Many people love the idea of owning their own businesses. Of the many different ways this is done, operating an eCommerce site may be one of the most cost efficient. If it’s done right, it can also be as lucrative as the most busy of brick-and-mortar retail stores.
What makes setting up an eCommerce site such an appealing idea?
- Low upfront costs to start.
- Can be done from virtually anywhere, even the basement.
- Access to customers outside of a community.
- Easy to operate by an individual or a team.
- Low monthly overhead expenses.
One of the first things that need to be considered is the type of web hosting plan that would suit the online store. While shared hosting may be cheaper, VPS hosting comes with far more capabilities. For one thing, VPS platforms are capable of accommodating greater levels of traffic because of resource and bandwidth allocations.
Once the hosting is selected, it’s time to start thinking about how to set up the eCommerce site. There are several ways this is done easily without requiring knowledge of how to program a site.
Using PayPal Buttons
One of the simplest ways to get start selling right away is by using PayPal. Users of this system can quickly set up copy-and-paste carts and payment buttons to suit virtually any need. Here are seven benefits of using PayPal to manage the online store:
- Buttons are easily customized for selling products.
- PayPal can be set to control inventory.
- When someone buys a product, the money is immediately available to use in most situations.
- Using a PayPal Mastercard debit card gives users access to those funds without waiting for bank transfers.
- Buttons can be set up for single purchases, subscription plans and donations.
- PayPal uses excellent security methods to keep money and transactions safe.
- Buttons can be used with a default appearance or created with custom graphics.
When setting up a PayPal account, there are no monthly fees unless you sign up for the PayPal Pro account. However, there is a transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30. So, an item selling for $100 would have a fee of $3.20. This is taken immediately from the transaction, and the rest is placed into the PayPal account.
PayPal gives the code to users when a button is created. All the owner needs to do is copy this code and paste it anywhere in the website.
Setting Up a Store Through WordPress
Content management systems are some of the easiest ways to set up any kind of website. WordPress is one of the most popular simply because so much can be done to customize it. Adding eCommerce through the use of plugins such as WooCommerce is just one of those ways.
WordPress also offers a variety of ways to protect the site, incorporate blogging and boost SEO to bring traffic. It’s an easy to use system that is backed by nearly 40,000 different plugins covering a wide range of features.
WordPress can be installed on virtually any kind of hosting plan. Whether it is shared or on a VPS hosting server, it takes minutes to set up and can have an operator selling products before the end of the day. It’s one of the simplest content management systems to install and very user-friendly.
One of the highlights to using WordPress to set up an eCommerce website is the fact that the plugins can offer an almost unique experience to consumers. It’s an extremely versatile system that has a seemingly endless number of ways to customize the platform.
Using eCommerce Platforms
WordPress isn’t the only management system that handles eCommerce exceptionally well. There are other systems that can be installed on any kind of hosting that are purely centered around selling goods and services. Many of them come with everything needed from accounting and bookkeeping to social media engagement. Some of the more popular platforms include:
Many eCommerce solutions offer a free version of their product with the capacity to upgrade to premium services later. This allows the business to develop over time and upgrade when it becomes necessary.
Platforms such as Prestashop will actually give users the base software for free and then provide options to buy modules to make the system more versatile.
Open source platforms, such as Zen Cart, deliver a completely free experience for setting up an online store. However, this means that maintenance and additions will have to be made by the owner. Most of these will have limited automation when it comes to customizing the site or limited features when it comes to marketing and appearance.
Things to Drive Success
Having the right kind of cart is only part of the success behind an online store. It takes more than just a few good items and a website in order to drive consumers. Here are a few things to consider when building the site.
- Finding Good Suppliers
The most important part of running an online store is having something to sell. Finding a good and stable supplier can keep the virtual shelves filled.
- Social Media
Approximately 10 percent of all online sales around the world originate from social media. These sites can also help boost the online store’s reputation.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
PPC campaigns can focus ads directly to specific demographics to boost effectiveness of ads. It is an effective system if there is a strong marketing strategy in place.
- Direct Contact Options
Customers are more likely to purchase from an online store that has options for direct contact such as phone numbers or chat.
It All Starts with a Site
Whether the store is built on a shared server or benefiting from the power of VPS hosting, it all starts with the site itself. There are many ways an eCommerce platform can be set up easily online. The hardest part is choosing the best method that works for the owner. Find a system that is beneficial to success and build the most popular store possible.