1. Take it Seriously:
The first important step is to fully consider the web opportunity. If you do that without enough resources, your shop won't start and you won't have any order. The first step is to give to, at least, one person the responsibility of the website and orders. With the Ecomready admin interface, this person doesn't have to know much about technology but he has to know the products and be able to answer the customers' emails fast (less than 24 hours).
2. Good Strategy:
On the web, every shop is next to the other. So why people would buy on your site instead of another ? There are 2 winning strategy on the web: sell at the best price or sell an exclusive product. Be sure to be in one of those categories.
3. High Quality Website:
If you have a poor quality website, surfers won't buy anything. As in a real shop, if you door is dirty, customers won't enter to see if they are interested in any products. That's why WebGift offers professional looking shops and web design services for those who want us to do the complete layout of their website. Don't put poor quality images and check your website with different browsers to see that everything works properly.
4. Make Your Site Easy:
Shoppers want to find quickly what they want and an easy way to order the products. That's why the WebGift engine includes a search engine and a easy and well explained order process.
5. Buy Yourself On-line:
The best way to understand what decides people to order, do on-line shopping yourself. When you buy on a website, try to find out how have you found the site and why will you order on it. You will learn a lot if you take a look at successful ecommerce sites.
6. Reassure your Customers:
You won't buy on a website if you don't trust it. Your customers neither. Don't forget to put for example a good "Privacy Statement" and "Terms and Conditions" (both included in the eshop). Explain to your customers as much as possible about the order process, return policy and give them a detailed description of your products. Don't forget to put your street address (not a PO Box). Give them also an email or a phone number they can use if they need more information.
7. Promote Your Site:
If you don't promote you site, you won't have much traffic. There are different ways to promote your site. On-line methods: search engines registration, newsgroups, banners,... . Off-line methods: put the address of your website on your letter, promotional material,... Both methods types has to be used together for optimal results.
8. Update Your Site:
If you want your visitors and customers to come back, often change your site. Change the layout, add more information and new products in your catalog. Put also promotions and special prices. Use the feedback and the stats (included in the eshop package) you have from your visitors to update your site.
9. Be the First:
As shown by the statistics, it's always easier if you are on the net before your competitors. If none of your competitors is on-line yet, it's now or never.
As in a normal shop, customers won't buy on your website the first day you open it. It takes several months (from 2 to 6 months) to start. So don't wait for direct profit and continue to work hard on your website. But when it starts be also ready to answer very quickly to a huge demand.