Exploring ecommerce options for your business or product range? Welcome to the world of online shopping carts, payment gateways and your own web store.
Online shopping has been spreading around like wildfire ever since people started buying and selling online at the end of the last century. Online stores and ecommerce-enabled web shops brought the supermarket into your homes. Now, with smart phones and mobiles online shopping is chasing you everywhere - to your bathroom, to your car (drive safe!), to your everyday commute and to the waiting room at your dentist.
Shopping sites exist wherever there is a digital screen. Online shopping sites nowadays offer up everything from books to flowers to second-hand business jets. Online clothing stores are abundant, so are shopping websites selling electronic items or musical instruments or adventure holidays or custom motorcycles.
So you've figured out your own place in the world of online shopping and you've decided to create a web shop to sell your products online. There's a large number of e-commerce platforms and website builders out there. You can build a web store sooner than you can say 'Amazon' but building an online store is only a small step on your climb to conquer the steep slopes of online shopping and ecommerce.
Customer acquisition is going to be one of the greatest challenges that you face. Perhaps you ran an offline business that relied more on face-to-face consulting to generate revenues and personal sales to get your products over the counter. With an online shop you suddenly have to re-learn the game. Even your customers might be different when it comes to online shopping. You've suddenly replaced your friendly, trustworthy, confidence-inspiring face with a cheerful, but incredibly dumb, collection of images and text and pixels that are collectively called a 'website'. How will this electronic salesman do the job that took you years to perfect?
Creating a webstore is simple but giving it some sort of persona can be incredibly difficult, if not downright impossible. At the worst, you will be forced to play the price-cutting game with your online store but you can only do that to a certain level.
The words and images you use on your online store must tell your story. We take care of the user experience and the functionality that makes it easier for customers shopping online for your products. Driving customers to your online store is another skill you will have to learn. We provide you some tips here: Digital Marketing and here: Copywriting.
You need to organize your webstore in a way that is easy to understand. Blipteam offers you 4 levels of navigation. You can do this on your online clothing store, for instance:
- Plain Tshirts
- Printed Tshirts
This is a powerful sorting system for your webstore. But with great power comes great responsibility. You need to make your web store easy to navigate, with terms that are easy to understand. Try out a small version of your 'some day its gonna be huge' online clothing store. Get your friends to act out the roles of online shoppers - you will be surprised with the results. See this section for some general information in All About Website Design. It will give you more information on website structure, online shop design and also business strategy.
Getting customers around to your online store is a big achievement. Getting them to purchase something and then returning for more is another task. It is way more efficient to sell to an existing customer than to spend time and money acquiring a new one. Make sure your product information, your sales messaging and your pricing is consistent throught your webstore.
You also need to ensure your shipping and refunds operations are up to scratch to ensure your customers are happy and recommend you further to others. Shipping is important - remember, your shoppers do not have the pleasure or instant satisfaction of trying out their purchase immediately. So offering discounts or free shipping can be a way to provide some online shopping satisfaction.
Provide as much information as you can, upload 6 images instead of one. You don't want to lose a customer to another web shop just because they were unable to find enough information on your webstore. Start with fewer products, polish your online selling skills and then expand your online shopping website.