An eCommerce website allows you to retail your products 24/7. Learn how to make a website to sell.
As the future of online shopping continues to evolve, having an online store is almost a prerequisite if you want your products or services to reach a broader audience and sell. An eCommerce website allows you to retail your products 24/7, without incurring the expenses of maintaining a physical store.
Setting up an online store does not have to be a complex or overwhelming task. It’s easier than ever to create a website that will help you sell anything and stay on top of eCommerce trends. This article will outline how to make a website to sell and start driving more customers your way.
How to make a website to sell
- Establish the purpose and target audience of your product
- Pick a domain name and hosting provider
- Design your website
- Create clear product pages
- Set up payment methods
- Sort out your shipping
- Optimize your website for search engines
- Launch and market your website
- Maintain your site
01. Establish the purpose and target audience of your product
In order to create a website to sell products, the first step is all about understanding your product’s purpose and target audience. By identifying the problem your product solves, understanding who your customers are and designing a website that resonates with them, you can build a website that converts visitors into customers.
Conduct a product analysis
Whether it’s a physical product, a service or a digital download, your product should exist to solve a specific problem for your customers. This problem might be something practical, like a tool that makes a task easier, or something emotional, like a piece of art that brings joy. Once you’ve identified the issue, you can start thinking about how your product solves it.
Analyze your target audience
Start by thinking about the demographics of your ideal customer: age, gender, income, location, etc. Really get inside your customer’s head to understand their psychographics: values, interests and motivations. The more you understand your customer, the better you can tailor your website to meet their needs.
Size up the competition
In order to stay competitive in your industry, look at what other businesses in your niche are doing—both online and offline. Explore their websites and see how they present their products, who they target and what makes them stand out. This will give you an idea of the standards in your industry and how you can carve out your own path to differentiate your business.
02. Pick a domain name and hosting provider
A carefully chosen domain name, well-designed site architecture and reliable hosting service are foundational elements when planning a website to sell. These factors influence the success of your website by affecting both user experience and search engine performance. When it comes to creating a website to sell any type of product, there are several key steps to follow:
Choose a custom domain name
If you had a physical storefront, you’d likely have a sign on the outside with your store’s name. Your domain name is the digital address of your online store that users should be able to easily find online. Select a domain name that reflects your brand and is easy to remember. Avoid using hyphens and numbers and try to keep your domain name as short as possible. Try using a domain name generator to find a suitable name that isn’t already taken.
Decide on a web hosting provider
Web hosting is the service that stores your website files and makes them available to your customers when they visit your website. Consider the pricing, speed, reliability and customer support of each web hosting service before making a decision. Imagine your customers are all around the world and could be shopping at any given time, so your website must always be available and issues need to be resolved quickly and efficiently. Ecommerce website security is essential for both your business and your customer’s safety, in order to protect sensitive information and build trust for your brand. Wix’s free web hosting allows you to scale your hosting as your online business grows.
03. Design your website
Designing a successful website to sell products is not just about making it visually appealing, but also creating a cohesive brand identity that resonates with your intended audience and reflects your company’s values. What’s arguably most important is creating a user-friendly site for customers to see products and navigate easily to make purchases, both on desktop and mobile versions. You can go in-depth and learn how to make an eCommerce website that will set yours apart from the competition.
Logo and branding
Your logo and branding is the visual representation of your business and should communicate the right message to your potential customers. To start, make a logo that embodies your brand’s personality and message. Then, choose a color scheme and typography that complement your logo and reflect your brand’s characteristics. Use these elements consistently across your website, social media profiles and marketing materials to establish a cohesive brand identity. You can look at eCommerce design trends for inspiration.
Picking a website template can help outline the overall look and feel of your eCommerce site. Explore these customizable eCommerce website templates to see which suit your needs. It’s important to select a design that aligns with your brand’s personality and guides your customer through the buying experience. A template can offer a simple navigation menu and clear call to actions, so your customers find what they’re looking for quickly. You can also check out our round up of the best eCommerce website templates to get inspired.
The way that users interact with your eCommerce website can impact their buying decisions. For example, if it’s difficult to navigate, or even to search for specific items, you may deter prospective sales. Focusing on user interface (UI) will provide visitors with the best possible experience that is natural and effortless. Consider these key features that can drive conversions.
- Intuitive navigation: Your site navigation should be simple and user-friendly, with a homepage that quickly directs customers to products, categories and relevant information. Build a logical site structure, with drop-down menus or breadcrumbs that highlight where customers are on the site and help reduce bounce rates.
- Mobile friendliness: Up to 70% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and more online purchases are being made from mobile devices than ever before. With this in mind, ensuring that your website is optimized for mobile use is key. Consider mobile-first website design that takes into account the limitations of smaller screens right from the start, enhancing the mobile user experience. In addition, look to responsive design which adapts to different screens, guaranteeing the best possible experience whether customers are on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.Check out Wix Studio for more responsive design options.
- Clear call-to-action: Include a clear call-to-action (CTA), which prompts customers to make a purchase. Your CTA should be highly visible and easily accessible. For example, you may choose to use “Buy Now” buttons, which appear after selecting a product or “Add to Cart” buttons, which are accessible on every product page.
04. Create clear product pages
As part of your website creation process, focus attention on your product pages. A good product page is visually appealing, informative and well-organized. Product pages should contain the following information:
- Product name
Include high-quality product photographs
Customers are more likely to buy something when they see a detailed image of the product they are interested in buying. Use images that are clear, bright and show the product from multiple angles. Additionally, you may choose to include zoom features and 360-degree views, which allows customers to get a more in-depth look at the product. You can use an image resizer tool to crop and scale image shots to showcase your products.
Write accurate product descriptions
When writing product descriptions, think about how to help customers reach an informed decision about their purchases. Include all relevant details such as size, materials and any features that help your product stand out. Use descriptive and informative language to entice customers to complete a transaction. You can also think about specific keywords when writing product descriptions to optimize them for SEO. With strategic keywords, it will help prospective customers find your products much easier.
Think about product categories
Organizing your products into categories can make it easier for customers to filter and find what they are looking for. For example, if you sell clothing, you might categorize your products by gender, clothing type and occasion. Create categories that are intuitive and easy to navigate.
05. Set up payment methods
Since the goal is to sell your goods, finding a variety of payment methods for prospective customers to complete their purchases will help to seal the deal. Customers are more likely to fill out their credit card information when they know that their transactions are both easy and secure. Some of the most common payment methods you can include are:
- Credit and debit cards
- Digital wallets (Apple Pay, Google Wallet)
- Wire transfer
- Cash on delivery
- Check payment
- Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum)
- Buy now, pay later services (Afterpay, Klarna)
- Direct debit
Payment options and cost considerations
When choosing payment possibilities, consider how much they cost. Each online payment method involves processing fees, which can significantly impact your revenue. Research payment providers and take into account their processing fees before you set up a payment solution for your online store.
Addressing security concerns
Payment systems are regularly targeted by cybercriminals. Select a payment gateway that offers its own security features, such as fraud detection and chargeback protection. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a compliance standard that you should consider when selecting payment methods. Ensuring that your payment systems are secure adds credibility to your store, increasing customer trust and improving your store’s reputation, while simultaneously protecting your assets.
Set up thank you pages
After a successful purchase, it’s important to show your customers that you appreciate their business. Setting up a thank you page is a great way to express gratitude and also provide valuable information to customers such as payment confirmation, order numbers, shipping details and estimated delivery dates. This not only creates a positive customer experience but also provides them with the necessary information for future reference. You can explore these thank you page examples to see some ideas that work.
06. Sort out your shipping
After adding products and payment options, next up in creating a website to sell products is making sure you can deliver those goods. Determine the best shipping and delivery options for your customers and set up shipping rates, choices and policies.
Understand your shipping needs
Shipping preferences can vary depending on the nature of your products. For example, if you’re selling perishable items like food or flowers, you’ll want to invest in refrigerated shipping alternatives. Similarly, certain products require more robust packaging to ensure they arrive at their destination safely. Therefore, before setting up your shipping arrangements, factor in your product’s unique needs and incorporate them into your pricing strategy.
Choose a shipping carrier
Go one step further and provide options for customers such as expedited shipping, tracking or insurance. Once you have these factors in mind, you can determine which shipping carriers you’ll use. Popular carriers include:
Determine shipping rates
These rates should be based on your shipping strategy and cover the cost of packaging, handling and delivery. It’s important to have competitive rates, as customers are more likely to abandon their purchase if they see high shipping costs. Find a balance here between keeping costs reasonable for your customers and making revenue for yourself. There are several types of shipping available:
- Flat rates: Eliminate surprise fees for your customers and simplify your shipping process. Flat rates are great if your products are consistent in size and weight.
- Weight based rates: This shipping fee automatically adjusts based on the weight, making it fair for both you and the customer. A good option if your products have varying weights.
- Location based rates: This involves charging different rates for shipping determined by the destination of the product. This type of shipping rate works when you have customers in multiple locations.
- Local pick up: This option removes the shipping fee entirely, making the product price more attractive to customers. Perfect if your business caters to customers within a specific area.
- Free shipping: Use free shipping as a marketing tool if you can afford to offer it without sacrificing profitability. Offering free shipping to customers who spend a certain amount is also a good way to increase sales without losing revenue.
07. Optimize your website for search engines
As you make your own website to sell, develop an SEO strategy for how to drive traffic to your online store. Everything from keyword research to fixing and maintaining technical issues is vital for maintaining your eCommerce SEO efforts.
Perform keyword research
Keyword research is the basic foundation of any good SEO strategy. It’s essential to target keywords (the words or phrases people use to search for products or services like yours) and include them on your site. There are many tools available, such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs and Semrush, to help you find the right keywords. When conducting keyword research, aim to identify high-volume, low-competition keywords relevant to your site and products. This ensures that your content is more likely to rank in search results, exposing your business to more potential customers.
On and Off-page SEO
On-page SEO refers to the optimization of content on your website. This can include adding the relevant keywords, optimizing the eCommerce site speed, creating appropriate metadata and creating engaging, informative content. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, includes everything beyond the website’s technical aspects, such as earning backlinks to the website, social media optimization and online reviews. Both On-page and Off-page SEO practices help get your site noticed and eventually lead to better sales.
Optimize for local SEO
If you’re running a local store or providing services in a specific area, it’s essential to optimize your website for local SEO. This involves adding city or state keywords to your site, building local links and getting listed in local directories like Yelp and Google My Business. By doing this, your business is more likely to appear in search results when someone searches for local services or products like yours.
08. Launch and market your website
Once you finish creating a website to sell products, it’s important to market your store to potential customers. Here are some marketing strategies to enhance your online presence and expand your customer reach.
Promote on social media
Set up social media accounts to promote your website, engage with your customers and keep them up-to-date with your latest products and promotions. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok allow you to reach your audience according to their interests, location and behavior. It’s also a great way to connect with your customers, learning more about their spending behaviors and interests and potentially getting some user generated content (UGC) in return.
Solicit customer reviews
Positive reviews from satisfied customers can build your reputation and attract new ones. Encourage your customers to leave a review after purchasing a product by ensuring that your website has a review section. Respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative and show your customers that their feedback is taken seriously.
Create an email list of both your current and prospective customers and send them newsletters, promotional emails and updates on your products and services. Emails should be visually appealing, concise and relevant to your audience. Insert call-to-action buttons and links to your website to encourage your customers to complete a purchase. Try Wix’s email marketing tool to create relevant and effective campaigns.
Expand your marketing strategy beyond the traditional channels to meet your audience in their preferred space. Embrace digital platforms, social media and influencer collaborations to create a strong online presence and establish your brand. Here are some additional methods you can use to promote your website and attract more customers.
- Video marketing: Engage your audience on YouTube, Vimeo and TikTok to promote your products. Highlight the unique features of your products through product demonstrations, tutorials or customer testimonials.
- Influencer marketing: Collaborate with industry influencers to promote your products to their audience. These individuals have a large following on social media and can influence purchasing decisions.
- Affiliate marketing: Tap into the expertise and networks of affiliates to sell your products in exchange for a commission. Affiliates bring their unique marketing methods to the table, which is particularly effective for high-value or specialized items.
- Content marketing: Create and share a variety of content to attract and convert prospects into customers. This can include blog posts, ebooks, infographics, podcasts or webinars. Align your content closely with the products or services you offer to educate your audience, establish trust and build credibility.
09. Maintain your site
Running a successful online store goes beyond just setting it up. Customers are more likely to return to a store that meets—or even exceeds, their standards. By maintaining your site, you can provide a positive user experience and keep customers coming back. Here are some key aspects to consider:
- Update product descriptions: Ensure that your customers have the correct information which can aid in their purchasing decisions.
- Inventory stock availability: Remove out-of-stock items from your product pages or clearly mark them as sold out.
- Stay current with trends: Adapting to market trends can give your store a competitive edge, whether it’s a trending product, a new eCommerce app or a popular design aesthetic.
- Add eCommerce apps or plugins: Consider tools that can help with everything from SEO optimization and email marketing, to inventory management and customer service.
- Monitor site traffic: Gain valuable insights about your customers’ behaviors and preferences to tweak your marketing strategies, SEO efforts and even product offerings.
- Assess site functionality: Test the entire purchase process, from adding items to your cart to making a payment, to ensure a seamless buying experience.