Currently there are hardly any people who, having a business, have not once thought about the possibility of creating online stores. The changes in the market, the crisis, the evolution of marketing and cost savings make having an online store the best option if you want your business to prosper .
The latest data on e-commerce shows that it is a growing trend, since it is estimated that in 2017 e-commerce will reach 609 billion euros in sales. In addition, in the next 4 years, Europe will be the continent with the highest volume of sales through the Internet.
Focusing on Spain, they affirm that this will be the country that will grow the most in the coming years. And for this, we already achieved a significant take-off in electronic commerce in 2012, when our online turnover grew by 11.7% .
Creating an online store has many benefits, since it is a new sales channel with infinite possibilities.
Therefore, if you have a business or are about to start a business, it is interesting that you know the possibilities of online stores.
In this article we tell you how to create your own free online store from scratch , and everything you can do when creating an online store in WordPress, as well as a few templates that will be very useful to you.
What are the benefits of creating an Online Store?
There are several benefits of creating and managing an online store :
- Reduce expenses
Opening a physical store is not the same as opening an online store. In this case, rental costs, supplies, assembly, setting, consumables, etc. are reduced. This will be reflected in the sale prices, and therefore, in a higher profitability in the future.
- You have your business open 24 hours
In the online world there are no schedules or holidays. Customers can buy any day and at any time. That is a great advantage, since you do not have to be constantly attending to the business, but your sales are still going.
- Allow international sales
Online stores erase geographical boundaries. With a good marketing plan and an action plan you can sell your products in other countries.
- You can better study the market
Through web analytics platforms, you can study consumers and their preferences, and that will make the campaigns you carry out more effective.
- You can work without large amounts of stock
It is not necessary to buy stock above your sales to fill the store, but it can be done as purchases are made and payments are processed.
- Your business becomes an ally of the 2.0 world
Nowadays, time is scarce, and a large part of consumers buy a product through their computer or mobile. They are mainly looking for last minute purchases or great discounts, so it is very important to give visibility to your store, and include it in your communication strategy.
How to create your online store or eCommerce
If you want to create your online store or ecommerce, you must take into account certain criteria so as not to fail in the attempt and make your business prosper and become visible . But above all, it is important to make it stand out from the competition, offering a distinctive and unique value.
Criteria for making a good choice
- Previous experience
It seems basic but it is not. If you don’t have experience, get together with suitable people in the matter, since there is no worse mistake than setting up something that you don’t know how to use later.
- Catalog breadth
This is critical. Working with 10 specific products is not the same as working with a catalog with multiple categories and subcategories.
- Type of products
It depends on the type of products you sell, whether they are physical or digital, you will have to manage the delivery and service of each one. Logistics is a very important part of online business.
Although there are ways to create your online store for free, it needs to be maintained and updated, and this has a value. In addition to the cost of the server, the domain, etc.
- The promotion strategy
The SEO positioning of the online store is essential, since having a good website but that no one visits will not do any good. You must invest in online advertising if you want your target audience to know you.
- Store customization
This will give you added value and make you stand out from other online stores. The possibility of using a discount coupon, reserving products that have not yet arrived or ordering those that were out of stock, will be factors to take into account.
How to create your online store in WordPress in 3 steps
If you are thinking of creating your online store in WordPress, you can do it for free through wordpress.com , or through the paid option, and obviously of higher quality, at wordpress.org .
1. WordPress template choice
Here we name some of the most used templates:
- Avada . Multi-functional responsive template, which exploits all the possibilities of sliders, with the option of video backgrounds and is highly customizable.
- Bridge . Multi-functional creative template that also includes video background and animated transitions for all types of businesses.
- Silent . Multipurpose template ideal for building a store with a modern design, with good options for sorting and listings.
- Goodstore . WooCommerce specific template with easy updates and built-in basic SEO optimization.
- Handy . Online template for ecommerce, responsive and with online chats for customer service.
2. Choose an online store plugin
This will determine the type of store you are going to create, and what you will be able to do with it. In our opinion there are two essential plugins that are worth knowing in depth, and they are:
- Woocommerce : It has been on the market for quite some time, it is free and it is versatile for any type of store. It facilitates the management of the different forms of payment and the configuration of shipping costs and taxes, and allows you to generate discount tickets or offers. It is valid for both physical and digital products and helps you in your business with its inventory reports, orders, sales, customers, etc.
- Easy Digital Downloads : It is oriented to stores of digital products . It has no stock control, no shipments, but its specialization makes it quick and easy to handle this type of business. It is considered the most effective WordPress plugin to create an easy-to-use website for selling digital products. It supports different payment gateways and stands out, among its characteristics, its high security profile.
3. Set up online payments
The easiest way to start selling is by using PayPal as your payment platform . Once you register you can use your email address to configure the payment of your store. It is necessary to do some tests to check that everything works correctly.
In addition, through the chosen plugin you can configure different payment options by card, bank transfer or account deposit. Think carefully about what is best for you, and try to put more than one option so that everyone can buy in your store.
Creating your online store is just the beginning, from here you must be sure that your product is salable, achieve a good reputation and, if possible, carry out online marketing strategies to position yourself among all stores that sell similar products. You dare?
If you are thinking of opening your online store , keep these tips in mind, which will guide you throughout the process and will make it easier for you to go through all the dynamics that you will need to go through to make your business a success.