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10 questions to ask
when creating an
online store

L

aunching an online store can be challenging, especially for small businesses that lack the time, budget and resources. Having a trusted marketing partner by your side throughout the process can make things easier.

Here are 10 questions you need to ask before launching your online store:

1. How do I start building my online store?

First things first. Once you decide to make your business an online reality, you need to hire an e-commerce agency to build a customised eshop for you and take over all the technical activities – be it coding, hosting, and maintenance.

If you can’t afford to outsource, don’t sweat it. Several e-commerce platforms like Bigcommerce, Shopify, and WordPress offer customised e-commerce solutions backed by powerful tools. Once you set it up, you’ll be able to design the style of your online store, upload your product catalog, set up a payment system, and manage your orders.

1. How do I start building my online store?

First things first. Once you decide to make your business an online reality, you need to hire an e-commerce agency to build a customised eshop for you and take over all the technical activities – be it coding, hosting, and maintenance.

If you can’t afford to outsource, don’t sweat it. Several e-commerce platforms like Bigcommerce, Shopify, and WordPress offer customised e-commerce solutions backed by powerful tools. Once you set it up, you’ll be able to design the style of your online store, upload your product catalog, set up a payment system, and manage your orders.

2. can i customise the look and feel of my online store?

The good news is that there are several readily available design templates with preset themes to use – making the process fairly simple. Although you can customise these templates up to a point, they won’t entirely match your brand identity – leaving your brand exposed and your consumers confused.

This is where brand identity and UI/UX design come into full force. If you’re serious about launching an online store, it’s best to consult a UI/UX designer who will create intuitive, aesthetically-pleasing interfaces that are aligned with your brand’s personality.

3. what payment methods should i choose?

Most businesses opt for PayPal as a safe and secure payment method when starting out. Although you don’t pay a monthly subscription to the platform, seller fees can add up quickly. Paypal charges 2,9% on the total transaction amount, plus a fixed amount ($0,30) per transaction.

Other alternative payment methods are JCC, Viva Wallet, Sixt, and Wallee. Before setting up any payment method, make sure to check the commissions and fees involved.

3. what payment methods should i choose?

Most businesses opt for PayPal as a safe and secure payment method when starting out. Although you don’t pay a monthly subscription to the platform, seller fees can add up quickly. Paypal charges 2,9% on the total transaction amount, plus a fixed amount ($0,30) per transaction.

Other alternative payment methods are JCC, Viva Wallet, Sixt, and Wallee. Before setting up any payment method, make sure to check the commissions and fees involved.

4. will i be able to manage the content of my website?

It’s essential to have full access to your website, from adding products and categories to updating pages and shipping information. Several open-source and paid e-commerce platforms with great CMS systems let you manage your website end-to-end.

When choosing a platform to work with, make sure it’s well-supported. You don’t want to end up frustrated for not being able to make updates or modifications in a few months time.

5. how do i calculate shipping costs?

Most e-commerce vendors allow you to integrate carrier costs into your store’s checkout section. Providing different shipping options (pick-up, normal delivery, express delivery) is critical for increasing conversions. After all, e-commerce is all about choice and convenience, isn’t it?

Free shipping is one of the most effective promotional tactics to increase your sales. According to a study, 88% of consumers say a free shipping offer would make them more likely to shop online – making it a top incentive for consumers at all purchase frequency levels.

5. how do i calculate shipping costs?

Most e-commerce vendors allow you to integrate carrier costs into your store’s checkout section. Providing different shipping options (pick-up, normal delivery, express delivery) is critical for increasing conversions. After all, e-commerce is all about choice and convenience, isn’t it?

Free shipping is one of the most effective promotional tactics to increase your sales. According to a study, 88% of consumers say a free shipping offer would make them more likely to shop online – making it a top incentive for consumers at all purchase frequency levels.

Communication is at the heart of e-commerce and community.

6. how can i create attractive product images & descriptions?

Believe it or not, when it comes to establishing a digital e-commerce presence, creatives can make it or break it. Consumers can’t touch, smell, and feel your products – therefore, the way you display and describe them is imperative for your store’s success.

That said, consumers now expect high-quality imaging, 360-degree views, and animated images. Product descriptions should focus on the product’s features and benefits – what the product is and why it’s worth purchasing. While it’s tempting to start listing all the amazing product features and specs, it’s important to remember to keep it short and simple. Consumers want to know what’s in it for them – without all the extras.

7. should i allow customer reviews?

Put yourself in the customers’ shoes. When thinking about buying a new product, what would you trust more – a social media post or a 5* customer review. Considering that 81% of consumers are using Google reviews to evaluate local businesses, we’ll vote for the latter.

Providing social proof is undeniably a powerful tool for increasing brand credibility, expanding your customer base, and increasing customer loyalty. While positive reviews can really make a difference, there’s also the risk of negative comments. When this happens, it’s important to respond quickly, take the conversation offline, and take responsibility.

7. should i allow customer reviews?

Put yourself in the customers’ shoes. When thinking about buying a new product, what would you trust more – a social media post or a 5* customer review. Considering that 81% of consumers are using Google reviews to evaluate local businesses, we’ll vote for the latter.

Providing social proof is undeniably a powerful tool for increasing brand credibility, expanding your customer base, and increasing customer loyalty. While positive reviews can really make a difference, there’s also the risk of negative comments. When this happens, it’s important to respond quickly, take the conversation offline, and take responsibility.

8. how do i handle product returns?

All business owners agree that product returns are a necessary evil. Although often neglected, return process optimisation plays a significant role in the customer journey. A positive return experience means higher customer lifetime value and higher returns.

Keep customers updated on the status of their return item, and make sure to have a dedicated page or FAQ section that explains everything about your shipping and return policy.

9. how can i track the sucess of my online store?

Your e-commerce website is live, your payment methods are set up, and you’ve already received your first orders! It all seems great so far, but how do you know if your online store is a success?

Measuring the performance of your online store is easier said than done. Although sales and revenue are important metrics, you should also be looking at other KPIs such as website traffic, conversion rate, CTR, and add-to-cart events. By regularly reporting e-commerce metrics, you can ensure your business is on track while also identifying bottlenecks and deciding where to invest. Google Analytics is a great place to start tracking the success of your online store.

9. how can i track the sucess of my online store?

Your e-commerce website is live, your payment methods are set up, and you’ve already received your first orders! It all seems great so far, but how do you know if your online store is a success?

Measuring the performance of your online store is easier said than done. Although sales and revenue are important metrics, you should also be looking at other KPIs such as website traffic, conversion rate, CTR, and add-to-cart events. By regularly reporting e-commerce metrics, you can ensure your business is on track while also identifying bottlenecks and deciding where to invest. Google Analytics is a great place to start tracking the success of your online store.

10. how can i attract new customers?

In times of tough competition, business owners are finding it hard to generate high-quality leads. You don’t need a five-figure budget to stand out from the competition; organic marketing practices and small changes can make a big difference.

From social media advertising to PPC and influencer collaborations, our digital era opens a world of opportunities to e-commerce owners who want to advertise their products. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is also key for increasing your visibility on Google and landing more leads.

Don’t know where to start?

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, but you’re not alone. If you need help setting up, managing, or optimising your e-commerce store, get in touch. From graphic design to content writing and website development, we know exactly how to set your e-Shop up for success. Contact us today to book a free consultation.

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