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People are turning to internet shopping more than ever since social distancing measures have been put in place.

And while most businesses have some presence online already, it’s never been as important to ensure yours can handle the shift.

With customers having more time on their hands to explore their options and get the best deal, it’s the prime time to refocus your efforts and invest in your website.

A user-friendly ecommerce store that can handle increased traffic will help you to get consumers on side, helping your business adapt and ‘ride the wave’, coming out the other side bigger and better than ever before.

Whether this is your first website, or you’ve realised your existing one just won’t do, there are a variety of things you can do to stand out online.

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to get it right…

What are you going to sell?

The first and most important step is to work out what you’re going to sell to meet consumer demand.

Remember, some of your usual products may not be relevant right now, so it’s important to adapt your offering and prioritise items that are going to be in demand over the next few weeks.

The best way to do this is to make a list of all the products that will be helpful for your audience and prioritise them based on demand and the route your business wants to go down.

If you have a large range of products on offer, it may be helpful to categorise your products instead of going through each individual item.

Top Tip: Less is more when you’re starting out. Choose a few products you are confident with and start with them – you can always add more once the website is live.

Choose your products carefully.

Add the detail

Now you’ve chosen your core products to sell, it’s time to add some detail.

Attention span is shorter than ever, so you need to make it as easy as possible for the customer to understand what the product is and how it’s going to help them.

Follow this simple checklist to ensure you hit the mark:

⚫ Product Name – short, snappy, sensible.

⚫ Price – we’ll leave this one to you.

⚫ Description – the description needs to tell the customer all they need to know about the product without the waffle. Keep it concise.

⚫ Specifications – be straight to the point.

⚫ Shipping Information – be transparent. If shipping is slower than usual, let customers know.

⚫ Photo – probably the most important step. Make sure imagery is high quality and don’t be afraid to use more than one.

Increase sales by adding relevant detail to your product catalogue.

Choose a platform

This is the difficult part, but you need to choose a platform that meets your needs and your budget.

To make it a little easier, here are some of our favourites:

Magneto

  • Price – price varies depending on the plan, so you can choose on option to fit your budget
  • Features – small to large catalogue, coupons and discounts available, POS integrations
  • Additional notes – a developer is required to build your site and carry out maintenance.
  • Difficulty – Difficult (need an expert as customisations are more difficult)

Shopify

  • Price – relatively cheap options but price increases with capabilities
  • Features – small to medium catalogue, hosting included, theme builder, coupons and discounts available, 24/7 support, POS integrations
  • Additional notes – integration with Shopify POS however you are subject to additional transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments.
  • Difficulty – Easy (can setup yourself but may need an expert if you want to customise the design or features)

WooCommerce

  • Price – price varies depending on hosting
  • Features – small catalogue, theme builder, coupons and discounts available, POS integrations
  • Additional Notes – WordPress is required.
  • Difficulty – Medium (will need an expert to get it set up for you but it can be customised easily)

If all that sounds a little complicated, our team can help you understand the options.

Choose a platform that’s right for you.

Behind the Scenes

Now you’ve got your products and your platform, it’s time to make sure everything is in place behind the scenes to make sure you can deliver the best service possible.

While you may have tax and shipping plans in place for day to day business, chances are the coronavirus outbreak has changed this.

Make sure your policies are all up to date and you have a contingency plan in place so you’re prepared for any changes that may come into play – and remember to tell your customers about the changes too.

Setting up a website is an exciting time.

Need a helping hand?

While this all might sound like a great idea, putting it into practice may still be daunting, which is why we’re here to help.

Back in the day, ecommerce was our bread and butter. With over 11 years’ experience building ecommerce sites that are easy to use (on the front and back end), we know a thing or two about taking your business online.

If you need any advice, we’re more than happy to help – no obligation – just get in touch.

We’ve also created a ‘Marketing in The Crisis’ guide to help you distribute the right kind of content in the current climate. The guide is free to download and you can access it here.

Stay safe!

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