With Coronavirus changing the way we shop, an online store is an essential part of your digital marketing in 2021 if you sell products. Now, this isn’t a 5 step guide to getting online, this is our 5 tips you should consider BEFORE you even get to the final place of getting your store online. We’ve also made an assumption that you have already picked a domain name and have made considerations for setting up your website with web hosting and using WordPress. This is not a definitive list of things you need for an online eCommerce store but, it will give you some thoughts of essential requirements you may or may not have considered.
Choose the Best eCommerce (shopping) plugin for you.
If you are looking for the big players in eCommerce then wpbeginner believes the 5 below are the ones you should consider:-
We agree with their final result that WooCommerce should be your go-to plugin. It really is the best option for beginners but allows expansion and with so many integrations and additional plugins, you’ll be able to customise it to the needs of your online store and offline store.
If you are selling products online and accepting payment online then you MUST have an SSL certificate. This provides trust and gives you peace of mind that the information collected is done safely and securely. You could get away with not having an SSL certificate if, for example, you redirected to a secure site like PayPal for payments, however, the benefits of a secure site outway not having a secure site (Read more about the importance of SSL Certificates here)
Always place products in at least one category
When uploading your products you’ll have an option to create categories for your products. Never leave them uncategorised and put them, if possible, into more than one category. For example, if you are selling a Christmas jumper, put it into categories of Christmas and jumper or if you are selling hamster food, categorise it as pet food and hamster accessories. It will allow you to set up the search better and means your product will be found easier by your customers and user experience is very important for you and your website.
Find your best delivery supplier for your store
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using Royal Mail and when starting out this might be your best option. But there are plenty of delivery couriers out there and Yodel is still seen as one of the best for UK deliveries. What you really need to consider is:-
Price – if you are sending a lot of parcels then it might be worth paying a monthly fee to a courier, or see if they provide better rates for high use. This will help to keep the cost of all deliveries down which can also then be passed on to your customers.
Reliability/Reputation – Check online reviews of different couriers. Remember, these people are still a part of your service and if they fail, then your customers will see it as your failure.
Speed – What do your customers expect in terms of delivery? Do they need the option of next day/second class/secure posting options?
Where – Are you posting to the UK only or worldwide? Make considerations for which courier posts to where you need to deliver.
Size – How big is your product and does it need a very specialist delivery service?
Find your best payment gateway
WooCommerce allows for several different ways to pay. We would suggest that you allow for two different payment plugins.
PayPal – Although PayPal charges a higher commission on payments, it is probably the most trusted payment option. We highly recommend allowing this option on your eCommerce Store for reassuring your customers.
So as I said it’s not the biggest list of tips but these are often the things that people leave till last minute to organise and they are a very important aspect of your eCommerce site.
Do you have any other tips or think we are wrong? Let us know in the comments.