How to Start an Ecommerce Business
Any retailer or service provider can take their business from store-front to digital! With ecommerce purchases growing every year, now is as good a time as any to make the switch to digital selling. Here are some simple steps and key considerations to make on the way to taking your business digital.
Step 1: Products & product photography
If you already have a brick-and-mortar storefront, chances are there will be little for you to do when it comes to deciding on products to sell. It is important to consider how many more products you may need to have in stock in order to meet your in-store and online demand. Shop around for the best deals from suppliers as often bulk orders can lead to better deals.
Product photography is also an important consideration at this stage. It is best to invest in the right equipment, or hire a professional photographer, in order to show off your products. Product photography is essential for ecommerce, where customers cannot physically see or hold the item.
Step 2: Building your online storefront
With your product supply and images secured, you can now consider building your ecommerce website. At this stage it is important to consider whether you would like to create your own website from scratch or use an online marketplace such as eBay or Amazon.
When building your ecommerce website it is important to shop around ecommerce hosting providers to find one that meets the needs of your store. For example, businesses who have built their website using Wordpress will find WooCommerce the best choice for them as it is designed specifically for easy integration with Wordpress websites. Whereas larger businesses may opt for Magento as it offers greater customisation.
Step 3: Finding and integrating an online payment gateway
With your website built and your products listed, you’ll need to find an online payment gateway to allow you to accept credit and debit card payments from customers. With eCommerce card payments are almost essential to completing sales and they offer greater convenience for many customers. It is crucial to choose your payment gateway carefully and to ensure customers feel that their data is being handled securely through your payment portal. Payment gateway providers will also charge a fee to get started and offer a variety of different services, so it is important to shop around to find the right provider for your store.
Step 4: Optimisation
With your store now up and running and ready to start taking payments, you’ll need to be able to reach your customers. With more and more customers opting for tablets or smartphones when online shopping it is important to make sure that your website is as easy to navigate on a desktop as it is on a mobile device. Additionally, you will need to consider how best to optimise your website for speed. Consumers expect websites to respond faster on a mobile device compared to a desktop, so optimising for speed efficiency is crucial for mobile ecommerce sites.