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Four Critical Tips for Successfully Bringing Your Business Online
Brandi Smith, Marketing Director
We’re suddenly in an era where having an online store is no longer an option but a necessity. There is no time like the present to get started and it doesn’t have to be a long and cumbersome process to get it up and running. Dedicate an evening and you can be operating your online store in a flash.
When taking steps to sell your products or services online, there are some key factors to consider for your store and business.
Selecting your e-commerce platform is the most important decision in this process. There are so many options out there, but we think Shopify is a good bet. Here’s why:
Accepting payments is an integral part of any business and sadly overlooked by budding entrepreneurs. Payment processors, or gateways, are how you collect money from your customers. Typically, your e-commerce provider will recommend which gateways integrate with their platform. Two trustworthy payment processors that take little effort to setup include Shopify Payments and PayPal.
If you’ve opted to use Shopify, you can use Shopify Payments which is built into the platform. It’s available in 13 countries and is automatically setup in your online store when you create it.
PayPal is the biggest and most well-known online payment gateway in the world, owning over 60% of the market. They offer two different plans for small businesses: Standard and Pro. If using Shopify, it will automatically create a PayPal Express Checkout account option if Shopify Payments is not available in your region. It offers the ability to receive payments from orders made right away with PayPal, as well as issue refunds and manually capture payments.
Just make sure that the payment gateway you choose can grow with your business and before you lock yourself in, ask the following questions about each payment solution:
Getting shipping in order for an online store can feel overwhelming. Shipping is an important value proposition for your store and has the power to attract or push customers away. Shipping options can also depend heavily on your product, shipping areas, business model, target audience and your e-commerce solution. They key is to make these factors work together.
If you’re new to selling online, consider offering free shipping. You may want to have an incentive like “spend $50 and receive free shipping." Studies show that getting something for free has a huge psychological impact on making a purchase and it can actually increase your average order value. In addition, in a recent survey of 1,400 shoppers, a staggering 91% of consumers indicated that free shipping would make them a repeat customer and 67% indicated they would add more items to their cart to receive free shipping. To offer free shipping select lower cost shipping partners, factor shipping costs into your pricing or do both to keep your pricing and business competitive.
Some additional factors you should consider include:
Don’t forget about your order fulfillment process either. Regardless of how many products you carry, you need a procedure for when an order is received such as:
Taking time to plan out these procedures will ensure that your orders are fulfilled in a timely manner and delivers a good first impression and customer experience.
Data and benchmarks will help you understand what is happening in your business so you can take the right steps to enhancing revenue and growth. We found a cool spreadsheet recently on 55 e-commerce metrics you should be tracking. Check it out here.
Here’s the skinny on the basic metrics you should be monitoring however:
You should also be using Google Analytics to give you the insights to help you:
In general, analytics are a key element in helping you implement changes based on facts instead of assumptions about your business and your customers.
By tackling these four key areas, you’ll have the solid foundation you need to build out and launch your online store successfully.
To learn how ShipperBee can assist you with your regional shipping to save money and the planet, contact us today.
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