How to Sell Your Products on an E-Commerce Website
E-commerce is an area of expertise for White Buffalo Websites. We primarily use the WordPress WooCommerce plugin to create our e-commerce websites. WooCommerce is the lowest cost and most flexible solution for creating an e-commerce website.
White Buffalo Websites can also support e-commerce websites on the Shopify platform.
In today's Internet world, selling your products on the World Wide Web can be crucial to the success of your business. White Buffalo Websites is here to support your e-commerce website.
Planning Your E-Commerce Website
To create your e-commerce website, you will need the following information about each of your products:
- Product Categories (as needed)
All our e-commerce clients must decide how to pass shipping cost on to the customer. Many clients choose to only ship to the continental US. This avoids the cost of shipping across borders or overseas. Here are some common shipping options:
- Free shipping: Build the cost of shipping into the price of your product. This is the easiest option to implement, but doesn't give you the option to vary the shipping price by region.
- Flat rate per item sold: With this model, you can set different flat rates by region. A flat rate can be a flat dollar amount or a flat percentage. This model works well if your website sells a single type of item with similar weights and dimensions.
- USPS or UPS actual calculations: With WooCommerce plugins ($99 per year) you can calculate the exact cost of shipping your product. In order to use one of these options, you need to know the dimensions and weight of each product. When the customer makes the purchase, the website will calculate the exact amount for shipping based on the customer's zip code using the dimensions and weight you entered.
Sales tax laws are a moving target. Depending on where you live, you will most likely need to collect sales tax and send in payments quarterly. We can assist you with finding the requirements for your state. WooCommerce automatically collects the sales tax and provides reporting for you to file with your state.
Social media is the lowest cost way to market your e- commerce website to the world, but it can take some time to build an audience. We can ensure the product is ready for social media using the Open Graph (OG) meta data. On WordPress, the Yoast plugin makes it easy to create your Open Graph data for social media. If you prepare your products using the Open Graph meta data, your product postings on social media will provide links back to the website for purchase.
Alternatives to Creating an E-Commerce Website
As you weigh the possibility of an e-commerce website, you may also be considering alternate platforms to sell your product. These alternatives can be helpful in finding your customers, but they come with their own expenses.
Etsy: Requires a small fee for each product you list. A 5% commission goes to Etsy for each sale, not including the credit card fees of 3%.
Amazon: Requires a commission ranging from 5-20% of each sale based on the type of product and plan you select.
Ebay: Requires approximately 8% of the sale.
Benefits of Building an E-Commerce Website
- The only cost required are credit card fees, usually around 3-4%.
- You can control the reviews on your product. A couple of poor reviews will not destroy your efforts!
- You control product offerings, including the ability to add coupon codes and sale prices.