Ecommerce has seen huge growth in the past few months and businesses are beginning to sit up and take notice. There is a noticable shift towards the online arena that really must be explored and embraced. Our core checklist for getting started with an ecommerce store will give you an overview of what is required prior to setting up your new platform.
Conventional bricks and mortar retails historically rely upon footfall through their doors to sell products. At the time of writing, we’re seeing the high street tentatively reopen, but footfall is still 54% down compared against 2019. This underlines the value in considering a contingency plan, or core focus online for continued prosperity and progress.
The below equation is a simple look at how offline sales will occur:
[footfall] x [till checkout %] x [average order value] = sales
Online, the concept is reassuringly similar and would follow the below equation:
[number of visitors] x [conversion rate %] x [average order value] = sales
Online traffic mirrors offline footfall in the same way that Till Checkout % is not disimilar to eCommerce Conversion rate. If you have a capacity to make a business work offline, there are strong indications that, with help, you should be able to mirror this success online.
Transitioning online is seldom an overnight success story. It requires planning, eCommerce nous and a diligent approach in several key areas to make everything fall into place.
At Built for Growth Digital, we are extremely excited to be helping businesses start their journey online. With that in mind, we wanted to give a checklist of key elements required to put your best foot forward when trading online.
Have you got enough stock to get started selling online? Do you have a good relationship with your supply chain to ensure you can meet demand? If so, your product data is the fundamental part of your online ecommerce journey. The essential data to get you started is as follows:
- The Product Name
- Unique Product Description (we need unique product descriptions for you to shine above your competitors)
- Product Category
- Product Image(s)
- Unique Identifier
Choosing the right ecommerce platform is an extremely important factor when considering getting started online. This is where all of your transactions will be placed. When considering an ecommerce platform you need to take the following into consideration:
- Easy to Use
- Secure (PCI Compliant) for taking online payments
- SEO Friendly
- Mobile Friendly
- Is there technical support?
- Who else uses this?
- Forward thinking
Your domain name is very important. It is the address of your ecommerce store. A strong domain should be memorable, easily spelt and hopefully define the core offering or brand in a simple, effective way. Consider how people search for products and use the Google Keyword Tool to inform your decision. If you seek to acquire new traffic and win new customers choose a domain that has an affinity with highly searched terms. Avoid the obscure and clever and focus on a domain name that will help deliver results.
Another key element in getting started with an eCommerce store is to have a budget in place. For your business, analyse the margin available on your products and set clear guidelines from the outset to maximise return and know your limits. We don’t want to be busy fools and bring in huge volumes of trade that bring nothing in terms of profitability. Lean towards products you can be competitive on price on a sustainable, profitable basis. This will provide a firm basis for (hopefully) exponential growth, at an affordable cost.
Shipping is a key element to getting online. If your product isn’t delivered in perfect quality, in a reasonable timeframe for a good price, it will present challenges. Both to win the order in the first place, and in aftersales in the form of disgruntled customers. For that reason, you need to integrate a courier company into your chosen platform so do research into who can give you the best deals.
It’s important to try your best to find a solution which can:
- Open doors for you international
- Protect your brand and help solidify your customer service credentials
- Maintain profitability
- Enable you to keep your on-site delivery prices affordable, competitive and non detrimental to your conversion.
As with selling any products, you need to get them seen by potential customers.
To increase your number of visitors you will need to think about how you want to promote your products and online store. This can be done via Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, Facebook Marketing or Affiliate Marketing.
Leverage your local area and current customer base who maybe aren’t able to visit your store anymore. You could raise awareness by traditional print and media channels that you may currently use for your in store business.
Built For Growth Digital can help you decide which of these three channels would best suit your market.
Have a clear focus:
Will your new eCommerce store be an extension of your existing business or is it a brand new journey? Keep it simple. Focus on what you you’re good at and do it well online. Build everything up incrementally in terms of your product offering and the scale of your operation.
Make sure that your industry knowledge, passion and true brand identity comes through on your site. This is part of what will make you stand out from the competition.
If you are in an extremely competitive market you need to do research into who your biggest competitors would be. Ask yourself honestly, how you can compete and what will make you customers choose you.
- Do you pride yourself on your service?
- Are you more keenly priced?
- Are you renowned for superior quality?
- Do you have faster, cheaper shipping?
- Do you have a richer history or a strong brand story?
- Are you sustainable or environmentally conscious?
There’s no doubt about it, your business will be unique to any other. What matters most is that you distil this down and communicate your USPs effectively. Truly, this is a crucial consideration.
What about us?
Buying and selling online is no longer the future, it is the present. At Built for Growth, we have a demonstrable track record of helping bricks and mortar businesses realise their true potential online. With a wealth of experience in consultation, design, digital marketing and much more, we’re uniquely positioned to steer you to success your expectations.
We’d love to be a part of your journey. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch for a free consultation.
We’re Built for Growth. You should be too!