When it comes to creating an online store, preparation is needed to ensure you understand the full process.
Creating an online store can be quite daunting especially when you have the end goal in mind but just don’t know how to get there.
So Where Do I Start?
Before you build an online store, you need to know all the details of the products that you plan to sell on it.
These include product names, description, images, pricing, weight, stock count and any other additional info which you need to include.
Create a file and prepare all these information.
How Do I Get The Look I Want?
All shopping cart software providers will throw in some free templates which you can use for your online store.
Bear in mind that you can always customize the look of the free templates if you don’t wish to buy any template. Ask customer service for help if you’re unsure on how to get it done.
The other option if you’re not on a tight budget is to buy a ready made template to use for your store.
If you have a bigger budget and know clearly that you want your site to have the look of your brand, you can pay for a custom designed template.
Which Payment Gateway Should I Use?
The most popular one would be PayPal if you’re just starting out as the fees are reasonable.
Other payment gateways may require setup and monthly fees so you want to watch out for those.
You can always offer more than one payment gateway so that your customers will have other payment options when buying from you.
How Much Should I Charge For Shipping?
You’ll need to decide whether you want to use real time carrier rates or configure your own manual shipping rates.
If you prefer to charge your own shipping rates, then decide whether you want to ship local or international or both.
Then measure the dimensions of your product and packaging so that your shipping calculations will be more accurate.
If you’re planning to offer free shipping, make sure you calculate your shipping charges properly so that you don’t end up with any loss.
It would be best to use real time carrier rates but your ecommerce solution will need to be integrated with the courier service of your choice to show customers the rates correctly.
How Can I Make My Product Look Better?
You need to take better product images.
Get a white background with proper lighting and take good quality pictures of your products.
Don’t just add only 1 product image. Add several to show different angles of your product.
Online shoppers can’t touch or feel your product so the only way would be for them to view it from different angles.
Should I Allow Customers To Review and Rate My Products?
You should if you really believe in your products.
In saying that, you also have a choice to approve the product review and rating from your customers as you won’t allow them to simply add those feedback to your site.
Positive reviews and ratings will add a boost to your online store’s credibility and can be shared on social media to get the word out about your product and customer service.
How Am I Going To Get More Shoppers To Buy My Stuff?
You’ll need to work on setting up your online store proper and get more exposure for your products.
One of the ways is via social media. Here’s an important list on how to sell more online which you can refer to.
Should I Offer Refunds For Returns?
This will depend on the value of your product.
If it’s going to cost more than shipping a replacement product to your buyer, then you may want to communicate with your buyer offering a free replacement.
However, it’s good to have a warranty period for your products as it will give customers the confidence to buy from you.
Your refunds should come with reasonable conditions which you need to state clearly on your site the terms for refunds.
How Can I Rank Better On Google Search?
Make sure your site is mobile friendly and responsive.
To fulfill these criteria, you’ll need to pass Google’s mobile friendly and page speed load test.
Other than that, your products and online store should have proper description and write up to provide relevant and accurate information.
How Would I Know Whether I’m Going The Right Way?
You’ll need to constantly check your site’s performance and tweak your site by adding relevant content to your blog, sharing your product images, advice, tips on social media.
Most shopping cart software solutions offer help so you can reach out to them to get advice and feedback on your online store.
In A Nutshell
Creating an online store is an easy task although it may look daunting at first. But by asking the right questions and noting down your answers, you’ll get an idea on what you need to prepare for the store setup process.
Bear in mind that your online store not only needs to look good, it must be mobile friendly and be able to load fast on any device to meet Google’s requirements.
To capture visitor’s attention and answer their questions regarding your product, you need to show good quality clear product images and description on your online store.
And to reach a wider target audience to get more organic traffic to your site, you’ll need to use social media and blog about your products by offering tips, advice and show good quality images for others to share.
Make sure you calculate shipping correctly as you do not want to suffer any loss.
Offering customers a fair return or refund policy will help to increase customer confidence to buy from you.
In order to keep growing your business, you need to constantly work on it by monitoring where visitors are coming from and ensuring that they’re getting the result that they’re looking for when they land on your site.