The decision on which online platform to select to set up your online store on can be a complicated decision. Many factors should be taken into account such as product, growth trajectory and distribution. The key things you need to ensure are that:

  • Your decisions reflect the platform that supports your business strategy
  • Implementation is well executed
  • You have a strategy for marketing your chosen destination.

Assessing if your business requires a new corporate website is the first step. Small independent businesses and local stores can often bypass the necessity for a website by using social media business and selling pages. Whilst these are free to use (with some selling sites operating on a commission basis) a ceiling is soon reached, where a dedicated site is required. There is a multitude of free or cheap online solutions for creating your own website, even with ecommerce functionality (as a quick Google will reveal!). Whilst these platforms are great at getting businesses out of the starting blocks, they too can reach a point at which they will be limiting business growth.

Putting your project into the hands of ecommerce experts can take a lot of the worry and stress of reaching you objective to sell your products online. Agencies like NetXtra can support you with everything from establishing an appropriate e-commerce strategy and brand identity, through to delivering an interface that will realise your business objectives and convert visitors to customers.

The success of your online selling solution depends not only on selecting the right platform

and partner, but on having made some significant business decisions upon which to base your build.

Some key considerations can include: 

  • Brand: Does the online platform allow you to keep the brand cohesion that is likely to exist across your website? Does it cohere to your brand values?
  • Delivery: Once a consumer has made a purchase, what is the process in delivering the product to them?
  • Product: Have you reviewed your product portfolio and the specific customers who you are targeting for each product.
  • Convenience: Have you thoroughly tested each user journey from a user perspective to ensure that the process from finding a product through to delivery is streamlined to provide a great customer experience? Does it look and feel just as nice and easy on a mobile – as this is vastly becoming the top channel for online shopping.
  • Discount: What, if any, is the pricing strategy to incentivise your customers to purchase products from you?
  • Checkout: How many steps to checkout (ideally 3 or less), Can you check out as guest or are your customers forced to create accounts?
  • Recommendation: Could you consider including capturing recommendation and feedback to improve the reputation of your products or service?
  • Customer Service: what is your feedback / service loop. Do you use online chat, email or social media chat? It has to be easily accessible and offer some sort of automated service level agreement - ‘thank you for your enquiry, we aim to get back to you in…’ - to give peace of mind and clarity over what a customer is to expect.

Selling online doesn’t start and end with development of your online store. It’s vital

to invest in ongoing promotion of that destination through various channels and customer service options.  If you want to find out more on this subject download our free e-book.