The value of the eCommerce market is growing at an unprecedented rate across the UK and the world.
“Huge 46.5% year-over-year (YoY) growth in eCommerce sales last year will be followed by strong growth of 20.5% in 2021,” says eCommerce forecaster, EMarketer.
The reasons for this acceleration are hardly surprising and not only because of the recent economic shifts.
When you open an eCommerce store, you can reach a worldwide audience, no matter what time of day it is. Because you’re not limited by opening hours, regulations, staff, or the financial burden of a physical store, you can accelerate the growth of your business and focus your investment on the areas that really count.
For many years, we’ve been helping our customers to design, create, launch, and even market their online stores with incredible success. But we often hear questions like, “How do we get started?”, “How can I shift my business online?” and “How do I accept online payments?”
In this short article, we set out to answer these questions for you so you can take action and achieve your business goals.
What is a good way to make an eCommerce shop?
Before you open your online store, you need to make several key business decisions that will influence how easily your customers will find you, whether they’ll buy and your market success as a whole.
1. What will you sell?
If you’re already in business, this question will already be answered for you. But if you’re starting from scratch, start by considering which products you want to sell. Who is your target audience and what problems do they need you to solve? Is there a market for this product? Who are your competitors?
Whilst you do so, consider what your niche could be. What is the area of expertise that you could focus on? For example, instead of selling nutritional supplements, focus on a smaller area such as plant-based or sports supplements. By selecting a niche, you will find it easier to stand out from the competition, attract your customers and make more sales.
2. Who will supply your products?
If you have a special skill such as jewellery making, you could make your products yourself and then ship them to your customer. Although this is an easy way to get started, it does involve significant work, takes time, and can make it harder to scale your business.
Alternatively, you could find a manufacturer and buy directly or buy wholesale/bulk. This gives you more freedom and control but there may be additional issues such as minimum orders, quality issues or storage.
Another popular option is dropshipping. This is where you partner with a drop shipping agent and they take care of stock, deal with the orders, manage the inventory, and ship the product to your customer. This can be ideal if you don’t have the space and involves low risks and reduced costs. However, it can be highly competitive and harder to make a profit.
How do I set up my eCommerce shop?
Once you’ve done the background work and made your decisions, it’s time to set up shop. This can be a complex phase, but with our help and guidance, you can make the process much easier and start selling online faster. Here’s what you need to consider:
Your business name: Keep it short and simple, easy to remember and include a keyword if possible, to help with your future SEO efforts. Once you’ve done this, register your domain name and grab those social media handles before anyone else does!
Your logo: To attract your ideal customers, you need to ensure you have a high-quality logo that reflects your brand values and impresses your customers. Don’t rush this step or find a budget option just to speed up your launch. It needs to be good!
Build your store: To attract customers, you need to set up your store properly. The website design needs to be outstanding, the product pages should be organised effectively and you should have clear call to actions, shipping options and an SSL certificate. Contact us today to ensure you do this correctly.
Build your brand
Once you’ve built your eCommerce website, it’s time to focus on building your brand, attracting loyal customers, and developing a sense of trust. Connect with your audience, post regularly to social media, be consistent, get feedback and never take your eyes off the ball.
This is the perfect time to focus on your digital marketing strategy. Create autoresponders, create outstanding content and consider using marketing automation to lighten your workload.
How do I decide which platform to use for my eCommerce shop?
ECommerce platforms help you create your online store without the need for additional coding or expenses. There are a variety of providers including WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento which could suit the needs of your growing business. Here are some factors to bear in mind when choosing:
1. How easy is it to set up your shop?
2. Is the platform user-friendly, secure, and easy to navigate?
3. Are the integrations easy to use?
4. Is it SEO friendly? You should make it easy for Google to find your website.
5. Is it mobile friendly? This will make your customers more likely to buy.
6. Does it provide easy-to-understand analytics?
7. What payment options does it offer?
8. What is the price? Are there any hidden costs?
If you are designing and building your eCommerce website with our help, we can provide full guidance as to which platform you should use.
What's the easiest and most cost-effective way to start accepting payments online?
PayPal offers three merchant options and usually omits the monthly fee (but transactions may be charged up to 3%).
Square provides an easy way to accept payments and charges a 2.75% transaction fee with no monthly charge or a flat $275USD payment with no translation fees.
Many eCommerce platforms allow you to receive payment via bank transfer. Check with your bank for fees and merchant charges.