If we told you a decade ago that you would be able to open a digital shop, you wouldn’t have believed us. Products are for the shelves on the high street, not the ether of the World Wide Web. Fast forward ten years and eCommerce businesses are starting to take over.
Today, nearly 20% of all retail purchases in the UK happen via the internet. By 2040, it is believed that eCommerce will affect 95% of sales. Wow, that’s a figure which makes you want to open up an online store as soon as possible.
You don’t know where to begin on starting a business online? that’s where Click Through Digital’s expertise comes into play. Below we have put together the seven best tips on how to launch an eCommerce shop to sell your products.
#1: Develop The Site (Start Building Your Store)
The manufacturer and product should be locked down, so let’s move straight to the web design. Without a sharp, professional platform, there is no way customers will choose you over the rest of the competition. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to speak with an expert web designer before continuing. A quality one will offer advice on:
– The host
Nowadays, there is no need to splash out for a custom site. WordPress twinned with WooCommerce is obviously popular as is Wix, but there’s also Shopify. Try Big Commerce and LemonStand as plug-in options.
#2: Choose A Platform
Payments don’t process themselves, which is why you need an eCommerce platform. Shoppers need to be able to proceed to the checkout with ease via a shopping cart. The usual suspects include:
Magento might stand out straight away because you’ve heard good things, yet it’s not great for SMBs. Because it’s highly technical and has complicated shop needs, it bests to leave it alone. Out of the options above, YoKart is our recommendation for small enterprises. With a low setup cost and a one-year licence, you can check out your business model before moving on to bigger and better things.
#3: Consider Order Fulfilment
Delivery is on you. We live in a world without patience, so your shoppers will expect things to turn up on time or even before. Although cost plays a part, it’s not the most important thing. Sometimes, it’s better to pay a little extra to ensure the customer experience is perfect. Happy people tend to come back for more and spend money. As a rule, startups should consider a drop ship business model where they take the order and an outsourcer deals with fulfillment.
On all fronts, from reputation to cost to punctuality, DHL scores highly. DPD is another which delivers on time. A word of warning though: never make promises you can’t keep. Check out a courier’s services and pair with your manufacturing and packaging times to settle on delivery times.
#4: Detail The Costs
We recommend never going into this journey blind. Launching an eCommerce shop along with products and services is costly even with a budget. Without one, it’s suicide. You’re going to be dealing with a lot of expenses, so it’s important to write them down. Start with:
– Product cost per unit
– Shipping costs, including posting and packaging
– Processing Fees
That way, you should be able to tell whether the revenue projections are feasible. As you grow, try and negotiate better deals with boost your bottom line. An eCommerce platform which provides a courier with plenty of work should get a better deal for their loyalty. Every penny you save can be invested back into the company to increase the customer experience and raise sales and profits.
#5: Focus On Security
Honestly, none of the above matters if your customers don’t have faith in the site. People who think it isn’t safe enough won’t take the risk because they are scared. There are horror stories of online fraud and they don’t want to be a victim. Security is massively important to encourage people to head to the checkout, which is why you need the best of the best.
Start by making the switch to “HTTPS.” HTTP was fine before big data skyrocketed in importance. Nowadays, users want to see a green lock in the URL whether they’re making a purchase or browse the site for info. Plus, “HTTPS” is an excellent SEO tool as Google’s algorithm uses it to rank pages.
Next, provide shoppers with multiple payment options. Inputting credit card details s scary which is why PayPal is crucial. The business’ reputation means nobody will think twice when they log in to the secure platform. Finally, update plugins on a regular basis. Updates come with new security protocols which instantly protect the site as well as customer data.
#6: Create A Marketing Strategy
“Build it and they will come” is a motto which did not consider advertising. Without raising awareness of the shop, product or brand, it’s tricky to stand out from the crowd. The good news is marketing is easier than ever before with SEO and pay-per-click ads which target your base.
Social media means you can whip up a storm by creating competitions and offering prizes and discounts. Instagram is the crown-prince right now as it has a huge following and utilises images and videos to grab people’s attention.
Don’t forget to track the origin of sales – Facebook, website, mobile, etc. – to tailor your campaigns in the future.
#7: Test It And Launch
Jeff Bezos says you only need 75% of the information before making a decision. Otherwise, you’ll put it off to the point where you miss your shot. Here at Click Through Digital, we agree because an eCommerce business is a work in progress.
Please, perform split and multivariate testing to enhance the platform and use analytic software to keep tabs on vital data. But, don’t be put off from launching because every small detail isn’t perfect. The only way to test your success is to pull the trigger and analyse the numbers.
Does the fear of failure still worry you? Call us today for a consultation and let us erase your doubts.