Assuming you’ve done your research and are sure there’s a market for your products and services, starting online is largely about getting your website going.
What experience do you want to create? Look at other similar or parallel products and see how they do it. Most of all, adopt a customer mindset. What will they expect from a website like yours?
Adopt a mobile first design approach. Creating a mobile-friendly site is a must. Think about how you will structure your website. What’s a logical way to categorise your products to make it easy for customers to find what they want?
Generally, we say rely on off-the-shelf solutions to stay on top of changes in technology. Use platforms such as Shopify or Magento with eCommerce shopping cart functionality built in. However, if you have specific needs, a bespoke approach may be required.
How will your products be displayed? Good photography is essential so invest in it. It’s important the customer can see the product (in all the colours available) and that they can access more details about it.
If you were opening a physical store, you’d be thinking about the look and feel of the interior. Your website is your store so start with a design approach. What will appeal to customers? Remember - simple is best. Your store should not be cluttered. Let the products take centre stage.
Let customers know about shipping costs and timeframes up front. Uncertainty is the main reason shoppers abandon the process before they buy. Find a good delivery partner like New Zealand Post who can provide reliable delivery times as well as a range of options. Offer a good selection of delivery options that allow customers to trade-off speed and cost. Make sure you have a clear returns policy that customers can easily find.