Setup an Online Shop for your Retail BusinessComelite IT Solutions
If you have a retail business providing products and goods, the first thing that will help you make a leap in your future strategy is to setup an online shop for your retail business, or ecommerce website. E-commerce, standing for electronic commerce is the method the modern world is using to present their shop through the internet. In this article I want to help you get the idea about the steps to setup an online shop, as the benefits are explained before here and here.
Collecting Your Products
The first thing you will need to do is prepare your product list. You will need to consider a Product ID or SKU for each product, then specify product names and short descriptions, and pricing. Also, you will need to clarify your product categories. The most important part in this preparation is your product photos. If you look at the product photos in the Ohod Electrics Shop, or the Tmreya Sweets Shop, you will see how a professional photographer put time and energy to make the best of each product.
After all, your storefront for your customer is now their PC, mobile or tablet device. So show them the best of your product, and not a lousy photo. See the valuable tips here to help you setup your product photography.
Choose your Online Shop Platform
In the world of modern tech today, there are surely hundreds of platforms to setup your online shop on. Which you choose will depend on who will build it, your hosting, your continual support capabilities and of course, the quality and effectiveness of the platform. At Comelite, our recommended solution is using Woocommerce based on WordPress, as a popular PHP solution. Woocommerce is a customizable e-platform rich in features and plugins to enhance your online shop, which we will explain later in the article.
SSL for Your Shop
SSL is vital for an online shop as explained in our security article before. As sensitive information is passed through the website, from the client name and contact info, to their payment information, your website should have the necessary security layers available to ensure your customers protection. After all, the more you protect your customers, the more returns you will have and the more your business will flourish. Here’s a bit more explanation on how SSL will protect your website and customers.
Select a Theme
Whichever platform you select to go with, there are hundreds and thousands of themes to support you. You can go to theme website such as Themeforest to find and narrow down the theme you want that is in the selected platform and that goes with your industry. Make sure to check out the shop pages and product detail pages to ensure the way all is presented. Using premade themes will save your time and your developing teams time, and ensure guaranteed service and presentation of your shop, from responsiveness to the look and feel.
Choose Your Gateway
A payment gateway is what will allow the funds to come through your shop. It’s an authorization median for the transfer of money. In this article, I’ve explained what a payment gateway is and the best ones to use in the Middle East. In your online shop, it’s best to certainly integrate the payment gateways most used by your target customers in your local area. If you’re an international firm with branches in different countries, you should target more than one payment gateway to suit all your target audiences.
Maximize Your Store
Features such as providing physical products, digital, shipping configurations, integration with different gateways, adding of taxes, sales reports, geo-location support, also a vast integration with third party extensions for newsletters to keep your customers attached, to CRM extensions.
In this website, we did an integration with DHL plugin, allowing shipping configurations done for each delivery after purchase. Here, we did integration with Hyperpay, as well as tax and minimum order configurations, and location based notifications.
Mobilize as Step 2
Once your website is all setup, it’s best to think of having an app as a reflection of the website. In this project, we did an app for the Tmreya store in KSA, which allows the loyal customers of the shop to do payments through their mobile device anytime, instantly notifying the store owner of the purchase and preparing them to deliver the goods. The best thing about having your shop as an app, is that you’re always in your customer’s pockets!
Maintenance Will Keep It Going
Setting up an online shop for your retail business is not a one-time destination! It’s an ongoing process, meaning that, just as you would maintain your store business, you should maintain your online shop too. This includes product updates such as sales and featured products, emails to notify new arrivals or product changes, to loyalty programs and however more to have your business flourish and make the most of your online shop. Maintenance will also include marketing your shop, from social media channels to other types of advertising.
In this short article, I tried to point out to the basics of the setup of an online shop, for retail businesses out there. There are many steps in getting into further detail for your shop, but these initial ones will help you leap into the new year with your new business. Don’t hesitate to reach out for personal consultation and tailored solutions for your business.