5 Things to Consider When Beginning an eCommerce Site

With many traditional brick and mortar stores closing down, online shopping has never been so explosive. Shopping online was once a convenience, but it is now a necessity, making it a very profitable business model. If you are thinking of starting an eCommerce site, here are five things to consider before you start.

1. Choosing a Payment Gateway

When you start an online store, one of the first things you will need to do is choose the right payment gateway. Payment gateways are software that connects the shopping cart on your site to your customers’ credit card processing networks. Examples of payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, and Square.

When choosing which one you will use, it is essential to consider transaction fees and integrations. New businesses can start with gateways that charge higher fees because they are easier to set up, and then transition to gateways that charge lower fees later. If you want to provide your customers with a smooth and seamless experience, look for payment gateway integrations that allow customers to stay on your site while entering payment information.

2. Tracking Inventory

When it comes to managing your online store, organized inventory management is a must. New online stores can use spreadsheets or pen and paper to track inventory or use their cart’s built-in inventory tracking feature. When your sales volume begins to grow, you can consider upgrading to inventory management software that streamlines the process.

3. Using Professional Product Photos

Visual content is an important factor in whether consumers make a purchasing decision. Landing pages that display large, high-resolution images from multiple angles can create an experience by bringing your product to life. By implementing big images and 360-degree product views, you can increase your chances of capturing more attention and making more sales.

4. Virtual vs. Physical Products 

You can sell physical products, such as books or clothes, or virtual products, such as downloadable software, through your online store. If you’re not sure whether it is best to sell physical or digital products, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. With digital products, you won’t have to worry about tracking inventory or investing in storage costs. You also won’t have to worry about stock management or shipping calculations.

If you decide to sell physical products, it can be easier to demonstrate value or offer products that are unique. It can also make for straightforward transactions. Digital products sometimes involve a certain amount of follow-up with the customer. With that being said, physical products can be harder to scale, and you will also have to take shipping and handling fees into consideration. 

5. Including a Privacy Policy

There are two reasons why your online store needs a privacy policy. Not only are they legally required if you are using cookies to collect personal information, but your customers also expect to see them, which can help establish trust. The California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 requires that commercial website owners are required to display a privacy policy regardless of where you are located in the U.S.

Likewise; the EU’s GDPR requires a privacy policy when collecting personal information from consumers located in the  EU. It doesn’t matter where your business is located but it does matter where your customers are.

Payment gateways, inventory tracking, content, and technical factors such as including a privacy policy are just a few considerations to make before beginning an online store.

Other things you should take into consideration include shipping options, discounts, refund policies, SSL certificates, and more. If you are thinking of building an online storefront, contact Infinite Web Designs today to learn more about how our solutions can improve your visibility and help increase sales.

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