In a regular column for Health Food Business, Sophie Carrick, Marketing and Business Development Manager at the retail app, LoyalFree, explains the simple steps to selling online.
Getting your ecommerce site up and running may seem like a daunting task so I’ve outlined the five most important steps to consider when setting up your ecommerce offering.
Decide which products you want to sell
Firstly, you need to decide which products you want to sell online. Will it be your full product range or a few key items? You might want to sell products that are too big to display in your store or maybe you’ll pick items that are easy and cost effective to dispatch and deliver to your customers?
Whatever you decide to sell, make sure you have a clear plan before you get started.
Do you have images ready to upload?
Once you know which products you want to sell, you will need photos to showcase them on your new website. If you don’t have these assets, don’t worry. You don’t have to commission a photographer to create beautiful photos. With a decent camera phone, tripod, simple white background, a table and a window, you can create fantastic images from your home.
Choose your ecommerce platform and build your online store
There are plenty of options for creating your website. You could work with an agency, which can manage the project end to end, designing and building your website and even supplying your written copy. Hiring a freelancer might be a more budget friendly option as they tend to have lower overheads but are able to produce the same result.
Another option is to use a website building site such as Shopify or GoDaddy. Although these are cost effective, you will be expected to create and manage your website yourself using their templates and ‘drag and drop’ page building system. This can be time consuming and will limit your options in terms of customer journey. By far the most cost effective and quickest option is to join a marketplace such as Etsy, eBay or LoyalFree Marketplace. These platforms allow you to get set up and selling in a matter of hours.
Fulfilment and shipping
You also need to consider how you are going to fulfil and ship your products. Can your profit margins absorb the cost of free delivery? Would a click and collect service work with your current business model?
However, you choose to fulfil your orders, make sure you consider the impact on your workload as well as your profit margins.
Market your online business
Now your site is live, it’s time to let the world know you’re here.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can provide fantastic free marketing. They allow you to communicate directly with your audience, showing them what’s new and why they should buy from you. You can utilise videos, events, consumer generated content, reviews, and competitions. The possibilities are endless.