Part of the process of developing any website is gaining an understanding of your business. In advance of starting your project, we will ask you for certain information and website content. In the case of an online shop, this will include details of your product range or the services you provide.
The type of information we may ask for could include:
Product names/titles, Product images, product descriptions, product specifications or technical information, product variations, product prices, warranty/product guarantees, and pdf document or manual to be linked to which support a product, any related products, store categories.
In addition to product information, we will need to know of your preferred payment gateway, for example, PayPal, WorldPay, Sage Pay, Barclaycard etc. We are happy to talk you through the options available and help you choose the right solution for your online store.
If you have an existing website or domain name, we will need details of your domain name registrar and/or web hosting company.
We will ask you to provide us with information about how you intend to ship your products, where you intend to ship to, how much you will charge, rules to help assign the required shipping fee to a customer’s order.
There is quite a lot of work for the shop owner to do during the shop set-up, but we are here to guide and support you through this process. We will let you know exactly what we need and when we need it. If you are not sure about something, we will take the time to explain it to you, and in most cases, we can provide examples to help you.
As part of the website build, we will add a small number of products to your online shop. This helps us to work out how we can make your product pages look fantastic, include all the information and options required, and offer all of the functionality you need. We will ask you for a cross-section of your entire product range, to include some of the more complex products to be sold and we will work with you to get the product pages just as you want them.
Once the website is complete and just before launch, we will provide training so that you can add further products yourselves at any time. We will also show you how to amend existing products too.
If you would like us to populate the website with a greater number of products or indeed your entire product range, we will be happy to help. Obviously, this will increase the price of the job. Please ask us for a quotation for adding additional products.
Once your online shop is up and running, we are available to assist with updates of any kind including adding new products. Please get in touch to discuss your updates.
The development time will depend on the size of your website, the number, and complexity of your products, and the availability of the content. We will give you an estimated development time before we begin the product and a proposed launch date. We will keep you updated throughout the website build to let you know of our progress and any changes to the launch date.
For a newly established online shop, you should not expect the cash register to begin to ring immediately. Once your website is online it will take a while for Google and other search engines to find it and index it. There are lots of factors for success with online sales, not just Google ranking. See below, ‘What can I do to make my online shop perform better?’
Performance can be looked at in two ways, ranking on search engines, and online sales. The reason you created an online shop was to generate sales, so, for us, the measure of success is the level of sales, not where your website sits in the search engine rankings, although there is obviously a relationship between the two. However, being at the top of the search engine ratings does not necessarily mean that your online shop will perform well and that you will get the sale. There are lots of factors leading to success. Here are some of the things to consider:
Page Rank – If your website is several pages into the search engine results returned for searches performed using keywords and phrases appropriate to your product then it is unlikely your website will be one of the first visited and you may well lose the sale to a shop with a higher ranking.
Usability – What kind of experience are you giving website visitors? Is your website easy to use? Can they find what they need easily? If your website is cumbersome and does not provide a good experience then visitors may become frustrated and leave.
Website image – Website image is important. Is the website attractive? Is it on-message? Does it instantly say what it does or what it sells? Does it look professional and reputable? Are visitors likely to feel confident about parting with their hard-earned cash?
Secure – Does your website have an SSL certificate? SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. A site with SSL installed will look different in the browser. It will have https:// and a small padlock icon displayed next to the URL rather than just http://. From your customer’s perspective, this means they are likely to feel more secure using your site above a website that does not have SSL. A website with SSL installed means that its connection to that website is secure and encrypted; any data entered is safely shared with that website.
Product representation and availability – Do you have the right products in your range? Are they in stock and available? Are they competitively priced? Have you presented them well? by this we mean is all of the information your customers are likely to need available to them and presented clearly and unambiguously? Are your product images clear and of high quality?
Reputation – Does your website give people the confidence to buy? Are you reputable? Adding Customer Reviews, Testimonials, Product Reviews and Ratings will all help along with any product awards. If you or your business have qualifications or accreditations then these should be included on your website. Links to any social media pages you may have are good as people can get a feel for your business and the experience and interactions with others when they are making purchasing decisions.
You VS Competitors – How do you compare to your competitors? Are you doing it better than they are? How do your prices compare? Do you have products that are not necessarily available elsewhere?
Promoting your products (off-page) – Are you banging the drum for your business elsewhere? Use social media to engage with customers and prospective customers. Networking in person. Leaflets and business cards. Literature to accompany dispatched orders. Special offers including introductory offers. Recommend a friend incentives. Email marketing.