Starting your own online shop has never been easier. But for those who are just beginning to make the transition from consumer to merchant, it can be a daunting endeavour. The world of e-commerce is a competitive online arena where brands and businesses battle for the attention – and card details – of potential buyers, and it’s not difficult for first-time business owners to start off on a shaky foot. Here’s a list of must-haves and must-dos to consider when building your first online shop, or improving an online business you’ve already established.
You can have all the confidence in the world in your product or brand, which you should do. But this confidence alone that your stellar company will naturally attract consumers isn’t enough to rely on. Although a necessity, buying online advertising spaces can eat into your business’s budget. Make the most of your marketing strategy by ensuring that your target consumers are being just that: targeted. There’s no use in a flashy digital advert being seen by a large number of consumers for whom your business or product won’t naturally appeal; therefore, investing in a tailored marketing campaign is a must. If you feel confident enough to do your own market research, you’ll know exactly who you want to target; if not, you may want to consider hiring a marketing specialist to make sure your brand is reaching those who will be most interested.
A Smooth Payment Process
When building your online business, it’s imperative to use a payment gateway to validate your customer’s credit card details and approve a transaction through your site. A payment gateway forwards the relevant information from each ‘merchant transaction’ – or order placed by a consumer – to the payment processor at the bank you attach to your business. The bank then passes the transaction information to the card association, and in return, receives a ‘token’ with all the relevant information relating to the payment. Your payment gateway will then receive the same token which is then returned to you, the merchant. Different payment gateways will work with different coding software, so make sure you do your research, or choose one that can adapt to different programming. A confusing payment process can leave consumers frustrated, flustered and distrustful of your business, so use one that ensures a seamless user experience.
Don’t shy away from offering deals and promotions on a variety of your products. Offering deals on first-time orders is a great way to make your business stand out against other similar, emerging brands. Maybe your business is able to offer customers a monthly or yearly membership where they can receive VIP deals on products; creating offers where this membership is discounted is a great way to make your VIP consumer experience feel accessible to potential customers. You might want to offer a free gift when a buyer spends over a certain amount; free delivery for a limited period; a token system where consumers can accumulate points when shopping in return for rewards; anything you want! Make sure to make deals and promotions a focal point of your digital marketing campaigns, and you’ll be on to a winner!