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5 Things You Need To Consider When Opening an Online Store

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by Startacus Admin

setting up an online shop

In the UK, 95% of people buy their goods via Internet retailers and in just one year more than £100 billion can be spent online. With these figures in mind it’s no wonder why you are planning to open an online store. 

But, before you start seeing pound signs, there are a few things you need to consider before setting up that virtual shop:

1. Which ecommerce platform are you going to use?

The very first thing you need to do is decide which ecommerce platform you are going to use. You can, of course, use the likes of eBay or Amazon, or perhaps you would rather be on Etsy or notonthehighstreet.com. Or maybe you could use Shopify to set up a shop via your current blog or website, where you have already built up a following. 

To help you decide, consider things such as what product you are selling and how much involvement you wish to have when it comes to designing the store plus how easy it is to add listings.

2. What product are you going to sell?

Alongside deciding the right platform to use, you need to choose what product you are going to sell. Maybe you already have something in mind? If you do you might want to do some research to see whether anyone else is selling it? How well they are doing with it and how can you be more competitive.  setting up an online shop

If you are selling something you have made yourself – artwork or jewellery, perhaps – you should probably look at a site such as Etsy or your own website for inspiration for your online shop. Secondly, you need to consider how easy the product is to make and what supplies you will need when determining the price, plus how easy it will be to keep up with demand – should it suddenly take off.

3.Where are you going to store the products?

When you first open your shop, you may be able to keep the products in your home – if you are lucky enough to have the space to do so. But, as demand grows, you are likely to run out of space here. Therefore, you need to think about where you are going to store your products.

You need somewhere that is safe and secure, that you can easily access whenever you need to – such as a storage unit that is specifically for eBay and online business storage. You can increase the space as and when you need to and there is a receipt and dispatch service so you don’t have to wait around for deliveries.

4. How are you going to ship the products you are selling?

Consider the size of your item, the most cost effective way and how professional you want the service to be. This could be Direct Dispatch – so you sell the item and the supplier ships this or standard Royal Mail which is great for books, clothing and other small items. A professional courier network such as FEDEX, DPD, YODEL, or Hermes are also worth considering. Think about areas of the world are you going to ship to and how are you best going to serve the customer with this in mind as well as maximising profit and product exposure. 

5. What will you do in terms of customer service?

How are you going to interact with your customers and what policies are you going to adhere to when dealing with their queries. Will you have a FAQ page to elevate general concerns? Will you have a phone line or email based service? What will your working times be and how does this impact international buyers if you are targeting them. Will you have English or overseas customer service agents etc.

Once you have considered and answered all the above questions you are ready to open your virtual store to the public.

Article written by Naomi Webb in collaboration with online self storage experts Ready Steady Store


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Published on: 2nd November 2016

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