Getting an online business up and running is a laborious process to be sure, but it can also be a lucrative one if you have the help you need to get it set up right. Once you have identified what you want to sell and figured out a way to collect payments, you still have loads of work to do. Here are some of the top responsibilities when it comes to setting up an online store.
Initial Set Up
You can set up your online shop with a number of different servers. Your Internet service provider probably provide a server to host your site, or you can shop around to different companies to get the best price for the amount of bandwidth that you need. If you’re not tech savvy, you should get a website development team to pitch in for this stage – your site will no doubt need many different pages, from product description pages to the payment check out page. Focus on ease of use and clear messaging during this stage. Look at sites such as NextDayLenses.com to get an idea about how to best present your products and services in an easy to understand way.
Once your site is set up and usable, but before your online business launches, it’s vital to get security measures in place. You will be collecting payment information from customers, so a level of encryption must be in place to make sure that data won’t be compromised. Again, this is where a website specialist can step in and set up the necessary safety measures for your site. If you are identified as an unsecure website by an Internet browser, your customers won’t have the confidence to make a purchase with their credit card information.
Make sure that you can communicate with customers through the site. It should be clear how to contact customer service, and if you can’t offer communication directly on the retail website, an email address and social media sites must be provided. You also need to make sure that you have a communication process set up between your business and the vendors from whom you get your merchandise. If you can’t get your merchandise in a timely fashion you jeopardize sales, so a pick-up and delivery service for all items for sale must be well established before you make your first sale.
Once you know how you will get your merchandise from your supplier, a shipping process must be set up. Will your vendor send out items directly from their warehouse, or will you get the merchandise and then send it to customers? In most cases, it’s ideal if the supplier can send the merchandise directly because this leads to a faster deliver time to the customer. Your website needs to have clear shipping options as a part of the check out process, as well as predetermined shipping costs.
With these basic strategies, you should be able to get your retail store off the ground. Keep in mind that an online storefront can’t remain stagnant, and you should always stay on top of updating the pages will relevant information and new products.
Elizabeth Garvey has extensive experience in optometry. She also enjoys setting up online businesses and her articles mainly appear on business blogs.