If you aren’t selling your goods and/or services online, you’re missing out on a huge market. Did you know that 96% of Americans shop online, with around one-third buying something online at least every week? But many businesses still put off creating an online store, mostly because they’re nervous about not having the right web design skills. That’s where Wix steps in. Wix makes it easy for every business to open an online store, even without any web design or coding knowledge. By using the predesigned templates and simple drag-and-drop interface, you can use Wix to have your online store up and running in just a few minutes. Here’s a simple, practical guide to opening your Wix online store.
Step #1: Open a Wix Account
If you don’t already have a Wix account, you’ll need to open one. Don’t worry; it’s painless. All you need to do is share some basic information and create a username and password.
Although Wix invites you to get started for free, you will need to pay a per-month fee for an eCommerce plan. If you’re already set up with a Wix website using a different plan, you’ll have to upgrade to add an online store.
Step #2: Add a Wix Store
Once you’re registered with a Wix premium plan, you can start building your online store. Adding a store to your existing website only takes a couple of clicks:
- Look for the ‘Add +’ button on the left of the Editor
- Click ‘Store’
- Click on ‘+Add to Site’
You’ll see a new button called My Stores on the left of your Editor tab. Click this to get to work on your new store.
If you’re starting from scratch to build an online store, just go straight to choosing a template.
Step #3: Choose the Right Template
The foundation of your Wix online store is the template, so choose it wisely. Wix has hundreds of beautiful and stylish templates that cover just about every industry and vertical you could need, so take your time to pick the best for your business.
Here are some things to consider when selecting a template:
- Do you need specific features, such as picture galleries, maps, or product videos?
- What type of navigation bar do you need? It’s important to display navigation options without visitors getting confused or your pages looking cluttered. Side menu tabs can be a good solution if you have a lot of categories and sections.
- Do you have a lot of product options, such as t-shirts available in many colors? Some templates only allow a limited number of product variations.
- Do you need a lot of space for product descriptions? Make sure that your template has a large enough character allowance to fully describe each product.
- What homepage style are you looking for? You could have a video, a simple image with plenty of text, a slideshow, or many other options. Pick the homepage layout that suits your business.
Issues that aren’t important while finding the right template include the color scheme, fonts, and where the modules are placed. All of those are easily customizable once you’ve selected a template.
Step #4: Customize Your Wix Online Store
With your template in place, you can give your creativity free reign while you customize your online store. Changing the background colors, text colors, and even the shade that text becomes when a visitor hovers over it are all easy to do with Wix website builder.
You can drag and drop different widget modules into the right locations, add your own logo and other media assets, swap video backgrounds, and more. Wix also allows you to choose from a massive selection of web fonts.
Before you finalize your design choices, take a moment to preview them for mobile view as well as for desktop. Some layouts and color choices look great on a large screen but make for frustrating browsing on a mobile. And while Wix sites are not mobile responsive, you can change the layout for desktop and mobile separately, to ensure no matter what someone is browsing on, they have the best possible experience.
Step #5: Add Products to Your Wix Online Store
Once the design is ready, now it is time to populate the online store with your inventory. Wix allows you to add physical and digital products; just select Physical or Digital from the New Product options. Digital files can be uploaded as image, audio, or document files, or you can bundle files together as a zip file.
When adding physical products, you can create product descriptions that cover multiple versions without having to create a new product for each color or size. Wix invites you to upload product images and videos and has fields for:
- Product name
- Product ribbon (e.g. ‘New Arrival’ or ‘Best Seller’)
- Sale or discount offer
- Information for added details, product size and weight, product care advice, etc.
- Custom text field for customers to personalize their product (if relevant)
At this point, you can choose whether you want Wix to track your inventory. This way, you’ll always know how much you have left in stock. Just toggle “Track Inventory” ON and enter the total number available. You can also enter an SKU if you’re using them.
Step #6: Organize Your Products
If all of your products are in the same category or you don’t want to group them into categories at all, you can move on to updating your store settings. But, if you’re selling many different types of items or you have a lot of products to sell, it’s a good idea to organize them into product categories, which Wix calls Collections, to make it easier for your customers to find what they want.
It’s best to avoid making too many different categories since this can confuse your visitors. Pick intuitive names for each category so that customers can quickly work out which one they need.
Once you’ve made categories, you can quickly pick which ones to display on which page of your online store. You’ll see a prompt to display your collections during the process of creating them, or you can come back and choose your display settings later.
Step #7: Update Your Store Settings
Your store settings present your vital details to your visitors. This includes:
- Your store name, as you want it to appear in all of your communications and online search results
- Your contact information such as a public phone number and email address
- The language that your store is displayed in
- Your choice of currency
- The timezone you’re working in (this helps you track order dates)
Your “Store Settings” tab can be found under Settings within the General Info tab.
Step #8: Connect a Payment Method
Obviously, if you sell items in your store, you want to be paid for them! To get paid for your products, you’ll need to connect a payment method. Remember: the easier it is for customers to pay you, the more likely it is that they’ll complete their purchase.
Wix offers dozens of integrated payment gateways that include options like PayPal, Stripe for credit card payments, and Apple Pay. You might prefer to take payment by credit card, or stick to PayPal accounts at the beginning, or keep it all offline entirely.
You’ll also want a payment method that can easily scale up as your business grows. Consider these issues before choosing a payment method:
- How much are the setup fees?
- Are there extra costs like monthly fees, transaction fees, or penalty fees?
- Do you have to maintain a minimum monthly balance?
- What happens if there’s a transfer delay?
- How can you access customer support if something goes wrong?
Step #9: Set Shipping and Tax Rules
Shipping is very important for your relationship with your customers. Good shipping builds a good relationship, but if shipping goes wrong, then it doesn’t matter how good your product is – people will always remember you because of bad shipping and will not return or recommend your website.
Wix lets you set a number of different shipping rules, such as free shipping, flat rate shipping fees, tiered shipping bands for different geographical areas, discounts for orders over a certain amount, etc.
You can create one set of rules for your city, region, or county and another set of rules for international or cross-country shipping. You can offer different shipping methods such as ground shipment, USPS, FedEx, or UPS, and select different pricing accordingly. Tax rules will need to follow the requirements of your location and sometimes also the location of the buyer. Check what the regulations are and then set your tax rules to comply.
Before you set your shipping and tax rules, take some time to think through how you’ll fulfill each order. This includes printing invoices and packing slips, packaging your product, adding a thank you note or coupon for the next purchase, etc.
Step #10: Connect Your Domain
Wix allows you to set your own custom domain name for eCommerce and VIP plans. A memorable and descriptive domain name makes it easier for customers to remember you. If you already have a website, connecting your domain unites your brand. (Wix makes it very easy to do this.)
Step #11: Preview Your Wix Online Store
Just before you set your online store to go live, step back and preview it. Go through the complete customer journey and check if everything is intuitive and works properly. Get other people to do it as well – the more eyes the better it will be. Don’t forget to preview your site for visitors on mobile phones and tablets, as well.
Step #12: Set Up Analytics
Wix offers a number of analytics tools and integrations so you can track the performance of your online store. Connect your analytics and choose how you want to view the statistics so you can keep an eye on important data points, like visitor numbers, conversion rates, and cart abandonment
Wix’s intuitive website builder, flexible online store options, and hundreds of integrations make it easy to build a powerful, versatile online store that suits every business, even if you don’t have a background in web design.
For more information, check out our Wix Review here.