Setting up your online shop

As part of our business we run workshops on all sorts of subjects relating to business and IT. We run one called “Selling Online”, through the Small Business Clinic. It is all about how to sell your products online and looks at all the aspects that you need to consider when setting up an online shop. This includes:

  • Choosing the right platform on which to sell
  • How to create your shopfront
  • Setting up your products
  • Attracting people to the shop
  • Handling orders
  • Ways of generating more sales

Some of these subjects are just work that needs to be done, such as selecting your platform and getting good quality photos of your product. Others require more thought and understanding of your customers. One of the latter is working out how to attract people into your shop because without customers you won’t have a business.

So, how do you attract people to your online shop?

The simple answer is: in the same way you attract people to your website.

In other words, you need to make sure your SEO (search engine optimisation) for your products is as good as for your web pages. In many ways, you need to make it even better because there may be lots of products on a single webpage. It’s even more of a needle in a haystack.

What do they search for?

You need to work out what people will type into Google, or any other search engine for that matter, when they are looking for your product. For this you need to know the type of language your customer will use and how they search. Do they put in whole questions or just phrases? How they search will change the information you need to include on the product to make sure it’s found. Be careful to use their language and not your own jargon.

Set the product up correctly

When you have done this , you need to include the information in the right places within the product data:

  • Product name – very important!
  • Description – you can include other likely phrases here
  • Images – make sure you give the image file a good name and also set up the “Alt” text properly
  • Tags and categories – within the platform (be it Amazon, Etsy or your website) people will use tags and categories to narrow their search. If these aren’t set up then your product isn’t as easy to find.

Simple, isn’t it?

Provided you understand your customers, this is simple to do. So make your that your shop is set up correctly.

You never know, I might want to buy your most expensive product but at present, I can’t find it!