If you’re looking to enter the e-commerce industry, you’ll probably want to consider using a dedicated e-commerce platform like ClickFunnels to help you get started.
Why? Well, aside from the fact that ClickFunnels offers an all-in-one solution that can help you launch a business or product in record time, it also comes with an impressive list of features that can help you run your e-commerce business successfully.
To help you get the most out of your investment in ClickFunnels, we’ll break down everything you need to know about this popular web marketing tool and how to use it to make the most of your online store.
Features You’ll Need To Have In Your Business Or Product
Before you begin running your e-commerce store, you’ll need to make sure that you have the following features available to you:
- a web server
- a database (typically MySQL or MongoDB)
- a login page
- a purchasing page (for your products)
- thank-you pages
- a way to track orders (typically using a tool like Google Analytics)
- a way to communicate with customers (email marketing automation like MailChimp)
- a store credit card processor (like Stripe or Paypal)
- SSL certificate (for secure shopping)
If you’re looking to build an e-commerce store from scratch, you’ll want to outsource parts of the work. For example, you could hire a web designer or developer to build you a custom website that has all of the above items.
However, if you already have a website that you’re happy with, you can use tools like GoDaddy’s WordPress plugin to get all of the above features without having to pay for a dedicated hosting plan.
Setting Up Shop On A NameCheap Domain
When choosing your dedicated e-commerce hosting plan, make sure that you outsource your domain name. This is the address that your customers will see when they visit your site (e.g., www.somethingsomething.com).
To get started, you’ll need to use another service like NameCheap to register your domain name. Once registered, you’ll need to go over to your dashboard and click on the “My domains” link to proceed to the next step.
Here, you can see that the domain name is currently set to something like “www.yourownomename.com”. However, if you’d like to set up shop under a brand name (i.e., if your products have a brand name attached to them like “Nike” or “Gucci”), you can create a “subdomain” under the main domain name (i.e., “www.somethingnike.com” or “www.somethinggucci.com”).
Once you’ve registered your domain name with NameCheap, you can use their tool to create a hosting account. Choose a hosting plan that meets your needs (i.e., whether you need a simple plan that just offers you www.yourownomename.com or a more complex plan that lets you have a subdomain like www.somethingnike.com).
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) out there. If you’re looking to enter the e-commerce industry, you’ll likely want to use WordPress to power your site.
To get started, you’ll need to use another service like WordPress.com to download and install WordPress onto your hosting server. Once installed, you can use their tool to create a simple website with a login and a purchase button (the one featured above).
If you’d like to add more features to your website like a blog or a gallery, you can purchase a premium WordPress theme from somewhere like ThemeForest.
Set Up Your Store With A Landing Page
A landing page is a type of webpage that you’ll create at the end of your sales funnel. Its goal is to convert website visitors into paying subscribers (or buyers) by encouraging them to take a specific action (i.e., subscribe to your email list, make a purchase) without distracting them from their journey to the site’s main page. Think of it as the “kick” that prompts a potential customer to take action.
The above example is a landing page that was created for an SEO company named GrowInc. The main purpose of the page is to allow visitors to subscribe to GrowInc’s email list. But, since the page is designed to look like a traditional magazine’s website homepage (i.e., with a top story, images, and a call-to-action section), it also serves as an advertisement for the company’s SEO services.
Because it’s a landing page, you’ll want to keep things simple and straight-forward. For example, you could use a tool like Simplify HTML to quickly create a basic landing page template that has a few lines of text and an unsubscribe button.
Use Your New Landing Page As An Entry Point For Your Sales Funnel
Once you’ve set up a simple website with a landing page, you can use it as an entry point for your sales funnel. This is where you’ll introduce products that are relevant to your niche (i.e., your audience).
To create a sales funnel, you’ll want to choose a tool like ClickFunnels that comes with a built-in email workflow that can automatically send emails to customers when they hit the “submit purchase” button on your checkout form. Using this tool makes it easy to track the entire buying process from start to finish (i.e., creating a sales funnel from a landing page to a purchase confirmation email).
From your dashboard, click on the “Marketplaces” link to access your store’s available online marketplaces.
These are places where customers can find your products (e.g., eBay, Amazon, and Rakuten). If you’re selling your own products, you’ll want to list them on your own website as well (e.g., www.somethingsomething.com).
If you decide to go with an online marketplace, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using a reputable service with an A+ rating. Additionally, make sure that you’re being mindful of how your competitors are pricing their products (e.g., if you notice that most products are priced fairly high, you might want to consider lowering your prices to be more in line with the competition).
Take Advantage Of All The Automated Marketing Tools
If you’ve been marketing online for any length of time, you know that there are numerous tools out there that can help you automate your efforts. For example, you can use email marketing automation platforms like MailChimp to send out email updates to your subscribers when you have new content to share.
Similarly, you can use tools like HubSpot to create automated emails that contain hyper-linked text that allows customers to quickly find related information (e.g., if you’re sending out an email about the best sports bras for women, you can use HubSpot to create automated emails that contain a short list of related products and services that you think they might find useful).
This is also the section where you’ll want to review your competitors’ prices to see if there’s room for you to cut into their market share. You don’t want to undervalue your products too much because you’ll lose potential customers who are on the lookout for cheap products (especially since you’re in the same industry). However, you don’t want to set your prices too high either because you’ll lose customers who are on the hunt for a good deal.
Use Your Budget Wisely
When you’re first starting a business or product, it’s easy to get swept away by the perks that come with being an entrepreneur. But, once your business starts to grow, your priorities will probably shift to focusing on the budget. So, before you spend your hard-earned cash, take a step back and look at all the available options.