If you have your own small business and want to increase your sales, then you should definitely consider setting up an online shop. Apart from being able to attract more consumers, an online presence will help you build better relationships with your existing customers. In case you’ve never done this before, here is how you can set up an online shop for your small business.
The Essential Tools
The first step toward creating an online shop is deciding on a domain name. Keep in mind that you should choose something that will both represent your company or the products you sell and still be easy to remember. It’s worth noting that it may take you some time to come up with a great name.
After you’ve made a decision regarding the domain name, now it’s time to find a good web hosting company. Know that you’ll have numerous options, so it’s good to do some research in order to find out which web hosts offer quality services for the best price. You’ll also need a private SSL certificate for your website. SSL refers to a protocol known as Secure Sockets Layer and is important for protecting customer data. In order to get the consumers to trust you, you will need both a private SSL certificate and a dedicated IP address for your website.
Finally, you will need to have an online payment processor in order to accept credit cards. This will ensure that your customers can pay for the products or services you provide at any time of day easily. Payment gateways work by taking the credit card information provided by customers and validating it, and then processing the transaction in real time.
The best option when it comes to payment gateways is PayPal. This is both the most popular and reliable solution that you can easily integrate with many shopping carts. It accepts all major credit cards, and you won’t have to worry about monthly or setup fees. Depending on your monthly sales volumes, PayPal will take between 2.2% to 2.9% of each transaction on your online shop. Considering the fact that there are literally countless PayPal friendly websites, going with this payment gateway is basically a no-brainer.
However, it’s worth noting that some customers won’t be comfortable using this payment gateway, which is why it’s always a good idea to set up another one.
Creating a Website
Now that you’ve managed to do all the essentials, it’s time to properly set up your website. This means that you should start thinking about the design, the content you will publish, as well as the plug-ins and other features that you will use. If you’ve never done this before, then you shouldn’t worry, since the process isn’t that complicated. On top of that, you can find some great step-by-step guides for making websites online.
In case you find the process of creating a website time-consuming, you can always hire a professional web designer.
If your website is all set up, you will need to start thinking about adding products. Keep in mind that you should have a price and a name for each product that you add. It’s also recommended to add a few quality images as well as a good description. You should make sure to place the products in the right categories as well.
Remember that writing a good description is extremely important when it comes to convincing the customers to buy it. It should provide the customers with information that they need, but also convince them why they need it. Include information on how it will make the lives of your customers easier, but don’t misrepresent the product, since this will only lead to negative reviews.
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