The Lowdown on setting up an Online Shop

Here we look at four major steps to building an online shop today that touches on your online strategy, logistics, further business and longevity.

1. The Basics
Marketing Strategy
Before you begin, make sure that your bright idea for an online shop has a strategised approach to it. Scattershot and hasty plans can often fall by the wayside when you simply take every day as it comes. Ensure to at the very least know who your target audience is, monitor stock control levels and keep your customer service ethics at the forefront.

Website, Domain + Hosting
Your online shop needs to be supported and responsive online to merely exist and function. As this is paramount, you need to have a fully responsive and modern website to serve as the main focal point of your business. Secure the best domain name that you can that pertains to your business/online shop and make sure that your hosting services can support your online shop and visitor activity reliably and effectively.

2. The Transaction
Payment  + SSL
The monetary aspect of online shopping is obviously regulated and monitored for safety and security when done legitimately. As part of this, you need to register for what is known as an SSL certificate. This encrypts data which passes through your online shop to ensure that the debit and credit card data that you capture is kept safe and secure. You will also need to consider how you process payments through the likes of PayPal or Stripe etc.

Will you charge a flat fee for shipping, charge nothing at all or determine the price by the weight/size of the item(s)? This all needs to be decided and calculated so that you can offer total clarity to your shoppers. You also need to take into account international shipping rates and currencies to ascertain how to form your different shipping pricing structures.

3. The Business
E-Mail Marketing
With the main components of your online shop now in place, implement some business practice to make the most out of this new setup. If customers must enter their e-mail to place an order or to make an account, let them now that their e-mail address will be utilised for further communication in the form of newsletters and offers etc. Of course you must give them an opt-out option for this; but if you list an attractive incentive as to why they should not opt-out, you will actively add to your e-mail marketing lists and overall database.

As with most business activity, the measurement and capture of data via analytics can reveal to you what worked and what did not worked to avoid repeating failed endeavours and to signal what is worthwhile to continue. Analytics can point you in the right direction in as to what worked well in terms of the layout of your online shop for example as you can see which sections were clicked on and accessed prominently.

4. Don’t forget . . .
Content, content, content
Do not forget to tend to your online shop by adding fresh and updated content on a regular basis – just like you should with a regular business website. A blog is a common and failsafe way to achieve this. But don’t be afraid to refresh or reword some product descriptions and pictures at intervals to keep your online shop look active, busy, attentive and busy.

The expert team at Ireland Website Design can set up your online shop for you as part of a modern, slick and responsive website build/redesign. We go the extra mile to ensure that this is optimised to the highest business standards in 2016, user-friendly for both mobile and desktop users and offer a free window of support even after your online shop goes live.

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