Ready to sell online? Here’s how to get your e-commerce business started

Selling online is a no-brainer for most businesses these days. It offers so many benefits, from incredibly low costs to wider exposure for your products.

However, you will need to put the work in to set up your e-commerce website. The design of your site is very important, as this is essentially the new digital shopfront for your business. It needs to look amazing and show off your products well, but function well too. It should have intuitive, customer-friendly features and a clear journey all the way through to checkout, as well as being easy for you to use.

If you’re starting an e-commerce business from scratch or making the switch to selling online, here’s all you need to know to get your project off the ground:

Set up your website

If you don’t already have a website, it could well be worth building in e-commerce functionality at the same time as commissioning the design – rather than bolting it on afterwards. You can use solutions like Shopify or WooCommerce to add a simple online shop to your site, but bear in mind that these only offer basic features and you may need something more tailored to your needs.

When choosing an e-commerce solution, whether out-of-the-box or designed just for you, there are lots of things to think about. Consider what you’ll need in order to list and display your products, how your checkout process will work and what kinds of payments you’ll accept. How complicated does the process need to be and will you need integration with other platforms, apps or solutions?

When choosing a domain name, it’s crucial to pick something that is easy to say and spell, and that isn’t too similar to a competitor (unless you intend this deliberately).

Build your store

Once your e-commerce store is ready to populate, you’ll need to make sure you have exceptional content to fill it with. It can be well worth investing in beautiful product photography and video, as well as persuasive and informative product descriptions. Do some research to find out what makes a high-converting product page.

Test, test, test

Online shoppers are an impatient bunch. If a page is slow to load, a link is broken or the checkout process is too complicated, they may not stick around. To anticipate any problems before your e-commerce site goes live, do as much testing as you can. Complete the shopping process from start to finish, on a number of browsers and devices. You can even ask friends or an impartial focus group of testers for their feedback on how they found their shopping experience.

Two crucial things to remember when building an e-commerce site (or adding online shopping to your existing site) – it needs to really sell your products, and it needs to provide an easy, enjoyable shopping experience. Get these two essential building blocks right and you’ll be on your way.

Ambos Digital is an e-commerce specialist, and our experts can help you to develop or improve your online retail offer. Give us a call on 0800 774 7025 to find out more.

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