One of the key aspects of creating an online shop is being clear.
Make sure you display clear pricing, shipping and returns information. There is nothing worse than getting to the checkout only to find out that it is going to cost more than you thought it would.
If you present your customers with a lot of unexplained costs, they are more likely to abandon their purchase and their trust in your site will be broken.
It is also really important to promote your site. If no one knows you are there they won’t visit your store. Traditional bricks and mortar shops rely on being in areas where lots of people are passing so this is the best starting point – create virtual footfall to your site with PR and Search Engine Optimisation via blog activity.
It is important to leave yourself plenty of time to build your website before your launch date. Also, make sure you factor in for delays.
Many people are of the belief that once the site is live they can sit back and wait for people to find them. However, this is not the case and as with any business you need to promote it so people become aware of you. Even when you do start to make sales, you still need to keep this momentum up.
Having clear lines of communication with your customers is also vital. When there is a problem most customers will prefer to have someone they can talk to, so putting a phone number in a visible place on your site is a good idea. Studies suggest that consumers feel more confident knowing you’re just a phone call away if they have a question or if there’s a problem.
Consider also creating a newsletter so you can keep in touch with your existing customers and give them opportunities to take advantage of your latest offers before everyone else. And of course use social media.