Getting started with Ecwid for businesses impacted by COVID-19

Hi! If your business is impacted by measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, then you might be considering moving to online to stay afloat. This guide will help you go through the basic steps of setting up your online store and delivery. Read more about Ecwid's COVID-19 response.

Online store launch checklist

1. Start an online store

The first step is to head over to Ecwid’s website and register an account. After you sign up with Ecwid you will be taken to the admin panel, where you can configure the store and manage your products and orders.

When you register with Ecwid, you are given your own unique subdomain with a free website – Instant site. You can customize the theme to express your brand style and tell your brand story. If you plan to use the Instant site as your website, you can add a custom domain to it anytime later.

If your business already has an existing website (built on Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, etc.), you can embed your Ecwid online store directly to your site or add a link to your store in a prominent place so customers easily find your online store.

2. Add products

There’s only one thing you need to do to start selling –– add your products. You can add products manually in your store admin panel or import your existing catalog via CSV file. If you don't know what to sell, consider dropshipping services.

  • Complement your product catalog with Gift cards so that customers can buy them now and use them later. It may help to keep your cash flow steady.
  • You can also sell services or digital downloads if you want to sell online courses or masterclasses.

3. Set up delivery

Before your first order, you must decide how you want to deliver your products to customers and how much to charge them for shipping (or do it for free). You can combine several delivery strategies in your Ecwid store in order to cover all of your products and delivery locations. You can:

  1. Set up curbside pickup to offer contactless delivery.
  2. Set up local in-store pickup if you have a physical location and your store is open.
  3. Offer carrier delivery if you use a delivery service or deliver yourself.
Set up destination zones to restrict the delivery area (for example, to a part of the city) or to offer paid or free delivery depending on the zones.

How to inform my customers about a minimum order delivery requirements before they go to checkout?

If you have any delivery requirements (for example, you only deliver from $100 or give free shipping on all orders over $200), let customers know before they proceed to checkout. You can place a banner on your store homepage, add a free Checkout Notices app that will display all the needed information on the shopping bag and checkout pages, or try Promo bar app.

How do I require a customer phone number at checkout?

You can make the phone number a mandatory field for your customers so that you can quickly contact the buyer and discuss the details of the order/delivery. To enable:

  1. From your Ecwid store admin, go to Settings → Cart & Checkout.
  2. Scroll down to Checkout settings.
  3. Enable “Require phone number at checkout”.

4. Enable payment options

To collect sales revenue, set up at least one payment method in your store by going to Ecwid admin panel → Payment. You can quickly start accepting payments online with PayPal, Stripe, or Square. See all Ecwid-supported payment methods here: Payments.

You can accept payments on the go with PayPal Here and Square reader using Ecwid mobile app.

Read more about Getting paid.

5. Add legal pages and other business information

Fill up your site with the info about your business. Describe the core values of what you do, what makes your company and products unique, and anything else that would help create a connection with your customers.

  1. Add your company's mission, customer testimonials, and other information.
  2. Use legal pages to add Delivery/Pickup FAQ, COVID-19 Response, payment information, Refund policy, Terms of Service, Legal notice, etc.

6. Test your online store

Place a few test orders on your site with your connected payment gateway to make sure everything works. Open your store, place a product to a cart and proceed to checkout. If everything is okay, then you are ready to sell!

When a customer buys from your online store, the order will appear in your Ecwid admin → My Sales → Orders and you will receive a notification email or mobile push notification.

Learn more: Guide to processing orders.

7. Attract customers

When you launched your store, now is the time to get some traffic. Explore the Marketing page in your store admin. You’ll find powerful features that help you to get visitors and convert them into customers.

  1. Share products and news on social media platforms to tell your customers and followers that you now have an online store.
  2. Enable abandoned cart email to send reminders to customers who added products to the cart but haven’t bought them.
  3. Enable personalized automated triggered emails that are set up once and then sent out automatically to your customers when a particular event in your store triggers them.
  4. Set up discounts and discount coupons.
  5. Add your store to Facebook and Instagram.

Other helpful resources

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