Planning an online store is an exciting step. Whether you have a physical retail operation and are creating an online channel, or whether your new venture will be entirely online, there are many realities to consider. Here are our top 3:
1. An online store can:
- Be the face of your business to anyone who finds you online,
- Create a first impression of your business for your visitors – bear in mind that many people will Google you when they first hear about your business,
- Enable customers to make and pay for bookings, appointments, vouchers, documents or memberships online within minimal effort from the website owner,
- Showcase your products and provide a way for people to purchase them,
- Annoy your visitors if it is hard to navigate, seems untrustworthy, or hard to make a purchase,
- Delight your visitors if it is customer-friendly and gives a sense of trust in the people behind the website.
2. An online store won’t:
- Run your business for you – you will still need to market it, keep it up to date and process customer orders.
- Remove your administrative and financial responsibilities – it won’t do your tax, accounts, receipts, or invoices.
- Attract thousands of sales overnight – just like any website, it needs thorough marketing and search engine work to build your traffic and your customer database up over time.
- Guarantee your business success – you still need all the basics of a great business and customer service.
3. Ongoing costs to consider:
You’ll know by now that you can’t set up an online store and have it instantly processing hundreds of transactions overnight. Your online shop will require ongoing investment into marketing to continually expand your reach and grow your customer base.
The majority of our successful Ecommerce clients contribute ongoing marketing investment into:
- Advertising on other websites (banner or image ads)
- PR campaigns to generate articles and discussion on other websites
- Placement of product or services on blogs or network sites
- Google or Facebook advertising
- Search Engine Optimisation to gain free Search traffic
- Maintaining a Facebook page or Twitter account
- Usability research and customer feedback
If you need help with planning, building, or marketing an online store, talk to us to make sure you’ve covered all the bases before you launch.