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How to Build an Ecommerce Web Site

You've got a brilliant idea for selling products online that's been festering in your mind for a long time. This means you need to build an ecommerce web site or online store as others would call it, but have no idea what is involved and how much it is going to cost you.

This article will put your mind at ease as I will try to give you the necessary knowledge for creating, building and promoting your ecommerce store.

Steps involved in building an ecommerce website:

1. Do the necessary online research - you first need to see if your product is in demand. It's no point spending time and money building your ecommerce store only to find out no one is interested in your products.

This will give you a good indication of the number of people that regularly search for that term. If there are no search results, you may want to reconsider what you intend to sell or do more extensive research on other types of keywords that may match your products.

2. Prepare your product information - if you organize your products ahead of time in an excel spreadsheet, it will make it much easier for you (or your web site designer) to add them to the ecommerce web site.

Here are the columns to create in your spreadsheet:

a. product categories and subcategories ie horse supplies-horse boots
b. product options ie sizes, colors
c. product ID number ie SK105
d. product description
e. product image
f. product price
g. shipping calculations
h. tax calculations

3. Open a PayPal account - the paypal shopping cart is one of the easiest payment solutions to integrate with your ecommerce web site. You won't have to bother with a merchant account, payment gateway or shopping cart and signing up for a paypal account is free. Paypal integrates all these services automatically and just charges you a small processing fee for each purchase. You can accept both paypal and credit card payments online. Customers don't even have to open a paypal account to purchase products with their credit card.

There is plenty of online documentation on how to set up your paypal shopping cart should you get stuck.

4. Register a domain name - choose a name that is easy to spell and remember. This makes it easier for the customer to return to your online store without looking it up. You can register a domain name for around $9.00 at Godaddy.com.

5. Select a web host company - here are some features to consider when choosing a web hosting company for your ecommerce web site:

web space
email accounts
site statistics
database (if needed)
fast customer service
reasonably priced

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