how to sell online -cumbria ecommerce website

How to sell online – some questions.

So you have a business idea? Or do you have a real life, physical shop and want to sell on the internet? Or maybe you have been thinking about turning your hobby into a business? Read more to find out how to sell online.

There are lots of reasons you may want to sell something online, but it’s worth stopping and thinking first…

  • How much does it cost to put together an ecommerce website?
  • How will I manage postage and delivery options?
  • What if 100 million people order from me in the first week – how will I cope with too many orders?
  • How do I set up credit card payments? Is it expensive?

All valid questions and all manageable with a bit of forward planning. To be honest, if you have a product that is going to sell 100 million in the first week, you may need our full consultancy services first 🙂…

Ecommerce basics

In order to create a website for selling products online, you need a few things.

  1. A domain name. This is your ‘www.mybusinessname.co.uk’ – generally they are offered for free when buying hosting.
  2. Web hosting. This is the space on a server that you rent to place all the files for your website to run. Prices can be cheap for the first year (introductory offers) so be aware of 2nd and 3rd year costs. I like Godaddy and Ionos, but you are free to choose.
  3. A web platform. This website is built using WordPress, but others are available, such as Joomla, Drupal. It is with consulting with a web developer as they will have a preference.
  4. An ecommerce platform. This is the part that allows you to create and run the online shop – Woocommerce is a very good one, Jigoshop is another – lots to choose from – so get advice on the merits and drawbacks of each platform.
  5. A payment processor. For small business websites, your best option is to look at Stripe or PayPal as your payment processors. Make sure they work with your chosen ecommerce platform.
  6. Products. Yes – you need something to sell!

All this looks daunting, but as long as you choose the right developer (Cayenne Digital are pretty damn good…) then you could have a well designed ecommerce shop up and running fairly quickly.

Postage and Delivery

how to sell online - penrith - postage

A customer walks into a shop, buys a purple sparkly scarf and takes it home with them.

A customer comes to your online shop, buys a green and red striped scarf…. but how do they get it?

It is worth thinking about this before you rush headlong into your new digital venture – postage costs can mount up, packaging is not cheap, driving to the post office can be complicated on some days… etc…etc.

Also, how much postage do I charge for a small product, compared to a large product – does it go by weight? Physical size? Number of products in the order? Customer distance?

Whatever the answer is, there will be a way of setting this up – but be aware – not all ecommerce platforms are equal, some handle postage differently to others, so it is always worth having a chat with someone who knows what they are on about (ask us!).

How to sell online – managing expectations

how to sell online - raining money

Yes – you may well be onto making your first million by selling your amazing products online, but manage expectations realistically. Other people will be selling similar products, probably cheaper, maybe even better quality. Don’t expect to put a shop online and have orders flooding in – there is a lot of work that needs to go into the marketing and maintaining of your ecommerce site. Expect customer enquiries at 3am on a Sunday morning, realising you have run out of packaging boxes 20 minutes before the post office closes, finding out a customer actually meant the smaller size and wants to send the product back..

Having an online shop can be rewarding, especially in conjunction with a physical one (although that can also bring stock management issues into play), just think very carefully before you commit.

Get in touch with us for advice on how to sell online. Happy to have an informal discussion:

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