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09-18-2018

Ep. 22 – All About Ecommerce: How To Set Up Your Website Up For Selling Products

Podcast

All About Ecommerce

The idea of having to build an online store from scratch can be terrifying for some, especially when you are not a “techy”.  This podcast explores many of the Software as a Service and off the shelf solutions which make it easy to start selling online straight away.

 

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Host 1: 00:00 Podcasting from southern California, this is On The Net, your go-to for everything you need to know about how to get your business online and keep it there—brought to you by Lunarpages.  We’ll help you navigate the mystifying ins and outs of doing business in today’s digital era.  From web hosting to ecommerce to security and protection, if it has to do with your online presence, we’ve got it covered. Let’s get started.

Host 2: 00:31 Hello everyone.  Welcome to On The Net, where it’s all about your online presence.  Thanks for joining us! This podcast is designed to make doing business online easy for web designers, developers, bloggers and online business of every shape and size.  Whether you are new to buying web hosting or running a web site, this podcast show will be able to answer your most burning questions.  As I am sure you would image, most people prefer shopping online.  In fact, 1 in 6 U.S dollars gets spent online. By selling online, retailers have access to a bigger market than they could ever reach with just a brick and mortar business. And it is a level playing field so even smaller retailers can compete with the big guys. If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to episode 5 of our podcast, the first in our three part series on ‘Building an Online Presence,’ where we make a business case for maintaining an online presence.

Host 2: 01:23 In today’s episode, we are going to focus solely on Ecommerce sites and how to set up your website for selling products. Many local retail shops and DIY craft makers use marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Overstock.com, eCrater, Webstore.com or Etsy to start selling online and never step beyond these platforms. While they can grow your brand and give you easy access to a large potential customer base, there are seller fees and other charges that eat into your profit margins and your interaction with customers is limited. Your business growth and profitability might be stunted in the long-term, if you don’t take on the challenge of setting up and launching your own Ecommerce website online. The idea of having to build an online store from scratch can be terrifying for some, especially when you are not a “techy” but there are many Software as a Service  (known as SaaS) and off the shelf solutions which make it easy to start selling online straight away.

Host 2: 02:19 For any Ecommerce project to succeed, you do need to plan ahead, have a proper strategy and set up a well-designed website. Let’s talk about some of the key steps you need to take to take your brand new Ecommerce website from the drawing board to fully functional. The four critical things you need to start an online store are a domain name, an Ecommerce platform, a web host and a SSL certificate. Start with a domain name ideal for your online store. This is the online address where shoppers can find your site. The domain name should preferably match your business name. You can purchase domain names through hosting companies or domain registrars. Next, is the absolutely vital task of choosing the right Ecommerce platform to manage your online store that will enable your customers to make purchases. You can choose from hundreds of template-built online shopping-cart services available as a SaaS such as Shopify.com or feature-rich and extendable off-the-shelf platforms such as Magento, Zen Cart, and Kentico that make it real simple to list your products, mark your price, and add a shopping cart to the website.

Host 2: 03:28 Alternatively, you can optimize the build of your e-store with a bespoke solution that’s all your own. For that you can use a code editor like WordPress + WooCommerce  and a web hosting service like Lunarpages. The third step to take in your quest to take your brand new Ecommerce website from the drawing board to fully functional is to find a web host.  Your web host ensures that the data files that make up your website live securely on a server. Your web host uploads the files and publishes the website online for shoppers who visit the site to see. When selecting your web hosting account and package, you do need to consider the reliability of the host.  Their job is to keep the website up and running, ensure high performance, security, and website speed. For Ecommerce sites we would recommend a dedicated servers or cloud hosting solutions from your web host as these are better equipped to deal with increased traffic and security concerns inherent in doing online busines.

Host 2: 04:24 Finally, for secure payment transactions to go through on your website, you need to get an SSL certificate. This encrypts all private information customers provide so that cybercriminals won’t be able to intercept the information as it is transmitted over the web. We have written a few blog articles over the years on this topic so be sure to check those out.  Oh, and most web hosts offer Payment Card Industry compliant hosting for Ecommerce sites so when you’re looking into a good web hosting company be sure to ask about that. Your Ecommerce website also needs to be optimized for mobile devices so that you don’t alienate a large chunk of your mobile shoppers. Another thing to keep in mind during the design process of your Ecommerce site is ensuring a secure checkout process with easy to complete forms and alternative payment options like Paypal. You need to secure an internet ready bank account called an internet merchant account or IMA so that you can receive credit card payments. When you are done setting up your payment and shipping details, you can preview, test and launch your online store.

Host 2: 05:28 Lucky for you, Lunarpages offers a complete solution that includes all the things we talked about today.  If you have any questions or want more information on any of these things, please let us know. Well, that’s it, time to start making money. Oh, actually, one final thought. There are other things to consider such as Content marketing, social media, and paid promotion to gain traction for your online store and expand your customer base. To learn more about marketing options, you can listen to our earlier episode 7 podcast on “Building an Online Business- Launching and Promoting.” That’s all we have time for on this episode of ‘On The Net.’ You can listen online but you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get future episodes delivered to you automatically.  Until next time, here’s to wishing you all the best with your website endeavors. Thanks for listening and take care.

Host 1: 06:26 Thank you for listening to the latest edition of Lunarpages podcast On The Net. Remember, it’s all about your online presence. If you like what you heard, please share a podcast. Join us next week as we take on another

Host 1: 06:39 need to know topic around doing business in the digital era.

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