How to Build a Website for E-Commerce? – The Ultimate Guide

The e-commerce world is growing rapidly, with the UK Online Store Market worth £25.9billion alone in 2021.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to set up your own e-commerce store or a digital marketer who wants to develop an e-commerce website from scratch, you’ll want to get on top of the most up-to-date industry information to make the right decisions for your business.

What is e-commerce?

Simply put, e-commerce is selling products or services electronically, either directly to the consumer or to retailers who then pass it on to the customer. 

Before the advent of e-commerce, retailing a product meant physically going to that store, paying for what you want and bringing it home. 

With e-commerce, the world of retailing digital or virtual items has become much more convenient for buyers (and for the retailers, too).

Why should you start an e-commerce business?

There are many reasons why you might want to start an online store, whether you want to sell your own products or those of others. 

The most common reason for starting an online store is to make money. 

If you can convince people to buy your products (or services) online, you’ll be able to build a profitable business, whether you decide to sell one product or a whole store full of items.

Starting a business is difficult. 

There are so many different aspects to consider, from corporate governance to marketing and sales to funding 

To help you get started, we’ve put together an ultimate guide to online store and e-commerce setup, which includes everything from how to choose a business name to how to design your website.

The Basics Of Digital Marketing For E-Commerce

If you’re passionate about marketing and digital marketing, you might want to consider a career in e-commerce. 

Like any other industry, the fundamentals of digital marketing for e-commerce change constantly.

With that in mind, here’s a basic rundown of the essential marketing info you need to know.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Every business is different, but most businesses will want to know how they’re doing at a fundamental level. 

For e-commerce businesses, this means knowing what’s working and what isn’t. 

For marketing to work effectively, you’ll need to measure the results of your efforts. 

When you set up your Google Analytics account, you’ll be able to track the activities of site visitors and customers on your website, including 

  • Where they came from (i.e. website, social media, email campaign)
  • Which pages they visited (i.e. landing page, product pages)
  • What actions they took (i.e. adding product to cart, requesting a quote, subscribing to a newsletter)
  • How many times they visited the site
  • How long they stayed on each page
  • Any purchasing patterns (e.g. what products they purchased)
  • Why they left (i.e. no interest, too expensive, poor service)
  • And so much more

With these figures at your fingertips, you’ll be able to identify any trends and form valuable business insights. 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

You don’t need a website to do business online but it definitely helps. 

A lot of businesses don’t realise the importance of SEO until they’ve been doing it for a while. 

When you have a web product to sell, you’ll want to ensure that people can find your website when they’re searching for related products.

There are several steps you can take to improve your page’s SEO, starting with creating unique content for each page.

If you decide that you’d like to be found online, you can use the White Label SEO Starter Kit to get started with SEO on your Shopify store. 

This kit includes all of the tools you need to get started with SEO, including a Google My Business account, a blog and a domain name. 

Creating high-quality content and getting it online as quickly as possible will boost your SEO and put you in a better position to be found online.

Email Marketing

You might already have an email list of customers who’ve purchased various products from you or your competitors. 

If you do, then you can use this list to send out periodic emails promoting your products. 

What’s more, you can use email marketing to send out a mass email to all of your customers with exciting news, such as a sale on a specific product, new products or a special offer. 

Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. 

You’ll want to pick your time carefully when sending out these emails as they can lose their appeal if sent too frequently.

It’s also a good idea to personalise the emails you send out. 

Instead of using a robotic email marketing service, you can use tools such as HubSpot to create automated emails that are personalised based on what you know about your customers.

You can use this information to send out a personalized email when a customer signs up for your mailing list, when they place an order or when there’s a special offer. 

Social Media Marketing

If you have a social media account, you can use it to disseminate marketing material such as press releases, event announcements, product announcements and more.

You can also use social media to ask for feedback on your products, gain support from existing customers and engage with potential new customers. 

The important thing to keep in mind about social media is that everyone has a different audience so you should always consider what’s appropriate for your target audience.

Starting a business is hard. 

You’ll need to consider many factors, from marketing and sales to corporate governance and so much more.

However, having a website and some social media accounts can make a big difference. 

By regularly posting engaging content, using organic search to find relevant topics and being there when people need your help, you can build a successful e-commerce business.