How to Start an Online Store in Less than 1 Hour

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Have you ever thought about what it would take to start an online store?  You’re in luck because it’s not as difficult as you might think.

I always recommend starting with a plan first before going straight into the  website building process and in this article, you’ll learn how to create your own ecommerce website in under 1 hour.

What You’ll Need to Build an Online Store

Domain and Hosting

To start your store, you’ll need a domain name and hosting. Domain is the name of your website, while hosting will provide space on the internet for your store. You can find both of these items relatively cheaply by searching online.  Siteground is a good choice to start with as their pricing is economical.

WordPress and WordPress theme

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that enables you to create a website or blog from scratch.  It’s free and easy to use, and there are millions of websites using WordPress.  At the time of writing, it’s estimated that WordPress powers over 40% of the websites in the world.

One reason WordPress is so popular is that it’s very versatile. You can use it to create a simple website, or you can build a more complex site with features such as e-commerce. Plus, WordPress is secure and easy to maintain – so your site will look and work the same across multiple devices and platforms.

In addition to WordPress as the foundation, you need a theme which is the “look and function” of the website.

WordPress themes are the backbone of any website, blog or online store. They give your site a unique look and feel, and they make it easy for you to customize the layout, add features, and manage your content. A good WordPress theme will also help you attract customers with its intuitive design and powerful features.

To get started building an online store, you’ll need to choose a WordPress theme. There are dozens of them available on the market, so it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. Here are some factors to consider:

Theme Complexity: Some themes are more complex than others. If you’re not comfortable editing code, or if you don’t have any coding experience, choose a simpler theme.

Theme Features: Make sure the theme has all the features you need to set up your store correctly. Some popular themes include built-in shopping carts, customizable pages and posts, payment processing capabilities, and more.

Theme Compatibility:  Make sure the theme works with all of the plugins and services that you plan to use in your store. Many popular plugins require specific themes in order to work properly; check the plugin documentation before purchasing a theme to make sure

To simplify this process for you, in this tutorial, you’ll work with the popular theme called “Astra“.

Astra is a popular and well-loved theme among online store owners. It’s easy to use, comes with a lot of features, and is highly customizable. 

Ecommerce Tech: WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an incredibly popular plugin that enables you to create an online store from scratch, or to improve an existing one. It’s very easy to use and has a wide range of features, making it perfect for anyone who wants to start or grow a business online. WooCommerce makes it easy to sell products online, manage your inventory, and accept payment options.  It can also integrate with Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to automatically push products to the social platforms without you doing anything.

Configuring the Tech for your Online Store

Installing WordPress

Almost all quality hosting providers have a built in WordPress installer which turns what used to be a manual process into a one-click 15 second task.  If your hosting provider doesn’t have this feature, find another hosting provider 🙂

Installing a WordPress Theme (Astra)

  • Log into your WordPress website, navigate to Appearance -> Themes.
  • Click the “Add New” button.
  • In the Search Themes box at the top right of your screen, type “Astra” or scan for an image that looks like this:
Screenshot of Astra Theme
  • Mouse over the theme image and click “Install”.
  • Then click “Activate”.
Here is a video walk-though showing you the steps:

Installing WooCommerce

  • To install WooCommerce, navigate to Plugins and click “Add New”.
  • Type “WooCommerce” in the search bar.
  • Click “Install Now” next to the WooCommerce thumbnail.
  • Click “Activate”.

WooCommerce will load up a wizard so you can easily go through it step by step to configure your site.  Or you can click “Skip” to setup manually and work along with this tutorial.

Here is a video walk-though showing you the steps:

Installing a Starter Template

To start building your online store, you can start with a template or start from scratch (link will open in a new browser window).  But why not save time and use a starter template instead!

In Astra there are beautiful and easy to customize starter templates for WooCommerce which will save you time from creating your site from scratch.

First, you’ll need to install the starter templates and in addition to the step by step instructions, here is a walkthrough video to help you along:

  • Navigate to Plugins, click “Add New”.
  • In the “Search Plugins” box, type “Astra”
  • Thumbnails will appear, click on “Install” for the “Starter Templates” by Brainstorm Force, then click “Activate”

Navigate to Starter Templates and choose an ecommerce templates that is the closest to the look you’re going for.  For this tutorial, we’ll be working with the template called “Plant Shop” which is a free template.

Note: don’t worry if it’s not exactly what you want, it can be easily customized.

Once you have the template chosen, it’s time to customize your settings. 

Setting up Your Online Store

I’ve included a walk-though video of the settings, but some of the settings may or may not apply based on your setup.

The majority of customization will be done in the General, Products, Shipping and Payments tabs.

Shipping

Select which methods you’ll use for shipping as WooCommerce and automatically bill customers a flat rate or variable rate for shipping. You can integrate popular shipping methods to bill customers the shipping rate based on their location, size of shipping package and weight.

Configuration screen to setup shipping in WooCommerce

Taxes

If applicable, check the box for taxes and WooCommerce can add tax to the order. If you don’t collect taxes, leave the box unchecked

Configuration screen to setup taxes in WooCommerce

Payments

There are integrations available for you, which makes is easy to setup. Choose the provider by clicking setup and follow their instructions.

Configuration screen to setup payments in WooCommerce

Adding Products

Testing your Store

Customizing the Look

To customize the look of your site, you’ll go into Astra settings by navigating to “Appearance -> Customize”. 

 

From here you can customize the entire look of your website at anytime.

Once you’ve done that, edit each page and replace the images and copy with your own photos and words.

Promoting Your Online Store

When learning how to start an online store, many people forget that just “because you build it, they will not come”.  A lot of time should be invested in promoting your online store and there are many ways to do this without spending any money. Here are a few tips:

  • Use social media platforms to reach a large audience. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are all great options for promoting your store. Make sure to post interesting and quality content that will attract customers.
  • Create an attractive website. Make sure the layout is user-friendly and the pages look professional. Include photos and descriptions of your products, so customers can get a better idea of what you’re selling.
  • Increase traffic to your site by promoting it in online forums and blogs. Post links to your site in relevant discussions, and ask followers to recommend it to their friends. You might also want to consider paying for ad space on popular websites like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads Ads.
  • Offer free shipping on all orders over $50. This will help you attract more buyers who are looking for low-cost online shopping options.

If you want to take your online store to the next level, here are some more tips:

How to Work SEO into your Ecommerce Website

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to start an online store will vary depending on your business and goals. However, there are a few things you can do to optimize your WooCommerce website for SEO success. 

One important thing to remember is that you need to ensure that all of your content is high quality and keyword rich. This means writing Articles, creating Videos and Images that are specific to your niche, and including keywords throughout all of your text. You also want to make sure that you have optimized your website for Google search results by including relevant keywords in the titles of your Pages, in the H1 tags on your Pages, and in the meta descriptions of all of your Posts.

How to use Content Marketing to Promote your Online Store

Content marketing is a great way to drive traffic and conversions to your ecommerce website. You can use content to attract and engage customers with valuable information, products, experiences or reviews. There are many different ways to produce content for your website, but some tips include: 

  • Write about topics that are important to your target audience.
  • Produce articles that are interesting and informative, not promotional or sales-focused.
  • Use images, video and infographics to break up text and make content more visually appealing.
  • Create compelling headlines that will get people clicking through to read the article.
  • Publish regular content on a regular basis so your website remains top of mind for potential customers

Use Email Marketing to Promote Your Ecommerce Business

Email marketing is a great way to connect with your customers and promote your ecommerce business. By sending targeted emails, you can create a relationship with your customers and keep them updated on your latest products and sales. You can also use email marketing to collect customer feedback and track customer behavior.

To get started, you first need to create an email list of potential customers. You can target people who have shown an interest in your products or services, or who might be interested in buying something from you in the future. Once you have your list, you can start sending emails promoting your products and services.

One of the best ways to use email marketing is to send seasonal emails. This will help you connect with customers who are looking for specific items at specific times of year. You can also use email marketing to promote special deals or events that coincide with popular holidays or seasons.

By using email marketing, you can build a strong connection with your customers and promote your ecommerce business successfully.

Use PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising to Promote Your Online Store

In order to promote your online store fast, you will need to use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. PPC is a great way to reach a large audience with your message quickly and inexpensively. First, you will need to create an effective ad campaign. You can use targeted ads or broad campaigns, and you can target specific demographics (such as men or women, ages 18-24, etc.) or interests (such as fashion or home goods). Once your campaign is set up, you will need to monitor results and make adjustments as needed.

Use Social Media Marketing to Promote Your Ecommerce Business

As an ecommerce business owner, you know that social media is a powerful marketing tool that can help you reach a large audience. However, many businesses don’t know how to use social media marketing to promote their businesses. In this article, we will discuss how to start an online store and use social media marketing to promote it.

First, you need to create a website for your business. If you already have a website, great! You can use the same website for your online store as well. If you don’t have a website yet, or if your business doesn’t currently use any form of online marketing, then you will need to create one. There are many free and paid options available on the internet for creating a website for your business. Once you have created your website, it is time to start using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

When promoting your online store on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you should focus on two main goals: attracting new customers and building brand awareness. You can attract new customers by using effective social media advertising techniques such as retargeting (targeting specific customers who have interacted with ads on other websites) and neuromarketing (using brain scanning technology to understand how customers interact with advertisements). You can also promote your online store by publishing regular blog posts and creating engaging social media images.

Conclusion

Learning how to start an online store can be a daunting task, but with the right planning and execution it can be a successful venture. Following these tips will help you get started:

  • Choose a niche: The first step in starting an online store is to decide on a niche. There are many different niches to choose from, so finding one that interests you is essential. Once you have chosen your niche, make sure to research the market and find products that fit into your category.
  • Create a website: Once you have decided on your niche and chosen products, the next step is to create a website. A good website design will look good using a professional technology such as Astra and WooCommerce that allow customers to easily find information about your products and shop with ease. Make sure to include images of your products, as well as easy-to-use navigation menus.
  • Choose payment options: Once you have created your website and selected payment methods, it is time to start selling! There are many different ways to sell online, so choose the one that best suits your product and customer base. Some popular payment methods include PayPal and Stripe。
  • Promote your store: The final step in starting an online

Planning is key and once you have that in place, you could have your ecommerce website setup in an hour.  If you’re not sure how to start planning your online shop, here is a guide that will get you started fast.

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