I’ve gotten lots of mails from most of my readers who want to learn how to build an online store and make money. The growth of E-commerce have skyrocketed in recent years and hundreds of individuals are making crazy income from selling their stuffs and allowing others to do the same. What if you can create an e-commerce website like Jumia, Konga, OLX, Ebay etc and make money? It is not an easy as it sounds though, but you can make it happen if you’re determined.
E-commerce is a rapid growing field. According to Bigcommerce, e-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year. 40% of the worldwide internet users have bought products or goods using either their desktop or mobile phones. Believe me, the number is growing.
Before I proceed, you need to know the three major components that’s needed to make that e-commerce website a reality. That is:
- Domain Name Registration
- Web Hosting
- E-commerce Software
I’m going to explain them in details cause you need to understand their functions and how they can be used.
HOW TO BUILD AN ONLINE STORE
1. DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION
This is very easy to do and likely the first step to building your own online store. A domain name is just a name that leads to your hosting, more like an address. Examples are www.jumia.com, www.konga.com etc..
Before you choose your domain name, make sure it reflects the purpose and brand of the business. There are lots of domain registrars where you can easily order for any domain of your choice like bluehost, godaddy, namecheap etc..
2. WEB HOSTING
Some offline businesses will require you to have physical structure or outlet in other for business to commence. Well, building an online store will require securing a hosting package with any hosting companies. A host is a server, more like a shop, a place where every data about your website will be stored. Your host is what keeps your online store live, without it, there will be no online store.
When ordering for a hosting plan, make sure you go for a package that will accommodate the site with regards to traffic and page speed. Go for Virtual Private Server with a dedicated IP address. With this, you’ll be able to deal with huge files, traffic and fast page rendering that promotes smooth user experience. Although it’s not cheap to come by, but it’s worth it.
3. E-COMMERCE SOFTWARE
After you have secured your domain name and hosting, the next step is installing the software that will automate ordering and purchase of your goods. E-commerce software or application comes in two;
- Custom Application
- Non-custom Application
Custom application are usually expensive than Non-custom. For the sake of this article, I will advice you go for a Non-custom application cause it’s cheap and also free, depending on the software you’re going for. Examples of Non-custom application are wordPress (woocommerce), Abante Cart, PrestaShop, OpenCart, Magento , Zen Cart, CubeCart, osCommerce, Open eShop, Loaded 7 ,TheHostingTool, TomatoCart, Avactis, LiteCart, Quick Cart, X-Cart, Simple Invoices, CS-Cart, Open Source etc.
Are you ready to go to the good part?
HOW TO BUILD AN ONLINE STORE USING WOOCOMMERCE
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to be teaching you how to create or build an online store easily using woocommerce. You don’t need be a bad ass developer to make this happen.. Yes! You can create your own online store without any external help.
You want to know how? Keep reading!
1. INSTALL WORDPRESS
By now, let’s assume you already have a domain and a host.. The next step to starting that online store is by installing WordPress. This is easily done. All you have to do is visit the host website, log into your Cpanel and install WordPress. It takes about 10 seconds or more to install. Immediately that has been done, you can then proceed by login into your WordPress dashboard using a web address that looks like this; www.example.com/wp-admin
An interface will pop up, requesting for your username/email and password. That’s the username and password you specified when installing WordPress. When that have been done, you’ll be welcomed to your WordPress dashboard.
2. INSTALL WOOCOMMERCE
To transform this new site to an online store, you’ll need to install a very important and powerful plugin, called woocommerce. Take note, it’s very easy. Go to your Dashboard >> Plugins >> Add New
There will be a search box, specify with the name of the plugin you’re looking for.. Which is “Woocommerce”
When it comes up, hit “install” and activate.. When you’ve done that, you’ll see “Welcome To Woocommerce” Go ahead and click the “Run Setup Wizard” button in the notification.
I will suggest you take your time and explore the woocommerce plugin in other to get used to its functionalities. Including creating pages for;
Click on “Let’s Go” to automatically create those pages. More important pages will keep coming up, requesting for your store location, tax information and payment gateways etc…
I will recommend using PayPal standard as a payment gateway.. Perhaps later, you can integrate a more easy to use gateway by installing the necessary plugin.
YOUR STORE APPEARANCE
What if you don’t like the default online store theme? Well, they can easily be changed to a more desirable one. Go to APPEARANCE >> THEMES
There are thousands of themes out there that you can use on your online store. However, make sure that it’s flexible and mobile responsive. To discover awesome themes that you can use on your e-commerce store, head over to Google and search for things like “Best WordPress themes for an e-commerce websites”
You’ll be presented with lots of options with great reviews..
YOU STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO?
Building an online store is easy, but if you find yourself struggling, probably because you’re still new and knows nothing about WordPress talk of woocommerce, perhaps you should hire a web designer and developer who can. The most important thing is having your store online and kicking off with business. If you can read, if you can handle your facebook account, then you can handle an online store.. It’s not rocket science, it’s very easy and can be done.
Building an online store like some Nigerian stores like Konga, Jumia, OLX etc is easy. All you need is to secure a domain and a web host, build the online store or better yet, employ a web designer and developer that will for a fee.. If you’ve any question, use the comment box and I will respond immediately. Don’t forget to share this awesome piece using the social buttons below.