Build an Online Store

Nowadays it has become absolutely essential to build an online store to run a successful business. Physical stores just do not suffice anymore. This has to do with multiple reasons like the mere ease of visiting an online store or other factors like restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But, whatever the reason, you must build your online store to thrive in the field of your business - whatever that field may be.

However, it is not enough to simply just build an online store. When building online stores, you need to be wary of the user interface and the customer service options. Only then will you be able to sell online through an online store. This means you have to have a thorough knowledge of how to set up an online store from the very early stages of setting up your business. When you build an online store you will simultaneously ensure your business has a successful long-term run.

All that being said, you will be pleased to know that today we will be dedicating this article to letting you know how easy it is to build an online store today. We will also tell you what should be included on your site when you build an online store to ensure its success.

How to Set Up an Online Store?

In retrospect, there are infinite different ways to go about building online stores. However, nowadays, the two most efficient ways to build an online store are through Wix or with the help of WordPress. You need not have any previous programming or coding experience to use these platforms to build an online store because the method is pretty straightforward.

Strikingly Simple Store product manager

Image taken from Strikingly

1. Wix

Wix is a website building platform, and it is so popular because of the sheer ease of use it provides its users. Wix has predetermined templates programmed into its site for people to choose from. Some of these templates already have an online store option for you to build an online store on your website. Others can be turned into an online store with some simple tweaking.

To sell online through your Wix store, you will have to update to the premium plan. Still, the good thing is that you can build an online store without signing up for the premium plan, Then you can decide whether you want to use that site or not according to the results of your work with Wix’s assistance.

2. WordPress

WordPress compares to Wix in the simplicity to anyone looking to build an online store. However, it goes about the entire process differently than Wix does. On WordPress, you have to manually enter some basic codes to build a website - and to build an online store, you have to do the same! It is a little more work than Wix, but the results are exemplary, and the platform is free!

WordPress also gives you the option to insert the plugins of your choice to add your personal touches to your online store. And contrary to popular belief, it is not time-consuming to build an online store through WordPress. If you have the basics of using a computer down, you will get the hang of it in no time. Then it will take merely an hour or two to come up with an online store using WordPress.

3. Strikingly

Strikingly landing page

Image taken from Strikingly

Strikingly is a growing platform for website development that comes with feature updates every few weeks. It provides a smooth website building experience to its users through its drag and drop interface and 24/7 customer support.

With tons of ready-to-use website templates, Strikingly saves the time and cost of our users that they otherwise have to spend on building a web design from scratch. We offer several payment gateways to select from to make your customers’ transactions seamless. The responsiveness of our checkout page layouts enables people to make purchases from your online store conveniently from their mobile phones.

Product pages are easy to create in the Strikingly editor. You are given a built-in template to add your products. By simply keying in your product description, setting up the price, and uploading product photos, you can create appealing product pages in the simple store section of your Strikingly website.

products section in the Strikingly editor

Image taken from Strikingly

It is a fun experience to build an online store on Strikingly and sell products online with ease and effectiveness.

8 Essential Components an Online Store Must-Have

Below, you will find listed and explained components that you must add to your site when you build an online store.

1. Company/Brand Logo

One thing you do not want happening is for people to be confused about the owner of the store they are currently viewing. That is why when building online stores, the very first thing you need to place on your site is a clear logo of your brand. If already known, it will bring in loyal customers, and if not already known, this will help people familiarize themselves with it.

Matching your store’s color theme with the color tones of your logo helps in giving a neat and consistent look to your website. If you build your store on Strikingly, you can customize the color palette of your chosen template from your site editor.

2. Special Deals and Offers

In the path to build an online store, the importance of this component is often underestimated. Also because it needs to be placed on the site's main page in a clear and ‘in your face’ kind of manner for it to be fully effective. Some deals and offers you may include are as follows.

  • Second level price discrimination based on customer occupation
  • Discounts for national holidays
  • Brand anniversary offers
  • Free shipping options or offers

A gift offer announced on a website selling glasses

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

3. Signing Up Option

This is important because it helps create an emailing list and retain at least some of the portion of customers you acquire. The signing up option should be in some corner and not in the viewer’s face. However, it should still be prominent and not difficult to look for.

If you build an online store on Strikingly, you can add a subscription form to your site as a ready-made form template. When your site visitors submit the form, their email addresses will automatically be saved in your website’s audience list. You can then send out newsletters to this audience using our newsletter feature.

a sample newsletter on the phone screen created by a Strikingly user

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

4. Payment Methods

This is essential to avoid confusion and frustration for the customers who visit your store. They are often in a region where the accepted payment method does not work, or for whatever reason, you cannot accept payment through the channel the customer is willing to pay. They should be made aware of what you receive from the second they view your site, not when they are ready to check out and make a purchase.

If you build an online store on Strikingly, you can use Paypal, Stripe, or Square to collect payments from your customers.

5. Customer Service Options

The customer should feel like they are in an actual physical store when they visit your website. They need to feel like they can ask any questions or clear any queries instantly for this to happen. That is why it should be clearly indicated on every web page of your site how they can reach you if they wish to.

The best way to provide customer support when you build an online store is through a live chat feature. Strikingly offers a live chat feature to all our paid users. This way, your visitors and audience can instantly stay in touch with you and get responses to their queries.

live chat feature on a website built on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

6. Top-rated Products

When online shopping, any sensible person looks for reviews and opinions of customers who have previously purchased the same product. To speed up the process of building this trust with your potential customers that your products serve their purpose, placement of top-rated products on the top of the site is essential. This is important to keep in mind when you build an online store.

Strikingly gives you the option to showcase your top products on your site’s homepage. This helps you highlight your best offers to attract more visitors to your site.

a toy kitchen photo in the product showcase section in the Strikingly editor

Image taken from Strikingly

7. Social Media

If someone makes a purchase from your site, the way to increase word of mouth awareness for your brand is to make sure they go ahead and follow you on social media. When their followers come to notice this, chances are they will inquire about your brand and end up visiting your site as well.

Strikingly allows you to insert your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter feed into your online store. This means when you build an online store on Strikingly, you can allow your site visitors to get a glimpse of your social media content without leaving your store or domain.

Twitter feed of a public speaker

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

8. Sense of Security

Without a sense of security, customers are likely to leave the site without making a purchase even if they had planned to make one initially. They need to be assured that their personal information is safe as they enter it on your site. This can be done by adding trust marks in payments.

Concluding Remarks

Now that you know how to build an online store, you can create one to sell products online through Strikingly today. Sign up for your free account with us and get started. In just a few hours, your store will be up and running without any hassle of writing code or understanding programming methods.