Selling online: What you need to know

Written on 17 February, 2015 by Georgia Leaker
Categories E-commerceTags customer behaviouronline business

While shopping centre numbers might be dwindling, online sales are sky-rocketing. The reasons for this vary: for some it’s the convenience, others are looking for a competitive price and even more are after something unique. If you can offer your customer all three of these, you’re onto a winner and in the age of ecommerce, there are less barriers than ever.

Start small

If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of ecommerce, why not consider eBay, Etsy or Amazon Storefront as a low-risk outlet to trial your wares. They take the hassle out of building your own website and storefront, all you have to do is upload high quality pictures and detailed information about the product and you’re ready to go. From there, it’s easy to branch off into your own domain and ecommerce hosting package when you’re ready.

Offer competitive postage and handling

In a perfect world, postage and handling would always be free and boxes would perfectly fit whatever product you were selling, without the need for ridiculous amounts of bubble wrap. Unfortunately, not everything can be so simple, but you can certainly work to ensure you offer your customer the most competitive postage rates. Most postal services have online calculators to assist in setting shipping rates, however it’s also nice to offer customers free shipping if they spend a certain amount.

Shipping around the world

If you plan to ship to customers internationally, you not only need to be aware of shipping costs, but also any customs and taxes involved in getting packages across certain borders. For many small businesses, international shipping is too costly to offer, especially if the products they sell are quite heavy or might be subject to huge taxes that very few customers are likely to agree to pay. When you’re just starting out, it’s probably in your best interests to restrict your product to a specific geographical location and review it as your business grows.

Payment options

Purchasing a payment gateway is the easiest way to get set up quickly. It’s a comprehensive payment system that does much of the work for you and, if you purchase one from an Australian registrar or ecommerce supplier, you should find it runs through an Australian bank, making it easier to troubleshoot and ensuring you’re not subject to any exorbitant exchange rates.

Seek customer feedback

The best way to know what your customers like about your products is to gage customer satisfaction and help improve your products and services. Entice customers to answer short surveys about your products, delivery, packaging and customer service by offering them an incentive at the end such as discount coupons or free shipping on their next order. This way, not only do you get the opportunity to engage with and learn from you customers, you also encourage loyalty.

If you’re after a reliable, easy to use payment gateway to help get you started in the world of ecommerce, speak to one of our sales consultants today on (02) 9934 0501.