It can be a really exciting ride when you decide to open up your first e-commerce store. Regardless of whether you’re selling goods on behalf of other suppliers, or have your own range of items that you want to bring to the market, the web is a great place to make it happen. You don’t need a physical shop where people come in to look at what you’re selling, but you will need space to store these goods and an efficient process for selling and dispatching them.
I set up my own shop online a couple of years ago where I started selling my handmade jewellery to a new market; I’ve learned some valuable lessons and thought you may benefit from some of these. Here are just a few of my tips for when you come to setting up your own e-commerce store…
Have a good website
My first recommendation would be to have a really great website. It’s important to have a combination of design and development to allow the user experience to be the best it can. People will land on your website with a specific type of product in mind, so make sure they can find it easily with clear navigation, product descriptions and images. Make it clear what you want them to do on your website, whether this is adding something to the shopping cart, or calling you for a custom product.
Customer service is important
Even when you don’t have a physical presence on the high street, you’ll still need top notch customer service when you sell online. There are a number of ways to achieve this, and each of them comes at a different stage of the buying cycle. Firstly, make sure that you have up to date contact details on your website, or allow customers to interact with you through a live chat widget. You should also have a full list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) which might answer information about delivery times or returns.
Speaking of delivery times, customers expect to get their items when you say they will. Therefore if they’re paying extra for next day delivery, make sure it happens. Of course, there may always be events out of your control (one example being a heavy snowstorm) but by choosing a respected logistics company you should be able to overcome common administration errors. If there is a nationwide issue with deliveries, make sure you highlight this on your website, ideally in the top header.
Encourage customer interaction
Finally, make sure your customers are on your side. You can keep most people happy by making sure they have a seamless experience on your website all the way to buying, receiving and using the product they’ve bought. Happy customers can be brilliant for getting new website visitors to trust you; all you need to do is get your customers to fill out reviews online. You can also use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to engage with your customers, give them special offers, as well as dealing with specific customer service inquiries.