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Making e-commerce work for your business

Isla Mercer

Account Manager at Shaw

With the majority of shops shut for the foreseeable future, many businesses are looking to selling online. What may at first seem a difficult, costly process, may not necessarily need to be. We’ve outlined some tips below that could help you set up your online shop to help keep those sales coming in, as well as being able to reach a whole new set of customers outwith your local area.

1. If you already have a working website, adding e-commerce functionality may be quick and cost-effective

Sometimes sites have this functionality built in but not switched on, or it may be a case that adding it could just take a little tech wizardry rather than being a long and expensive project. If you want to find out, get in touch and we can have a look at your site and let you know.

2. Group up with other local suppliers

Are there other local businesses you know that would benefit from selling online. Why not join forces, split the cost and create a site together, or use one of your websites to add each other’s products to. This not only enables you to sell online, but also allows you to be seen by each other’s customers and cross-sell your products.

3. It doesn’t have to be perfect

This is NOT something we would normally say, and as designers, it goes against every grain in our body, but we are in strange, strange times at the moment. Perhaps there’s certain functionality you only want for a few weeks/months which could be added as a manual process rather than spending more time and money on full automation.

4. Get the word out there

Once you’ve opened your online store, you need to let people know you’re ready for business. A great starting point could be some Facebook ads targeted to people in your local area since they would most likely have been your previous customers. You can then widen your digital advertising to people further afield who have an interest in your products and run ads across both Facebook and Google to target people searching for products similar to yours.

5. Adding a personal touch

People like buying from small, independent businesses because it feels like a much more personal transaction than buying from a large, faceless retailer. Adding small thank you notes or encouraging people to share their purchase on social media not only provides you with great content, it also creates a bond between you and your customer which may encourage them to re-purchase from you.