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How to Start Selling Online

The popularity of online shopping is ever-increasing. Online shopping, otherwise known as ecommerce, provides customers the easiest, most frictionless experience possible. They can shop for any product at any time, comparing multiple vendors to find the best price.

This presents a valuable opportunity for businesses to diversify their selling options and expand their operations. With the advent of ecommerce technologies, entering the world of ecommerce is easier than ever.

How can you start selling online? Start your search by looking for a platform that checks the right boxes. Then, it’s time to start on ecommerce website design.

 

Website Platform

The first step to start selling online is to identify an ecommerce platform that will work for you. This will largely depend on your business module, but a good place to start is with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform and a Customer Relationship Module (CRM).

These programs, essentially the foundation for any online retail program, will help you manage and oversee your financials, supply chain, operations, customer relationships, promotions, and sales.

Need more information about retail ERP and CRM solutions? Download our free eBook!

Hosting Solution

To move your selling online, the first step is to decide whether you need a dedicated environment for your ecommerce or if you can work with shared hosting. This will depend on the amount of traffic you expect on your website. The option you choose will impact the performance of your site – a shared system can be more adversely effected by heavy traffic than a dedicated environment will be.

Setup Time

Does the ecommerce platform you’ve chosen give you the ability to design your own template or are you limited to pre-defined templates? If your business does not require a custom design and you don’t want to spend much time on the layout, the  platform with predefined templates will work fine for you.

Support

Another feature to look for in your ecommerce platform is comprehensive support services. You should make sure the platform provides all the support you need, especially since you’re new to ecommerce.

At a minimum, the platform should provide phone and email support. If you would like more robust features, some platforms offer 24/7 assistance, a dedicated support team, and a user-portal with access to the support team.

Cost

Cost is the most Important factor when trying to start an ecommerce site. Always check to see if the platform provides any free trials. That way you can find out if this platform meets your needs before you make a big investment.

Always make sure the platform meets the requirements of your business. Does this platform allow you to scale up or down as your business grows? Look for a solution that allows you to update your website as you evolve, at a minimal cost.

 

Website Design

Once you’ve decided on a platform and the basic setup of your online store, turn your focus to the design (UI) for the website. Design is an extremely important part of the website. Your design should help customers find products quickly and checkout easily.

The website navigation will allow customers to have the best experience and will make them more likely to visit again.

Home Page

The home page is the first impression on your website. Always design the home page to show what your business is about and what you have to offer. Promotions, best-selling products, and customer testimonials are great features for a home page.

Speed

When you design your website, make sure it loads as quickly as possible on both desktop and mobile devices. Site responsiveness should be at a level that all pages load quickly on mobile devices and give customers the best experience possible.

Clean Design

Always keep the website design simple. For product pages, use high quality images to give customers an exact idea of what they’re purchasing so they can have confidence to buy your products. Add specific details to the product and make sure to remove all clutter and unwanted details from products.

Navigations

Navigation play important role when customer try to find the products on your website. It extremely important to provide simple navigation and search ability to find products on your website.

Configure Product Pages

The main goal of the product page should be to entice the buyer to make a purchase.

When building your product pages, make sure you include some, if not all, of the following features:

Title: Product headlines should always be easy and searchable text.

  • Product Images and Details: List all important details and add a minimum of two to three high quality images for the product.
  • Reviews: Reviews play an important role, and can influence customers to buy.
  • Information: Add specific details regarding product specs, shipping Information, an FAQ page, a size chart, and return policies.

Promotions

To target the traffic one your new website, try to add some promotions on the home page with targeted products or with specific discount options. Other popular tactics include launching promotions that coincide with events or holidays. Event-specific or holiday special discounts can grow your business and establish your brand.

Checkout Process

Shipping and payment options are a critical component for ecommerce websites. Do some research to find which carrier is best suited to your business needs. When choosing shipping options, consider the following:

  • Location of most shoppers
  • What products you are planning to sell and ship
  • How the weight and package size will impact on the total cost
  • Does the selected carrier fulfill all requirements as per the products you are trying to sell online

Once you finalize the shipping details you need to select payment options. Research to find payment gateways that are easy to use and secure. The more payment options you have, the better chance you have to make the sale.

Interested in learning more about Hitachi Solutions’ Commerce Suite? Request a customized demo.
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