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10 steps to successfully sell online

Do you want to sell online successfully? Use our tens steps that will help you to plan easily. Planning and consistency are key. In this article, we will discuss the best approach to succeed online. With our ten steps, you will learn how to plan your eCommerce development project easily.

A proven approach to successfully sell online

We are at your disposal for an evaluation of your project. A meeting or discussion of 15 minutes will allow us to target your needs better.

  • Security of your Platform

Learn more about how to increase the security of your website. Also, get practical tips on how to avoid hacking.

  • Payment gateway

Criteria to consider when making a wise choice, how to reduce the basket dropout rate and make more sales.

  • Delivery method

Connect your platform to your delivery person's platform. Learn how to ensure that customers receive their products on time.

  • Increase your visibility on the net

What are the SEO strategies for e-commerce?

  • Importance of Content in e-Commerce

Develop your notoriety with quality content. You will have a better chance against your competitors if you produce quality content.

  • Social media management

Did you know that you can automate certain tasks? Indeed, there are social media automation tools available. We will discuss more of this in the eBook.

Getting started in e-commerce is easy when you have the right tools.

You have finally decided to go into e-commerce. And you are wondering what steps to take. Be rest assured, you have made a good decision. Indeed, whether you are a private individual, a merchant or merely an entrepreneur wanting to make you residual income, e-Commerce has a place for you. However, to avoid wasting time, you should take some time to get better organized. Here we give you ten essential points to take into account to prevent any surprises. They are on our personal experience and those of many of our customers. If, after reading them, you would like to have some personal advice, please do not hesitate to ask your questions as a comment. You can also contact us.

1- Type of e-commerce

There are several types of e-commerce, including DropShipping, selling affiliated products or selling your products. DropShipping or the sale of affiliate products will consist of offering a company's products to your acquaintances, network or through the ticket of a marketing strategy. On the other hand, the sale of your products requires that you have the available stock to offer to your customers. In this step, you will have to decide the type of business you would like to do. The decision will have to take into account your budget, the time you are willing to invest in getting a return and, most importantly, your patience and determination.

2- The domain name

You must choose a short domain name related to your business. Indeed, people will remember your domain name more if it is fast.

Choosing a domain name

The domain name is of paramount importance in any activity on the net. On the other hand, it allows you to identify your website while defining the brand you would like to develop. To facilitate your visibility and enable people to remember your site easily, you must choose a short and precise name. For this purpose, I will recommend you to do a small search on Google to see the domain names used by potential competitors. If you can afford marketing agents for a little study to suggest the best name for your business, this would be preferable. However, if your means are limited, searching Google will give you an idea of the type of name used. The most important information to keep in mind is SHORT and ACCURATE (getting as close as possible to your domain of activity). A short name is easy to remember, while an exact domain name avoids asking too many questions.

Search for your domain name

Once you have decided on the domain name you are interested in, you can search the domain name sellers of your choice. Some vendors we can recommend are //prosite.ca/, //www.godaddy.com/, //www.hostpapa.ca/. There are several on the web. Our favourite is Godaddy.

3 - Choice of host

Depending on which CMS you have chosen, you may have to choose a hosting provider. With Shopify, for example, you don't need hosting because the provider hosts your website. However, with CMS such as Woocommerce and Magento, you can do the self-hosted (hosted by yourself) or hosted by the provider. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. A self-hosted website has the particularity of being less expensive and more flexible in the long run. However, the disadvantage is that you have to manage the server and maintain the site yourself. On the other hand, with a provider-managed platform, such as Shopify.com or Wordpress.com, you don't need maintenance and a good part of the technical aspect for a subscription (monthly or yearly). I prefer self-managed sites because of control and flexibility.

4 - Writing the content of the site

The content of your site will play an essential role in the referencing of your site on search engines. You need to take some time to do some keyword research related to your industry. Indeed, a word in your terminology is not necessarily what many Internet users use. For example, The term baby carrier might be popularly known as a stroller. And so, in your content, using the word stroller would have more advantages in terms of search engine positioning.

The content depends on the type of e-commerce.

If you decide to make the sale of related products or to dropship, the writing of the content is in the general pages such as the privacy policy, terms and conditions, about. However, for the sale of your products, you must do so by yourself. What is important to remember is that the more you describe your products, the better it is.

 5-Images of the products

Importance of images in e-commerce

Unlike a physical store where the customer can see and touch, buyers rely on product images to make up their minds. Images that are not pretty to look at will drive away your customers, while beautiful images usually have more conversion. When taking pictures, you need to make sure you take lovely images while remaining honest. Many people take comfort in only photographing the beautiful parts of their products and end up having a lot of results returned. The idea is to increase sales and avoid returns of products after-sales.

Image Performance Factor

Another factor to take into account concerning the images is the format (png, jpg, gif) and the size of the photos (1 MB, 900 kb ...). You should be aware that the size of your images can have an impact on the performance of your site. To this effect, you should avoid cumbersome photos. We recommended having the pictures below the kb ( less than 900 kb). Given the maximum size of the screens, it is not necessary to have huge images. To decide the exact size, you have to take into account your target.

Our recommendations for images are: size - less than 900 kb, dimensions above 2000px and jpg format. You should only use png format for logos or for its transparency (in case you want to keep the uniformity of the design).

6 - Delivery method

Choosing reliable deliverers

Before you start selling online, you need to ask yourself how your customers are going to receive their products. In the sale of affiliate products, this question may not arise as the provider will take care of it. However, if you are selling your products or dropshipping, you need to evaluate this factor. It will, therefore, consist of assessing the various delivery people in your area and arranging for them to do so promptly.

Questions to ask

Some questions you might ask yourself, for example, when choosing a delivery method are the following:

  1. How long would it take for my customer to receive their product?
  2. How much does it cost to send the product to him?
  3. Are there any areas the Post Office doesn't serve?
  4. What is the delivery company's policy in case of loss or damage?
  5. What is the delivery person's history?

Include methods and conditions in the terms and conditions page

Once you have decided what type of delivery method to choose and with whom you will be doing business, it is crucial to clarify all this on a page of your site: terms and conditions page. One of the biggest frustrations of customers is misinformation. For example, a customer might expect to receive his product in 7 days, yet your delivery person does so in 3 weeks.  Indeed, many companies do not take the time to inform their customers about the terms and conditions of delivery. As a result, we very often see losses in time and money. And also, potential customers.

7- Payment gateway

The payment gateway allows you to connect your website to your bank account. It is an essential tool in e-commerce. If your business targets people in your locality, the choice of the gateway may be optional. However, you should not lose sight of the fact that many people may drop out at the last minute, wasting your time.

There are several gateways that you can use depending on your country and your financial situation.

Some Payment Methods

  • Paypal - Trendy gateway present in almost every country in the world. It has the particularity to have several currencies. Depending on your country PayPal will protect the consumer in case of a dispute. One of the limitations of PayPal for some countries is that you must have a bank account to be able to synchronize your account. For this, PayPal is not very suitable for countries still in the process of development.
  • Stripe - Quite easy to integrate (it is not available in many countries). At the moment, Stripe is only present in 34 countries (//stripe.com/global), unlike PayPal, which is present in more than 200 countries and more than 25 currencies.
  • We Cash Up - A better alternative for developing countries. (//www.wecashup.com/en/). If you do not have a bank account and are in a less industrialized country with people who do not use banks as a method of financial transaction, you can use "We Cash Up."

A choice based on technology

There are a variety of payment gateways, and the choice will depend mainly on the technology you use or how much you are willing to invest in development. For example, you will be able to find gateway extensions that only work on Magento and not on WooCommerce. It is why you will evaluate several gateways in terms of advantages and disadvantages. Your analysis will have to take into account the cost per transaction, the ease to integrate it and, more importantly, the ease of use on your site.

8- Marketing/Social Media Strategy

As you probably already know, having a website is not enough. You need a marketing strategy to make sure you promote your platform to generate revenue. Asking about your marketing strategy or the channels to use gives you an idea of what to integrate as a marketing solution. Several developers have put on the market extensions that facilitate the management of your social media platforms or marketing strategy. Some examples are extensions for connecting websites to email marketing platforms. You may also have to link your website to Facebook or Google Analytics platforms for better monitoring and continuous improvement.

9 - The security of your site.

The security of your platform is an aspect not to be neglected if you want to sell online successfully. Given that customers will insert personal information in the forms on your site, you must make sure to secure your platform as much as possible. There are several parameters to implement for maximum security. Some of these elements are The SSL certificate, the Captcha (to protect the forms), protection against brute force attacks with Sitelock ...

10 - Choice of technology to use

Once you have completed the 9 points mentioned above, the choice of technology will be easier. You will only have to ask yourself if the CMS (or Content Management System) that you have in front of you meets your requirements.

There are several tools to develop an e-commerce platform, among which Shopify, PrestaShop, Magento and WooCommerce. You must take some time to ask yourself which CMS fits best with your short, medium or long term goals.

For example, you can ask yourself questions such as:

  • Will I be able to update my content?
  • Do I have the necessary means to manage possible bugs?
  • Will the tool allow me to reach my target easily?
  • Would it be easy to import my content without any problem?

Make a choice based on ease of management.

Each content manager has its advantages and disadvantages. And how easy it is to manage each of them depends on your abilities or financial resources. For anyone just starting in e-commerce, we recommend Shopify or WooCommerce, as the implementation and management do not always require technical knowledge.

Conclusion

E-commerce is an asset and an activity that everyone should pursue. No matter what your profile is, you can successfully sell online, if you want to, get into it. However, the ability to continue depends on your level of commitment, determination and, most importantly, your planning for its implementation.

Our role as an e-Commerce developer is to accompany you every step of the way so that you can better focus on the essentials. Contact us today if you need a professional touch on your projects.