As a startup owner or entrepreneur, you’re no doubt aware of the importance of having an online store. Launching an e-commerce website is something that many people consider to be a necessary step to take in order to make their business known to the world. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t have the time to devote to creating a quality online store that will bring in the desired customers. That’s where an agency comes in.
The Benefits Of Hiring A Professional
Having a professional help with your online store and e-commerce marketing is beneficial for a number of reasons. First off, having a team of experts take care of the technical aspects of running your website (such as setting up product pages and uploading the products you have for sale). This will save you a tremendous amount of time, allowing you to focus on growing your business.
Additionally, having a brand advocate walk you through every step of the way will help you to make the most of your online store. Someone who is knowledgeable about e-commerce and fully equipped to guide you through the process of getting your store off the ground. They may suggest things such as the most effective methods for bringing in the traffic you need and the conversions you deserve. They may also be able to reduce your stress and anxiety while taking care of the minutiae that comes with running an online store.
Setting Up Shop
If you decide that you want to hire the agency to help with your e-commerce and store marketing, the first thing you’ll need to do is set up shop. The purpose of this step is to make sure that you’re compliant with all the necessary legalities and regulations that come with operating a business online.
In order to do this, you’ll need to provide them with a physical address, phone number, and other business-related information (such as the names of the legal representatives who will be signing the legal documents on your behalf). Make sure to keep all the paperwork you’ll need for this in a safe place, as it may be required to open a business account with a payment processor. That way, you’ll have all the necessary documentation at hand when the time comes to close the deal. Don’t worry; this will all be taken care of by the agency.
Choosing A Payment Processor
One of the most difficult parts of setting up an online store is choosing a payment processor. This is the company that you’ll be using to take payments online. There are a number of trusted and well-known payment processors out there, but, as a startup or sole trader, you may prefer to go with a less well-known company that will give you a good deal. The downside to this is that, often, there is a lack of support available. But, if you need something immediately, the lack of knowledge about the payment processor may be your own damn fault!
If you have limited knowledge about making online purchases, the idea of paying with credit cards may feel intimidating. That’s absolutely valid, but you should also consider investing in a card that gives you perks. For example, the Visa Checkout tool allows you to create a button that customers can click to make a purchase. With this particular tool, the merchant doesn’t have to worry about handling the card details. Visa takes care of that for them. So, while it may feel like a chore to enter the payment details online, at least there’s no chance of manual mistakes.
Laying Down The Foundation
Once you’ve completed the initial setup process and are ready to move forward with developing your website, the next step is to lay down the foundation. This is the step where you establish what type of website you want to create and how you want it to function. Based on your needs and the available technology, you’ll choose the appropriate platform and then start building from there.
There are a variety of options when it comes to laying down the foundation of your website. For example, you could choose to use Shopify, which has a free trial, or you could hire a developer to build a custom platform from the ground up. Regardless, make sure that you choose a platform that is reputable and has a large audience. This will determine the success of your website. Also, be sure to choose a platform that allows for the monetization of your content. In other words, does it have an affiliate program or do you have the option of selling and displaying ads? Many e-commerce websites are built on top of WordPress, which is a freely available platform. If it’s been a while since you were part of the IT crowd, this step might feel like a chore, but it’s worth it in the end.
Curate And Optimize Content
Now that you have a base from which to build, it’s time to start curating and optimizing content for your target audience. This involves taking into consideration things such as product images (as they will most likely be the face of your website), copywriting, and design. Additionally, you’ll need to set up the content so that it seamlessly flows and is easily accessible to your customers. This means establishing an editorial calendar (ideally in advance so there are no last-minute surprises) and sticking to it. It’s also important to regularly update the content on your website, as this will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Create An Identify Brand
In the past, we’ve talked about creating a brand identity for your business. This is something that you do whether you operate a brick-and-mortar store or online shop. The difference is that with an online shop, you’ll have the opportunity to build a stronger bond with your customers by establishing a personal connection.
Branding is important because, often, customers have a poor perception of brands they don’t know much about. So, by establishing a familiarity with your brand, it gives the customer confidence that they’re making a purchase from a trusted source. Additionally, when customers see your brand’s name on every page of your website, they’ll have the opportunity to learn more about your business and be confident that they’re making a purchase from a reputable source.
Get To The Point
If you’ve been following along so far, you’ll know that we’ve been through a lot of information about setting up shop and beginning to build your website. At this point, it’s time to get to the good stuff. In order to save you time and energy, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to do to get your store up and running. This includes taking care of the minimum required legalities, getting a merchant account, and choosing the right e-commerce platform.
Take Your Time
Although it was a lot of information to process, you need to remember that all of this takes time. If you’re looking for a silver bullet, you’re going to be disappointed, as there is no shortcut to building a successful online store. But, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take your time and do it right. By taking the time to research and develop a plan before you start executing, you’ll be able to avoid a lot of the rookie mistakes that end up hurting your business instead of helping it.
Make A Plan, Execute, And Review
To wrap things up, here’s what you need to do. First, make a plan. This is something you’ll need to do regardless of whether you decide to hire the agency or build it yourself. It’s also something that you’ll have to review and update as your business matures. Second, execute the plan. This is where you put it into practice. The key is to do this step diligently and make sure that you don’t deviate from the plan. Third, review the plan. Just because you developed the plan doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. This is something that you’ll have to keep revisiting and updating as your business and marketing strategies evolve.
Hopefully, this article gave you all the information you need to begin the process of hiring an agency to help with your online store marketing. Whether you decide to build it yourself or choose to go with a reputable agency, putting these steps into practice will help you to get the most from your marketing efforts and ensure that you make the right choice for your unique situation.