More and more businesses are opting to sell goods online over a brick and mortar storefront. It’s often cheaper, less overhead, easier to find a niche market, the list of reasons goes on. From giants like Amazon to small mom & pop operations, eCommerce is an essential part of business today.
Starting an eCommerce business might be easier than running a storefront, but there are things you need to consider and plan for. We’ll go over some of the key points of making sure you have a properly functioning and successful eCommerce website.
Content, and Lots of it
Whether you’re selling organic foods, crafts, apparel, or anything else, you need written content. There’s a saying that “content is king” and this rings true. Written content helps not only fill out your site with useful information about what you’re selling but can help greatly with increasing your site’s search rankings. You’ll want to make sure you have a good chunk of content for all your non-product pages you’re planning such as the home page, about page, etc. Making sure your products have thorough descriptions and information is just as important as well. Think of questions that might be (or already are) asked before someone buys it.
Pictures Are Worth 1000 Words
Content is important, but the pictures of your product are likely to be the first thing that your audience engages with. If they don’t like what they see, they’ll be gone in a second. Having good, high quality, professional looking pictures for your products and your site is absolutely necessary for your eCommerce site to be successful. Make sure to have pictures of all your variations as well. If you’re selling a t-shirt, for example, be sure to include pictures of all the available colors and styles.
Customers are going to need a way to pay for your goods and services. Signing up for a payment gateway should be an essential part of setting up your business. Some popular and trusted payment gateways are Authorize.net, Evalon, Stripe, Square and PayPal. These services will connect your business bank account to the website and are responsible for capturing credit card information safely and securely.
How Are You Going To Ship Your Goods?
There are many different shipping providers you can sign up with that can provide live and accurate rates and apply it immediately to the purchase. The steps involved in the actual shipping process are highly dependent on the service you sign up with. Some may require you to use their software for labels while others simply let you do everything on their website. If you’re using a drop-shipping service then most of the shipping of the products will be handled on their end.
Start Getting Social
Social media, while not completely necessary, is a good way to help build an audience and get people to your store. Ideally, using platforms like Faceboook, Instagram, and Twitter to garner interest before the site even launches will help you get some day 1 sales. Offering coupons through social media can help bring more people in and measure how effective your social media marketing is.
Setting up an eCommerce site, while easier than setting up a physical storefront, still requires preparation of it’s own. Having good content and good pictures will be your main selling point for your products. Ensuring your payment gateways and shipping methods are in order will allow your business to function.