it responsive with Soliloquy
From shopping to booking flights –mobile apps are our go-to friend. So you need to make sure that your online store fits in multiple layouts and frameworks. For a responsive store, sliders are a must to make navigation a seamless process. Moreover, sliders will help you catch the attention of your viewers. To integrate responsive sliders into your ecommerce website, all you need is the plugin Soliloquy.
With Soliloquy, you will be able to highlight important images and banners on your website by creating attractive sliders easily and quickly. The plugin comes with an easy-to-use drag option that lets you drop banners and turn them into sliders.
6. Add Products to Your Online Store with Product Catalog
Listing your products under categories will help you as well as your customers to browse the products available in your store easily. To add products to your online store via the Product Catalog plugin, all you need to do is visit the ‘Products’ page and add a new page to add a new product. Make sure that you add a fitting title for your product along with detailed descriptions. In the Product Data box, provide the information about the price, shipping etc.
Once you are done with updating all the product information, all you need to do is click the Publish button to make it live. You can also use WordPress review plugins like WP Review or Product Review Lite to offer a review system to your customers so that they can grade and filter different details about your products.
7. Promote your store with Easy Social Share Buttons
We need no introduction to the indispensable role of social media in today’s world. This makes it all the more vital that you incorporate the buttons for the various social media platforms on your online store. Moreover, users also like to share what they are buying or doing on their social media handles. The social share buttons will allow them to share what they are purchasing from your site on their accounts which will serve as an advertisement for your website.
With this plugin by your side, you will be able to achieve better social media growth and following thus tasting ecommerce success faster. Easy Social Share Buttons plugin can support more than 30 social networks buttons that include the most famous combination of WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,and LinkedIn.
8. Ensure smooth customer services with Pure Chat
We all know that the key to customer retention is excellent after-sales services. Especially when it comes to online brands, the importance of seamless customer services is paramount. Most ecommerce overlords use chatbots to offer a live chat experience to their consumers, and you should use it too. Pure Chat is one such plugin that will help you build a smooth communication channel. Hence, your clients can maintain constant contact with your brand.
The plugin also lets you integrate a live chat portal on your website so that your customers can talk to your executives at any time they want. This will help your brand build more trust and credibility, thus retaining more customers.
9. Protect your store with Sucuri Security
Imagine the massacre if your contenders hack their way into your online store and leave malware? When it comes to establishing an online store, the security of the site is a matter of extreme importance. You need to make sure that your online store is hack-proof so that a usurper can not manoeuvre it. But how do you do it? With a top-notch security plugin like Sucuri, of course.
Sucuri comes with a robust framework of security modules that protect your WordPress ecommerce site from third-party attacks. And it just isn’t your secrets that Sucuri protects! The plugin also strengthens other security steps that involve the financial and personal information of your customers.
When you choose WordPress to design your ecommerce store, you get to have total control over your site and manage it anytime you want. With these WordPress plugins at your rescue, you will not have to give in to the exorbitant demands of website developers. So what are you waiting for? Say ‘No’ to dissatisfied results and miscommunication and customize your website according to your tastes on-the-go.
All the best for your endeavour!
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- How to Start an Online Ecommerce Store with WordPress in 9 Easy Steps - September 16, 2019