E-Commerce / Online Stores
Selling Online Doesn't have to be Overwhelming.
Having the ability to sell online is a must for most local businesses.
Recent world events have emphasized this point to an undeniable level.
But it all seems like so much trouble, doesn’t it?
The Problem with Selling Online.
The biggest problem with getting ready to sell your products or services online is that you’re often left to do the work yourself. Established companies like Shopify offer a great product, but you end up paying them for the privilege of setting everything up on your own… “Gee, thanks guys.”
Running a business is time consuming enough, do you really want to add another task to your workload?
Do E-commerce Right
There is a path forward. Whether you’re selling just a handful of products, or are interested in pursuing a large catalog of items, the solution is simple. Hire the helping hand of a local web designer/digital marketing agency (Like Canadian Web Creations!).
I’ve helped many companies build successful online stores (Ex: Canadian Ginseng in Wilsonville). This experience can be put to work to build your shop quickly while incorporating a decade-plus of e-commerce tactics and strategies.
If you have a previous website, or are starting fresh, we can quickly add an online shop:
- Start fresh with a new website with e-commerce in mind.
- Add a shop section distinct from your website, but seamlessly integrated.
Plan for Your Online Store:
Take the following steps to make the transition to ‘digital main street’ even easier:
- Product Spreadsheet – Start an Excel or Google spreadsheet to list your products/services. Include these columns to help organize: Title, Description, Price, Attributes (such as colour or size).
- Product Photos – Start taking pictures! Many local businesses aren’t too keen on taking proper pictures of their products. Take a moment to take some pictures, it’s a small step that might save you some time down the line.
- Consider Shipping – Do you ship locally, provincially, nationally, internationally? Keep this info handy as it can help when setting up shipping methods. Also inquire with Canada Post or Purolator (or whomever your courier of choice is) about rates. Ideally flat rate shipping makes for quick set up, or find a way to factor shipping into the price of goods sold… The appearance of free shipping is always attractive!
- Payment Processing – Online payments have come a long way over the years. I recommend preparing a STRIPE account as soon as you plan on starting an online shop. Stripe is very easy to set up an account, and offers you the ability to seamlessly accept credit cards on your site. PayPal is also a quick option. However, PayPal can sometimes have the user leave your site to complete payment, which can detract from the seamless experience.
Common Questions and Answers
I hear that my shop needs to be ‘secure’, do you provide this service?
Yes, a secure shop is provided. The security refers to the SSL (Secured Socket Layer) certificate that shows your browser that the connection is secure and encrypted. In other words, it is totally safe to transmit your personal details and payment information, as the information is encrypted before it transmitted… Which means there’s no way anyone can pick out the information by snooping.
Shopify is very popular, why are you suggesting a different approach?
Shopify is a great platform, but it isn’t for everyone. It tends to be great for a certain type of ‘start up’ business that has time to spend building a website. Shopify can also be a never ending trap of additional monthly expenses for simple additional features. The ultimate answer is time. If you have the time to fiddle with a DIY website builder, all the power to you!
There is always the option to use Shopify, but still employ help to set it up and manage your online store.
How long does it take to build an online store?
There’s a few key factors that can indicate how long building an e-commerce website will take to build:
- How many products are you hoping to sell? (More products will require more time to input).
- How complex are the products you sell? (Variations, multiple colours, sizes etc all add to the input time needed to create a store).
Generally speaking, there is no reason for an e-commerce website to take longer than 6-8 weeks to build, unless it has a tremendous amount of products or customizations.
Can I arrange for curb-side pickup with an online store?
Absolutely. Curb-side pickup has entered our language and will be a reliable and safe customer-delivery option from years to come. You can integrate paid shipping, free shipping, local pickup, and curb-side pickup. Many options to suit your needs!
Questions? Want a Quote? Just Ask!
Do you have any questions about starting an online store? Please ask!