How to Make an Online Store with Weebly

Want to use Weebly?

Here's a link that will give you $10 credit towards any site upgrades for your Weebly sites, which is pretty handy!

$10 Credit with Weebly

For every signup I also get $10 towards any of my sites, so it's a real win-win for everyone.

E-commerce is easy with Weebly!

Making an online store is quite a daunting task for some, with all the different themes, options and set-up involved.

Luckily, the online drag-and-drop website builder Weebly is very easy to use!

It's the only tool I use to make all my websites actually, as it offers such easy customization and they all look like they've been done by a web designer.

Weebly drag-and-drop feature

Weebly E-commerce Plans

At the moment, Weebly has 4 different model plans. These are shown below and are very cost effective.

A full version with the different benefits and costs of each plan can be viewed directly from the Weebly website here: Weebly E-commerce

I use the Business Plans myself, as they offer free SSL, which is basically verifying your site so credit card details aren't able to be captured when you're entering information and is marked by a green 'lock' icon in the address bar, and a whole host of other benefits that make selling a breeze.

Inventory management, a shipping & tax calculator (great for international shops) and the ability to add coupon codes are all added bonuses that really make it easy to run you shop the way you like!

Weebly E-commerce Costs

(click column header to sort results)
Name  
Cost per month  
Number of listings  
Integrated Shopping  
Digital Goods  
Free
$0
5
No
No
Starter
from $3.29/month
Unlimited
No
No
Pro
from $6.63/month
Unlimited
No
No
Business
from $19.54/month
Unlimited
Yes
Yes

Thoughts on E-commerce

Are you interested in creating an online store?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
See results without voting

How do I get paid with Weebly?

Weebly has integration with 3 of the major online e-commerce payment authorizers, those being

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Authorize

I use PayPal and Stripe, as that gives me a good range for payment options; some countries can't use Stripe for example, so they need a second option which is PayPal in this case. You'll also want to see whether they have integrated checkouts on your site, or whether they redirect to their own website. PayPal for example, redirects, whereas Stripe is integrated on your own website.

Each provider has their own transaction fees, but in general you're looking around 2.9% of the purchase price + $0.30, so nothing too drastic for them to handle the sale process and invoices etc.

Sorting Your Weebly 'Storefront'

Your 'storefront' is where your customers can view a display of all the products you have for sale. From here, you're able to display by category or just by the products themselves.

Having logical categories is a must if you do decide to use them, as this is how your customers will try to find similar products or to refine their search.

If, for example, you have a mid-year or clearance sale, it's a great idea to make that a category so your customers are able to search through all items in the sale rather than have them just stumble upon them.

Within each category you're also able to have sub-categories. For example, if you were to sell men's and women's clothing these would be categories, with the sub categories of 'shirts', 'pants', 'socks' etc. as sub-categories.

Adding Products to a Weebly Store

The main part of any e-commerce website are their products!

Here is where the online inventory management of Weebly stores comes in handy. You can either import a .csv file directly into the 'Store' Dashboard in Weebly, great if you've already got an online store with websites such as Etsy or eBay, or, you're able to add them in directly and input descriptions, prices, shipping, colour/size options etc. along with a great product photo.

You're also able to insert individual products into categories, which can then be shown on your 'storefront', optional, but probably useful for most businesses. For example, you may have categories such as 'shirts', 'pants', 'socks' etc. with the individual products relevant to each.

Video Previews Done Well

Online shopping website, ASOS, do a great job of video previews for all their products. If you haven't visited the ASOS website, do so now and have a look at their product video previews.

These are done perfectly for their target market and I'd imagine drives sales through the roof in comparison to photo only product listings.


How Many Product Photos Should I Use?

Because online stores forfeit a great advantage that traditional brick-and-mortar stores have in regards to actually viewing a product in-store, it's very important that you do your utmost to replicate this online.

If you sell on websites such as Esty, you'll know already that there's a limit of 5 product photos, so stores that are thinking of listing their products on Esty or already do so, should limit themselves to 5 great quality photos. If you don't sell on Etsy, or don't plan to, go with as many as you can.

I cover the following with every product:

  • Front
  • Back
  • Angled
  • Detail - a shot focusing on a feature the product may have
  • Lifestyle - a shot with the product used in everyday life

These 5 shots give good overall detail of the product, give a sense of scale, and shows it from all angles; all things a customer is able to do in-store.

What a customer can't do is touch it, smell it or be influenced by the store itself e.g. music playing, atmosphere, lighting. To get around this, if the product is suitable, you may want to include a short video preview of your product. To do this, you'll need to drop a video element from the 'build' tab into the products 'long description' and either upload the video from your computer, or link it from a hosting website such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Shipping Rates in Weebly

To set your shipping rates in Weebly, within your 'store' tab click on 'settings'. This will take you to a sub-category menu, where you click 'shipping'.

From here you're able to input the different rates for each country you ship to if necessary. Very easy!

Returns & Shipping

If you're selling any product, you'll need to clearly identify your returns policy and your shipping policy too.

It's quite important to know your consumer laws for your country, which you should be able to find quite easily through an official government commerce website. A great start is to copy and past the rules stated there onto your own returns policy site, and then change the wording to reflect your customer base and add any additions you may have to suit your business.

With your shipping, it's very important to clearly state how much you're charging for shipping, and whether shipping goes international and if there are any changes to price with international shipping.

Include the following information too:

  • Time from order confirmation to shipping
  • General shipping time-frames to their relevant country
  • Whether you include postage tracking
  • Whether you include postage insurance

All these things help your customer make a decision on whether you're credible, and if they'll do business with you. It takes a little bit of time to set-up, but it's well worth it! Tweak and change these policies as you go along in order to be as accurate as possible for your customers.

Publish your Weebly Store!

Now that you've created an online store on Weebly, integrated your merchant (e.g. PayPal or Stripe), created categories and filled these categories with products full of great photos and descriptions, and have all the information needed to make a customer feel comfortable with your site, it's time to show it to the world and start selling!

Clicking 'Publish' in the top right-hand corner of editor will make your website live. Share it on social media and begin advertising any way you prefer! Tweak and alter your site so you're able to be found through search engines, which I won't be delving into in this article, and you'll be selling your products in no time!

© 2014 James Steadman

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2 comments

tomy101 profile image

tomy101 2 years ago from Midland, Texas

Very interesting story about building a cheaper priced website. Since I work 40 hours a week I have been looking for a place to sell my art. I think I will try this Weebly and I appreciate all you had to say..Thank You


jamessteadman profile image

jamessteadman 2 years ago from Brisbane Author

Thanks tomy101, give it a shot and just try it out on the free plan until you've set out your store the way you want. After you've got it looking great, test it out on your friends/family and get their thoughts, make any changes then upgrade your plan for the year and get to selling! If you need any hints or tips, feel free to message!

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