How to sell online – build your first shop

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Customer email

When you start to think about how to sell online, the technical implications of building an e-commerce website or the considerations in complying with legal regulations can seem overwhelming. So, we’ve compiled a simple checklist to help you plan and deliver a great e-commerce presence.

Planning how to sell online

Deciding what you’re going to sell is the first order of business. Once you’ve selected your products, you can use them to drive the plan as to how you’ll develop your first online shop.

When it comes to selling products online, you can retail products you’ve made yourself, source products from other businesses and ship them yourself or you could opt for dropshipping and have another business handle all stock keeping and shipping.

Once you’ve decided what you want to sell, conduct market research to help you decide what sort of customers will buy the product or from your shop, and use this information to plan the experience you want to deliver on your website. With which other brands will your target market be used to shopping online and how do they expect to shop online?

You can choose to build a website yourself, arranging hosting and ensuring security and efficient payment systems, or you can work with an expert agency or hosting provider who can build an e-commerce website and help you to use a simple content management system to maintain product listings and information on your website.

Optimising your online shop

Once you have an e-commerce website, you’ll want to generate as much traffic as possible and convert a good proportion of visits into sales. Now you have the opportunity to personalise your website, using product descriptions to showcase your brand’s unique selling points (USPs) in comparison with other online retailers, and adding functionality such as personalised product recommendations based upon a visitor’s behaviour or previous transactions.

Integrating email with your website can enable you to send automatic emails from the same domain as your website to customers who put an item in their shopping cart but don’t check out. Using marketing tactics such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can enable you to drive visits from people who indicate that they are interested in products like those you’re selling, because of the search keywords they’ve typed in online.

You may want to create profiles on social media platforms such as Instagram in order to showcase your products and enable you to interact with influencers and potential customers who might talk about your products on their social feeds.

Ensuring that your online shop is compliant with legal regulations such as the EU distance selling directive and international taxation rules is vital if you want your online shop to last. It is also essential to ensure that all customer data you process is secure and that your site has an SSL certificate in order to process any sensitive data or payment information securely.

If starting your own shop online is the next stage in your business journey, you’ll need a quality website builder to help you on your way! Our Ecommerce Website Builder is totally secure, really simple to set up and includes all of the SEO tools to help your business get found in Google.

Check it out here!