How easy is it to set up an Online Shop?build a website

The Website Builder from Reason8 provides you with all the tools you need to sell online. The process of setting up your shop and listing your items is easy.

However there are many aspects to setting up an online shop. One of the most important is the experience you create for your users.  Make your site look appealing, easy to navigate and informative and you can create an atmosphere that will entice them to stay. Before you start listing your items it’s worth doing some time planning. Consider, how you want to display your items? What will the user journey be?  Investing a little time in planning before you start and you’ll reap the rewards later on.

Listing your item

It’s easy to add an item and update it when you need to. First ensure you have a good clear image of the product. If you are a reseller why not ask your suppliers if they have professional images you could use. Many will be willingly supply them to promote their products. Consider including additional images in the description if you feel it will help the sale.  These images can also be made clickable to display a larger image.

Each item will need an individual code to identify the product in the shopping basket. Consider making this relevant to the item. This will make the codes easier to create and identify the item later.
Decide how you intend describing the product. What are its main features? What does it do better than other products on the market? Often products will come with a description on the packaging. Use this as a base and add other information that could help promote the product. If you have sold the product in the past why not add a testimonial?

Creating your Shop layout

Using the Reason8 Website Builder you are not constrained on how you display your products. The system will automatically create a catalogue of all your products. However it’s up to you whether or not you use it. If you have only a few products you may decide to display them on your home page. Or create your own catalogue pages.

Give your customers a choice

You only need to create one item if product comes in many sizes. Create a listing for the main item then give your clients a choice when making their selection. Your shopping basket will automatically adjust the price depending on what they choose.   You can add up to two different options per item. These options can be whatever you choose, from size, shape, colour or texture etc.

Encourage Customers to Buy

We make it easy to sell more. Consider offering additional related items to the one they have already chosen.  For example, if you are selling shoes, why not offer a shoe care kit at the same time. You could even offer a discount on the combined purchase or if they buy an item in bulk. Incentives like these will help you to increase the value of each order.
Whether your business offers a service or sells goods you can also sell gift vouchers. These can be managed through your shopping basket. You can see how many have been issued and how many still need to be redeemed.  To encourage repeat business why not offer discount codes and hold special offers.

Shipping

Unless you are providing a service you will probably need to ship your items. How you charge for shipping will depend upon the type of product you sell.
Ensure you calculate carefully your actual cost of shipping. If appropriate consider weighing sample products, to calculate the correct cost. Shop around for courier services or check out the types of postage available.  Don’t forget to take into account the cost of any packaging and handling fee’s you may incur.
Check out what the competition charges. Are their costs more or less than yours? If they are less then tell your customers when they are buying. If they are more, look to see how they ship their items and try to negotiate the same deal.

Once you have established what you plan to charge, adding the cost in your shopping basket is easy. You can choose a flat fee per order or per item. Alternatively you can vary it depending on the quantity of items or the client’s location.  

Payment Options

If you are taking money on the internet you need to have a payment provider, or Merchant bank. It is through their secure systems that the payment will be taken from your clients and passed to you. Linking your chosen payment provider to your shopping basket couldn’t be easier. There are currently five payment providers whose systems are already integrated into your shopping basket.  Who you use is up to you, although the majority of our users have chosen PayPal.

Many providers will want to see your website and shop.  So before you contact them try to list a range of items in your shop. This will demonstrate that you have a bona fide business and should make opening an account easier. Once you have your account you can connect it to your website.

Keeping your site updated.

Having access to your website and shopping basket 24 hours a day makes is easier to keep on top of your business.
You will receive emails both from your shopping basket and payment provider when you make a sale. If you run out of stock its simple to hide an item. You can even include a message and offer to email them when the item is back in stock. 

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