Starting an online shop is an attractive idea – it gives you the chance to be selling your products 24/7, not just on market day. But it’s important to go into setting up an online store with a plan and with a few key things in mind.
1. Make sure you have a secure site
This is increasingly important for all websites but it’s essential for an online shop. You need to have that padlock on the browser bar so that your customers will feel confident enough to hand over their credit card details!
2. Think about your guarantees and returns
If someone doesn’t know you but comes across your shop online and likes the look of your products – but has never had the chance to see one in real life – what kind of assurances can you give them so they have the confidence to buy? Depending on the product this might be making a returns or exchange policy clear, so that they know if something doesn’t fit, for example, they can swap it over.
3. Clearly explain your shipping costs and policy
Don’t surprise your customers with a huge shipping cost at checkout – make sure that it’s really easy to find your costs for shipping and any other important aspects of your shipping policy wherever they are in your shop. If shipping costs depend on the location of the buyer, make sure you offer all the information they need to know what extra they’ll need to pay.
4. Make your pricing clear
Customers are often comparing prices across websites so make yours clear. It’s also a good idea to consider bundling commonly bought items together for a discount price – if someone can buy everything they want in one shop they’ll be more likely to stick with you even if the cost per item might be more.
5. Ensure your shop navigation is easy to use
Check you have all the right menus on each page of your shop so that people can easily jump around to other items or to get more information. If someone gets lost trying to find the checkout of your online store you can be fairly sure they won’t end up buying.
If you want to learn more about setting up your online shop, we have an interview with ecommerce expert Kristy Morton in our Growth Quarters programs, along with a 13-point checklist to make sure you set up your online store for success right from the start.