Do you need to take your existing business online? Restrictions due to COVID-19 are changing the way we run our companies. Right now is the best time to get started in e-commerce. E-commerce stands for electronic commerce. It is a way for people to buy products and services online. Quite simply, it is an online store. Anyone can open an online shop.
There are many things to consider before taking your company online. Here are some things to consider as you start the process.
1. What to sell
Your online shop can sell products, digital products, and services. Physical products could be anything from coffee to toys. Digital products could be books to music and services could be online classes to family counselling.
2. Where to sell
You will need a place to sell your services and products that will involve a website. You can create a website or sell on an e-marketplace such as Etsy.
3. Marketing your e-commerce shop
There are two solutions to market your shop outside of word of mouth and that is paid and unpaid marketing. Unpaid marketing can be done by using your social media networks and newsletters. Paid marketing can be in the form of Facebook ads and online banners.
4. Company name
If you are starting from scratch, you will need a company name. This name will become part of your advertising and branding. Make it memorable and make it unique, then promote it everywhere.
5. Payments and Taxes
Paying for things online has never been easier with the use of credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and e-transfers. Taxes will have to be accounted for. Having a very good accountant will help with any grey areas you have to keep everything running smoothly.
Once you have your shop setup, you will have to decide how you will send your products. You will have to consider the types of packaging and shipping labels you will require to mail what your customers purchase. After that, you will have to set up who will deliver your goods such as Canada Post, Purolator, or UPS. You can also have in-store pickup for your local customers.
7. Return policies
Every store has to have a solid return policy. This needs to be posted on your website and made easy to find and understand. If all sale items are final then make sure that it is clear during all promotions. Products such as swimsuits and cosmetics cannot be returned because of hygiene reasons and that needs to be made clear. However, you will need to make provisions for defective products, products that arrive broken, or products that could be recalled. Every scenario needs to be prepared for.
There will be many costs-some obvious and some hidden. Costs to consider are web hosting, shipping, product pricing, credit card processing fees, packaging for shipping, marketing, and advertising fees, accounting fees, and web and design fees.
The good news is The GDC Group are experts in helping clients with e-commerce. We understand that one size does not fit all. We consult with you to learn more about your business and your products and then we recommend a solution that will be right for you-one that looks good, is easy for your customers to use, and easy for you to use. We offer design services, store setup and training to make sure that you’re comfortable with all aspects of your e-commerce solution.