Starting an e-commerce store is challenging. When building your site, you would need to consider a lot of things, such as your store name, marketing and selling process, and especially your platform. Your website is your starting point, so you should make sure to build one that reflects your brand.

With that said, here is a step-by-step guide for creating a thriving e-commerce website in under a year:

Step #1: Start building your e-commerce site

Building your site may take a while, especially if you want it personalised. To save time, costs, and resources, consider using various instant options. Doing so will allow you to focus on other things that matter more such as proper marketing and selling.

Here is a guide on how you can start building your e-commerce site:

  1. Have a domain name – Have a unique website name that reflects your brand. You can easily purchase one at a relatively lower price on platforms, such as GoDaddy.
  2. Hire a web developer – Allow yourself to focus on other important things by hiring a reliable and trusted web developer.
  3. Select a hosting platform – You can make your website from scratch, but making one in a hosting platform, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, saves time and costs. Also, it is relatively much easier and faster to complete.
  4. Find a theme – When deciding on the theme of your site, make sure that it reflects your brand. To save time, purchase a theme from known providers, such as ThemeForest.
  5. Run your website – Even if you still don’t have a listing on your site, consider running it ahead of time. A homepage, about us, and contact us pages will suffice to establish legitimacy, credibility, and SEO ranking.

Step #2: Plan out your packaging and shipping

Before you even publish listings on your e-commerce website, make sure to finalise your packaging and shipping methods to avoid rush planning on your first product launching. You would need to know how you will store, package, and ship your products accordingly. Below is a quick guide to help you plan out.

  1. What you need to consider for your packaging:
  • Packaging size and material
  • Promotional materials
  1. What you need to consider for your shipping:
  • Courier
  • Method
  • Tracking
  • Restrictions

Step #3: Setup your payment gateway

Virtual accounts, such as PayPal and Stripe, are great for accepting payments online. However, if you want to accept credit card, mobile, and recurring billing payments, you would need to set up a payment gateway, such as 2Checkout.com or authorize.net.

For starters, you would need to have the following to get approved:

  • Privacy policy or return policy
  • Shipping methods
  • Customer service phone number and email address

Application for payment gateway will take a long process, so make sure to set up yours ahead of time to avoid last-minute hassles.

Step #4: Setup your Google Shopping campaign

In case your website is still on-process, you may consider setting up your Google shopping campaign. Doing so will help you build your SEO presence in search engines, and possibly in social media sites as well.

Basic tips when setting up your campaign:

  • Upload high-quality product images
  • Use minimal or no text on the images
  • Attach relevant and ranking keywords

Step #5: Connect with media people and influencers

To level up your brand awareness ahead of time, connect with people from the media, as well as influencers from various social media sites. You may think that this would not be easy, especially for a startup company. 

However, there are several outsourcing platforms and tools online that can help you connect with the right people. What is great about these outsourcing platforms is that you can easily connect with journalists, bloggers, or influencers that specialise in your niche.

Here are two of the best platforms that you can subscribe to:

  1. Help A Reporter Out (HARO) – where you can connect with journalists from reputable and known media agencies.
  2. PitchBox – where you can find influencers on your niche


Building a thriving e-commerce site is indeed time, cost, and energy-consuming. For a faster and more convenient process, consider utilising various tools and platforms online in building your website. If you want to establish your site in under a year, follow the steps and recommendations above.

If you own a startup and are looking for a managed e-commerce agency in Northampton, get in touch with us today. Our team can help you establish your online presence and site, as we are also recognised as a reliable e-commerce web design agency.

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