Get started with e-commerce in no time at all thanks to a web store builder
Even if you have no knowledge of graphic design or programming, you can start your own web store in the blink of an eye. A web store builder allows you to get your products online very easily, so that you can make your first sales in a matter of seconds. Get your e-checkout ready to make miracles!
What is a web store builder?
A web store builder is a tool that, just like a website builder, is very easy to use, and for which you do not have to be able to program. Its purpose is also to help you very quickly reach your goal, which is to start your own web store on the Internet.
You can use it to create your own web store without any difficulty, either as an online version of your brick-and-mortar shop, or as a brand-new project. You really do not need any experience or knowledge of graphic design or computer code. A web store builder will help you get started right away, even if you start from scratch, because it offers a very user-friendly environment, where everything is self-explanatory.
This tool can be purchased as an additional service from a hosting provider. The advantage is that everything you need for your web store is included in the package: webspace, building blocks for your web store, integrations with payment service providers, SEO tools, etc. With a good web store builder, your web store will be ready to welcome your first customers in no time at all!
Only interested in a website? Then check out why you should definitely choose a website builder.
How does a web store builder work?
Most web store builders require you to work exclusively online. This means you will need an Internet connection. But apart from that, the entire working environment to create your web store is 100% turnkey. All the building blocks are ready for you to use: modules for adding your products, receiving payments and managing your stock levels.
The fact that all the management of your web store is carried out online actually has another big advantage: you can make changes or updates later, add products or adjust prices just by using a browser on any device, including your smartphone. All you have to do is log in to your account, and you will get access to your working environment!
Why choose to run a web store?
A web store has become a must for any retailer or service provider. Because before making a purchase, more and more customers search the Internet for information about the products they intend to buy. If you do not have a web store when your competitors do have one, there is a risk that you may be missing out on sales. You should also remember that a web store allows you to have a business that is open 24/7. This means your customers can visit your store whenever they want, even in the middle of the night.
However, do not make the mistake of considering online shopping as a temporary solution. Because your customers will start enjoying it, and will expect to be able to shop with you that way in the future as well. It is therefore advisable to build a beautifully and conveniently designed web store right from the start, where visitors will find it pleasant to shop.
A web store will boost your sales, strengthen your online presence and give you the opportunity to create customer loyalty.
Why choose a web store builder?
Many merchants and service providers are reluctant to take the step to running a web store, because there are so many aspects involved: you must have a product page to present your products with pictures, quantities and specifications, a shopping cart module so that your customers can purchase the goods, a payment module so customers can pay for their order in a secure environment... And what about VAT and shipping costs?
Having a custom-made web store built for you could be the answer, but that costs quite a lot of money and could easily take a few weeks. And not everyone can wait that long, just as not everyone can afford to pay the price.
Fortunately, there is a solution that is easy, fast and budget-friendly. And it also takes all the aforementioned aspects into account: a web store builder.
1. You do not need any technical knowledge
Just like with a website builder, everything is based on templates. These pre-designed pages contain all the components you need for your web store, such as your opening hours, location, contact, legal notices, etc.
Everything has been carefully designed and tailored to different types of businesses. You just have to pick a template and adapt the content: replace the default pictures with your own images, and insert your own content into the placeholders.
2. Professional presentation of your products
However, the most important part of your web store is the product page, because that is where you present your products. The web store builder will also suggest templates for this, which you can adapt to suit your own needs. And it is up to you to decide which product specifications need to be shown on that product page:
- Product descriptions, for which you can use attractive texts
- Categories: to ensure that your customers can easily find the product they are looking for
- Pictures: it is sometimes possible to show multiple pictures per product
- Options, such as a colour or a size (Small, Medium, Large…)
- Stock: showing the number of items you have in stock of a certain product can help the customer make a quicker decision
3. Upload products in a simple manner
Filling in the information about your products in this framework is also quite simple. If you have only a few products, you can enter the information manually, upload the image(s), select the category, indicate if the product comes in different sizes or colours, and so on. Everything will then be displayed automatically in the framework of your product, which will be clear, neat, and above all beautiful!
If, on the other hand, you have many products, a good web store builder will allow you to upload that information using a .csv file that you can create in your favourite spreadsheet program. Conversely, you will also be able to export your orders. This will make it possible for you to process your orders and start packing and shipping them!
4. Your web store builder automatically handles all the steps of the purchase process
Your web store builder automatically provides all the modules that are necessary for your new web store to be up and running: the customer can add your products to his or her virtual shopping cart thanks to the order module, and then proceed to checkout thanks to the checkout module.
You just have to choose the payment modules you want to use (Bancontact, credit cards, Mollie, PayPal, etc.), and your web store will automatically be linked to the desired services. Your customer can then pay in a fully secure environment, and the money will start flowing in via your virtual cash register!
Do you only want your customers to come and collect the products they purchased in your brick-and-mortar shop? A link to your calendar will allow customers to make appointments, so that they can pick up their orders. If you also offer shipping, do not forget to charge shipping costs. A good web store builder also includes a shipping module that calculates shipping costs based on the weight of the products purchased. Of course, you still have to do the actual packing and shipping yourself.
5. Additional services to make your customers even happier
Good web store builders often also contain other tools that help you optimise your relationship with your customers:
- Options for additional discounts or coupons, which are automatically deducted at the checkout.
- Creation of a mailing list, so you can keep your customers informed about special offers.
- Automatic sending of a reminder e-mail when your customer has not completed an order.
- Application of the correct VAT rate, depending on the location of your customer and the type of customer (private or business).
- A chat function to help your customers with any questions they may have about their purchase.
- Analysis and reporting of your sales.
- SEO tools so that your web store can rank higher in search engine listings.
6. Setting everything up is easy, and so is maintenance
The first time, it may take a while to set up your web store to completely suit your own taste, and to present your products in an orderly manner. But the big advantage is that you know where all the functions are, and you have perfect control over your store. That makes maintenance super easy. Adding or removing products, adjusting prices, running temporary special offers... You can do all this yourself via the management module. You therefore no longer have to wait until the IT staff of an external company has time to do this: you can do it yourself, as quickly as necessary.
TIP: Combell's ShopBuilder allows you to manage your products using any device, including your smartphone. This way, you can fully focus on sales, shipping and customer relationship, even when you are on the road.
What should you consider when choosing a web store builder?
There are several hosting providers around that offer a web store builder. So how can you make the right choice?
- Go for a scalable solution, so you can start with a smaller (and cheaper) package, and expand to more products later.
- The templates provided for product pages are very important if you want your products to stand out. A good web store builder will show you a preview of the different templates available.
- With a web store builder, you pay one price for hosting, webspace and the software license of the website builder. But is this really an all-inclusive price? Or will there be any additional charges for bandwidth, the connection to your domain name, the SSL certificate for a secure HTTPS connection, etc.?
- Most packages are based on the number of products you want to sell. But how is the number of products calculated? Are small/medium/large options of a product only features, or are they considered as separate products?
- One last but very important point: does the provider also charge commissions on the sales made through your web store? Because you have to take this into account when pricing your products.
A web store builder is the ideal solution if you want to start your own web store easily and quickly – even if you are currently only selling products in your brick-and-mortar shop. And since you build your web store yourself, you also know how to easily manage your products.
Would you like to get started with e-commerce as well? Discover Combell's ShopBuilder!