Forthright consists your valuable partner in constructing your electronic store (e-shop)
Setting up an e-shop may be difficult sometimes for small businesses, due to lack of time, budget and staff. But it’ s not all that complicated, as the platforms on which the electronic stores are built have simplify the procedure.
Here are 11 important questions you need to examine before creating your e-shop:
- How do I start?
If the cost does not permit you to hire someone that will develop an e-shop exclusively for you, don’t worry. There are many ecommerce suppliers that can help you create your e-shop quickly. They can handle the hosting and the maintenance of the server as well as write the code.
- What platform should I choose?
The best option is to choose an open source e-commerce platform so that you don’ t commit to a specific vendor. There are several platforms they can offer all the features and the capabilities you wish with a lot of customization capabilities. Platforms like Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart, VirtueMart and WooCommerce are great options. The cost of an open source platform over a custom platform might be as high as 1/10 and offers the same or even better results as may adds-on and plug-ins have been developed, providing you with many features.
- How can I enhance the overall look of my e-shop?
In most cases, if you company has already a website, the e-shop must reflect the existing look, including colors and logos. If your business does not have a website, you can choose background and colors to resemble or complement your logo.
- What kind of payment system I should use?
In the beginning you’ d better use the bank deposit, the cash on delivery and the PayPal. In Greece the largest part of transactions is made by cash on delivery! Connecting to PayPal is easy an no time consuming. It is useful to connect your e-shop to a bank and provide your customers the possibility to pay in credit, debit and pre-paid cards. Also, it would be good to have (if the amounts are high) an interest-free installment plan.
- How will I handle the customer service?
In order to meet customer requirements effectively, you can choose an e-commerce vendor that provides you with access to a trusted customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Most of the greatest providers offer the CMR possibilities.
CRM systems offer useful functions such as archiving and systematizing data that can be obtained from an online store, e.g. customer information, recent purchases, orders. ForthRight also, provides you the ability to interface with the Empower platform, one of the best platforms in the Greek market.
Additionally, you’d rather have a contact number, that will be used specifically for e-shop customer service and if feasible, the call center would be even better choice.
Another option is to create a live chat on your e-shop, but only if you can use it properly providing efficient customer experience.
- How to determine the shipping expenses?
In order to calculate the shipping expanses, you need to end up at the courier company and then calculate the respective cost. On the other hand, you may wish to provide free shipping on products, at least for orders over a certain amount. If the direct competitors of yours provide free shipping, you need to examine carefully if you can afford it.
- How to create images and product descriptions?
The clients shopping electronically, they cannot see, feel or understand your product, so you need to make it enticing through a photo. That does not necessarily mean you have to hire a professional to have high quality pictures.
The product descriptions must be short, but with rich and interesting details so they stimulate customer interest. Try to use exciting objectives and phrases that evoke an emotion while someone is reading your description, that must not be too long. Moreover, besides the cost reference is good to include the product’s uses, dimensions and other important features.
- Do I have to allow customer reviews?
By giving the clients the possibility to comment on your products and leave their ratings, you will boost their confidence in your store. Positive comments could lead in more sales, but also there is the risk of negative ones. Several big e-shops provide customer rating options that allow you to respond to or remove unwanted comments.
- How will I start to attract customers?
When your eshop is ready, you need to spread it online and offline. Adding links on your company’s webpage through newsletter and social media it would be a good start. Updating your company’s social networks can increase traffic to your store, drawing attention to daily deals and other promotive activities.
It is also advisable to choose a provider of e-commerce that uses automatically the search engine optimization (SEO) for your e-shop. The best SEO strategies can give your e-shop a higher ranking in search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
- How to handle returns?
You should proactively check that the e-commerce supplier provides you with built-in tools that allow you to quickly and easily replace commodities, renew your inventory, and email customers about their return status.
- How to track my e-shop’s efficiency?
You should choose an e-commerce provider that offers you analytics service for free, usually guided by the Google Analytics and other reporting tools so to assist you in tracking the performance of your store over time. These will show you how many people visit your e-shop, the frequency, how did the reach you and some personal information. They can also indicate which webpages have the biggest traffic and which products see and buy more or less often.