Thursday, 21 February 2013

What should you know before taking your business online? Part 1

Setting up an e-commerce business or taking your existing business online is a must for growing businesses seeking to attract new customers. However with a whole host of information and different suppliers out there to choose from, it can seem a daunting task. But fear not – we have created a two part blog that will share some top tips and common pitfalls to help you navigate the sometimes tricky task of taking your business online.
 
Here are our top tips to E-business success…
  • Plan – ensure you research who you will be using for e-commerce services such as: website hosting, payment gateway and merchant account provider, which you will need to process payments from your website. Being able to select one provider for all services should not only save you costs but also minimise the hassle involved.
  • Look after your customers – when you aren't face to face with your customers, the customer experience is even more crucial. You need to ensure you use clear and concise language on your website, be realistic about delivery timescales and ensure your site is a true reflection of your business and products and services.
  • Ensure your website is seen – lots of new online businesses don't think about how potential customers are going to locate their website. Online advertising using banner ads and PPC adverts on search engines are the quickest way to get visitors to your site, however they are costly and require full time management. Also you need to make sure you are up to date with the latest website SEO trends that can help customers find your website easier.
  • Website usability and content – it is important that potential customers can find what they are looking for on your website as if they can’t they won't stay on your site or re-visit. To do this, ensure you plan your websites navigation and layout and ask potential users to test it in advance to make sure it is easy and appealing. Keeping your content fresh and accurate will also encourage customers to return.
  • Tackle fraud – if your customer’s details are used fraudulently on your website you will be responsible for refunding them. So it is very important to protect your business and your customers from fraud. There are many steps you can take including extra security measures on your website, strict fraud and delivery policies and close monitoring of the transactions and orders placed on your site.

Look out for part 2 next week which will cover the common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

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