Setting up a web shop so your business can sell online can be straightforward and very beneficial to your company. Many companies start off selling products offline before realising the internet’s potential. Dell.com is one of the largest ecommerce sites in the world, but like many they started by selling their products through retail outlets.
So, is ecommerce right for your business?
Even if you already have a company website, you could see lots of benefits from setting up an ecommerce website to sell online:
However, building an ecommerce website isn’t without problems. Although you can take security precautions, there is a risk of fraud. You also need to establish how your online operation fits with other sales channels. For instance, are you going to charge the same prices online as you do in store?
Remember to abide by relevant regulations too, like distance selling and data protection rules.
In order to create a successful ecommerce website, you need to take care of these key areas:
Not all these functions can be performed by an ecommerce system. For instance, you need to ensure you have adequate staff and procedures in place to handle enquiries, shipping and returns.
There are three main ways to actually build your ecommerce website:
When evaluating these options, consider how well suited they are to the type and volume of products you sell. In particular, some marketplaces and ecommerce services restrict the number of items you can offer for sale.
Your existing website will also be a key factor. If you have a website already and want to add an online shop to it, a shopping cart system is the best way to do this. If you opt for a marketplace or ecommerce service, you’ll probably have to set up a separate online shop and direct customers there.
More about ecommerce and online shops: