Step by Step Guide To Creating An Ecommerce Website For Free
I’ve been running an online business for over 8 years now and throughout those years I’ve tried multiple platforms to build a website for my ecommerce brand.
As a small busines, we don’t have a big enough budget to hire someone to build up our website and maintain it.
The best option was to figure out how to do it myself. But with this came lots more problems.
I don’t have ready technical expertise to build a website and certainly not much time to learn how as I’m working full time and still have to do the operational work for my online business.
If you are in the same situation, no worries.
In this guide I’m going to show you the platform I’m using now to easily build a fully functional ecommerce website
Best part is you don’t need to be tech savvy. As long as you know how to use the internet on a computer, then you can do it.
Or you can just share this guide with your staff or family so they can help build one.
Step 1: Choose the ecommerce platform
There are lots of free tools that you can use but they just allow you to have an online page for your business.
I found that an ecommerce solution with ecommerce website builder + order management + inventory management + customer database is much better if you are really serious in growing your business.
The platform I use is EasyStore. It is a paid solution but you can start having your ecommerce wesbite up for free.
You only pay when you reach 1,000 orders and when you want to upgrade to more features.
But before that, you’ll have a professional ecommerce website without any cost. Just requires your time and effort.
Step 2: Set up your EasyStore account
If you haven’t yet, register an EasyStore account here.
No payment required to start creating and launch your online store with EasyStore.
Step 3: Add product details
Before you start on your website, you first need to add the product details so that it appears on your website.
You can do this by adding products one by one or you can import details in bulk via excel template.
Refer to these guides for additional help on uploading products:
Step 4: Enable online store channel
Online store is one of the sales channels available in EasyStore. You will need to enable it to start designing your website
The EasyStore free plan allows you to enable one sales channel. You can subscribe to a paid plan to have access to more sales channels like linking with your Shopee store.
Step 5: Choose a theme for your online store
You can select from a variety of themes in the theme store. Each one will have its own layout and specialty.
Don’t worry on the design as you are choosing theme. Look at the layout and features.
I recommend going with the latest theme called Aroma.
This new theme has drag and drop layout function which makes it more flexible in terms of the structure of your website.
Step 6: Design your online store
After you have chosen a theme, you can start customizing it.
Take note on the different section elements available.
Header - logo & top bar settings
Image banner - 2 image hero banner with customizable text
Rich text - heading, title, button
Featured collection - display products to be featured
Video - embed youtube video
Collection list - display products by collection
Multicolumn - image + text in multiple columns
Home content - display content from pages (home)
Slider - Auto rotating image banners
Footer - quick links, payment logos, social links
Step 7: Set up payment method
EasyStore comes with ready integration with multiple payment gateways that allow you to accept online banking, debit/credit card and "Buy Now, Pay Later" payments.
However, the free plan only allows you to use bank transfer payment method, where it will display the instructions during checkout on how customers can make payment to you via bank transfer.
You can follow this guide: How to set up bank transfer payment
Step 8: Set up shipping rates
You can set up the shipping conditions so that the shipping charges follow what the customers buy and the total weight of that order.
The different type of calculation you can set:
Based on weight
Based on item quantity
Flat rate per order
Flat rate per item
You can also set different shipping zones. For example Peninsular Malaysia & Sabah/Sarawak will have different shipping rates.
You can refer to this guide: How to set up shipping method
Step 8: Review the checkout experience
Before you start promoting your website, I highly suggest you test out the shopping and checkout experience as if you are a buyer going through the website.
To get the link to your website, go to Channels > Online Store > View my store and copy the url in the web address bar.
Some important things to check is the store design, product info & price, shipping rate and payment instructions.
Now you are ready to launch!
Let your audience know on social media that they are now able to shop online via you ecommerce website.
And don't forget to put the link to your website in your social media bio.
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