In our world today where everything is now being done online or in other terms via the internet, you’re missing out from huge opportunities if you’re not incorporating the internet yet to your store.
In this article, we will explain to you everything you need to know about online store websites or also called e-commerce sites. You will learn how to build a fully operational online store website even without any coding background.
Before we start, I would like to share a little trivia for you: Did you know that the current richest man in the world today is Jeff Bezos? He is the owner of Amazon.com – the biggest e-commerce website in the world.
What’s an E-commerce Website
An E-commerce website is basically the online version of shopping malls. It is an online place that has everything you need to operate a store, you can monitor your sales, monitor how many people view your products, create promos and discounts, accept online payments, etc. An e-commerce website surely has a lot more features compared to using social media sites like Facebook when it comes to online selling.
Advantages of having your own E-commerce Site
Here are the reasons why I recommend online sellers to create their own online store website:
1. You own the Platform / Website
Shopee, Lazada, and Facebook are the most common e-commerce platforms that online sellers use here in the Philippines. Even though nothing’s bad with these platforms, you don’t actually own the platform or the website. Facebook, Shopee, and Lazada own it so they still have full control over everything. If you will have your own online store website you will have your own domain name (yourstorename.com) rather than Facebook.com/yourstorename or Shopee.ph/yourstorename. Also, you don’t need to comply with any seller rules set by these platforms.
2. The Name of your Store will be remembered more
It will be very good for you if people will remember your business or store’s name and not Shopee or Lazada. Most people who buy from Shopee don’t have an idea that there are different sellers on Shopee, they just presume that the seller is Shopee itself. Here’s a scenario that can help you understand what we’re talking about:
- You have a store on Shopee, you sell an iPhone case
- A customer named Juan buys from you, he didn’t care to remember or write down the name of your store (nobody really does).
- His friend Pedro saw Juan’s iPhone case and asks him where’d he buy it
- Juan said he bought it from Shopee
- Pedro searches for iPhone case on Shopee, he finds the same case but from a different seller
The ending is you lost 1 customer who would have bought from you if Juan remembered the name of your store rather than Shopee. You’re losing the opportunity of free advertisement (word of mouth) if you don’t have your own e-commerce website.
3. Get rid of your competitors
If you own the online store, you will be the only seller there. No more “Suggested Products” and “Products from other sellers”. If people search for something, they will only see your products.
One of the things I hated when I once used Shopee to sell products is that when someone views your product page, many other products from different sellers are shown below the page. So if the products from other sellers are shown below your product are cheaper, customers will buy from them instead.
Based on personal experience, this is crucial especially if you are using Facebook ads to promote your products. You are spending thousands to advertise your Shopee store but at the same time, you are also promoting products of other sellers. And if other sellers have cheaper prices, you are basically advertising for them. Having your own e-commerce website solves this problem, you can control what products appear in the “Products you might also like” section.
Just imagine having your own Shopee or Lazada. You can name it whatever you want, you can choose the design of the website, you have control of everything.
How to build your very own e-commerce website
You don’t have to learn programming or hire expensive website developers to create your online store website. There’s a web software we can use to create an e-commerce website, it’s called Shopify. It’s not free but it’s still a lot cheaper than hiring web developers I can assure you that. Plus, Shopify is the best and most used e-commerce software today so even if you can find a very good web developer to build an e-commerce software, there’s no guarantee they can match the quality of Shopify.
So here we go with the step by step tutorial on how to create your online store using Shopify:
1. Click here to open Shopify website: Shopify.com
2. Click on Start free trial
3. Enter your email address, create a password, enter the name of your store
4. Answer a few questions so Shopify can get to know you a little. You can skip this step if you want.
5. Fill up your name, address, and contact number. This for you to get paid.
6. Once done, you will now be redirected to your Shopify store dashboard
7. You can now go on and add your products by clicking on “Add product”.
You are currently using Shopify trial, you need to upgrade your account to continue using it and to unlock the important features. I’m using the $54 plan since it has more features like you can add Gift Cards and lower transaction fee, but you can freely choose what plan you want.
How to Setup Payment
For you to process the payment from your customers, you need to setup your store’s payment provider. Here’s how to do it:
1 .Click on Settings and then click on Payments
2. Here in the Philippines, Paypal is currently the only way you can accept payments from your Shopify store. Don’t worry, you can also accept payments via Debit and Credit Cards with Paypal. Click on “Complete account setup” to connect your Paypal account to your store.
3. Enter your Paypal email, then login your Paypal account. Click on Connect Paypal and now you’re ready to accept online payments on your store
How to Create your Paypal Account
For those who don’t have a Paypal account yet, here’s how to create your yours:
- Go to paypal.com and sign up
- Be sure to choose business
- Once you completed signing up, you need to connect your bank account for you to withdraw the money from your Paypal account.
Setting up your Store Domain
You can use Shopify domain (yourstore.myshopify.com) but if you want to have your own domain name (yourstore.ph or yourstore.com), you can purchase from Godaddy.com.
Once you have a domain name, go ahead and connect it to your Shopify store. Just go to “Sales Channels” > “Online Store” then click on “Domains”.
If you have questions about creating your e-commerce store, you can comment them down below so we can update the article.