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If you're working on setting up an online store, you might find that it's more work than you expected. Stocking products, setting up shipping, and taking payments is a lot to manage for a first time shopkeeper!
You need the help of a platform like Ecwid to setup your e-commerce store online. It brings together shipping providers, payment processors, and more inside of one tool that's easy to configure.
With the help of Ecwid, you can setup e-commerce stores online with less time than ever before. In this article, you'll learn how to set up an online store using Ecwid, a powerful and flexible e-commerce app.
What to Look For When You Set Up Your E-Commerce Site
E-commerce is here to stay. According to Digital Commerce 360, online sales grew in 2020 by 44% over the prior year. The data is clear: you need to setup your e-commerce store online to take advantage of this growth.
So if you're ready to launch your online shop, you might be asking yourself: how do I set up an online store? What should I look for when choosing a tool?
You might know that there are multiple options for setting up an online store. While there's no "one size fits all" for e-commerce, look for these features in your e-commerce shop platform:
- Ease-of-use - you're a busy business owner, and your time is limited. Instead of spending time writing code and building a site from scratch, you need a tool that handles the heavy lifting and makes it easy to launch.
- Customization - your shop should feel like a totally custom experience. Make sure that your platform has the design customization tools you need to style the theme of your site to fit your brand.
- Room to grow - there's nothing worse than having to switch platforms as you outgrow an app. While it's tempting to choose the simplest e-commerce app, you don't want to outgrow it and go through a painful switch later on. Try to anticipate your future needs based on your business plan and choose an app that has features to grow into.
In this tutorial, we're going to on focus how to set up an online store with Ecwid, a powerful and easy-to-use-tool. You'll see that it checks all of these boxes, and so much more.
How to Setup an Online Store With Ecwid
In the course of this short tutorial, you're going to see how easy it is to use Ecwid to setup an online shop. Ecwid offers an Instant Site feature as the fastest way to launch your own shop. Let's walk through how to do just that in only six steps.
1. Sign Up For Ecwid
The first step in setting up an online store is to sign up with a platform that helps you roll one out. Remember, it's best to avoid cobbling together multiple tools and instead lean on all-in-one e-commerce setup like Ecwid.
Ecwid is our top choice for setting up an online store because it's free. After all, you've got plenty of other expenses in your business. This isn't a free trial - it's a full blown free plan for setting up an online store. When you're learning how to set up an online store, free is a major advantage.
Ecwid offers other tiers with more features, but the free plan is more than enough to set up e-commerce sites. Jump over to Ecwid's site to get started for free. Enter just a few basic contact details and you're on your way to setting up an online store.
2. Add Your Products
After you create an Ecwid account, you're taken to the Ecwid control panel. Think of this view as your cockpit for setting up an online store with all of the tools you need in one convenient place.
The control panel shows a quick-start guide that's helpful for first time users. The next step is an important one: add your products! Let's add a sample product.
Open the Catalog > Products menu from the Control Panel. This option lives on the left side. You'll see many sample products on your new shop, which is a great way to check out Ecwid's features. Let's click Add New Product to set up one of our own.
Ecwid features an easy editor that's as simple as point, click, and type. Let's look at how to complete these so that we have everything we need to make a sale.
First thing's first, let's populate the key fields:
- Images - customers are more visually-focused than ever. It helps to have as many images as it takes to show them the look, feel, and style of the product. Use each of the placeholders for a different vantage point on the image.
- Name and Description - make sure to label your product in a search-friendly way, and include a description that helps the shopper understand the product's purpose.
- SKU - this is a unique identifier for the product you're selling. This is a useful field that you can use internally while running your shop to keep track of the product. Try to follow a common naming structure.
- Pricing - don't miss out on setting the price for your products, of course.
You'll notice on the product editor that Ecwid has plenty more tools to create a totally customized listing. Try out the SEO and Related Products menus to help your shop grow.
That's it! You've set up your first product. Repeat this process until your catalog is fully populated with the products your customers are clamoring for.
You might also notice the Tax and Shipping field. Later on, we'll set up store-wide options for shipping methods and rates. On the product page, use this field if there are highly specific details, like custom shipping rates for large items.
3. Set Your Regional Settings (Localization)
There are important details to check when you're preparing to launch your e-commerce site to make sure that your shoppers feel at home. Localization settings ensure that you show the proper currency, language and time settings.
On the Ecwid dashboard, go to the Settings > General tab. First, double check that all of your contact and technical details are set correctly, such as your email address and name.
Then, switch to the Regional Settings tab. Check out the screenshot below, and make sure that you've set these localization options.
Here are the settings to ensure you've set:
- Currency - Set this option to the currency that you had in mind while inputting your product prices. (Note: your payment processor might be able to accept payments from other currencies, so this is simply the display option and doesn't necessarily exclude payments from outside your area.)
- Date & Time - Setting the proper date and time can help to avoid confusion later about shipping dates and product lead time.
- Weight & size - Units vary by country, so set these to the way that the majority of your customer base will expect to see them.
These are simple settings, but they go a long way to making a user feel at home.
4. Set Your Shipping Options
Let's tackle another step in setting up an online store: connecting your shipping options. You don't have to do it all yourself, and Ecwid makes it really easy to plug into the most common shipping options.
On the Control Panel, click on the Shipping & Pickup options to enable your shipping options. Click on Add Shipping to set up your first option.
As you may know, there are multiple shipping carriers. Ecwid supports many of them, and it's up to you to decide which ones to include. For our example, I'm going to walk through Set Up UPS.
After clicking on Set Up UPS, there's another important option: choosing your shipping rates. Again, these options are ultimately up to you to decide on. Some shops opt for Free Shipping to complete with major brands like Amazon. Others keep it simple with Flat Rate.
For our example, let's lean on UPS to help us price shipping for each item by clicking on Set Up UPS.
Now, you'll see a list of shipping methods that UPS offers. You can toggle them off and on based on preference. Because we chose the Set Up UPS option, this will tap into UPS' systems to calculate and offer proper pricing.
Now, you're ready to start shipping. You'll automatically receive the details and any shipping fees you'll charge and see them when new orders come in. Then, it's up to you to dispatch the package.
5. Set Your Payment Options
Payments are the lifeblood of running your e-commerce shop. After all, keeping your bills paid helps you to grow your store and continue to serve customers. Find the payments option on the control panel in the Payment menu.
Much like shipping, multiple companies exist to help you handle payments. They handle all of the compliance and complexity of receiving payments to make it easy to run your shop.
On this step, you'll need to lean on Ecwid's instructions to connect your payment platform. This step requires an account with a payment provider and each one varies, so choose your option and follow the on-screen directions.
6. Choose a Design
We've got most of the essentials set for our e-commerce shop, and now we can turn our attention to the fun part: designing our e-commerce store. Your brand should be represented in everything you show a visitor, so this is an important step.
In the control panel, find the Website > Design menu. Click on Site Appearance to start customizing your shop's look and feel.
One of the best parts of Ecwid is the built-in theme gallery. These are one-click options that do most of the work for you when it comes to theming your site while setting up an online store.
Click on Themes on the editor, and you'll see the pre-built designs that Ecwid offers. Click on a theme of your choice to transform the site with just one click. The entire site will change.
Now, you can dial in the specifics of your design. On the right side, simply click on the section you want to customize under Site sections to precisely control each part of your design. Jump between key options like Customer Testimonials and About to add those key details that set your site apart.
That's it! You can click on the menu in the upper left corner and choose View Website to jump to your newly launched e-commerce shop. You've launched a site in a single session, all thanks to Ecwid.
Set Up E-Commerce Sites With Ecwid Today
When you know that you need an e-commerce store (and who doesn't in 2021?) you're in search of options. You saw how to set up an online store with one of the easiest-to-use tools. But remember, Ecwid is also powerful enough that you have everything you need to grow your online shop long term.
Ecwid's free plan gives you room to test and grow your shop before you opt for a paid plan. Check out Ecwid and setup your first e-commerce shop today, risk free!
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