How to Set Up Online Shop with WordPress?
No idea how to set up an online shop? Do you know that WordPress is not only for blogger, e-commerce business owner can use it too? It is getting easier to set up an online shop nowadays, but more and more people are failing to sustain their online shop. Online shop is easy to set up but not easy to make a profit. As for now, let's learn how to set up an online shop with WordPress first.
Step 1: What You Want to Sell?
BE SPECIFIC! Be specific means increasing your chances of showing up for the first few search results on Google or Yahoo. And, being first counts for lots of sales. Don't try to sell everything, unless you are planning to compete with Amazon.com, otherwise it would not be a good idea to sell everything. Online, people search for what they’re looking for using search engine conveniently. Offline, people go to shopping malls for the convenience of having multiple shops within walking distance so they don’t have to drive around looking for stuff. Getting specific also weeds out unnecessary competition, which improves your store’s image and product line. Relevance and quality allow you to focus on what’s important for the right buyer.
Step 2: What is Your Domain Name?
You need to decide a domain name before you can set up a website. Choosing a domain name is tough because there are many choices and you might make many mistakes. Here’s a quick guide for picking domain names:
(Let’s assume you’re going to sell lingerie.)
Use lingerie, cheap lingerie, sexy lingerie or something relevant/obvious within the domain name. It’ll take you a while to find a good domain name that isn’t taken, but keep at it. No dashes. lingerie-store.com? Forget it. Don’t use cute misspellings like “lingeri”. Buy a .com name. Don’t settle for a .net, .org, or whatever else is available. The .com suffix is most common so buy a .com. Otherwise, you might end up really successful with a .net, but still have to pony up a ransom for the .com version because the owner of the .com name sees how successful you’ve been with business under the .net name Last but not least, double check to see that your available domain name isn’t misspelled before you register it.
Step 3: Sign Up for Hosting
Your online shop needs basic features for it to function and offer up products until it’s profitable. Basic package usually comes with 100 GB of space, 150 GB of bandwidth, unlimited email accounts capability, MySQL database capability, and CPanel (your web hosting control panel).
Windows or Linux hosting account?
The type of hosting you need depends on what kind of development language or database you might use with your website. Your home operating system will not affect which hosting account you choose.
If you're going to use ASP or ASP.NET, choose Windows Hosting account. If you plan on using a Web application to blog, podcast, or create a shopping cart, check to see what language the developers used to create the application. ASP.NET application typically require some programming on your computer before you can use the application online.
If you're going to use PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, or CGI scripting, choose Linux Hosting account. If you plan on using a Web application to blog, podcast, or create a shopping cart, check to see what language the developers used to create the application.
Step 4: Install WordPress
You can install WordPress With CPanel (your web hosting control panel) easily, Here are several tutorials on how to install WordPress:
One-Click Self-Installation – This is a video example of installing WordPress through the Simple Scripts program in CPanel.
Installing WordPress by WordPress.org’s Codex – This is the installation instructions on the WordPress.org website. If you’re going this route, download WordPress first. And if you need it, here’s a tutorial on how to use FTP to upload files to your web host’s server.
Step 5: Install An E-Commerce WordPress Theme
Search for your favorite theme and install it, then simply activate the theme and this theme auto populates sample products, categories and does the basic settings (you can remove them with single click). It’s much easier now to understand how the theme works and all you need to do is, edit the sample products and place your own. You do not need technical knowledge at all.
Step 6: Upload Products and Details
Shopping online and offline are certainly two different experiences. With online, you’ll need to get the customer as close to the product as possible, whereas, offline, you get to see and feel the real thing. Therefore, you need to show multiple shots of the product from different angles or zoom-in capability, provide product specs if technical information will affect customer’s decision and including actual feedback and/or reviews and ratings if your product requires a little help from testimonials.
Step 7: Promoting Your Store by Adding a Blog
There’s no rule barring you from adding a blog to your online shop. Actually, you SHOULD add a blog to your online shop. It’s a way to chat with customers, promote, and get feedback.
First of all, getting specific with what you’ll sell is already like picking a niche for a blog. With niche-blogging, you pick a small to moderate size topic/niche and you stick to it so when someone searches for say… diving, you’d show up as one of the first few results for diving on Google or Yahoo.
If your blog fall off track because your writing interest changed to driving then your chance of ranking highly on search results for diving will be less than that of a competitor’s blog that is completely dedicated to diving.
Once you’ve added a blog to your online shop, it might look lonely and dead with few posts here and there about what’s going on with the online shop because that’s probably what you’ll write about in the beginning during your adjustment phase. But soon, you’ll realize your blog is a pretty persuasive communication channel. Customers get to see and hear from you. They’d come back just for the blog even if they aren’t looking to buy new products, if you have good content and are passionate about the topic.
From the blog following you’ve developed, you can start a newsletter for blog readers who want more content or special content and announcements from you. With the newsletter, now you have permission to actually tell customers about new products that are coming. For regular blogging, keeping the reader’s trust while trying to plug your products for sales is a delicate balance. With the newsletter, even if you don’t have enough content for a high quality blog post, you can simply send out a newsletter with a few tips and a plug for a new product. But of course, the blog and newsletter will only work if it doesn’t seem like all you’re doing is pushing your readers to buy more stuff from you.
Besides newsletters, you can look into linkbaits and leveraging social media. A linkbait is simply an article or blog posting that other blogs of the same topic wants to link to. For example, you’ve managed to interview the top 10 divers in the world through email for sharing on the blog, which is attached to your diving equipments online shop. The more blogs link to your interview article, the more people come to your blog to read it. The people who came to your blog for the original interview that keep coming back for more from you will eventually buy from your online shop because they are familiar with you.
For those with a little money spend, depending on the topic of your online shop and blog, you can create blog posts tailored specifically for social media sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, or Facebook. Take StumbleUpon for example, it’s advertisement program allows you to test advertisement campaigns for as little as $5.