The difference between building a successful ecommerce website or one that doesn’t serve a purpose can often be down to just a few minor details.
Your business may have a great product, but if you miss any step in the ecommerce website building process, you may run the risk of failing as a business.
This article will look to lay out all the key details and information you need to not just build a functioning ecommerce website, but also an extremely successful one.
- We've built a list of the best small business web host offers available
- Here’s a list of the best WordPress ecommerce plugins on the market
- Also check out our roundup of the best ecommerce hosting
How to build an ecommerce website
To get you started on the path towards a successful ecommerce website, you just need to follow these nine simple steps:
Pick a website builder that specializes in ecommerce. We recommend Wix, as it currently holds our title as the best ecommerce website builder of 2021.
Buy your domain name from a reputable domain registrar. If it were us, we would pick Domain.com, as it has proven to be a versatile provider that provides excellent value for money. Make sure your domain name includes the name of your ecommerce store - this may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the amount of businesses using different names for their domain, which does not help with SEO optimization.
Choose an ecommerce template that is right for you. Luckily, ecommerce website builders often provide a wide range of templates for you to pick from. What’s even better is that most services give you the ability to remove and add features on drag-and-drop templates to make your website dream come to life.
Customize your ecommerce template. This may go without saying, but it’s important to iron out every little detail of your website and add unique touches that make your website stand out. This would be a great time to check out your competition - if you spot something they have missed on their website, take inspiration and add it to yours (if applicable of course).
Add your products to your website. Take vibrant, high-quality pictures of your products and include videos if needed. One of the most important trends in the ecommerce world is the increasing use of mobile devices, so make sure all your product images and videos are mobile-friendly. Product descriptions are also essential to your website, so be sure to include as much information as possible.
Set up payment options. Picking the right payment method will be essential for closing a sale. If your customer does not trust the payment method you’ve selected, they may not complete their purchase. We have a list of the best payment gateways on the market, which will definitely help your decision making process. We recommend PayPal as it’s, hands-down, the most widely used payments platform.
Get your shipping settings right. The key here is to be transparent and thorough. If you are offering shipping for a fee, be clear on the cost, down to the cent. If your shipping will take 3-5 working days, say so. Customers will often use shipping costs and the time it takes for them to receive the item to determine whether they will proceed with the purchase.
Prioritize SEO. Leveraging the best SEO tools is essential for a successful ecommerce website. Where do you want to sit amongst your competitors? How do you rank above your competitors when keywords are searched by potential customers? Other than making your brand name memorable and coherent, investing in an SEO strategy for your ecommerce website is key to success.
Preview, test and publish your ecommerce website. Preview your online store to make sure it looks just as it should when it goes live. Test your ecommerce website to make sure all the buttons are working correctly and directing your customers to the right place - then hit publish and begin promoting!
Some other key tips
To accompany the above advice, here are some other key details to remember if you want to come out on top with your ecommerce website.
- Invest in the best web hosting service for your ecommerce website
- Have a search bar and make it simple
- Have an option for shoppers to make purchase as a guest (some may not want to create a profile)
- Have an option for your customers to subscribe for the latest deals and promotions
- Make sure all product images are the same size and show the product from all angles
- Set up shopping cart abandonment emails, as life can get distracting, which could cause some customers to forget to complete their purchase
- Make the checkout process simple
Why you need an ecommerce website for your business
In 2020, over two billion people purchased goods or services online, and during the same period, e-commerce sales surpassed $4.2 trillion worldwide, according to data from Statista. In the year of the pandemic, global retail ecommerce sales grew by more than 25%.
That growth is almost guaranteed to continue, and although physical stores are still important, building your brand online is undoubtedly a key tactic for success.
How to build a successful ecommerce website with Wix
Holding our top spot for best ecommerce website builder around today, Wix offers a substantial amount of features to help construct your online store. This includes essentials such as customizable store carts, customer reviews and secure payment options.
Simply sign in to Wix’s ecommerce website builder using your email and a strong password, then click “get started” to begin. You will be asked what kind of website you are creating, with the option to skip steps if you need no guidance, with Wix tailoring the platform accordingly.
Wix can also recommend essential features to add to your ecommerce website, including live chat functions, forms and forums.
Once that is complete, you are taken through the final steps by browsing hundreds of templates,, then you can begin your ecommerce website building journey.
Wix offers 24/7 customer phone support in English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. All you need to do is make sure you are logged in to the site, before clicking the “request a callback” button on the Contacting Wix Customer Care section.
- If you're looking to create a website on a budget, check out our list of the best free website builders