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How to set up an eCommerce website store - 5 Top Tips

Whether you are an established retailer or a wanna-be entrepreneur .. this is a great time to set up an eCommerce store or website.

Every year in NZ and beyond there is a significant increase in spend in almost all online shopping sectors, and this represents a great opportunity to launch or import a new product with no need of physical store. Or to compliment an existing physical store with an online presence to drive more foot traffic and to sell outside your local area!

We are lucky enough to develop 30 to 50 small to medium level online stores per year, and provide a wide range of businesses with associated online marketing service. We  learn a lot from real experience are pleased to share with you some of the most important - yet often overlooked, things to consider when setting up a eCommerce store or website.

1. THINK DIFFERENTIATION : Online shopping is crowded. The first and most important thing to think about is' WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT'. Everything from your Google ranking to the reason a visitor will engage or buy...    hinges on this question.

2. HAVE A STRATEGY : Unless you have very deep pockets you will not be able to do everything at once and launch a site to compete with Amazon or Torpedo7. There is a lot to learn and setting things up always takes longer than expected...  so its vital you focus your time and budget to give you some quick wins that you can build on.

3. DONT RE-INVENT THE WHEEL. Spend time to review how big and successful online retailers operate, why their eCommerce sites work how they do - how they are structured and navigated. The big guys spend a LOT on A/B testing and invest in control groups - so their sites are configured to deliver results. You can save a lot of time by investing time up front researching.

4. LOOKING GOOD vs HIGH CONVERSION LAYOUTS: Design is important, however as long as your site looks professional dont overspend too much time on 'looks' you need to balance the need for graphics against making your site highly navigable and getting more traffic. Again look at the site the big guys use...   when a potential customer arrives its about helping them find, buy or ask about what they need faster. Professional and simple designs are normally best....  your visitors will thank you with their wallets.

5. DEPLOY. TEST. REFINE. TEST. Websites are not static things. There are many free and very powerful tools to track every aspect of their usage, to conduct A-B testing of different pages or test variants of page layouts. We don't know anyone who converts 100% of their visitors to customers - which means that everyone has potential to improve, and needs to keep testing and improving. So deploy - test - refine - test...  forever.

We love eCommerce. For more tips or to discuss your ideas - get in touch with us today.

Posted by Simon Fortescue

Simon is passionate about helping businesses leverage technology to outstrip industry growth norms.

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