The vast majority of retail businesses are now online, and this figure is set to grow further as customers adapt to changing behaviours after the Covid pandemic. Improving digital technologies, lockdown mandates, social distancing and the ease of online shopping mean that more people than ever look set to start shopping online, potentially avoiding heading out to physical shops altogether.
Pick your domain name
How can you place your shop online? The first step is to pick a domain name. When you are ready to buy domain name options can be found online with domain registration at names.co.uk. Look for a name that will make sense to your customers, and be sure to reserve all of the available URL endings.
Organise your hosting
With your domain name in place, buy a hosting package. You can either use a template builder, such as Shopify, to build your e-commerce website, or you can work with a digital agency to create a finished product that will meet your customers’ needs. Bigger businesses will nearly always use an agency or freelancer because of the amount of upfront development time and ongoing support that is required.
Self-build or agency?
Although there is an upfront cost, many businesses prefer to use a digital agency to create their e-commerce offerings. The advantage of skilled expertise means that the resulting e-commerce website is fully functional, designed to meet customer needs and optimised for SEO. Digital experts can also provide strategic advice that makes it easy to develop a website in the right way. Without this, it’s easy to lose ground to more forward-thinking competitors.
Another approach is to train someone in-house to manage and update the website once it is live. This means carrying out regular update functions, loading products and descriptions, finding great imagery, optimising content for SEO and checking that there are no glitches in the website.
Some businesses will simply develop an e-commerce app, especially if they have a younger audience and a simple B2C product. The right approach depends on your offering, your audience and your broader marketing strategy. It is vital to have a plan and a strategy before you begin your website build so you can measure success against your objectives.
How will you develop your ecommerce website this year to boost your sales and win new customers?