Your real-world shop is doing well, and your customers love what you’ve got to sell. It seems like the next frontier is online sales. There are more customers in the world than will ever getting to your brick-and-mortar store. But you’re not a developer or web guru, so building a website seems arcane and out of your reach. Don’t worry, there are three basic pieces you’ll need to add to your existing website or build into a new site in order to start selling products.
1. Beautiful Product Display
The drawback of online sales is that you can’t show off your wares to potential customers in person. They won’t be able to pick your products up and examine them, appreciate the quality, or browse through racks or shelves in person. In order to make sales, you have to remember that presentation is just as important online as it is in a brick-and-mortar store; you simply have to go about it in a different way. Pictures and words will have to tell the story.
When you set up your site, look for a web template that is specifically designed around selling products. Make sure the design of the template doesn’t detract from your products. Ideally, the template should be able to show your customer multiples views of the product. Pair the views of your products with quality ad copy to describe what you are selling, and you’re in business.
2. Shopping Cart Software
This needs to work closely with your site template, and may, in fact, be combined as one package, depending on where you decide to build your site. Shopping cart software is the part of your site, which enables your customers to choose the products they want to buy, adjust quantities or any other options, and enter their shipping and payment information. It will then pass all the relevant information on to you so you can pack up their order and ship it off. Simplicity on both ends is important for shopping carts. You want the features your customer’s access to be crystal clear and easy to use so there are no surprises about what they are ordering or confusion about how to complete a sale. Likewise, to streamline your process, the information you receive should be clearly organized and give you everything you need in order to quickly and accurately process customer orders and ship them.
3. Payment Gateways
Another crucial part of the formula is how you get paid. A payment gateway is a service, which handles the authorization of credit card or other payments. Joining up with one of these gateways is the simplest way to make sure that payments can be processed for your site, as they handle all the back-end details of checking with credit card companies and authorizing payments. Using a reputable payment gateway takes a lot of the hassle of dealing with payments out of your hands, so that you can get on with what you do best.
These three services are available from many online service providers, sometimes as one bundle. Find a good store template, easy shopping cart software, and reliable payment service, and your business can reach new heights.