Tuesday, 14 June 2011

How to Set up an Online Store - Essential Techniques to Build and Advertise Part 2

As seen in the last article How to set up an Online Store Part 1 we discussed a few steps that any business should take and tackle before starting up an online store. This is a continuation from where we left off; you can follow the steps below to set up your online store:

  1. Keeping the customers attention - You can have the best marketing and advertising in the world however if your site and ecommerce solution does not deliver on the promise of good customer interaction, ease of use and excellent navigation then chances are you will loose the visitor or customer's interest very quickly. It is therefore essential that when looking at your site design and structure that you ensure it is designed with the customer in mind from the start. People like simplicity, never over complicate your site, you want to ensure that it is easy to navigate through, products can be swiftly found, pages load quickly and the steps between the product and checkout are simplified and compressed so that the buying process is as easy and quick as possible. Transparency is another important step that must be taken seriously if your site and ecommerce solution is ever going to be successful, ensure that all costs including delivery costs are shown clearly and the customer is fully aware of the overall cost of their transaction, many customers will abandon the purchase of goods if they feel deceived by the price they thought they would pay and the actual costs once everything is added, therefore to marginalise and retain customers ensure that all charges are there for the customer to see earlier in the purchase.

  2. Managing your site - Ensuring that your customers enjoy a fantastic user friendly experience and are encouraged to buy is only one of the many steps that must be taken when creating an online store, managing your site is also of utmost importance ensuring that products, prices and services remain up-to-date, controlled efficiently and effectively, putting into place a system that alerts and notifies you when orders and items are received and when you need to manage your orders. The good news is simple there are now plenty an ecommerce software available that allows and aids you to do just that. Allowing you to control and manage your ecommerce site, keep track of all sales, advertising, stock control, updates and pretty much all you will need to do from one simple management system. The ecommerce software available also allows and aids you with creating newsletters, mailshots, vouchers and brochures with special offers and details about anything new that you release encouraging and building a rapport with your customers and encouraging them to visit your store and buy again.

  3. Dealing with payments - You'll need to organise a way that allows you to accept payment for your products and goods once your store is set up and ready to go, therefore you will need to choose an online payment gateway and an internet merchant account to take card payments. There are many options available to you these days and one must research the best payment option for yourself before moving forward. Look into the charges set by each option before taking one on board and it would be highly recommended to test these options before going ahead with your choice.

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