Rather than walking through a packed mall, going store to store, struggling to find the exact models or sizes for the products that they want, many customers often resort to online shopping. Especially after the pandemic, there has been a large rise in online shopping—precisely 27.9%.  

By moving your store online, it can help you target a larger amount of consumers, but also a more specific demographic as well. An in-person store mainly attracts physically nearby customers, but an online store can attract consumers from around the country or worldwide. Transitioning to e-commerce can be intimidating, but is ultimately a crucial step in expanding your business. Read this blog to learn the important steps of how to move your business from brick and mortar to e-commerce! 

How to Set Up an Ecommerce Business in Four Steps

Phase 1: Setting Up Shop (Online)

The very first step is building your website and including all the necessary components. Some things to remember when building your online shop are:

  • Determining the available payment methods on the website, whether it’s with PayPal, credit card, etc.
  • The appropriate amount of inventory to go with your online shop.
  • Designing mobile and desktop layouts of your website.

After considering these questions, you can proceed to choose an appropriate website builder. Popular ones include Shopify, Wix, SquareSpace, WordPress, and Magento. 

A domain also needs to be purchased to complete the setup. Doing a quick search on GoDaddy can help you determine if the domain is available. 

Phase 2: Reviewing Your Budget 

Setting up your shop online can incur a lot of fees that you might easily lose track of—this is why it’s crucial to take note of your spendings and budget. Elements such as advertising, customer payment processing, plugins, and optimization tools all will cost money. 

As you continue building up your digital store, keep track of key components that make up the majority of your budget. Here are some examples:

  • Website hosting
  • Website builder
  • Domain name
  • Advertising
  • Website optimization tools (keyword research tools, website plugins, etc.)
  • Email marketing

Phase 3: In-Depth Planning for Your Site

You might be thinking: “Wasn’t phase 1 all the planning that I needed to do?”, well the truth is there is much more logistical, analytical, and creative planning that is necessary. 

  • Researching your competitors: Are there other similar brands online? What are the pros and cons of their shop? How can I differentiate myself from them? These are the questions you need to ask regarding your competitors. 
  • Site navigation: What is the format for my site that will generate the best conversion rates? How can I best provide the necessary information for my customers on the webpage? 
  • Keyword Research: What are the keywords customers will potentially search to bring them to my store? Are the keywords too broad or too specific? 

Phase 4: Analytics

Once your shop is up and running, a crucial step that is often forgotten is analyzing your store’s data! Keeping track of your website’s data in a consistent and organized format is perhaps the most important step of all. Here are some of the data points that should be considered: 

  • Traffic, new, and returning (relating to customers)—specific notes such as which platform the traffic is coming from, whether it’s declining/increasing, etc.
  • Top pages—knowing which pages perform the best on your site, whether it’s the blog, shop page, or customer reviews page. 
  • Bounce Rate—How many customers are leaving after only viewing one page, and which page is it? Knowing this information can help you optimize every single page on your site. 

Takeaways

While these 4 phases can help you get a good start on your website, a lot more can be done as well. Starting is always the hardest part, and hopefully, this blog has helped you better grasp the planning that goes into e-commerce. In addition to your digital shop, optimizing your brand’s social media is also crucial— here are some blogs that can help improve your brand’s social media presence.

If you are still intimidated by e-commerce, want to receive advice about your current online store, or simply just want to learn more about digital marketing, schedule a consultation with Colibri Digital Marketing today!