e-commerce with astra woo-commerce

Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services via the internet

 

Topics for discussion in today’s post:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is eCommerce
  3. Why eCommerce
  4. How to start
  5. How to survive in the game
1. INTRODUCTION

Sometimes it could be daunting to kick start a business or an adventure you have zero knowledge about leading to woeful failure at the end which was not the motive.

Given this, starting an eCommerce business, should follow an outline pattern, though not a mandatory rule but doing so would bootstrap the journey from start to finish.

eCommerce as we all know is one of the most popular and lucrative ways one can use to make a steady income purely online by selling goods and services to consumers via the internet and receiving cash(digital) and other incentives in return.

Ways to work online:

  • eCommerce
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Blogging
  • Freelancing
  • Dropshipping

This list is not definite but the above are key areas worth venturing into.

In all, the main focus is on eCommerce as I see it to be one of the best to venture into and how to do it perfectly. 

2. WHAT IS ECOMMERCE

eCommerce or electronic commerce is the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet.

Gone are the days when the only available jobs were brick-and-mortar businesses. With the inception and fast-growing of technology, ways of doing things including businesses changed drastically.

Before kick-starting a commerce business, it is highly imperative to first get a business model to operate with.

Buying and selling of goods and services over the internet (eCommerce) can be done in four (4) ways:

  • Business to Business (B2B)
  • Business to customer (B2C)
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
  • Consumer to Business (C2B)

Business to Business (B2B)

B2B or Business to Business specifically involves companies doing business with each other. The final consumer is out of the scope of this model. The transaction is only done between companies; wholesales, retail, and manufacturing.

B2B is not a straightforward or simple business as it involves company A selling to B. It is therefore incumbent on you to analyze your strength and weaknesses before venturing.

If you are already into manufacturing, retail, or wholesale, B2B is a model you could consider as some companies run it alongside B2C. 

Business to Consumer (B2C)

With B2C, company(s) sell directly to consumers who are the end-users of the product or service. Consumers make a selection of their item of choice from the producer’s website and place a purchase which is then shipped to the buyer in his desired location.

One major advantage of B2C is the elimination of third parties or middlemen who use to make transactions quite difficult for in particular, end-users as they turn to make a lot of profit out of their service.

To maintain a B2C business model, you need to maintain steady sales to stay viable.

Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

With this model, consumers are in direct contact with each other in a quest to sell their products. You can sell items to any interested person. Electronics are the most common items traded in this model and it is simple to do. Other items include cars, bikes, refrigerators, etc.

Consumer to Business (C2B)

Take the reverse of B2C and it is C2B. Consumers sell their products or service to the company. A software developer who sells software to a company is a clear example of C2B.

With the four(4) modules explained above, you should be able to identify your interest area by now.

 

3. WHY ECOMMERCE

In today’s competitive world, businesses need to find ways and means of staying on top irrespective of the situation and among many other ways, a clear route that has proven to work out for many is eCommerce.

A lot of start-ups are now migrating to commerce due to many reasons and as such, there is the need to also migrate if you already running a business or, starting one with immediate effect in the commerce industry.

Key reasons why you should consider starting an eCommerce store or migrating an existing store to commerce include but are not limited to the following below:

Global reach. Number one in any business list unless otherwise, is to reach many clients and sell products. With the online world, you can expose your products to millions of consumers across the globe in the confine of your home. 

Fortunately, getting products to be marketed is also made simple through the help of affiliates, who do the marketing on your behalf in return for an agreed commission. Other avenues to market products and get wider reach include Facebook ads, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google ads, etc.

Save time and energy. It saves time and energy on the part of the consumer and the supplier as everything is mostly automated.

Fast response time. It allows the customer to be in touch with the producers without any hindrance through diverse means like direct phone calls, skype, chart help on the website, emails, etc.

Quick delivery. Another great feature is the delivery time. As almost everything is automated, consumers are assured of the delivery date of products and place little effort on the consumer’s side, which is vital in keeping customers to a business.

It is convenient. An online store is available 24/7 which means, buying and selling can go on irrespective of the day or time whilst the business owner himself might not even be available which can not be the case for a brick-and-mortar business.

4. HOW TO START AN ECOMMERCE STORE

eCommerce sales currently account for 17.2% of all retail sales. There is no better time to start than now!. 

Having an online store is the journey to financial freedom but could be disappointing if you fail to do it right. Nothing much to worry about with the approach below.

Find a domain name and hosting

Every business needs an identity or a unique name. Spend some time and research to come out with a nice name that mimics your business or something enticing to the ear. 

After settling on a name, your eCommerce store needs to be hosted life online before it can be accessed online across the globe. There are dozens of hosting companies available but the one I will recommend is HostGator and you can get 20% off all hosting plans with coupon code SNAPPY with a free domain name for a year.

Find an eCommerce website builder

With a domain name and hosting done, find a platform that will help you build an eCommerce website or store without much difficulty. With HostGator as your hosting company, select WordPress hosting directly from the hosting plan or, install WordPress from cPanel after selecting the ‘Website Builder‘ package.

Once WordPress is installed, to make things easier, do not be in a rush to install any eCommerce theme or plugin right away.

Am about to show you a theme, which will simplify the whole process for you even with little or no knowledge of core programming, development still will be light work for you.

Install a theme.

The theme that will simplify the whole process is Astra-WooCommerce. Astra-WooCommerce is a lightweight and highly customizable theme that helps you create a fast, feature-reach, and beautiful WooCommerce store.

With over 700,000+ websites relying heavily on Astra, absolutely nothing is to be worried about when contemplating joining this domain.

A large user base means strong customer support from Astra. A core area in the growth of every business that relies on a third party for service.

Why use Astra-WooConnerce

Speed. A sluggish website that takes time in loading is more likely to drive clients away. Customer retention is vital to the success of eCommerce.

With Astra already light in weight, it gives you cutting-edge speed to satisfy clients’ demands. Statistically, a site that takes more than 3 minutes in loading can drive away 70% of your customers. 

Totally Responsive. Astra theme offers responsiveness for all device types which makes it easy for clients to use shopping sites on any device of their choice.

On the other hand, store owners can also fully manage sites on a tablet or smartphone due to the responsiveness of Astra theme.

Free starter templates. Ready to start an eCommerce store without funds to purchase plug-ins, you are fully covered by the starter free templates.

The Starter Templates plugin cuts down the time and effort required to build a beautiful eCommerce store from scratch. It offers a library of stunning ready-to-use sites and pages. You can take a look at some attractive ready-to-use website demos listed in the article here. Each of these can be imported as a complete website or you can pick individual pages as needed.

SEO FriendlyAstra is an SEO-friendly WooCommerce theme which simply means, search engines can crawl each page of your website more efficiently and thereby serving relevant pages to end-users and bringing traffic to your website or platform leading to lead generation.   

You can also use other features like plug-ins to boost the health of your website.

Conversion ready check-out. Majority abandon the cart during check-out siting reasons like clumsy appearance, voluminous and unnecessary questions, leading to check-out termination.

It is not the case here with Astra, you have the tools to optimize and cut down abandonment rate by offering a clean, clear, and concise check-out process for clients.

First-class support. It is undeniable fact that at least minor problems can pop up along the line on eCommerce websites which can be frustrating particularly when you have a strong user base.

Good news for you!. Astra gets a strong support team always ready to listen, discuss and tackle any issues that might arise. Be it human support or documentation, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Best pricing. Astra a free theme with pricing options if you want to do more advanced stuff.

But its pricing still comes at a cheap rate compared to other platforms. Below is the breakdown if you want to migrate to a paid plan.

Annual Pricing:

  • Astra Pro – $59.
  • Mini Agency Bundle – $276 (Special Price – $169).
  • Agency Bundle – $523 (Special Price – $249).

Packages in annual pricing can be found here.

One-time Lifetime Pricing:

  • Astra Pro – $249.
  • Startup – $996 (Special Price – $499).
  • Agency – $1893 (Special Price – $699).

Packages for lifetime pricing can be found here.

With your theme installed be it free or Astra pro, all that is left is customizing the look and feel of your new eCommerce store!

You can always start with the free version and upgrade anytime without any breaking changes. All it takes is a click and the rest is taken care of by the vibrant theme of Astra.

5. How to survive the eCommerce industry

With the store up and running, driving traffic is a way of letting the world know about the store and with time, organic traffic will speak on your behalf.

It is highly recommended though not a must, to have at least, social media pages for the business. It could be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.

I found Pinterest to be one of the easy ways to drive traffic to your site in an easy way and it is still free.

On the other hand, you can opt-in for Facebook ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn, etc. But as a beginner if in your case, start with freeways of driving traffic before moving into paid advertising. 

Here are over 20 lists of social media sites you can join and start marking your store to viewers, followers, and friends.

In addition and a key area, the grammar on your site should be devoid of grouse errors in terms of spelling mistakes. It can be daunting to check these out when writing large content.

It is therefore advisable to use Grammarly which will do the grammar checking for you automatically. This would save you a lot of time and energy.

That was a clear road map for starting an eCommerce store. Procrastination is indeed a killer of time. Start that awaited store today with Astra-WooCommerce and keep building towards financial freedom.

Hope to see you lunching the next mega eCommerce store. Good luck.