An e-commerce site is essential if you’re starting a business in the 21st century — online shopping shows no sign of slowing down, thanks to its convenience.
If you’re new to it all, it can be difficult to know what to do first, especially since getting started is often the most daunting part. But it’s also an exciting time. Developing a business you feel passionate about is rewarding and well worth making the effort for.
We’re keen to ease your worries in the lead up to your launch, so here are three tips for newbies who are starting an e-commerce site.
1. Make sure you do your market research
You could have the most inventive idea in the world, but if it doesn’t suit customer needs it’s not going to take off. Research will help you identify the gap in the market your site can fill and gives you a chance to focus on significant details, like postage prices (shipping costs are a major reason why people abandon their shopping carts).
It’s also worth seeing what your competitors are doing. What do they do well, and how can you do it better? How can you make the experience as smooth as possible for your customers? Being thorough from the beginning means you won’t have to make lots of changes further down the line.
2. Pick a platform to host your site
Take your time when you pick a platform. It’s what you’ll use to design your site and manage it every day, so it’s important you find it easy to use. It also needs to be easy for visitors to navigate — the more simple the shopping process, the more likely they are to convert to paying customers.
A subscription service such as Shopify or a free platform like WordPress are some of the simplest options, unless you have the skills to code correctly and you’re happy to take that responsibility on.
What to consider when you choose a platform:
How much does it cost?
Are there any plugins you could use?
Will your site run well on both mobile and desktop?
Is it SEO friendly?
3. Write up a list of terms and conditions
Throughout the entire process of setting up your e-commerce site, you need to pay close attention to the relevant consumer laws. This includes making a list of terms and conditions which form a legal agreement, protect you and the customer, and make it clear where both parties stand.
Work out what your terms and conditions need to include, then use a tool to generate them. It’s important to check whether your host platform can display your terms and conditions in a clear way. Customers shouldn’t struggle to
These are just three ways to ensure your e-commerce site has a high chance of success! What would you recommend? Let us know in the comments.