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6 Steps to Building a Basic Tennis Goods eCommerce Website

ecommece tennis goods websiteJust like in the case of a physical store, a web store requires the same strategic thinking, planning and building in order for it to run successfully.

The great news about owning an online store for your tennis goods is that it costs significantly less to start and run than a physical store (no rent, furniture, utilities, permits or cleaning needed). Additionally, it is convenient for you, the seller (since it can be managed remotely, from pretty much anywhere with internet access), and it is convenient for the buyers (since they can buy from anywhere in the matter of minutes). So, it is a win-win! Now the main question is how to create an online store.

Step 1: Obtain a domain, web hosting, and a SSL certificate

It is extremely important to choose a good domain name from the start. It will save a lot of hassle associated with switching domains later. Few basic guidelines to follow are below. We will also go over in more details on how to choose a great domain in a separate blog.

  • Use a .com domain
  • Keep domain name short (less than 15 characters preferably)
  • Make sure it is easy to pronounce and spell
  • Keep it unique (research your ideas to avoid using a registered trademark accidentally)
  • Avoid hyphens (many spam domains often include hyphens)
  • Use some of your target keywords in the domain name

Web hosting is where your website "lives" on the internet - the place where all your website data is stored. Every website on the internet needs hosting.

Have you noticed that some website URLs start with "http", while others start with "https"? The extra "s" shows that the user's connection to that website is secure and encrypted - that it has an SSL certificate. The SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL certificate authenticates the identity of the website, which guarantees visitors that they are not shopping on a spam or fake website. So it is especially important to have that when you accept payments and accept other sensitive personal information. This way your potential clients will shop on your website with confidence.

Step 2: Get the right e-commerce software platform for your tennis goods

In order to build a successful e-commerce business, you need the right website platform. All platforms have advantages and disadvantages as well as costs associated with them, so it is important to review those and see which is the best fit for your tennis goods store. Some web platforms charge monthly fees but offer quick setup and launch (e.g. Shopify, BigCommerce) while others are open source but may be more expensive to design and take longer to launch (WordPress, ZenCart).

Additionally, the e-commerce web platform you choose should fit well with the current technical expertise of your team. For example, if you select an open source platform or build one from scratch, oftentimes this would require a lot of heavy customization and programming, which may not work well for a team with low technical expertise and that requires frequent updates.    

Step 3: Create a sporty design that shows off your skills

Your web store needs to effectively showcase the items you are selling. This is one of the most important parts of your project. Without a great product page even the hottest products out there will fail. So be sure to:

  • Use high-quality images of your product or service
  • Make sure your pages are mobile-friendly
  • Write a strong, informative product description but also be creative
  • Show clear pricing
  • Include customers positive reviews
  • Include a call-to-action ("Buy Now")
  • Create a strong sense of urgency ("Only 3 left in stock")
  • Include social sharing icons

Step 4: Setup payment methods

There are many ways to accept payments. You can accept money either offline or online for the tennis goods you sell. Offline payment methods include: cash on delivery, phone order, bank transfer, checks). Online payment methods could include: credit cards, PayPal, ApplePay, etc. The easiest way (in our opinion) is PayPal.

When choosing a payment provider, it is important to consider transaction fees and rates as well as whether the provider supports the currencies of the regions you would like to market to. Also, be sure to read their terms and conditions and pay close attention to the restricted or prohibited products and services.

Step 5: Set up your shipping methods

If you plan on selling digital products, shipping fees will not apply. If you are selling products that will be shipped to the buyer, you must setup shipping methods and the amount you plan on charging. Most e-commerce platforms will have tutorials for that. Those platforms that charge monthly fees often have technical support that can assist with that.

Step 6: Launch the store

If you have completed al of the above tasks you are almost done and ready to launch. Before you click the "Launch" button, it is important to double-checking every sing page for typos, broken links or images. You may also want to run few small "test" purchases to ensure the checkout process runs smoothly.

Have questions or need help launching your new e-commerce website for your tennis goods? Contact us.

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