Today most retail businesses have a website for their company. If you own a retail company and want to expand your marketing strategies to include a retail website, then you need to learn how to properly create one. This process will include finding the right website development software, signing up for a domain name and hosting service and designing the look of your online store.
Things You'll Need
- Website Design Software
- Domain Name
- Hosting Service Subscription
- Digital Camera
- Merchant Credit Card Account
- Product List
- Price List
Create a New Retail Website
Buy your domain name and sign up for a hosting service. This is the first step of developing any type of commercial website. Usually the companies that offer domain registration will also offer hosting services. GoDaddy and Yahoo! both offer domain name registration and hosting services for retail businesses. When you select your domain name make sure it is as simple as possible and that it works for your retail business. For example, if your company name is "Bears and Dolls" then you will first want to see if www.bearsandolls.com is available. Other domain names that would work include www.bears-and-dolls.com and www.bears-and-dolls.net.
Select website design software for your retail website. Start with a basic website designing program like FrontPage. However, you can also utilize e-commerce templates. Template Monster offers a great selection of e-commerce templates that you can use when creating a new retail website. Finally, you will want to buy a shopping cart program. Volusion and 3D Cart offer some of the most respected shopping cart programs on the market.
Pull together a price list and a product description list that include all the items you plan on carrying on your retail website. You will be using both of these lists when setting up your retail website. For each item you want to host on your retail website you will need a clear color digital image. For more advanced websites you will want to include multiple photographs of each item, with special shots taken of important product details.
Use your website design software to create the basic layout of your new retail website. You will need to use the import image option to upload your product graphics to your website. Then use the text editing tools to name your products, assign them a product number and to enter a product description. Also make sure you assign each product a price.
Upload your shopping cart program to your hosting service. You will most likely need to set up a database of item numbers, prices and inventory. At this point you will also want to link your shopping cart program to your current merchant credit card account or to your Paypal account. This way, your customers will be able to make purchases online and the payments will be processed using these accounts.
Manage your retail website. To keep your retail website functional you will need to monitor orders, keep the inventory data up-to-date and you will need to add and modify text, graphics and supplemental information posted on your website periodically.
Tips & Warnings
- It can take several weeks to be approved for a merchant credit card account so apply for one well in advance of launching your retail website. However, Paypal accounts can be set up in a matter of minutes.
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