Think about this before you start selling online

Starting to sell online can be a bit of a mammoth task. Over the years we've helped a number of folk through the shark infested waters of a new ecommerce adventure. Here's my handy breakdown of what you should be thinking about when embarking into the world of the online store...

Know your aims

As with most things in life, think about why you're doing it. This will help everything fall into place much easier and give us a yardstick later down the line to judge the site's success.

For most ecommerce websites the aim is simple - make as much money as you can. Other goals may come into play too - for example, getting a database of repeat customers may be a secondary aim, or allowing you to hit a bigger audience than your bricks & mortar store allows.

Know what you're selling

Knowing your product inside out seems like a really simple step, but it's worth thinking about.

What products are you going to sell? How will you categorise them? Think about what each product page will need - photography, names, descriptions, options, and pricing.

Know who'll buy it

Consider where your buyers are going to come from - do you already have a following you can target? How can you get their attention?

Think about how you'll get new customers - it could be through SEO, social media, advertising, email marketing, or even other sources like Google Shopping listings.

Know what happens after they buy

When an order comes in, who's going to pack it up and send it out? How will they know when there's a new order? Which courier will you use? Do you need to manage stock levels?

Not only that, but it's worth thinking about aftercare too. Will you follow them up with an email? Request reviews? What if they're not happy with the product?

Then build the system

This is usually where most people jump in - but I think knowing the above first is a much better way forward.

Admittedly, you don't always know all that upfront - but a rough idea is always handy before you speak to your web designer. We always try to help out clients who aren't yet entirely certain and guide them through the process in the right order.

Knowing all this upfront means we  can select and tailor an ecommerce platform that'll work best for your business as it grows.

Hopefully these tips will help you start selling online and kick-start your business growth. If you have any queries, feel free to drop us a line or pop your question in the comments.

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