Congratulations on taking your first step into the world of eCommerce. In this Quick Start Guide, we will show you through the first steps of starting an online business with EKM and get you on your way to online success.
Designing your shop
When it comes to designing your online shop, EKM is slightly different. We wanted to make it easy for people with little web design experience to build a beautiful online shop without having to pay extra to a designer.
The first step towards achieving your dream website is to choose a theme that suits your industry and personal specifications. Luckily, EKM offers hundreds of free themes to suit any taste. Upon first time login, you will be prompted to choose your theme. Choose your industry and then a theme that you like. Don’t worry, you can change your theme as many times as you like.
[more]Click here for help adding your theme.[/more]
Your theme is the bricks and mortar, it is your job to decorate your shop accordingly. When logged into your EKM account you will see lots of little yellow edit buttons which represent a section that can be edited. By clicking on an edit button, the corresponding section will pop-up on your screen in an easy ‘edit enabled’ format as shown below:
[more]For more information on editable elements, click here.[/more]
Full Customisation Control
Although EKM is designed for people with little web design experience in mind, you do have full customization control of your shop. To edit the HTML of your online shop, simply head over to the Design section of your EKM account, click the edit button on the page you wish to edit and then select Edit in Custom Mode.
[more]For help editing in Custom Mode, click here.[/more]
Adding your Products and Categories
A customer should ideally never have to click more than 3 times on your shop to find their desired product. With this in mind, the layout of your shop is of utmost importance. First, you will need to enter your categories. Imagine these as the aisles that you stack your products upon. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers going through the buying process on your shop and try and make it as easy as possible. Let’s say for example you were selling custom mobile phone cases. Your top-level category may be the different brand of phones, e.g. iPhone, Samsung, Nokia and then you may have subcategories with the different phone types e.g. iPhone 5, iPhone 6 etc.
To add a category simply head over to the Shop section of your EKM account and select Add Category just underneath the top navigation menu. To add a subcategory underneath this then click in to your recently created category and select Add Category again.
[more]For more help adding categories and subcategories, click here.[/more]
Now you have your Category structure in place, it’s time to add your products in. To add a product to a certain category, simply click the category and select Add Product found just underneath the top navigation menu. For instance, going back to the previous example, if you wanted to add an iPhone 6 case, you would click the "iPhone" top level category, then click in to the "iPhone 6" subcategory and then select Add Product.
You will then be greeted with an Edit Product pop-up where you will need to enter your product details such as title, price, tax, image and description. For more help creating products, click here.
A domain name is what customers will type into a search engine access your shop directly. It is important to make your domain name as catchy and memorable as possible whilst still being relevant to your product or service.
[more]For more information on how to get a domain name in minutes with ekmDomains, click here.[/more]
Now to the good stuff, taking payments. EKM comes with numerous payment gateway integrations to suit your businesses needs. To install a payment gateway on your online shop, head over to the Settings section and then select Payment Gateways. Here you will see a list of available payment methods you can make available to your customers. You will first need to set up an account with your chosen provider and then use the instructions on the Payments Gateways section of your EKM account to set up this payment method.
There are 3 types of payment methods:
With online shopping becoming more popular than physical retails stores, it is important to make a customer’s shopping experience as easy and stress-free as possible if you want them to return to you and not a competitor. A digital wallet will reduce the amount of time a customer a customer takes on your checkout as they do not have to enter and credit card details, they simply sign into their digital wallet (e.g. PayPal) and pay.
Here, customers will reach your checkout and be prompted to enter their credit/debit card details to proceed with their order. Each provider will have its own unique benefits. Decide what you are looking for in a payment processor and select which is best for you from the list.
Exactly as it says on the tin. Here you will find a list of offline payment methods that you can offer to your customers e.g. Cheque or Bank Transfer.
[more]For more information on payment gateways, click here.[/more]
Marketing your Shop
Marketing is the key to success in selling online. You could have the greatest product in the world but if nobody knows about it then you aren’t going to make any sales. Your first job is to head over to the Marketing section of your EKM account and complete all of the steps.
Here are a few tips to taking your product to market:
When it comes to making your first few sales online, social media is your first point of call. There are dozens of reasons why social media is a marketer's dream, but the main ones are that it is free and you have a vast network of related people sharing content which make it easy for the word of your product to spread. Look at segways for example. They were not even on the radar and suddenly everyone has seen videos of them on social media and now they are marked to be the best selling gift this Christmas.
[more]For a few tips on what you should be doing on social media, click here.[/more]
Some people overlook the power of email marketing and see it as an outdated way of advertising. Admittedly, open rates were affected when Google released the ‘Promotions’ tab on Gmail making it harder for email marketers to reach people’s inbox, however, it is still in the top 5 most effective marketing methods for sale conversions. Sending customers weekly/monthly updates and promotional codes will prompt brand awareness, customer relationships, and long-term selling opportunities.
ekmResponse is our very own in-house email marketing system that you can use to contact your previous and potential customers in bulk and turn them into repeat buyers.
[more]For more information, head over to Marketing > Email Marketing on your EKM account.[/more]
Have you ever search for a product on Google and clicked on the link at the top of the list. The chances are you’ve clicked on a Google Ad. Google AdWords allow online business owners like yourself to make your product appear to shoppers who search relevant keywords. For instance, you could set your AdWords up so that anybody who searches Phone cases would see a link to your online shop.
[more]This guide is particularly useful if you are new to Google AdWords.[/more]