Is 2021 your year to begin an online store?
Here are some big tasks to sort through before you can get started on the fun stuff.
1. Decide on the amount of products you will launch first.
Start small; you can always add more products when you’ve perfected how you’re launching your first batch of products. List multiple photographs (see our guide to upping your photo game here!) and decide if you need to list different variables per product. Put yourself in your customers shoes - is your listing answering all the questions they might have before making a purchase?
2. Payment Processing
These days selling online can be pretty straightforward process. Compare transaction fees and monthly costs, and demo as many tools as you can to determine which credit card processing service best suits you and your website. (Interested in our recommendations? Let’s talk! )
3. Drop Ship vs. keeping your inventory in house
Do you have the space required to physically house your products, or will you need to rely on a drop-shipping service to ship products to your customers? Both paths are attractive options for different reasons, however keep in mind that drop shipping companies need to make a profit too, so ask yourself if your products are priced appropriately to accommodate these fees.
4. Shipping fees
Will you offer your customers free shipping, or will they handle that fee? It will be worth it to break down your costs on shipping supplies (tape, boxes/envelopes, labels, your time to pack and drop off order to the post office).
5. Return policies
Your rules on returns will have a lot to do with what products you’re selling. Consider different policies for different products when the return is not something that can be restocked in your store (think personalized products or personal care items). Being transparent and consistent about your return policy will gain you respect as an online retailer.
As you can probably gather, many factors come into play when prepping for your online storefront. But working through the details of each step will help you get to the place where you can think about how you’d like to market your products and services.