Last Updated on October 2, 2021 by Obaro Alidou K.
Building an eCommerce store is one of the most profitable online businesses out there. If you are looking to start an online store and don’t know how, you are in the right place. In this in-depth tutorial I will show you how to create your own online store fast–step by step with zero technical knowledge.
What is an Online Store?
I could spend hours trying to use technical terms to define what an ecommerce store is. But let’s take it simple in plain English…
Whether you call it an online store, online shop, ecommerce shop, or ecommerce website, it all refers to the same thing: A virtual shop that lives on the internet.
So at the end of the day, an online store is a virtual representation of a shop.
Why Should You Launch An Online Store?
This is a good question right? If people can just go to a physical shop and buy items, then why put in the effort to launch a virtual store online? Even better, what are the benefits of running an ecommerce business?
First, the statistics tell a wonderful story. Ecommerce sales cover about 20% of retail sales worldwide in 2021. That is good news because it represents hundreds of millions in sales.
Secondly, nearly 50% of businesses in America don’t still have an online presence and the number is even higher for other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia despite the online sales boom. This means the competition is quite minor considering the fact that more and more buyers are becoming online shoppers.
Moreover, as the online shop is virtual and hosted on the internet, it is reachable worldwide. Everybody from every location in the world can access it and buy your products. Plus you don’t need to be physically present before selling. You just setup the store, put in the products, promote the store, and start making money on auto-pilot.
Furthermore, eCommerce retail is expected to reach over $50 trillion by 2023!
So an online store helps you expand worldwide without the need to travel and make more money even when you are on vacation, or when you sleep.
All these facts mean, now is an excellent time to break the barriers and start your ecommerce business with a beautiful, dynamic, and professionally built online store which I will walk you through the entire process step by step.
What Do You Need To Start An Online Store?
Today is the perfect time to start an ecommerce website.
Also, you might be thinking it is difficult or requires some tech skills to get started. But you know what? Anyone with computer and Internet access can get an online store up and running within minutes without typing a single line of code.
So what do you need to get started with building your own ecommerce business?
- Ecommerce Ideas: A good product to sell.
- Domain Name: This will be the name of your online store i.e amazon.com.
- Ecommerce platform: this is where your shop files, products, and images are stored to be available to buyers on the internet.
It is that simple.
Let’s get started.
How To Create An eCommerce Website Fast [For Beginners]? (Step-By-Step)
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#Step 1: Brainstorm Ecommerce Idea & Know Your Audience
Note: If you already have your products, or know exactly what you are going to sell, you can skip and go to #Step 2 directly.
Anyway, when you are running an ecommerce business, the most important things are “buyers” and “products”. You will spend most of your time into having the best products and drawing customers.
That is why before setting up an online shop, you first need to figure out what to sell and who is going to be the buyers. This is the biggest mistake most ecommerce beginners make. They don’t take the foremost step of thinking about who their targeted audience is, who they are going to sell their products to.
So before you jump on building an ecommerce website, you absolutely have to decide your niche (if you don’t have any product to sell). This is important because your niche impacts:
- How much effort you will put into drawing customers
- Whether or not you will have returning customers
- Your sales amount
You need to find a product that solves pain and find out if there is a good client base. The deeper you understand the pain of your niche, the better you adapt your strategies to make sales and the more profit you will make. So think first about the products you are going to sell and the audience availability.
Here are #10 strategies for choosing an ecommerce niche to help you out.
#Step 2: Pick A Profitable Pricing
The final purpose of an online store is to sell. Apart from the audience and market opportunity, the two other aspects involved in selling are: pricing and how you collect payments.
Let’s First Start With Pricing
Many people think if they sell cheap products, they will make a lot of sales. While this is true, it is not necessarily profitable.
Here is the thing: there is something called the Average Order Value (AOV). This is the actual value an individual sale brings to you. So when you sell really cheap items, you are likely to make more sales but, your AOV is small.
Likewise, when you sell pricey items, you are more likely to draw fewer sales but, your Average Order Value is higher.
So the cheaper your products, the more sales you make but with little to no value (benefits) and the pricier your products, the fewer sales you make but with higher value (benefits).
So what to do?!
Well; unless you are selling digital products that don’t require buying inventories, paying for warehousing and packaging, I recommend you to always do your best to price your products at $100 or more.
Yep, and here is why…
With digital products like e-books, images, audio files, videos, you don’t have pricing problem. The item is set only once and sold forever plus there is no inventory, warehousing, or packaging cost. In this case you can sell them at your convenience.
But with physical products that need to be shipped, the story is totally different.
Do you think you will be earning 100% of the money a sale brings to you? Wake up!
When we consider the warehousing, inventories, packaging, payment processing, and marketing costs, most online store owners make somewhere from a 20 to 30% profit margin. Sometimes, when you find a quality product with high demand and low competition, you may make up to 70% profit margin. But in most cases the ^profit is between 20 to 30%.
Plus whether you are adding a $20 or $120 product to your online store, the process is the same so you will put in the same effort and time. This means that selling only cheaper products will result in wasting your time and energy.
Don’t believe me? Let’s do the math…
Okay, let’s assume you are making 30% profit on the items you are selling.
If someone buys a $20 product, you will earn $6 where as if you sell a $120 product, you will make $36.
So with a $20 item, you need 17 sales to make $102 profit while with a $120 item, you just need 3 sales to earn $108 in profit.
Assuming you want your online store to make you $1,000 in a given month, this will require 170 sales with a $20 product, and just 30 sales with a $120 product.
All these having been said, you better price your items at $100 or above to get more bucks for your time and energy.
#Step 3: Thinking About Payment Methods
Note: if you live in a country where PayPal and Stripe work for receiving payments, you can skip this section and go to #Step 4 directly.
Here is another important piece of the puzzle which nobody seems to care about. I have seen many people who got stuck into collecting payment after they built their online store. Sound ridiculous?
Here’s the thing:
The most popular payment methods for online stores are PayPal and Stripe (for collecting credit card payments). They work very well but they also have some of the toughest location policies. If you live in the USA, Canada or Europe, this is fine. But for other continents like Africa and Asia, using PayPal or Stripe could be a nightmare.
In fact, except countries like India, Japan, and some other big names, if you live in Asia, or Africa, there is a high chance PayPal is not available in your location. Sure, you can still create a PayPal account but you can’t receive payments. Stripe is even worse: it just won’t be available to even create a simple account.
PayPal has larger coverage so if it is not available in your country; don’t waste your time with stripe: it won’t be available as well.
What To Do Now?!
Thankfully, there are many other payment gateways you can still use.
In fact, if you are from India for example, you can use Razorpay and Instamojo. They allow you to collect credit card payments on your ecommerce store easily. Entrepreneurs from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela can use Mercadopago to collect payment from their customers.
The biggest challenge comes from entrepreneurs from Africa. When you live in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa….it is challenging to get paid online. Thankfully, there is PayStack. You can use it to collect payments from your customers worldwide.
Users from Malaysia can use Toyyibpay, one of the fastest growing payment collectors in Malaysia. Stripe works fine in Malaysia as well. Best of all, Kidaaga.io integrates all those payment methods so you don’t need to worry about development costs. We will discuss this in the next step. So go and sign up to the payment gateway available in your country to get your payment credentials. It is totally free.
Nevertheless, you can simply offer Cash On Delivery payments to get rid of all those payment processors. This way you will get paid once the item is delivered to the customer. This is a good option to build trust if you are just selling in your local area.
#Step 4: Choosing The Right Ecommerce Platform
Before you start building your ecommerce website itself, you first need to decide on the ecommerce platform that will run it.
Ecommerce platform is an app or a piece of software that helps in the setting up of your online store. This is the tool that you use to:
- Install the store
- Add products
- Sell & collect payment
- Issue invoices
- Collect buyers & shipping information
- Automate the whole process
The eCommerce platform helps you manage and automate your online store, making you money while you sleep. It is the engine of your eCommerce business.
If you choose the wrong platform, your entire business will be messed up. This is another big mistake people make when starting an online store. So it is important to choose a platform that fits your business model, budget, and skill level.
As a beginner into the eCommerce business, I assume that you don’t have any technical knowledge and don’t want to invest huge amount of money $$$$$$$. Moreover, as an entrepreneur, your time is precious. You need an ecommerce platform that will not eat up all your time, allowing you to focus on getting sales and growing your business.
This having been said, you need a platform that is:
- Easy to set up and use
- Easy to understand
- Cheap and has zero maintenance cost
There are two types of ecommerce platforms: self-hosted and managed platforms. Let’s dive into each to find the one that fits you.
Self-Hosted Ecommerce Solutions
Managed eCommerce Platforms
This is the opposite of self-hosted option.
As the name suggests, they are fully managed by skilled teams that work 24h/7 to make sure the platform runs fine. They allow you to create your online store without worrying about server management, security, updates, and all the technical stuff. It is the easiest and fastest way to build an ecommerce business. This is the best option if you are just starting and don’t have any technical knowledge. It provides the tools and features to start selling without any hassles. They also provide tech support in case you need help. It’s like having your own team of developers ready to serve you. The most popular options here are Kidaaga.io, Shopify, and Wix.
Using a managed ecommerce platform is the option I recommend to beginners. It saves you a lot of time to focus on building your business. I will show you how to get your store up and running in less than 15 minutes using Kidaaga.io.
Well; there are many ecommerce platforms out there with each having its advantages and drawbacks. I recommend Kidaaga.io for beginners. This is the one I will be using in this tutorial and I will discuss why just below.
Why Use Kidaaga.io For Your Ecommerce Store?
Kidaaga.io is an ecommerce solution that has been developed with simplicity in mind. Its developers did not add any blot features that you would never need. It is the easiest to use and comes with some key features that even the biggest companies don’t offer. For example, Kidaaga.io provides mobile, tablet, and desktop apps for your online store. The cool thing is that it is PWA meaning your customers don’t need to go to the store before installing your shop’s app. They get it right into their browser. Another cool feature is WhatsApp sales notification. This allows you to get notified by the customer via WhatsApp if they need more details about a product (you can disable the feature if you don’t want it). The top reason I like Kidaaga.io is the checkout experience. It provides higher conversion rate than other ecommerce solutions because it is a single page checkout.
Here are a few reasons why I do prefer Kidaaga.io for building online shops:
- Best checkout experience
- Cheaper plans ($15)
- Free for 30 days
- The easiest to use
- Clean seller dashboard
- Zero blot features
- Global payment methods
- No technical skills needed
- No need to hire a designer
- Start selling instantly
- Responsive themes
- Mobile application (Android & iOS)
- Tablet app
- Desktop app (Windows, Mac…)
- No sales cap
- No processing fee
- No transaction fee
- Customer panel
- WhatsApp Order Notification
- Express checkout URL for direct order
- Google Tag Manager
- Facebook Pixel
- Free automatic SSL for your store
- And more……
Let’s now go and set up your online shop….
#Step 5: Setting Up Your Ecommerce Store With Kidaaga.io
To get your shop live on the internet, you need two things: a domain name and an eCommerce platform as discussed from the beginning of this tutorial.
A domain name is your ecommerce website’s address on the internet. This is what people type in their browsers to land on your website. For example, amazon.com, ebay.com, giantblogger.com.
First, let’s get your free online store and then get a domain name to connect to the store…
In this example I will be creating a shop called NayaFashion
#1. Create Your Free Online Store On Kidaaga.io
Go to Kidaaga.io and click on the Start For Free button to start your free registration.
Next, enter the required details and click the Register button to create your free kidaaga.io store
Name: Your Name
Email: your real email address
Password: a password for your online store
Your subdomain: your shop name without .com, .net or whatever extension. Just put in your shop name.
After registration, your ecommerce website is live at: yourshopname.kidaaga.shop and you can login directly to your store at: yourshopname.kidaaga.shop/login.
You can also go to kidaaga.io and click on “Login” in the menu, then enter your email and password and you will be redirected to your own store login page.
For example, my store is at nayafashion.kidaaga.shop. After i added some products, set my currency, and selected a pink color, here is what my free store looks like.
You can even start selling with the free plan.
It is that simple to get your free ecommerce website up and running.
I recommend you go to the settings to set up your currency, store name, theme, color…etc. Add some products, set up payment methods, make some sales for testing, play with the platform to feel how it works and when you are ready to go pro, then you can upgrade to a paid plan and connect your own domain name which I will show you in the next section.
#2. Get Your Domain Name
Your store is up, you have proceeded to some settings and now you want your own brand instead of the free subdomain provided by kidaaga.io. The first thing to do is to get your domain name from a domain registrar.
A domain registrar is a company that sells domain names. Your custom domain name will cost you around $10 per year. I use NameCheap for most of my domains but you can use whichever domain registrar you want it doesn’t matter. However, I will be using NameCheap in this example. They offer the best prices and the support is excellent when you need help.
To get your domain name, just go to NameCheap and type your domain name in the search bar.
Add your domain name to the cart and proceed to checkout to make the payment.
Note: Only buy the domain name and not the web hosting. You don’t need web hosting as kidaaga.io already provides you with ecommerce hosting. So do not include any additional product; just buy only the domain name from NameCheap.
After purchasing your domain name, you need it to show your ecommerce store. For this reason, we have to point it to kidaaga.io server. Don’t worry just follow the easy steps below.
Login to your NameCheap account, locate your domain name, and click on Manage.
Now click on Advanced DNS.
By default, Namecheap sets a redirect of your domain name. Delete it because you don’t need the domain to show blank content.
Now is the time to add “A” DNS record so that your domain name points to kidaaga.io IP address.
Click “ADD NEW RECORD” and select “A Record”
Now enter “@” as Host and “220.127.116.11” as value.
Type: A Record
Value: 18.104.22.168 (this kidaaga.io IP address)
TTL: TTL stands for Time To Live. It refers to the time it takes for your domain name to point to a new server. Namecheap sets it up on Automatic by default. Leave it as it is. If you are using another domain registrar, you may need to choose the shortest TTL (1, 5, or 15 minutes).
Now just wait a few minutes and your domain will be pointing to your kidaaga.io store.
#3. Connect Your Domain Name To Your Kidaaga.io Online Store
You just pointed your domain to kidaaga.io server. Now you need to connect the domain to your store so that it shows your products.
To connect your domain name to your kidaaga.io store, you first need to login to your seller dashboard.
Then, go to Settings >> Domain settings
Click on the green + button next to “Requested domain”.
Next, enter your domain name and click on Connect.
Note: Leave the CNAME Record section as is. You don’t need it.
You should receive a successful message confirming the connection. If not, just wait for a few minutes and try again. DNS propagation might take a bit longer sometimes.
Your online store is now up and running under your own domain name!
#Step 6: Add Products To Your eCommerce Store and Start Selling
In this section I’m going to show you how to properly add products to your kidaaga.io store.
Before you start adding products, I recommend you to first create your product categories, add brands and product variations (if any), your shipping locations, and costs.
Adding products to your online shop is easier than you might think. Just go to Products >> All Products from your seller dashboard and click on Add New.
Into the next page, add the product details and click Save.
On the next page, give the product name and provide its short and full description, select the category and brand, toggle the publish button, and click on Save Changes.
Now you can play with the product menu on your left to add images, product variations, product options, manage inventory….etc. If you are selling a digital product, you can add the download link in the files section.
It is that simple.
The last thing you need to do now before you start selling is to set up payment methods to collect sales payments from your customers.
Go ahead and click on Settings >> Payment Options, install the payment gateways you want and use your credentials to activate them as discussed in #step 3.
You just started your first eCommerce website and added products for sale.
What Is Next?
After setting up your eCommerce website, adding products, and payment methods, you can now focus on the most important which is marketing. So go ahead and start promoting your products on social media, using ads and influencer marketing to start making sales and growing your business.
The internet is the biggest human community. Not taking advantage of this opportunity is a huge waste. If you are not selling online, you are missing the biggest market opportunity that ever existed.
Selling online today is by far the best way to expand your business and reach more customers. While there are many ecommerce platforms to launch your online store, using managed ecommerce platforms is the best option for beginners and non-technical people and I have found Kidaaga.io to be a smart ecommerce solution to start your online store when you are a new entrepreneur into the eCommerce ecosystem, have no tech skills, and want to save on time and money.
If you want a straightforward path to sell your physical or digital products without any further hassle, Kidaaga.io is the right option. You can sell any type of product and expand easily as you grow. The platform provides mobile, tablet, and desktop apps to your customers and yourself so save you a lot of money in terms of development cost.
What do you think about starting an eCommerce website? What is your pain? Share your experience in the comment section below.
Have a wonderful day!