Learn from your own shopping experiences. What do you like/dislike?
Know the competition
You can see what the competition is like by searching on Google, Instagram, Amazon and Facebook for some of the products that you plan to sell. You could even test their service by buying something.
Get your proposition and pricing right
Why would anyone want to buy from you? What can you offer that’s different to other sites? Beware of competing just on price – it’s a mug’s game. Add value instead and charge more! Eg offer related consumables (like batteries) for a bit more, suggest associated items, offer a gift-wrapping service for a small fee, or free P&P if they spend £X.
Control your costs.
Make sure you keep a tally of your outgoings and income on a spreadsheet or accounts package, and that you understand cash flow and profit and loss. Review these weekly, so you can spot when things are going awry
DIY - or not
If you decide to run your own store, then you need to decide whether to set this up yourself or to use a web designer. An e-commerce package enables you to create a good-looking, fully functional site, quickly and at low cost. A web designer will add a professional finish and enhanced features that can generate confidence and boost sales.
Make sure everything works
Make sure the finished site is easy to use for both you and your customers. Ask friends to test it (maybe watch as they do).Your online store will be able to take orders 24/7 – but only if it is available. Depending on whether the cart is desktop or cloud-based you may need a third party to host your website. Either way, make sure that your store will be reliable. Get a personal recommendation, or ask the supplier for their availability figures.
It’s vital to be able to take card payments. For those with limited business experience, the best place to start is with PayPal. PayPal can now meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and is a standard feature of almost all ecommerce sites.
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