We have quite a few Ecommerce websites in our Portfolio, but also have team members who run their own. We asked them to share a few tips for Starting an Ecommerce Business.
9 things to consider when thinking about starting an Ecommerce Business
Design – Ask yourself: what is my online store about? Is it design lead? What type of design will be best for my shop? Can the design change in the future, without losing my content? Try to Imagine if you have 2000 items in your online store and in 3 years time you would like your website to move with the times.
In case you are asking, the answer is: yes! We take all these into consideration.
Responsive Web Design – This is an absolute requirement for new websites. It simply means that your website will rearrange itself according to the size of the screen it will be viewed on. This means that it works as well on Mobile devices.
We also provide Responsive Web Design
Payment Options – What’s the best way to facilitate my clients’ payments? Many are the available payment solutions: credit cards, debit cards, cash on delivery, collect and pay. We are happy to advise on options and costs as well as security issues in relation to accepting online payments.
When gathering customers information, you should definitely think about SSL certificates to ensure your customers’ privacy.
Shipping Options – What countries will I sell to? Are there places I dont want to deal with? Will I charge by item? Will I include shipping costs per weight and location or shipping cost for total purchase? Will I offer free shipping for certain products or if the client spends more than a specific amount? Flat Rate or location based shipping options should be considered.
Product options – Will my products be digital downloads, physical goods or both? What range of options do I need to display to clients? Can I quickly put items on sale and show discounts and feature discounted items? Can I show related items to encourage upsells during the purchase process?
Stock Control – How do I manage stock control? How big an issue is it for me? If I sell out of a product can I replace it in 24/48 hours or is it “when it’s gone, it’s gone”? Can Stock Control systems can show actual stock or limited stock or show stock always available and even can show order now even if an item is out of stock.
There are different ways to approach this. Talk to us for further information.
Integrated online and Offline shop – Will it be possible to have both a Retail and Online Shop? Should I prefer Online over Retail? Can they coexist and be compatible without hurting my business? Can I handle them both using the same stock?
Handyweb.ie offers a unique package, particularly geared at new startups, which allows them run their offline shop and online shop from the same Ecommerce.
How much time to put into your Ecommerce management – If your Ecommerce site is well planned, you will automatically get notified of each order that comes in. This way you can quickly print out the order requirements, place them ready for fulfillment and, dispatch the orders sending an instant notification to your customers. You can have your orders area set up that a single click will email the client. This basically means that you will end up into a daily routine of checking your orders. With a proper Stock Control System and a well planned Ecommerce, you will have very few tasks to do everytime.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – How do I get my products out there? How do I attract more customers towards what they’re really looking for? The design of your online store should go hand in hand with Search Engine Optimisation
Don’t feel overwhelmed by what you need to consider. Do ensure this list is on your agenda no matter who you talk to about delivering a quality Ecommerce website. Do ensure that whoever you choose will be there to help and assist on the longer term. A well planned website will make it easy for you to monitor which products are selling well (good reporting), a well thought out order system will make it easy for you to deal with orders and your stock system will ensure you keep your stock levels up to date (or expire products that are no longer available or temporarily unavailable).
While building your website, keep Search Engine Optimisation in mind, and consider integrating Social Media Marketing tools.
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