July 14, 2020 | Article | by REQ Marketing | Technology
How to Quickly Launch Your Ecommerce Shop
If you’re an established brick-and-mortar business, you may not have needed an ecommerce shop… until 2020. Many brands and products suddenly need to offer an online shopping experience, but getting started can seem intimidating. Many business owners assume that preparing an ecommerce launch requires technical knowledge and a big budget.
Getting your new ecommerce shop up and running is easier than you think. If you have products or services and a physical location where you can fill orders and prepare products, you’re only a few steps away from having an online shop or store.
Take your store online the fast and easy way with this ecommerce launch checklist:
1. Choose an Ecommerce Platform
An ecommerce platform is like your online landlord. It hosts your store and takes care of upkeep and maintenance behind the scenes.
With an ecommerce shop, you can sell through multiple channels. Etsy, Amazon, and eBay are sales channels you can use to draw customers back to your online shopping experience.
The biggest all-inclusive ecommerce platforms that support both small businesses and multinational corporations are Shopify and Bigcommerce. Your monthly fee includes predesigned templates to help you quickly build and manage a professional online storefront.
Shopify and Bigcommerce also offer instant integrations with Facebook, eBay, and other sales channels. Their online tracking software can sync with your brick-and-mortar sales for centralized inventory reporting. They also integrate with several payment gateways, like PayPal.
2. Set up Your Store
Once you’ve selected an ecommerce platform, you’re ready to customize your shop. The process is designed to be as low tech as possible so that everyone can get online, but there are still a few steps you’ll need to follow to finalize your ecommerce launch. It’s worth making sure you’re happy at each step so you don’t waste time backtracking.
Keep your target customers in mind as you create your online shopping experience. You want a store that looks professional, attracts your target customers, and has the right calls to action to facilitate conversions when they visit.
Here are the steps:
- Choose your template
- Designate your sales channels
- Facebook Shop
- Google Shopping
- Buy button and checkout links
- Write product descriptions that build SEO
- Optimize your product images
- Pick clear categories for a simple store structure
- Select your payment gateway
- Set up shipping integrations
3. Before the Launch, Know Your Fulfillment Process
Even if you only carry a few items, you need a plan for what happens when an order is placed.
These questions will help you establish your fulfillment process:
- Where and how are you notified of a new order?
- How do you print the invoice? How do you print the packing slip?
- What packaging materials do you need? Does the presentation match your brand?
- What information goes with the product in the box? Do you provide directions for assembly or use, batteries, or a coupon?
- How can you make it easy to access the right product when an order arrives?
Efficient shipping creates happy customers. Don’t lose repeat business with sloppy packaging or disorganized shipping.
4. Let Your Customers Know You’re Open for Business
Once you customize your shop and organize your fulfillment process, you’re ready for your ecommerce launch.
Next, you’ll want to drive traffic to your online store. One effective way to let buyers know you’re open for business is a sales campaign. Create urgency with a short-term and irresistible offer.
You can create content for a giveaway, offer a two-for-one deal, or a limited-time special offer on a popular item in your store.
Once you’ve constructed your sales campaign, you’ll want to transmit it across all the sales channels you use. Publish it on your website, share it via social media, write a blog, shoot a video, send out email newsletters, consider paid advertising, update online business listings. It’s essential to post to all of the channels you use so that potential customers can find you.
5. Analyze and Refine
To get the most from your ecommerce site, you’ll need to track and test each step of your buyer’s online shopping experience using analytics.
Most, if not all ecommerce platforms provide tracking and some analytics. For detailed information on site traffic, user behaviors, and reach, integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Shopify and other large ecommerce platforms provide a library of free and paid plugins to help with promotions, tracking, and customer service.
One of the best features of ecommerce is its seamless scalability. You can be ready to sell quickly and grow your business steadily from there.