Is having an online business for you?

If you’ve thought of setting up an online business for either a new or established company then it may be worth sitting down with a pen, paper and your thinking hat. We all know that ecommerce is the way of the future (and present) but as more and more retailers look to set up new ecommerce sites they forget some basic things:

1. Stand out from the crowd

I speak to a variety of people who have businesses or want to start up and whenever i ask them ‘What’s your USP?’ they look blankly at me. Chances are whatever niche you are selling in there will already be a big player already there. Whether it’s Amazon, ASOS or Dabs you need to make sure you can offer an alternative to them. People like to buy from names they trust online, such as online equivalents of high street stores (eg. Argos, Next and Tesco). So if you want to compete with these names, you better have something special. So what is it?

2. What is your website about?

So many people think setting up in ecommerce is just have a website with a shopping cart and the sales roll in. It’s almost definitely not that easy. Be creative, have a website which is different to that of your competitors. Set up a webpage which shows your products in a novel, exciting way, or help visitors find what they’re looking for using new technology. Comparison sites work well because they help people filter based on things important to them, and social buying sites such as Groupon and KGBdeals use their websites to sell in a completely different way.

3. Do you need to sell online?

Having an online business doesn’t mean just selling things over the internet. It also means giving customers the information they want about your business online. These days you can use the internet to check stock, track deliveries, read reviews, share tips and so much more. Give your customers the information they want and they could use your website for a lot more than just browsing a catalogue of products.

4. Think about the whole process

In order to start selling online, whether it’s on eBay, Amazon or your own store you need to have a good idea of your order process from start to finish. This means whereas in your high street store (if you have one) customers will pick goods and bring them to your counter, online it’s a different process. Where are your goods stored? Who will view online orders and how often? What about posting items out? Who will deal with complaints and returns? And don’t forget you’ll need to update your website with new stock and offers. Think about these things beforehand and it’ll save a lot of time in the long run.

5. Can you afford it?

The time and effort required to maintain an online store can be significant, especially if you have lots of products. Just as with any service, you get what you pay for and cutting corners to save pennies could end up costing you pounds. Of course we all want to save money, but if don’t have the budget then look at other ways of promoting your goods online (as discussed in previous points). I am quite surprised when some clients want all singing all dancing sites but then complain they don’t have the money to afford them – in that case you need to ask yourself: is it right for you?

6. Get a good team

You can sell things online as a one person outfit but it will be quite difficult and you certainly can’t do it all yourself. As well as webdesign you may also need the services of a photographer, models, graphics designers, and admin staff. If you decide to promote your website then you may require the services of a sales leads or Google Adwords company. Having a good team of professionals around will make sure you get good advice, waste less and get more productivity for your pounds.

7. Use eBay

I think if you are going to sell something then as well as having your own website you should use eBay. The eBay selling platform is a ready made marketplace for you and it’s a great place to test your product, titles, descriptions, images, competition, pricing and so on. If people don’t buy your lovely cheap designer clothes from eBay then chances are they won’t either on your shiny new website which they’ve never heard of before.

Work with StudioRav

If you have a successful product which you would like to sell or promote online then get in touch or call 07807 997 010 immediately and we can discuss the best way to get it out there. As already mentioned you can be more creative than just a basic ecommerce store and it’s not even just about integrating your website with social websites. In this day and age where almost every retailer has an online store you want to be different and creative, delivering content to your customers (be it via a laptop, smartphone or tablet) that will get them interested in your product!

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