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What’s important when setting up your new e-commerce store?

Small businesses are the heart of Australia’s economy, making up 97.3 per cent of all Australian businesses. In today’s digital age, an effective online presence and engagement are crucial for the success of a small business.

E-commerce has seen unprecedented growth in recent years around the world, and Australia is no exception. Despite this, only 11 per cent of businesses fully embrace digital strategies, meaning that small businesses have both opportunities and challenges to enhance their online presence.

Starting an e-commerce business in Australia can ‘level the playing field’ for small businesses by providing location and time independence and easy communication. In addition, e-commerce may assist businesses to capture efficiencies, grow their customer base and attain long-term success within their market. Here are three insights to keep in mind when starting up and integrating e-commerce into a traditional business model.

Get digital savvy

When establishing a digital presence, choose a reliable e-commerce platform that provides you with assistance and flexibility for your business needs. Just as important is ensuring your domain names are correctly set up, as they are your online address and a fundamental part of your online presence. They should be short and simple, and there are a multitude of different tools business owners can employ to see which is the best fit.

A secure payment gateway is an essential component for both online and traditional stores to ensure a smooth shopping experience. When setting up a payment gateway, make sure it is both secure and easy for customers to access. It should also offer a range of payment alternatives at checkout.

Finally, establishing your presence on social media channels, such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram with selling abilities may further increase your online presence. A good mix of social media channels may assist brands to build a stronger customer base both within the region and internationally.

Rapid, flexible shipping options

With the exponential uptake of e-commerce, deliveries have become the lifeblood for many businesses. When it comes to online shopping, people expect to get their orders as quickly as possible. A longer wait time may prompt them to look elsewhere. As a result, shipping is a huge part of any online business and the last step in the customer journey, provided there aren’t any returns.

Business owners should consider shipping with the services built into most e-commerce platforms. Depending on the platform, they can also benefit from discounted rates negotiated by platform providers to save on shipping costs.

Elevating the delivery experience for customers by providing flexible shipping options, such as express or next-day delivery can help to grow the business over time.

Business owners should also plan for a robust strategy to streamline the returns process, ensuring shopping experiences are less strenuous on customers.

Considerations for your shipping needs include:

  • Choosing a reliable transportation partner who can offer reliable and affordable delivery.
  • Figuring out the requirements of packaging and shipping supplies to make sure your products are properly protected when being shipped to your customers.
  • Taking advantage of reward programs offered by shipping partners that deliver points for businesses every time they ship.

Launch and learn

The integration of diverse digital marketing tools, ranging from AdWords to paid search to online advertising may be overwhelming at first. However, embarking on this journey with an open mindset is crucial, as your products and marketing strategy will continue to evolve as you gain further experience and insights.

Customer feedback stands as a cornerstone for improvement, making it imperative for business owners to continually welcome feedback from customers. So, there is no time like the present to get online businesses started and to adapt and learn over time!

This story was originally published on Inside Small Business.

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