How to Get Your Business’s Online Shop Up And Running
Ecommerce is something the majority of businesses have embraced, taking advantage of all it can bring to them. Since the turn of the century, online retail has been booming, with businesses selling products and services via their websites as well as in more conventional ways; but not everyone has made full use of ecommerce, potentially missing out on significant revenue.
If you run or work for a company which has yet to dip its toes into ecommerce, it’s not too late to set up an online shop. With the right tools, a capable web designer and a clear idea of what exactly you want to sell via your website, you should be in a good position to take advantage of the growth in demand for online retail.
To start an online shop, there are a number of things you will need in place. A domain name and web hosting package are both essential, but you need to choose a name that’s easy for you and your customers to remember, while the hosting package should be capacious enough for you to accommodate an online shop that experiences a spike in web traffic.
There are three main hosting packages you can choose from:
- Shared hosting – cheap but basic
- Virtual private servers (VPS) – higher bandwidth and storage space, but not as expensive as owning a server
- Dedicated server – the most expensive, but offers maximum bandwidth and space for a large site.
For small businesses looking to set up an online shop, a VPS seems like the best option. According to VPS provider’s Daily.co.uk:
“Starting administration through a Virtual Private Server (VPS) gives you control and performance of a dedicated server at very low costs suitable for a small business e-Shop.
“Virtual server packages are tailored to each client’s needs and are designed specifically to host your e-commerce business as fast and reliably as possible.
“Using everything Web 2.0 has to offer is essential for making your online shop work. Use social and cross-selling features to generate improved conversion rates and higher sales, while also creating a blog can help to further improve traffic to your site and e-Shop”, they added.
There are a few other things you’ll need in place for your online shop. They are:
- A payment gateway/provider
- A merchant/business bank account
- A business email address
- A shipping company to handle deliveries for you like Royal Mail
- A shopping cart widget
- An SSL certificate to accept credit/debit card payments
- An account on a site like eBay or Amazon
- Social media accounts for publicity
- Someone in your business to oversee the online store