With e-commerce continuing to grow in popularity and becoming the preferred method of shopping for an increasing number of consumers, it might seem that starting your own online store is a complex, confusing process.
It doesn’t have to be. Break the task down using these four simple questions and you’ll have a good idea of what you’re going to need from your designer and developer.
What are you selling?
There’s no point rushing into things unless you’re certain about your product or service. It’s not just about asking yourself “what is my product?”. It’s working out how you’re going to deliver it using the web. Will it be delivered to your customer’s door? Will they need to print a voucher to redeem it somewhere, or will it be as simple as a download or a phone call?
What shopping functionality will you offer?
If you’re only selling a single product, the process will be easy. Customers will need only click buy, enter their personal and payment details and they’ll be set. If, however, you’re offering multiple products with various options for customer personalisation, you’ll need to consider how best to present visitors with the options available to them.
How can customers pay?
It’s highly likely most of your customers are going to want to pay using their credit card. You’ll need to choose a secure, trusted, dependable payment gateway and a merchant account so you can receive funds.
How will you deliver what you sell?
If you’re selling physical products, you’ll need to factor shipping costs into your pricing and offer customers a range of options in terms of tracking and speed of delivery. Consider establishing a working relationship with a single freight company and offering customers discounted or free shipping if they buy a certain number of items from you.
As you can tell, a major part of creating a successful e-commerce store quickly and efficiently depends on knowing your product – and knowing how you’re going to offer and deliver that product to your customers. Always keep the user’s experience in mind and be clear about the simplest ways to interact with visitors to your online store.