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How To Be An Online Retail Success

There are many reasons why taking a business online is a great move.

The growth of shopping via the internet has reached stratospheric proportions during COVID-19, when everyone was denied the pleasure of real retail therapy.

Many people were forced to move their retail business online for the first time – and fast realised it’s a place they need to stay.

The advantages of setting up a retail website are many. From a purely financial point of view, you’re not spending huge amounts of money on a rented property, you can probably run your business (at least at first) without any other staff, and you can share your products and services with a much bigger audience.

Now that you’re convinced, let’s take a look at how to start an online shop and tap into that success for yourself!

Where to set-up an online store

The first step is to decide how you want to operate. If you have an existing “shop window” website, you may decide that it would be easier to add an e-commerce element rather than start from scratch again.

If that’s the case, then there are a number of choices, most of which will guide you through the setting up process in an easy-to-understand way.

Other options are to set up via an existing site such as Etsy, Amazon, or even eBay, where there is a huge amount of traffic. The downside of that is you could be competing with other people operating in the same field in a much closer proximity.

There are numerous options out there for selling via virtual high streets. Some have even been created to serve a particular area, so it’s worth seeing if there’s one near you that you could have a presence on.

If none of these appeal and you’re starting from scratch, there’s a number of things you must consider before becoming an online retailer.

What you’ll need to make your online store a success

“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” Grim words but there’s a huge amount of truth in them. This is why it is really important to take into account a number of different issues before opening your virtual doors.

One of the most important considerations is to ensure that your customers’ money is safe. Invest in proper software to protect the transactions taking place in your online store.

You need to set up to accept various payment methods – PayPal is relatively easy if you don’t have an existing account – it even gives customers the option to checkout as guests and pay directly with their credit or debit card, offering a particularly hassle-free solution for start-ups.

Put in place a robust returns/refunds policy – make sure your terms and conditions are easy to find and written out in full.

You’ll also need to consider the logistics of delivering the goods – are you going to set up with a courier service or rely on Royal Mail? Shop around as the prices differ greatly.

Anticipate what your online retail business will need and you’ll stay ahead of the game.


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