An online business is arguably the easiest and simplest way of starting a company in today’s climate. You don’t have to worry about all the usual upfront capital investment like finding a business premises, storage, etc. Plus it’s an idea that can be operated from the comfort of your home. In the first year or so, it’s typically an idea that you can do all on your own until you’re in a position to scale. All it takes is deciding on your product or service (or both), setting up an online store, and working out an easy shipping strategy that works for your customers and you.
All that aside, success doesn’t come easily. Many things can make or break your online store. Obviously, you want to ensure they make it and don’t break it. Here are a few things worth considering when establishing an online store and delivery system.
Your Website Design is Crucial
To start things off, we have to look at the design of your website. Naturally, as an online store, you’re going to need an ecommerce site instead of a traditional one. This means you can showcase all your products in an online catalog, making it easy for everyone to see. Consider looking at a comparison of the best ecommerce website builders to figure out which one is best for you. Choose a builder that helps you design a site that looks modern, loads quickly, and is incredibly responsive.
Loading times are especially important as consumers don’t want to wait long to see your products load up. Likewise, a responsive site means items get added to shopping carts quickly as soon as a button is clicked. Again, no one wants to spend ages clicking a button to try to add something to their cart. They’ll click over and over again until the button finally responds, but adds multiple quantities of that same item. This is something everyone has experienced at some point on various ecommerce sites that are just too buggy. Believe me, it’s been known to ruin the entire shopping experience, resulting in the customer not returning to the site — not even when there’s a sale.
Good web design will make your online store appeal to consumers way more than bad web design will. After all, your site is essentially the main platform for your business. It’s your online store, so you must treat it with the same respect and attention you would with a regular store.
Effective Delivery Means the World to Customers
When you buy something online, you tend to look at one thing before making your purchase; the delivery methods. These mean a lot to consumers as they essentially determine how long it takes for your products to get to them. Ideally, you need delivery methods that ensure fast delivery speeds are possible. People want things quickly, no one like waiting around for their goods. Next-day delivery can go a long way to keeping customers satisfied while drawing in some new ones too.
You want to avoid delivery methods that mean your goods take a good few days before they’re delivered. If your items are taking over a week to get to somewhere in the same country, then you’re going to struggle to find customers.
Likewise, delivery can’t cost too much, or it puts people off. This is where you really have to work hard to find the right balance between cost and speed. People will pay a little bit for delivery if it means their products get to them faster. They’re unwilling to pay for delivery if they don’t see anything for a good few days. If possible, find a delivery method that allows you to offer free standard delivery — products are delivered in a few days — and paid next day delivery. This gives you a good balance, and your customers should be kept happy.
Secure Connection Protects Sensitive Information
Finally, you have to take into account the connection on your website. We’ve spoken about its design, but the connection is arguably more important. To put it simply, you need a secure connection to protect any sensitive information your customers share on your site. This includes payment information, delivery details, and so on. If your online store has a secure connection, it will say so next to the URL address.
If consumers see ‘Not Secure’ displayed up there, they’ll think your site is dodgy and will not buy anything.
Think about it, why would you risk putting your credit card or other payment details into a site without a secure connection? It’s crazy to even suggest people would do this. Make your connection secure, it doesn’t take long, and it’s a simple step to make or break your business.
For a small business idea, an online store can present big results. But, this will only happen if you set everything up properly. Consider these three things as they’re very important to the overall success of your online store.