In today’s world, anyone can start a website or blog website easily in no time. But do you know, we can also start an online store in 1 hour. With WordPress, you are just one click away from starting your own large eCommerce store.
WordPress offers flexibility and customization options. These options allow users to create a unique and professional-looking store. The store will reflect your business and stands out in the crowded e-commerce landscape.
The process of setting up an online store with WordPress is relatively straightforward. However, it does require some basic knowledge of the platform and its capabilities.
First, you will need to choose a domain name and good hosting for your store. Then you need to install WordPress and choose a professional-looking theme that is responsive and mobile-friendly. You can find numerous WooCommerce themes on the internet.
Once you have your website set up, you will need to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommmerce will give you all the tools you need to create and manage your products, process orders, and handle payments.
Next, you will need to add your products to your store. You can also use various WooCommerce plugins to add more features to your store like payment gateway, taxes, shipping options, and more.
Finally, you will need to configure your payment and shipping options and connect your store to a payment gateway such as PayPal or Stripe. Once all of these steps are completed, your store will be ready to go live and start accepting orders.
Also, if are looking to make your online store more accessible to mobile users, one option is to convert an eCommerce store into a mobile application. There are a variety of plugins available that can help with this process.
In this blog post, we will be walking you through the process of setting up an online store from scratch. We will be providing a step-by-step guide, with detailed instructions and helpful tips to ensure that you are able to set up your store quickly and efficiently.
By the end of the guide, you will have a fully functional eCommerce site that is ready to start accepting orders and making sales.
1. What you’ll need to start an online store?
Building an eCommerce website is easy. We think even a person without technical knowledge can also easily build an eCommerce site using WordPress.
Before getting into our topic, let’s first understand three major terms that we will need while creating our internet marketplace. These 3 terms are the framework for a beginner who wants to start an online store.
Domain and hosting
A domain name is like your brand name or business name to represent your business online. As your business name is unique, your domain name is also unique which helps to uniquely identify your business online.
Domain plays an important role in the online world. If you choose a good and easy domain name that perfectly represents your online store, then your business is 50% successful. You can get your domain from marketplaces like GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc.
Web hosting is the service to host your website on the Internet. It is a space where all the files of your website are stored. In order to host a website on the Internet, you must own space.
It is either rented or purchased. It is similar to your website’s actual location. Every internet-based website requires web hosting.
You can find many hosting providers in the market. There are two types of hosting: free and paid. We recommend a premium hosting service as it offers more features. Some of the popular hosting providers are Bluehost, Siteground, Hostgator, and many more.
WordPress and WordPress Themes
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that easily allows users to host and build websites. It has a template system and a plugin architecture that allows you to personalize any website to meet your company, blog, portfolio, or web store. To create your store, you must install WordPress.
WordPress themes play an important role in the development of our online store. It is simply a collection of graphics, style sheets, and code that determines the look of our overall store. The layout of your store can be easily controlled by themes. You can customize the text color, link color, background color, etc.
WooCommerce for online marketplace
WooCommerce is another crucial factor that plays a major role if you want to start an online store. It is an open-source, free e-commerce plugin for WordPress. Plugins are tools that add extra features to WordPress.
Among all the plugins, WooCommerce is the perfect fit for the online store. WooCommerce is designed for medium to large-sized WordPress-based online stores. It was first released on September 27, 2011, and quickly gained popularity because it is easy to install and customize.
According to an estimation, WooCommerce is used by around 5 million plus websites in 2023.
Here I am not using any hosting provider, I am installing locally in my PC. So, I need to install the WordPress manually. If you are using hosting providers like BlueHost or WPEngine, they have WordPress pre-installed.
You can skip the WordPress installtion process if you already own a hosting. Also, you can go with Elementor cloud for eCommerce store as it the complete package for your internet store
Now without any delay, let’s talk in detail about the process to set up our online store.
2. Installing WordPress
WordPress is recognized for being simple to install and easy to use. WordPress installation is often a pretty straightforward process that takes less than five minutes to complete.
The following instructions will assist you in installing WordPress on your own.
- First install a web server (suppose XAMPP) and run it.
- Then run Apache and MySQL Server.
- Now, download WordPress File from its website.
- Unzip the WordPress package and move it to xampp>htdoc
- Create a database for your store on your web server.
- Now, open localhost with your WordPress directory. (http://localhost/wordpress)
- Complete the process.
To learn more about the installation process you can visit here.
3. Installing WordPress theme
We already talked about the theme. Now, we will know the installation process of the WordPress theme. We will take an example to learn the installation process of the theme.
We choose Astra because it is lightweight, fast, most customizable, and free to use. It is simple to use and easily integrated with WooCommerce.
To install Astra, kindly follow the below steps:
- First Login to WordPress Dashboard.
- Go to Appearance
- Click on Themes then click to Add New
- Search for Astra in the search box
- Click on “Install”
- Click on “Activate”
Just see how simple it is. You can also install it manually. In order to install manually, first you need to download the Astra theme.
4. Installing WooCommerce and Other Plugins
Like with all WordPress plugins, you can install the WooCommerce plugin by navigating to WordPress Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New. Then, type “woo-commerce” in the search field and click the “Install Now” button next to the plugin.
After a few seconds, you will see the “Activate” button.
Then, click on the “Activate” button. Now, your plugin is activated. You can see the “WooCommerce” open in the sidebar.
Click the WooCommerce option, following setup page, will appear.
Now, you need to complete this setup page in order to create your store. Here, you need to give your store details like address, postal code, etc.
Then you need to select your industry. What type of store do you want, select it and click continue.
Then you need to provide the product type and other information like membership, bookings and many more.
In this step, you need to fill in your business details.
Now, you need to choose the theme for your store. This is an optional step; you can choose the theme later too. By default, WooCommerce works with any WordPress theme.
As we already chose the Astra theme, we can skip this step. Finally, our plugin is ready to use and we are ready to start an online store.
Then, choose the template for your online store. There are two methods to choose the template.
Here, I have taken an example of the “Plant Shop” Starter template. To add a starter template to the Astra, we first need to install the Astra starter templates plugin. The following steps will help you to install the Astra starter plugin.
- Go to Dashboard
- Go to Plugins and click on Add New
- Search for “Starter templates”
- Click on the Starter template plugin (Starter Templates- Elementor, WordPress & Beaver Builder Templates).
- Click on Install Now.
- After Installing click on Activate
Finally, your plugin is activated. To use starter templates, go to themes>Starter Templates. Then you will need to select a page builder. There are three options: Block Editor, Elementor, and Beaver Builder. You can select any one of these page builders.
I have selected Elementor page builder. Then you will get a search box to search your starter template. Here, I have searched “Plant Shop” as a starter template. Click on your template and you will get the option to add a Logo. You can either skip it for now or upload your logo.
Then you need to choose the colors and fonts for your site.
Finally, you need to provide a few more details and click Submit & Build My Website button.
Now, wait a while to finish the process. It might take a few minutes to build your website.
Finally, click on “visit your website button”. Your site is ready to use.
You can visit the official website of Astra for the second method and follow these given steps.
Finally, we have created our store successfully. Now, we need to set up our store. To do so, we need to add products, payment methods, tax information, etc.
5. Setting up your online store
After creating your store now, you need to ship the items to the customer. There are three methods to ship your products: flat rate, free shipping, and local pickup. You can choose any of these methods to ship your products.
For shipping details, follow the steps:
- Go to WooCommerce
- Click on Settings
- Click on Shipping
Step 1 and Step 2
Here you need to fill out the details for shipping your products.
Tax plays an important role in operating your business smoothly. Tax rates and laws may differ from place to place. You need to learn the tax rate of your place. To add the tax details, you can follow the steps below:
- Go to WooCommerce
- Go to Home
- Go to Add tax rates
Now, you get three options to add the tax rate.
Option 1: Choose a partner
Option 2: Add Manually
Option 3: No sales Tax
You can select any of these options. Finally, your tax section is also completed.
One of the main features of your online store is to accept payment online. You can easily set up the payment method in WooCommerce. There are only a few steps you need to follow:
- Go to WooCoomerce
- Go to Home
- Click on “Set up payments” option
There are three options available to set up the payment method. They are:
- Direct Bank Transfer
- Cash On Delivery
You can select any of these options. Finally, your payment section is also completed.
4. Adding products
It is an important step to run our store. You just need to follow the steps given below:
- Go to WooCommerce
- Go to Home
- Click on “Add products”
Here are four options you can select to add products. You can select any of these options to add products to your store.
5. Testing your store
Finally, you are ready to test your store. Now, surf through the various pages, try adding products to cart, checkout the product, etc. After you successfully test your store, you can finally launch the store publicly.
6. Promoting your Online Store
This is an optional step but this step plays an important role in growing your business online. After successfully creating your store, it’s time to promote your store online. Promotion plays a crucial role in reaching your store to customers. If you can promote your store online, you will increase the sales of your products. There are a few steps to do so. They are SEO, Content marketing, Email marketing, PPC advertising, and Social Media Marketing.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” which is the process of improving a website’s quality in order to boost its visibility when users search for goods or services associated with the business in search engines. Additionally, it increases the volume of search engine visitors to websites. You need to use good keywords and write attractive descriptions for your products. You need to focus on SEO too. It plays an important role in driving traffic to your store.
2. Content Marketing
The term content marketing is simple and clear. It is a technique to share articles, videos, and other media to draw the attention and engagement of the audience. It helps to build the brand and promote the business. If you write good articles about your store, make a good video, and promote the store on TikTok, Instagram, etc., you can get huge traffic. It will help you to grow easily.
3. Email Marketing
Email Marketing is an effective marketing technique where businesses advertise their goods, services, and offers by sending emails to large numbers of individuals. You need to collect the email of your customers in a file. Then send an email to all your customers promoting your online store and the products. This mass emailing technique helps you a lot to advertise your products. Additionally, you can include a link to a QR code in the email for easy access to your online store.
4. PPC Advertising
PPC Stands for Pay-per-click is an internet marketing strategy where advertisers are charged a fee each time when one of their ads is clicked. In essence, it’s a method of purchasing visitors to your website rather than making an effort to “win” those visitors naturally.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is a powerful marketing technique that uses social media such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. to promote the brand. First, you need to open a social media account and start posting about your products. You need to post stories about your store and engage with your customers by responding to their comments.
People might think starting an online store is a hectic job and time-consuming. They can be puzzled about what to do and how to begin.
As you are here we hope, we hope all your confusions are clear. With the right tools, knowledge, and effort, anyone can easily create a store that looks great, functions well, and generates sales.
Also, if you want to convert your online store to a mobile app, you can find many different WordPress plugins in the internet.
This post mainly focuses the beginners who don’t have any idea about how to begin. After reading this guide, anyone can easily start an online store within an hour.
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