Sunday, 2 February 2014

Setting up an online shop: Tips & Techniques

We always dreamed of setting up our own business and two years ago decided to go for it and launched our website

We were recently contacted by Spring Fair International who asked us to present our tips and techniques for setting up an online shop.
We were delighted by the number of people that attended the seminar this morning and as promised we include a copy of our presentation below:

Why do you need a website?

In today’s competitive market place having an online presence is more important than ever

A good website will give you the opportunity to:

  • Attract new customers
  • Increase sales
  • Nurture relationships with existing customers
  • Grow your business

A website allows you to be open for business any time, anywhere via multiple channels

How do you set-up a website?

The fundamentals of planning and building a website are:

  • Registering a domain name
  • Choosing a platform
  • Selecting the right payment options
  • Planning website content
  • Website design
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Attracting customers
  • Analytics

Registering a domain name
  • To set up a website you will need a domain name

  • It is relatively low cost to register a domain name costs around £3.49 per costs around £10.99 per year

Tip: Always renew domains promptly to avoid losing them!

Choosing a platform

Many companies offer ecommerce solutions with ready made templates, hosting and payment processing
  • Register for trials
  • Optimise for mobile

Tip: To keep costs to a minimum start with a low cost package which can be upgraded as your website and business grows

Selecting the right payment system

If you would like to accept card payments on your website you will need a payment gateway

  • A payment gateway allows you to securely process payments on your website
  • You can also choose to accept Paypal payments in addition or instead of a payment gateway
Tip: If you have a physical store and accept card payments speak to your provider about using the same service online

Planning your website Content

Understanding your target audience can help you decide what content to include on your website

Think about your ideal customer:
  • What are their needs?
  • What will they expect to see?
  • How will they get to it?
Your website must be easy to search and navigate 
  • Create a simple site plan
  • Organise your products into logical categories
  • Consider how the pages will link together

Considering your website design

Incorporate your brand identity through colour, fonts, writing style and images

  • What differentiates you from your competitors?
  • What impression do you want to create for your brand?

Does your website convey that impression?

Product Pages

A well-designed product page will increase your chances of converting visitors into buyers.

A good product page should include:
  • Good quality images
  • Concise product descriptions
  • Specifications (size, material, colour etc.)
  • Links to delivery charges and returns policy
  • A clear call to action button

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Nearly 80% of all internet traffic begins at a search engine!
  • Brain storm a list of keywords and phrases
  • Include your keywords in your content
  • Optimise internal links, categories, page names and headings

Good quality and relevant content is key to success!

Website Analytics

Analytics can tell you how well your site is performing

Google Analytics is free and easy to install and will allow you to:

  • Monitor website statistics
  • Plan future marketing activity
  • Identify problem areas on your website
  • Improve customer journey and conversion rate

Attracting customers

Social media is now widely used to attract customers

  • Engage users with interesting content
  • Encourage feedback and respond quickly
  • Offer exclusive deals to fans and followers

  • Constantly broadcast sales messages
  • Ignore negative comments

If you have budget consider PPC, Google shopping feeds, retargeting and affiliate campaigns


The key to our success has been brand building both online and offline
  • Identify key influencers within your sector
  • Contact relevant bloggers 
  • Introduce your brand to journalists
  • Issue press releases when appropriate

Don’t give up if your products are not featured straight away.

Our advice - Don’t reinvent the wheel

Build upon your existing plans, procedures and experience

We recommend:
  • Researching delivery methods as costs depend on the size of the parcel and delivery address
  • Have a plan in place to manage your stock
  • Be aware of distance selling regulations
  • Make use of new technologies to grow your business
  • Ask for advice
Finally - never assume your website is finished.  Keeping your website fresh is a key factor in attracting new customers – and encouraging your existing ones to return frequently.

We hope you found this presentation useful and wish you the very best of luck with your website.

Leanne & Deb