So you’re thinking about starting an eCommerce store for your Jersey business? You’ve certainly got the right idea – but let’s pull up the handbrake for just a moment. There are several things you need to consider before the online orders start magically rolling in.
Sure, every Jersey business needs a website and an eCommerce store, but is it affordable for your business? Which provider do you want to use, have you identified a payment gateway, and do you really have the time to promote and manage it?
If you’re tempted to Google these terms already, then you’re in the right place. Before you do anything else, consider these aspects of building an eCommerce store.
Time is Money
Stereotypes all come from somewhere and few hold more weight than this one – your time is money and you need to make it count (no pun intended).
A successful eCommerce store requires daily attention, prompt responses, and constant upkeep. You need to be able to quickly adapt and develop your brand as the market changes. Half-complete, out-of-date, and unprofessional eCommerce pages will soon have a negative impact on your business.
Is it worth learning to build the eCommerce store by yourself? Or do you need someone to develop the infrastructure for you? And once it’s built, who’s going to manage it?
Is an eCommerce Page Affordable for Your Business?
What does affordability mean for your business? If your turnover is relatively low and you have some spare time, you could attempt to build the page yourself.
On the other hand, it could mean offloading the eCommerce task to a professional and simply managing the costs thereafter. That leaves you with more time to focus on the day-to-day running of your business – just make sure they don’t build a bespoke shop system.
Select a Shop System Provider
We highly recommend using one of the existing eCommerce platforms that are readily available.
This is WordPress’ go-to platform. The basic version is free, it can easily be integrated into an existing WordPress site, and there are lots of plug-in options to enhance your store.
Shopify is another tried-and-tested platform that comes with all the support documentation you could need. Editor tools are easy-to-use and there are ready-made themes, however, with every add-on it becomes more and more costly.
Big Cartel is simpler and is aimed at semi-professional businesses. There are a few ways to customise your store but it’s straightforward, cheap, and easy to list your products.
Don’t Forget a Payment Gateway Provider
You like getting paid, right? There are several different ways to organise the financial aspect of an eCommerce store as well.
There are nearly 300 million PayPal customers around the world and it’s a global platform your consumer will immediately recognise. But it’s not cheap, and there are some issues with a negative reputation within certain demographics.
With more reasonable fees and a user-friendly interface, Stripe is designed to make your life easier. Unfortunately, this platform isn’t yet available in the Channel Islands so you would need a UK registered business to use this one.
If you’re turning over lots of orders each month, the low transaction fees on SagePay make it a clever choice. The monthly subscription is reasonable and the UK-based support team is another bonus.
SumUp is the new kid on the block and has recently become extremely popular among small UK businesses. It can be used as an eCommerce provider as well to help keep both the store and payments under one roof.
Online support for eCommerce isn’t great, but it’s a platform that’s sure to improve in the near future.
Finally, you need to get out there and tell everybody about your product and your shiny new eCommerce store! Incredibly, building the store was the easy part – now you need to see some orders to justify your hard work.
Can you commit to capturing, processing, and organising orders? What about advertising campaigns on social media and Google ads that help you reach your audience? You may need to design some initial discounts and deals to start spreading the word.