Guide

Create an online shop

Avoid online selling pitfalls

Many e-commerce websites fail because of basic mistakes that are easily rectified.

Customers will be put off by:

  • out-of-date or incorrect information
  • difficult site navigation and purchasing processes
  • poor customer fulfilment and late delivery
  • lack of customer support
  • lack of business information
  • poor visual design

So it is essential to:

  • Make sure all information on your website, especially on prices, is up to date.
  • Monitor the information you provide on a regular basis.
  • Make it easy to find and purchase products.
  • Make sure that resources and procedures are in place to support your website. This will ensure that orders can be processed promptly, emails can be responded to quickly and helplines are manned by the appropriate staff at reasonable times.
  • Have your website professionally designed.

Remember - when selling through an online shop, you don't normally have any personal contact with your customers, so you need to try harder to find and keep them.

Build trust with your customers

There are further steps you can take to increase the chances of visitors placing an order and to make them feel more secure about buying from your site. These include:

  • making your site easy to navigate and user friendly
  • giving a 100 per cent no-quibble money-back guarantee if they don't like or want the product
  • making sure photographic images on your site are accurate and show products in their best light
  • hiring a customer service representative who can give advice on the phone to customers on more complex or expensive products
  • making ordering procedures straightforward and quick
  • confirming orders immediately by email
  • being honest - eg, telling the customer if you can't deliver on time
  • providing a way for customers to track down the progress and availability of their order