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What You Need to Know to Start an Ecommerce Site that Works So you’ve got a fantastic product. Everyone raves about it and asks where they can get one of their own. You’re excited, you’re motivated, and you’re ready to get your product into the hands of as many customers as you can. But then you begin to realize that, while you’re awesome at creating your wares, you don’t know the first thing about actually selling your products online.

Worry no more, we’ve got you covered. Read on for a sure-fire list of the necessities and relevant resources to get your eCommerce site up and running — all done by you.

1. Secure a domain name

First things first, you’ll want a domain name. Seems basic, but owning a domain that clearly communicates what your business is about is important. Feeling a bit lost about how to pick the perfect domain for your business? Check out this guide for 10 tips on choosing an awesome domain. GoDaddy offers eCommerce-specific domains as well, like .shop and .store domains, which can be extremely beneficial to your new online store.

2. Pick a dedicated eCommerce platform

Now that you have your domain, it’s time to choose an online store platform. Why should you set up a dedicated online store? There are a few major reasons:

  1. Having your own eCommerce site gives you control over your content and branding.
  2. You don’t sacrifice a portion of each sale to the transaction fees charged by eCommerce marketplaces such as Etsy and Amazon.
  3. You have access to customer information so you can follow-up post-purchase.
  4. You can build a subscriber list and target those subscribers with special promotions and discounts.

If site building isn’t something that you’ve done before, don’t sweat it. There are a number of easy-to-use eCommerce website builders on the market, including GoDaddy’s new GoCentral Online Store. This platform is mobile-friendly and comes with a bevy of tools to help you get your site found and connect you with your customers.

If you’re looking for more customization potential and have a little bit of tech know-how, consider setting up a WordPress website with the WooCommerce plugin.

WooCommerce offers dynamic product pages, a shopping cart, checkout page, account pages and payment integration. Hundreds of available extensions extend its capabilities to inventory management, payment gateways, point-of-sale systems, shipping, subscriptions, reporting and more. Read this post to learn how to start selling on WordPress with WooCommerce.

3. Look at Marketplace Sites

In addition to setting up your own online store, it might be in your best interests to feature some of your merchandise on one or more of the marketplace sites where your target customers spend their time. Why?

  1. They get lots and lots of traffic, giving you access to millions of potential customers. Keep in mind, though, that there might be thousands of other sellers competing for those same buyers.
  2. Trust. Most well-known marketplaces have established a solid reputation so consumers are comfortable buying from them.
  3. Ease of use. The infrastructure is all set up for the seller, and the marketplace handles the checkout process. Again, they will take a portion of each sale for this convenience.

In general, it’s a good strategy to tease key products on marketplace sites, with links back to your dedicated online store for in-depth product information and a larger selection of merchandise.

4. Get eyes on your eCommerce site

Once you get your eCommerce website set up, you’ll need to drive customers to your store. GoCentral has SEO tools built in, but simply relying on search engines to drive traffic to your site isn’t the best way to go. There are quite a few great ways to promote your site, which we’ve outlined here. If you want some more in-depth ideas on promoting via social media, we’ve covered that for you as well.

Happy selling!