Online sales are expected to reach $6.5 trillion by the year 2023. E-commerce websites will be taking up around 22% of total retail sales. So if you’re not selling online already, this is the best time to start an online eCommerce business. In the current times of the digital era, online shopping has become the norm. E-commerce has made shopping very easy. Users prefer to buy everything online from clothing to beauty products and groceries etc. online
In the current article, we will be exploring various options starting an eCommerce site business and start selling online. This article will help you to make a decision when planning to start an eCommerce website to sell online.
Why Sell Online?
Selling online is the need of current times and there are a lot of pros to selling online with very limited cons. Following is a quick overview of selling online
Selling across borders and reaching a wider audience to sell your products
Customers can place orders 24*7
By the year 2024, e-commerce marketplaces are expected to generate $3.5 trillion in sales and 30% of businesses do not have an eCommerce website
It’s very easy and affordable to start selling online and starting an online business
Which Framework to Choose to starting an eCommerce site
Magento is one of the top eCommerce frameworks based on Zend and it’s one of the most powerful frameworks with abilities to scale. So many companies work on magento2, and a large variety of ready-made extensions are available along with the themes. It’s open-source and free to use.
Starting an eCommerce site varoius CMS and frameworks available in the market which are easy to set up and help sell online in very less time than a few weeks. E-commerce frameworks like Magento, WooCommerce, Bagisto, Shopify, Big commerce and Shopify, etc. In this article, we will quickly explore one of the most common CMSs used these days.
WooCommerce is the WordPress plugin that turns a WordPress website into starting an eCommerce site and stores with all the standard features of an ecommerce website to sell online. It has a larger variety of themes and plugins to chose from. It’s easy to set up and start. Furthermore, it’s open-source and free to use.
Bagisto is an eCommerce framework based on modern technologies based on Laravel and Vue.js. This is an emerging framework with the ability to scale. It has an easy-to-use admin panel and an easy go-live process. It’s based on Laravel and is easy to find developers. A large variety of extensions are also available to use. It’s open source and free to use.
Shopify powers around 20% of the websites selling online, which is 2nd after WooCommerce. This is a SaaS-based system with plans starting from $29 per month, then some cost of plugins and themes. However, the Shopify app store has a very large collection of applications and themes, both paid and free.
If you are planning to sell in countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia etc. Salla and Zid are also one of the available options.
ZId is a SaaS-based eCommerce similar to salla and is widely used in Saudi Arabia. It is also a good option when planning to start selling online or starting an eCommerce business for Saudi Arabia and other Middle East companies
E-commerce frameworks can easily be integrated with the warehouse management systems like Ship hero with a couple of clicks and installing the associated extensions.
Salla is also SaaS based eCommerce platform that comes with a good collection of applications to use. Many features are pre-integrated, keeping the audiences in the mind. A good number of ready-made applications are available like payment methods like tabby, and Tamara and commonly used shipping companies like Aramex, SMSA, UPS, etc. It has an easy-to-use admin panel.
It is also a good option when planning to start selling online or starting an eCommerce business for Saudi Arabia and other Middle East companies
How to starting an eCommerce site
Now we will be discussing the steps of starting an eCommerce site. Once the eCommerce is decided, we will explore the steps involved to set up an eCommerce site.
Hosting & SSL: We need to purchase the hosting, SSL certificate and domain to start. Cloud hosting is good to start. Hostings like digital ocean, and Linode is good to start while hostings from cloud ways, Hostinger, and in motion is also good to start.
Theme: To start a website, an important step would be to decide on a theme. A large variety of ready-made themes are ready to deploy.
Shipping: Logistics is one of the core factors behind the success of any eCommerce store. Free shipping, cash on delivery and next day delivery, etc. options in shipping help to increase the conversion rates. In GCC countries like Saudi Arabia, Dubai etc Aramex, SMSA is a must shipping to start while in Australia post and Other shipping methods like FedEx UPS etc. is good to have.
Payment: Payment methods like PayPal, Amazon Pay, etc. are a must-have, while stores targeting GCC countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Dubai, etc. It’s good to have pay fort and on tap. For providing options to customers to pay in installments, Tabby and Tamara are a good options.
Few More Steps, starting an eCommerce site:
Customize site: Not all features related to design are available already in the theme, or there might some changes be required before going live. Customizations are good options to implement the changes we need. This step will also include implementing features that by any chance are not available in the ready-made extensions.
Notifications: Notification is a must-have feature of an eCommerce website. It includes notifying the customers about their order status and order processing. Email notifications are already available in almost every framework. SMS and WhatsApp notifications are in trend, as notifying the customer via WhatsApp or SMS has a better open rate and more reach. Twilio, msg91, jawalbsms, unifonic etc can be used for SMS and many companies offer WhatsApp API also.
Import data and product listing: it’s a very important step in starting an e-commerce site. In this step, all dummy or sample data has to be removed, and leave details of products, pricing, discounts, categories, etc are to be filled in the system
Social Media Presence: Social media presence helps to reach many audiences and it is a great tool to increase traffic on your website
SEO And Analytics: Analytics should be installed on a website to understand the search engine performance and help in making decisions that can increase your ranking on search results.
Test & Launch: In this, all features are tested, and the site will be launched.
Importance of starting an eCommerce site:
Some countries have specific requirements and regulations imposed by local authorities. As in India and many other countries, people must register their DLT templates and there is a process to follow for registering SMS templates in order to send SMS notifications. Companies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia have some regulations related to invoices, for example in Saudi Arabia, the invoices should be following the ZATCA guidelines.
At a later stage, CRMs and other software like warehouse management etc can be integrated. About 7% of total retail in the US comes from mobile apps. In the UK it was more than 15% hence mobile applications is also a good investment in the online store.
We at CodeInnovers, offer eCommerce website building services from scratch, in case you need our services, please feel free to jump on a call to discuss the requirements, please click here to write to us or connect with us on skype.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to drop in a comment and we will update the article.