Let’s start with a question.
When you’re thinking of buying something, do you go to your local shopping centre, or do you search online?
For many of us, online is now our default shopping method. For one – it’s far less hassle; there’s no need to worry about where to park, or how much it will cost you, not to mention the risk of spending ages sitting in traffic!
It’s no surprise that more and more of us are embracing the ease of eCommerce. In fact, research conducted by the International Trade Administration shows that Internet shopping is more popular in the UK than anywhere else. It accounts for over 30% of our total retail market and, in 2021, 82% of us purchased at least one product online.
It’s pretty clear that if you’re a retailer and you don’t have an online shop then you’re missing a trick. Yet there’s a lot to consider – a poorly designed eCommerce website can be ineffective and off-putting. To really take advantage of the shift online you’re going to need to make sure you stand out from the competition.
Here are our tips on how to make the most out of selling online.
Would you buy something without being able to see it? Of course you wouldn’t. You should make sure you have high quality imagery of the products you’re selling. The manufacturers would probably be able to supply some but, if not, you may have to create your own.
If you do take your own photos then you should make sure they’re high resolution, able to be zoomed in without any loss of detail. The product should be in the centre of the image, with nothing else visible that may distract the viewers’ attention. Depending on what it is, you may also want to take a number of photos from various different angles, so potential purchasers can fully inspect the merchandise.
Any product that you’re listing for sale should have a detailed description accompanying it. The dimensions should be clearly stated as well, along with any notes about the condition of the product. Not only will this protect you as the seller if a customer later claims it wasn’t what they thought, but it will also allow people to make an informed purchase decision.
If your inventory is varied then categorising your products is essential for an enjoyable browsing experience. For example, if you specialise in children’s toys then you may want categories called lego, dolls, action figures, board games, electronic toys etc. This will allow customers to go directly to what they’re looking for, but conversely will also permit those who aren’t sure what kind of toy they want to easily browse your collection.
The way that we pay for items has been changing dramatically over the last few years, and restricting your online shop to card payments only might limit your potential audience. What about Apple Pay, Google Wallet or PayPal? Many people like the simple convenience of being able to buy something without having to go through the whole rigmarole of entering all their card details.
More choice is undoubtedly better in this respect. That being said, each payment method will involve you being charged a merchant transaction fee, so you should make sure that you’re aware how much that is and are comfortable with it before enabling anything.
Everyone likes a free delivery, so if you’re able to offer one you’ll already be one step ahead. But check how much you’ll be charged first. Perhaps you’ll only be able to offer this on orders above a certain value. That would certainly be a tempting incentive to shoppers to add on one more item!
Consumers like choice as well. Consider offering a reasonably priced three day delivery, or a more expensive next day delivery. It will all depend on which couriers you choose to use, but picking ones which offer a varied selection with reasonable prices will hold you in good stead.
Data provided by Statista shows that, in 2022, 68% of all online purchases were performed on a smartphone. No surprise really, given that most of us have one in our pocket these days!
This means that it’s more important than ever to make sure your online shop works well on mobiles. No one wants to have to zoom into tiny text, or keep endlessly scrolling left and right to see everything. A website that is optimised for mobiles will automatically resize itself to be easily viewable on the smaller screen, and will offer a much more enjoyable shopping experience.
Create your eCommerce website today
The good news is that all of these suggestions can be easily carried out using our eCommerce website builder. You’ll benefit from a drag-and-drop editor with customisable templates that are all fully optimised for mobile devices. It’s also bundled with customisable product pages and a great selection of popular payment providers – making it easier than ever for you to start selling online.
If you have any further queries about creating an eCommerce website please give us a call on 0345 363 3637 or create an enquiry through your online Account.