How to Set up a Basic eCommerce Store | Furlough Mastermind

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Join us every Friday at 12pm EST in the Furlough Community Discord for our Mastermind session hosted by Joe Casanova & Ophir Gadot. Our guests change every week and range from experts, entrepreneurs and creatives to influencers, brands, nomads, investors and more!

 

How to setup a basic eCommerce store (step by step guide) Furlough Mastermind

In this Furlough Mastermind, Joe Casanova and Ophir Gadot take you through the six steps of setting up a basic eCommerce store.

You can also watch the replay of the mastermind here:

 

Step 1: Choose a Name and Domain

Step 1: Choose a Name and Domain

Joe Casanova 

How to start a basic ecommerce store. With this, we’re going to start at phase one, and really just get the ball rolling there. So let’s jump right into this. In order to start off before you do anything, you need two things, one being a name. And the second being a domain. How important is a name to a store?

 

Ophir Gadot 

Depends if you want to build the brand, or you want to make money. I’ve seen companies make money with shitty names, shitty domains, and it just it’s a fact that it’s doable.

 

Joe Casanova 

It is possible yes. And I’ve actually spun up a landing page before with a random name generator that ended up driving a lot of sales. So the name I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on at least get the ball started and rolling. But of course, is powered behind brands. So getting domains, of course, you have plenty services from NetFirms. to GoDaddy, you guys are probably all heard GoDaddy, you guys probably own domains on GoDaddy, but just a little pro tip, go with Google domains. It’s such an easy sync up and integration with the Google workspace, starting your email organization of your files of your drive. And of course, plugging in to third-party softwares like Shopify, right? So pro tip, but now that you have your domain, right, your company.com.

 

Step 2: Choose Your eCommerce Platform

Step 2: Choose Your eCommerce Platform

And this goes back to Kingsley’s question is “what ecommerce platform you should use?” And there are an abundance of these platforms, right, and we’re going to go through each and every one, starting with the behemoth itself, Amazon, Ophir, with your two cents about Amazon?

 

Ophir Gadot 

I just think that like, it’s not the best place to start unless you sell other brands’ products, and you can sell them cheaper. This is a completely different story. If you build a brand, Amazon is not the place to start is your scale up. I’ve seen brands that sell 500,000 a month on the website and sell on Amazon like 400,000. It’s just that impactful. And people like to shop on Amazon, they trust Amazon. I mean, it’s just a channel you can’t ignore anymore.

 

Joe Casanova 

That’s a bingo. And if you want to test and validate offers, I mean, Amazon does have a great advertising platform built in within it. And it’s really great to kind of find new audiences. But at the end of the day, if you’re building a brand, it’s going to be hard already competing with established ones versus having an established brand and pushing that traffic. And those search queries are naturally going to come especially if  you’re an established brand on Amazon, which will ultimately drive sales and your actual branded page from.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Replying to the comment here about Amazon taking 15%. Yes, Amazon are taking 15%. But let’s say I’m opening a store and Shopify processing, take 3% I need to pay monthly fees, inventory management, customer service, think about it, Amazon pretty much takes over customer service, stuff like that all these costs, add up to your eCom. And then I was on it doesn’t exist. So just saying the 15% here, not as bad as it sounds, I think it’s fair

 

Joe Casanova 

Considering the fact that if you have a sane affiliate program, and you have people pushing your products, you’re probably giving them 25% commission. So what’s a 15% commission on traffic, you would probably never have customers that would have never bought your product, because they found you on Amazon. So there’s easy ways to kind of pick at these little things that Amazon takes. But at the end of the day, this is a business. And if it makes business sense for your business to be on Amazon, of course, Amazon needs to get a somewhat of a winner a piece of the pie there. So moving on the next ecommerce platform, quite popular, believe it or not, and this is WooCommerce. There’s plenty of tools. If you’re going to be building your brand, your website and you want to offer a subscription, maybe your courses, your programs, things like that. WooCommerce is the choice. Oh, now we go into the ones that you may have not heard before. And this platform Drupal, surprisingly very popular in the use cases that you know, myself and Ophir have used. Personally, we’ve done this with an ecommerce, I mean a big brand making upwards of 20 million a month. And what they did was they had their ecommerce store and then they launched parallel brands. So it was kind of easy job to just kind of copy and paste and relaunch that brand. Another use case is in Major League Soccer, that MLS agreement with their teams, their team’s website need to be built with Drupal. And the reason why is because it’s a copy, paste, switch out the branding quite easy as simple. You have to look at these, you know major league sports teams and understand that they are ecommerce brands, because they’re selling merchandise to their fans. So Drupal is is a great ecommerce platform at a large scale. One thing

 

Ophir Gadot 

to know about Drupal, it does require developers, meaning, your ability to do adjustments changes and stuff like that take into consideration development costs will be high. It’s not WooCommerce and it’s not Shopify. In terms of capabilities, yeah, you can do everything in Drupal like for the average solopreneur it’s going to be more challenging and requires more resources on your site.

Yeah, I’ll just say that Magento to me is the best. And again, I’m not I’m not developer, I’m just speaking on my own experience. Magento to me is the best platform in terms of features and capabilities. And you know, when you feel it, when you compare weakness of Shopify as discounts, and double discounts, and multi vertical discounts and stuff like that, in Magento, you can literally do everything. However, it’s not straightforward. You’ll need a developer for literally every action.

 

Joe Casanova 

For sure. And then we have the honorable mention, which isn’t listed here today. Magento but you mentioned earlier in this session. Magento being a platform, probably going to be relying on developers as well, right?  

Absolutely. And you don’t want to be dependent on other people to push your business forward, especially if it seems minor changes. So and of course, last but definitely not least, Shopify, which started off as a snowboarding company, and ended up building Shopify to support it, which ended up doing a pivot because they realized the product and service that they built as far superior than selling snowboards and became a billion dollar behemoth as it is today. And yes, the pro tip is if you’re getting started, go Shopify, it’s by far the easiest, most intuitive and the integrations it has with all …

 

Ophir Gadot 

There’s one thing I have to add here. Yes, Shopify is the easiest, yes, it’s the fastest, however, WooCommerce for the solopreneur. If you have a little bit resources with development, you’ll be more flexible with processing. Because in Shopify, especially in the basic plans, you’re stuck with Shopify processing, and it’s expensive. Once you scale, you’re going to see it. B, discounts challenges, especially on the holidays, when you do like, you want to do cross sales and stuff like that. More challenging, where WooCommerce, it’s an open platform, you can do whatever you want. On the other hand, Shopify back end is just so friendly, the back end of the orders is going to be very easy. Your labor off the cheap, like employees, like customer service is going to be easier. CMS, all the content management is going to be easier. Whenever you have like an intention to build a blog or lookbook. I think the WooCommerce might be a better option, just because Shopify by its nature is not designed for blogs. So whenever this is a key part of your marketing strategy, always go with WooCommerce instead of Shopify.

 

Joe Casanova 

Absolutely, and Kingsley knows, WooCommerce is great for subscriptions, like programs and courses like that. But there is, you know, stores that you can launch any store that you want on Shopify, you can launch on WooCommerce. Okay, and it’s just in my personal opinion, remember, these are personal preferences. Okay? Some of you that actually have coding experience, might find Magento to be easier than Shopify or any of the other ones. So from my experience, Shopify is easy. You know, when it comes down to building additional pages, as Ophir said, yes, it could be easier on Shopify, but at the same time, if you’re very proficient in WordPress, it might be easier for you there, especially with something like Elementor, which one is one of those building plugins.

 

Step 3: Setup Basic Plugin, Apps, Tools

Step 3: Setup Basic Plugin, Apps, Tools

So from there, we’re going to go ahead and jump in to our next part. And that’s right. It’s setting up basic plugins, apps and tools. We’re not going to cover all the basic apps, plugins and tools, we’re going to go through some of the most popular ones and talk about the ease and functionality of what they do, starting with none other than the Facebook channel, which I’m actually gonna bring in. Hi, Josh, what’s your experience on the on the Facebook channel Shopify app?

 

Joshua Butrum 

So one of my problems with business owners in general, is being able to connect their Facebook assets to their overall business, like their website and stuff like that, you know, Shopify, you seriously, click a few buttons, and you just sign in. And that’s it.

 

Joe Casanova 

Exactly. It’s as easy as that: App, Plugin, Integrations, Set. Easy. And then of course, you have Facebook, and then followed by Google, which includes Google ads, Google Merchant, Google Shopping Network, those type of things. And it’s just a simple integration. Plug Play. Off you go. Now, next up, which I’ll bring in our wonderful email marketing specialists, of course, Roslyn, what are your thoughts on the Klaviyo app in the sense of what it does and what can bring to your eCommerce store?

 

Roslyn Fawns 

I cannot tell you how much I love the integration between Klaviyo and Shopify. Guys, like seriously, I don’t even want to try anything else. Because I like it that much. It’s just so easy. Everything’s really clear the amount of strategy that you can actually output just with the integration between Shopify and Klaviyo is just insane. You get so much information, and it just pulls it straight away. This is especially good for when you want to get into automations, like abandoned cart and browse abandonment. And I will say if you’re on the paid plan with Klaviyo, the support is excellent.

 

Joe Casanova 

Thank you for that and we are going to jump into the email stuff. These are just the plugins and basic setup.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Just want to add one comment about email marketing, especially in Shopify. Let’s say you’re very limited on resources. Shopify has the basic automations in place through Shopify without even Klaviyo. Just all you need to do is kind of hit play. It’s very generic. If you don’t have resources for email marketing, and you don’t have the money to pay to design and implement and so on. This is a great option, especially for the first few months.

 

Joe Casanova 

Thank you for that. You’re right. And this is how to set up a basic e commerce Store. And that’s part of it actually using Shopify’s tools, and they make it easy for you. And once you actually have a solid audience, and you want to start sending out weekly campaigns are set up more intricate automations, then definitely recommend Klaviyo to move forward. Next up, we have Ophir, you recommended this on the Avada SEO image optimizer, which is a great SEO plugin.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Everything in Shopify, and this is something that should be mentioned, everything in Shopify pretty much is being handled by apps. So on every connection, every integration, you need an app, or you do a custom coding, and then you’re on your own with your developers and SEO apps, especially when you go to a little more in depth of SEO features like schemas and breadcrumbs. This was the best and the most comprehensive one that I’ve experienced, not expensive, easy to work on the JSON side and the code side, easy to handle all the alt tags and meta tags and was designed for ecommerce stores as well.

 

Joe Casanova 

Next up the one and only push notifications, also known by push out

 

Ophir Gadot 

This is one of the best apps because it’s enabling you to get people to join your browser push apps’ offers, literally almost doesn’t cost anything. It’s based on impressions. So you’re really tied with your conversion value. Another way to remarket to your audience that is completely automated within Shopify, super easy interface and straightforward, create better customer experience and allows you to push notifications to your customers whenever it’s necessary.

 

Joe Casanova 

Of course, and this is just such a another way to easily kind of list build through another channel. And seriously, you could push a button and say flash sale. And you would actually have people click through and end up on your website almost instantaneously. So from there, these are kind of the basic apps that you would set up. But once you’re actually getting sales site once you’re actually driving the traffic back to your site. And they’re purchasing, of course, you need a review app which you know, Luke’s is one of the popular ones, because of its integration with social media, someone posts on social media, it would actually loop automatically gives them a discount for their next purchase. So…

 

Ophir Gadot 

With reviews, there’s a certain aspect like of review, syndication, and which platform approves your views to be visible, this is a great tool. One hundred percent up with Google ads, especially on the search campaigns, if you want to show your advertisers rating, there’s like a list of products they work with, and they accept our views. This is not one of them, though it’s it’s more advanced. Again, it’s like it’s for brands that push a lot of AdWords traffic and stuff like that.

 

Joe Casanova 

And these are kind of flows that you can build out. Obviously, if you get reviews through Google, you can now leverage those reviews. Let’s say when you’re typing in, you know, the ecommerce-store.com on the actual search engine, you have Google’s prominently displaying those reviews for you. And there’s ways that you can leverage this. Is there anything else you want to add to that?

 

Ophir Gadot 

So you have like Bazaarvoice, very expensive, but powerhouse, for ecom.

 

Joe Casanova 

Our next app are called ReStock Alert sees the restock alerts when your product is sold out. It’s an easy way when it comes down to your product coming back in stock, you already have a audience that is specifically interested in that product that you could run a campaign to. These back in stock campaigns are actually quite popular. And it’s a great tactic in ecommerce to actually drive more sales and bring people back especially if you’re bringing someone back to let’s say a landing page dedicated for that person and pushing that product in which they’re interested in.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Think about your experience on the website, I got to a page, see a product page, I like the product I want to buy, it’s out of stock. If you don’t have a “notify me” button or something that allows customer to show interest and get notified when it’s back in stock. You simply losing money because they’re going to bounce out, not buy. And you would never know what product they want it, would never know went elsewhere or bought from another from another brand. If you pay so much money to get people to your brand’s product pages, they just leaving money on the floor and not having it. It also enables you to get like a very clear insights can tell what people are actually wanting what people are actually craving and based off of that making stocking decisions more smart and impactful.

 

Joe Casanova 

Awesome Ophir. And then of course we have our upsell apps or cross-sell apps or bundle types of apps actually, they’re the purpose of these apps are to increase your order value. This is an example of one right now. But there are so many out there. I mean, you have Zippify app. This is just an example of one we grabbed on with the high reviews, the goal is to just increase the average order value. “Reconvert is good.” Thank you, Oren for that, of course WordPress plugins, the ones that you saw there are there’s some form of variation that is available for WordPress. There’s tons of plugins out there. It’s not just limited to Shopify apps and then setting up your basic ecommerce store. You can’t forget about payment plans processors. These are some of the most popular ones. I am not a fan whatsoever of PayPal, I strongly encourage you not to do it. Stripe though is to me one of the best ones and the payment processors size and Kingsley asked “why not PayPal”, even today, we’re dealing with issues of PayPal, holding money. There has been a time where I ran a specific campaign, we drove $80,000 In five days pay pal held $50,000 for six months. It was just they destroyed us, which we ended up switching the stripe and then we actually love the UI UX. But that’s Miguel, yes, you’re absolutely right.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Stripe is for US, meaning if you sell abroad in a different solution,

 

Step 4: Create Brand Identity

 

Step 4: Create Brand Identity

Joe Casanova 

Setting up your brand identity that is part stage four. Okay, so this we’re going to kind of fly through I use Furlough as a point of reference, of course, you need your logo, you need your design, you need your aesthetic, your logo, you can do some with different types of backgrounds in which we did, of course from your logo, you need your branding, their color palette, that way, the website, you know, certain pictures and vibes kind of match. And it doesn’t feel like there’s a disconnect. Once you got your branding, you can go ahead and build banners, you can build social media, you know, content, these banners. I think banners are something that are underutilized across ecommerce stores. And it’s just basically ways that you know, you can promote a specific offer. And the beauty about these banners. As I was discussing with Roslyn earlier, these banners that are put prominently as a hero image on a website can be repurposed to your email marketing campaign. And once someone clicks this banner, they can go to a landing page that is meant to promote this offer and is tested and optimized to have a great conversion rate. Okay? Banners are very important. Constantly cycle out your banners, and keep your store fresh. Once you have your logo, your branding and your banners, of course, you need your copy. And this is how you talk you present your band you speak this goes down to the vision, the mission, the value proposition, what makes you different. This is all unique to a bunch of different brands. And since you are an ecom, of course, you need your product images, the product images are key, this is something that strongly invest in just because this is really presenting your product. So as you can see, this shoot is great. Now this is a product that a woman would wear. But what about products that you use or something that is not necessarily modeled? Well, this is where a little pro tip here and these are where you will utilize 3d renders. And Ophir I know you got something to say here. And at least only two cents I’ll add is sometimes when you’re taking a photo of an actual product that picture, just like in human nature, there are imperfections. And if you take a picture of a product, the lighting might be off, there might be a little crease in the actual label itself. And you don’t want to put flawed items as your ecommerce product shot, 3d renders solve that problem entirely. And instead of having to spend $500,000, running out of space on, you know, get hiring a model to wear these products and actually a photographer to shoot it. Instead, you can hire someone that’s into 3d design to actually create these 3d renders for you.

 

Ophir Gadot 

There’s a lot of products on the market that allows you to kind of tweak and create better product imagery. So you have Glorify app, Canva as well is a great solution for that. Just applying filters, enhancing colors, playing with the positions, adding more stuff, making it more visually appealing. Another thing that I personally do all the time with product shots is retouching. It shouldn’t be too expensive, but someone like in two hours of retouching can take a shitty picture and make it beautiful. There is also like retouching strategy in a sense of how processed do you want it to look, what kind of lighting you want it to have, and so on. But once you have that defined and you kind of have your look in terms of imagery, the retoucher can simply take whatever images you have in high resolution, and make it look fresh and just shiny.

 

Step 5: Email Automations & Social Media

Step 5: Email Automations & Social Media

Joe Casanova 

Next up, you guys, you got your domain, you got your logo, you got your branding, you got your apps on your store, your stores pretty much almost set up what’s left, of course, email automations and social media. And for this, I’m going to bring in our leading email marketing specialists and talking about a little bit about Klaviyo. And what we have set up.

 

Roslyn Fawns 

So in terms of when you first start doing email marketing, I would focus on things that are going to bring you the most high return. The main thing I would start with is the welcome series and the abandoned cart option. And then we also have the pop up that’s on your website, need to actually list build. If you don’t have anybody in your list, the automations basically will be for nothing. Highlighting why they should be actually signing up to your email to be giving them something else goes along with emails to actually make them open the email and feel like they’re getting value. Because people don’t want to be bombarded by stuff that’s just you know, like spammy. After you start list building, definitely try and build out as many email automations that are, you know, applicable to you later down the line, you might want to do your VIP automations, which is basically where you actually reward your best paying customers. And like, trust me, when I say this, this really works, I think a lot of return from acknowledging people who are supporting you.

 

Joe Casanova 

She said the word right there, and it was really the automations. And these drip campaigns, which are basically sequences, in this case, you see an example here, if they viewed a product, yes, they will go this way, we will get a free shipping cart, email, or if not, we’ll wait 24 hours, and we’ll send them a more aggressive campaign. And this is just an example of an automation and some common popular automations that you guys have heard about before, which is abandoned cart, you put an item in your cart, you lose it, and they email you back saying hey, come back. Of course, the back in stock flow, which is something that we just spoke about your welcome series is first second that someone either buys or someone actually opts in, they get a series of emails that welcomes them, and starts nurturing them and actually building their trust into the brand. And last but definitely not least, you have your predicted to churn flow, which appear if you could give a little quick highlight of what the predicted to churn flow is. And what it does.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Predicted to churn on flow is basically a flow where we predict can win back customers which became not engaged the brand, or just finding that right balance between the moment the person registered, and a right strategy and messaging to touch base with them again, and see if they will be interested to purchase from the brand after a few months or a few weeks down the road.

 

Joe Casanova 

And this isn’t necessarily like required in the beginning, especially if you don’t have customers that are predicted to churn. So to start off, I strongly recommend these three emails which, one is the abandoned cart, highest converting email automation for any ecommerce Store. Two: your welcome series, nurture them, welcome them. And after they buy, give them some, you know curated treatment, give them some love, they’ve just supported in your brand and byproducts. So the post purchase follow up is very important for actually building these recurring customers. Now, when it comes down to social media, you guys understand social media, pretty straightforward. Each channel is unique. But understand which channel specifically is the one that you want to focus on. If you’re going to go on the advertising side, you have Facebook and Instagram, if you want to go with strong organic reach, just making short form content about your product, TikTok is a great move. If you know you want to go on long form educational about a product, you have YouTube, and then Twitter which surprisingly, it depends on the audience. But I’ve seen a lot of these NFT and cryptocurrency companies are doing great with actually, you know, going viral and building a strong user base completely from Twitter, and protip. Once you actually set up, of course, you need to set up a Facebook pixel captured audience you not might not be running ads now, but at least have it set up and in place

 

Ophir Gadot 

To one section that we missed a little bit. And we must mention is the connection of analytics and testing out all conversion path. You want to test the pixel pixel track information conversion properly, you want to see that analytics is synced and all the data is being tracked. You work with GTM you want to make sure that all the tags are in place. You just like before you start pushing ads money, you want to make sure your tracking is in place shouldn’t be too expensive. This is something you’re doing with Ukrainian developer and Upwork for pretty much for hundreds at most, and you get it done.

 

Step 6: Test and Launch Your Website

Step 6: Test and Launch Your Website

Joe Casanova 

Last, but definitely not least, it’s to test and launch your site. Right, you set it up what comes next and the reality is this setup is the easy part. And this is where the tough part comes. It’s the traffic and that’s where it all matters. That’s where it all comes from and that determines ultimately what your store does and that is how to set up a basic ecommerce Store. So first I got to, Ophir, Roslyn, Josh, all you guys appreciate you guys coming on with us doing this.