Get started selling physical products, digital downloads, subscriptions or services on your website today. Whether you have an existing website or you’re planning a brand new one with an online store, there are many options that can help your business grow.
Creating an online store doesn’t need to be expensive. There are simple, cost-effective tools that integrate with CMS platforms like Joomla and WordPress. Even if your website isn’t built on a compatible platform, you can create a shop using a sub-domain, then simply link this to your website.
Setting Up a Online Store
Choosing an E-commerce Platform for Your Website
Online shopping add-ons for websites such as Joomla and WordPress let you sell the products or services you want, choose a shipping or delivery method and manage the process straight through to payment and checkout.
Well-supported online shopping systems such as Woocommerce for WordPress or Virtuemart for Joomla are available for free and can manage sales of single or multiple products. These online systems come fully loaded with everything you need to get your webstore up and running straight out of the box.
Both WooCommerce and VirtueMart allow your website builder to create categories for products, and to list any number of variable options (such as size or colour). You can add pricing to products and manage tax and VAT if applicable. Shipping costs can be set to a flat rate, or tailored to individual orders – perhaps based on total order weight or value. Your customers can make payment using PayPal, credit card, cheque, postal order, cash on delivery or payment terms you set.
Customers choose the products they want, add them to a basket or cart and proceed to checkout. On the checkout page, they can view the products they’re about to order, create an account with a shipping address, or log in to their account if they already have one. Once the order has been confirmed, and payment has been made (if required), online systems such as WooCommerce can notify you by email and send a confirmation email to your customer.
Customers who’ve registered can track their order status via an account area on your website, and you can notify customers of any updates to their order. All this can be set up straight out of the box, involving little time or cost.
Setting up an e-commerce website is something you can do yourself, but you may not feel you have the time or the technical know-how. If this is the case, let Wicko Design add an online shop to your website for you!
Improving Your Online Shop Experience
Whilst many online store features can easily be set up without too much time and cost, there are many more options and features you can add to improve your customer experience.
Use visitor data to make your website even more effective. Track how customers browse your site and understand what triggers their purchase decisions. Collect information from customers to use in future marketing campaigns.
Design, Style & Layout
Straight out of the box, your online store might not look exactly how you want it to. But design, style and layout can be edited via your website settings or by using CSS classes to change how various elements display. Most changes such as size, typeface, colour and alignment can be made relatively quickly, but others can be quite complex and require more time. Wicko Design can help you make changes to the look and style of you webstore.
You can install many optional tools to give your online store greater functionality and an improved customer experience. Both WooCommerce and VirtueMart have a whole host of extensions you can add. Some of these are free, but most will require paying a small fee or purchasing a license.
Often, these add-ins will include free updates and support for a set period. Keeping your shop system up to date is vital to ensure your website stays secure and your store continues to remain active and able to take orders.
Wicko Design can help your business by taking responsibility foe maintaining your website and keeping your CMS platform up to date.
Product Search & Filtering
If you have multiple products, a customer may want to search or filter options to refine the products on view. There are extensions a website builder can install to your store to do this. A simple search option can bring up results by product name, Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), or other relevant information relating to the product.
You can add many product filter options, including category, price range, colour, size, weight, stock availability and so on. Any of these can be set up within the product information.
Filters can be set individually or as combinations to help narrow down product selection, helping the customer quickly find what they’re looking for.
Add product display options to zoom in on image details or show multiple images of products from different angles. You might want to show washing or care instructions for your product. Videos can help showcase a product and promote its benefits. There are a multitude of display options you can add to product pages to give visitors more information and help them make their decision to purchase.
Additional payment options can be added to give alternative ways to take money and fees for online purchases. You can connect directly to a banking service or different payment gateway options to accept credit card payments such as sagePay, AmazonPay, ApplePay, PayPal Pro, Stripe and many others.
Shipping plugins can help you set up different shipping delivery methods based on location, speed etc. You can even link directly to a preferred postal or delivery methods such as Royal Mail, UPS, FedEx and other courier services.
When you have multiple products on offer, you’ll want a solution that lets you easily edit and update product information, pricing, stock availability and so on.
You can download your products in a CSV file format and open it in any spreadsheet app – then make changes to product details, apply discounts to groups of products or add certain products to a sale area on your webstore, before saving and importing the data back into your webstore.
If you have new products, you can also set these up as spreadsheets to import into your online shop.
If you have a CRM system you already use in the office to manage product stock, you can also add bespoke integration to ensure your office system and your online shop are in sync with each other.
There are many more features and services you can add to improve your online shop. Contact us to discuss more.
Would you like to add or build an e-commerce website? Then talk to Wicko Design to discuss the best options to suit your needs. Wicko Design can build you an online store, assist you with managing your products and ongoing promotion and development of your webstore.