How to Create an Online Store for a Retailer: Practical Tips to Break into the World of Online Sales

Digital Marketing
June 21, 2023
6 min
Content

The idea of transitioning your physical store to the online space may not always inspire enthusiasm, especially when you have already invested significant efforts into your offline store and now feel like you are starting from scratch. However, the reality of today's business landscape demands adaptation to new challenges. In this guide, we will explore practical tips on how to create a website for online store with minimal resources, helping you make a successful entry into the world of online sales.

How to Create a Website for a Retailer: Your Essential Steps

Which Platform to Choose?

Creating a website for online business, you can't simply choose the first platform you come across to create your online marketplace, as each one offers different features and extensions. While you can start your journey with the cheapest website builder, it may limit your ability to expand or enhance your site in the future.

Therefore, we recommend answering a few questions before selecting your first platform:

How many products do you plan to sell?

Creating a website for business, your first step should be understanding the size of the inventory you intend to sell. If you're planning a small business, you can start with a cost-effective platform that doesn't offer advanced features. However, as your business expands, you will need more tools. If your inventory is already substantial and continuously growing, it's in your best interest to allocate a larger budget for the platform.

What features do you require for your online store?

Does the platform provide all the essential eCommerce features you require? Will you need additional investment for advanced functionality? Designing a website for business, evaluate each feature on your requirements list on a scale of necessity from 1 to 10 to determine if a particular platform truly suits your needs.

What eCommerce platforms are available to you?

eCommerce website builders can simplify the setup and management of your store. To make an optimal choice, consider your business goals, operational model, industry, and technical requirements for your store.

Here is a list of the most popular online store builders:

  • BigCommerce;
  • Shopify;
  • Magento;
  • WooCommerce.
  • Wix.

How to Rebase your Business in the Online Environment?

Create online buyer personas

A common mistake made by retailers transitioning from offline to online commerce is assuming that they will be selling to the same customers. However, that is not the case. While some of your existing customers will make online purchases, it is not sufficient. You need to reach a new audience in the online environment. Therefore, it is important to understand their needs and behavior patterns.

One of the most important tasks for a business is predicting consumer behavior patterns. It is necessary to understand how your target audience is changing, their purchasing power, preferences, price sensitivity, decision-making characteristics, and more. With this data, businesses can update their customer profiles and offer them exactly what they need, thereby increasing their own sales. Promodo strategist Katerina Husachenko explains how to do this in her article.

Choose a specific range of products

Making a small business website, you need to remember that the online space is not as limited as the offline world, right? However, transferring your entire inventory online can only bring you a headache. So, let's imagine that you're learning to swim by gradually immersing yourself in the water rather than jumping into the pool from a diving board.

After a small business website creation, start selling only those products that are most popular among your audience. For example, it could be:

  • Your top 20 best-selling items
  • Products that are easiest to transport

Unique products that will encourage customers to talk about you on social media.

By initially selecting only a portion of your inventory, you'll spare customers the difficulty of choice and save your own time. You won't have to fill in dozens of product listings right away.

Set up your delivery process

Delivery issues are the first challenge that online retailers face. Delivery can indeed be a complex and costly process. However, you can simplify this stage by preparing in advance:

  • Offer free shipping: While this may impact your profit margins, you can consider adjusting product prices to compensate for it. Many customers expect free shipping, and it's worth satisfying this demand.
  • Streamline the delivery process: Make the delivery process as simple as possible and provide clear information to your customers about the cost and duration of delivery.
  • Provide order tracking: To assure customers that their orders will be delivered reliably, offer them access to a tracking system so that they can check the status of their orders at any time.
  • Choose a delivery partner: Select a reliable delivery partner who can meet your shipping requirements. You can also offer the option for customers to pick up their items from your offline stores if available.

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance the delivery experience for your customers and build trust and satisfaction in your online retail business.

Track website analytics

Tracking website analytics is critical when you set up website for small business. And you should do it from the very beginning. All your goals and decisions in the online space should be data-driven. The information you gather will have a tremendous impact on the direction of your online store's development.

Today, the most popular free analytics program is Google Analytics 4. However, setting it up may require the assistance of an expert, at least for creating basic reports.

By implementing website analytics, you will gain valuable insights into user behavior, traffic sources, conversion rates, and other important metrics. This data will help you make informed decisions in developing a website for small business, optimize your website, and improve the overall performance of your online store.

What are the main advantages of Google Analytics 4? How does it differ from Universal Analytics? What challenges can you face during the transition? These and other questions are answered in the article about Google Analytics 4.

Ready-Made Site Templates to Get You Started Quickly

Pre-made website templates are the best way to start a website for a small business. Firstly, it is a cost-effective solution that eliminates the need for specialized web design knowledge. Secondly, a template-based online store provides an opportunity to quickly launch your store and generate initial sales within a few days. Nowadays, they come with a range of built-in features that save time and effort in development. You get a responsive design that ensures seamless and consistent user interaction across different devices. Additionally, you can customize their appearance according to your needs by modifying fonts, colors, logos, and many other elements. You can find a variety of such templates on platforms like templatemonster.com.

Launch of Advertising on the Internet

Once we’ve figured out how to create a website for online business, it’s critical to advertise it. Any business needs to attract new customers, retain existing ones, and make their brand recognizable. The fastest and most controllable tool to achieve these goals is digital marketing. It is the fastest because it takes only a few days from the moment of launch to analyze the initial results. It is controllable because everything is built on data.

To implement this task, you can use the platform called JustWork. How does it work? The service offers an automated approach. After creating a task, you simply grant the platform access to your resources. The platform will autonomously select a specialist with relevant experience and provide them with all the necessary access.

The cost of the specialist's work is also calculated by the platform. You can track all their actions in real time in your personal account. The service also integrates with the client's advertising platforms, collects data automatically, and presents it in a clear dashboard in the personal account. This allows all participants in the process to visually assess the effectiveness of the work.

We believe that our guide on how to make a website for a small business will easy your journey to in the highly competitive eCommerce industry. If you still have questions, please, feel free to contact our team of professionals

Written by
Nataliia Raskopa

PR & Marketing Manager at Promodo

I am a former journalist and an ardent follower of the "Cut to the chase" principle.

Together with Promodo's marketing team, I tell about the most interesting things in the world of Ukrainian digital. No stories of successful success – only tips, figures, and working case studies from the leading performance marketing agency. By the way, I talk about our failures as well.

Published:
June 21, 2023
Updated:
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