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How to set up a web shop

Jun 15, 2022

Digital retail offers a huge opportunity for businesses. You might be an experienced seller running your own shop for years but feeling the need to expand your client base beyond your town or country. You can also be a young entrepreneur that found a niche in e-commerce, seeking the opportunity to light a spark in the market. In both cases you will need to create an online shop to increase sales, improve your customer experience and grow your online presence. Don’t know where to start? We will explain step-by-step how to build an ecommerce store.

1. Choose and register a unique domain name

A strong and simple domain name will help to build a trust with your customers and establish your brand. Remember to renew your domain registration on time to avoid someone snapping it up and selling it back to you at higher price.

2. Find a robust and safe web-hosting services provider

E-commerce websites are full of data that require a lot of space. Choosing a fast and reliable web-hosting provider is one of the key features of the overall success of selling online. Depending on your budget you can either buy your own server or rent a space on a web-hosting provider’s server. When choosing between hosting plans, look for something extensive with free SSL encryption, high traffic support, payment gateway support and an extra layer of security.

3. Encrypt the data sent to and from your website

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, which encrypts confidential information such as credit card numbers before sending them through the internet, is absolutely necessary for accepting payments online. Customers will feel safer shopping at your store and Google will give you higher rankings. Any decent web-hosting provider will offer SSL encryption as a part of their package.

4. Build your e-commerce website

You can go the easy way and sell on an established online marketplace, but your products will be listed among thousands of others. Your customers may not even realize they’re purchasing from you and consequently won’t learn about your brand. Building your own e-commerce site ensures control of how your products are presented. If you have some coding skills, you can build your site from scratch or import a ready-made template and customize it. Proprietary website building is complex and requires a significant amount of prior experience to implement it. Therefore, this task can be delegated to a developer. You should also make sure that your digital store works equally well on desktop and mobile platforms.

5. Write great product descriptions and upload images

Providing accurate product descriptions for both physical and digital goods is crucial for e-commerce sellers. As your customers will not be able to touch or try on a product, they are fully dependent on the descriptions you create. Include some of the keywords related to your product when writing descriptions and it will help you to achieve higher Google rankings and increase traffic. A clear description of the product with high-quality photos will also reduce the possibility of chargebacks. Optimising of web-images is important to find the right balance between the image quality and website speed.

6. Be PCI DSS compliant

Payment Card Industry, Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is a compulsory set of requirements intended to ensure that all companies that process, store and transmit payment card information maintain a secure environment. Do not keep sensitive cardholder data (name, surname, card expiration date, card number, service code, etc.) on your website, as data breaches have adverse consequences.

The documents you will need to confirm your compliance depend on your PCI DSS Level, which is based on the number of transactions per year and the type of technical integration of your website with a payment gateway.

7. Create clear and transparent policies and make them visible

There are three major policies your website needs to have: Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and Return Policy. Terms and Conditions set up contractual terms between you and your customers. Visitors will have to agree to these to use your site and make a purchase.

A Privacy Policy is a document that explains how a company collects, handles, stores, shares, and protects each customer’s personal information gathered through their use of a website. This Policy is required by law and assures the people you interact with that your business takes privacy extremely seriously.

A clear, easy and transparent Return and Refund Policy can help you to prevent refund requests from becoming chargebacks. If you ship your products, you will also need to add a Shipping Policy describing your shipping timetables and methods.

8. Set Up Customer Support Channels

Make it easy for your customers to contact you. Connect helpdesk email and/or helpdesk software. Put your company name, email and phone number visibly on your website. Since many customers demand instant answers to their questions, you can also set up a live chat service.

9. Integrate payment processing.

In order to sign an agreement with your Payment Services Provider, you will need to register a company and open a business bank account in EUR currency in the EEA area.

10. Market Your Online Store

Optimize your store for search engines, drive traffic via social media, use online ads to promote your store, participate in online events to increase brand awareness.

The post-pandemic era is the best time to enter the world of ecommerce. Customers are used to spending money online and fully appreciate the comfort of shopping from home. Give yourself a chance to stand out from the crowd and win a share of the growing profits.

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