Moving your brick-and-mortar store online can be quite a challenge. Handling shipping, online payments, customer service, etc… Fortunately, this is a well-known problem and several solutions exist for bringing your products to the web. Maybe you’re a new business and are dipping your toe into entrepreneurship. No matter what circumstances bring you to the decision to create an online store, there are a couple of key things you should consider:
- What type of goods am I selling?
- Do I need to revamp an existing site?
- How will I take payments?
Getting started with an online store doesn’t have to be as complicated as it may seem. With help from an experienced web developer, you can have your store up and running in just a few days. Let’s take an in-depth look at these three key considerations that will help make your online store a success.
What type of goods am I selling?
Oftentimes, people overlook this question because it seems useless to consider. Why does it matter what type of goods you’re selling? This matters because it will help determine what type of platform you need to sell your products. If you only have a single product that you focus on, you can build your web platform without worrying about an online store and use a third-party service that specializes in niche stores like yours. If you sell many different products, you should probably look into selling your products on a WordPress site with WooCommerce. This plugin is a battle-tested bit of software that does all the heavy lifting. WooCommerce will help categorize your products, sell variants (like t-shirt sizes and colors), display your store, handle dynamic shipping costs, and take care of payments.
Do I need to revamp an existing site?
This question can be a bit difficult to determine. There are several factors to consider when making this decision:
- What platform is your current site on?
- Are you happy with your existing site?
- Do you need a fully integrated system?
These questions will help lay the groundwork for determining whether you need a complete rebuild, or just a remodel. If your existing site is built on a platform that is in line with the goals for the types of products you sell, you can probably get away with a remodel which will save you time and money. However, if your site is older, or is built on an inadequate platform, you’ll need to be prepared for a brand new site. This will give you the ability to build on your brand and give your customers the custom experience you envision.
How Will I Take Payments?
Taking payments is one of the most important factors of having an online store. There are many different ways you can take payments depending on the type of store you’re running. For example, local stores might be able to offer no online payments at all and instead take payment in person. This could simplify payments, bookkeeping, and shipping. However, most stores opt for a more robust system that can take payments from users all over the globe. For these situations, you have a few options.
Creating accounts for these different platforms is in general a pretty straightforward process. Depending on the type of goods you sell you may need additional levels of authentication. Once you’ve created your account, if you’ve chosen a WordPress site with WooCommerce, integration is as simple as just copy and pasting a few security tokens from your payment provider.
Getting your online store up and running is an exciting process! Making sure you’ve identified the type of goods you’re selling, how you plan on building your site, and determining a payments provider, will make the process much easier. Fortunately, I’ve built over twenty different online stores with a variety of platforms and payment providers and can have your site up in running in days not months! If you need a custom online store built for your business, get in touch! I’d love to work with you to bring your store to the web.