If Covid has taught retailers anything, it’s that you really never know what factors will dictate floor traffic. Even now, as I type, we are experiencing a second wave, and my friends and family are split into two groups – those who are being careful, but returning to many activities, and those who are self-proclaimed hermits. I, myself, fall somewhere in the middle, along with most Americans.
Many companies have had e-commerce on the back burner as a future to do, and with so many working from home we are seeing an unprecedented surge in clients that are taking the home time and quiet to focus on the online presence.
In order to do this, you have to have some basic things. You need a working knowledge of item types, and some basic graphic design skill (or, you can hire Certum…ahem… just saying). You need an accurate inventory of your stock, and you need time. Lots. of. it. While the day to day maintenance will not be as cumbersome, setting up your items for the first time can be a bit of a chore, but there are ways to make it easier.
You will want to choose your e-commerce provider. We work with a few well known brands, and are happy to help extend a discount or help you with your project. Our team focuses on WordPress, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. WordPress is more the CMS (Content Management System). When you say “blog” or “website” most people in the know will immediately think of WordPress. You can pair WordPress as your content system for blogging and site pages with a program like WooCommerce, or BigCommerce, depending on how intricate your web theme is and how much work you want to put in.
Once you choose your tools, you will need to set up your pages, return policies, items, and email notifications. You have several tools, such as abandoned cart reminders, that will either come included or separate. With WooCommerce you generally pay a nominal fee, but those fees will add up, so if you are setting up your first store make sure you have a clear budget in mind and you treat this like an investment, because it is.
Make sure you have a way to collect funds. This will require signing up for a merchant account.
Expect to put time into social media and other avenues in order to push traffic to your site. After all, if no one knows its there, is it really there? (You know, trees in the forest and all). Pick your social media platforms as you consider your audience. Advertise for your audience… you don’t have time or money to blow the foghorn to the world. You need to know your target customer. Who is going to buy your product?
Some social media companies, ahem Facebook, ahem Google Shopping, ahem ahem… will require certain pages in order to even let you advertise on their site. The biggies are Return Policies and Privacy Policies. You need to make sure those are on there. Best practice would be to pull their advertiser guidelines and follow them to a T. Getting out of Facebook jail is harder than getting in!
When you have QuickBooks, you will want to make sure you store syncs with your inventory in your system. Depending on your platforms, different sync managers exist to help, or you can do daily or weekly inventory entries, which are no fun.
For more information about our products, e-commerce questions, subscriptions, business management, a question about QuickBooks or your business’ tech stack, feel free to contact us. You can also check out our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube Channel for more content.