2018 is shaping up to be a big year for online retail, with online spending expected to increase across all age demographics, according to the CommBank Retail Insights report, and thanks in part to the arrival of Amazon.
This represents an opportunity for small businesses across Australia, who may be looking to expand or reach new markets and customers.
Is your business taking advantage? Here are some things to think about when selling online.
Will you set up your own website or use an existing marketplace?
If you’re selling a service, you might set up a website and use a booking form to take payments online. If you’re selling goods, you’ll have more choice and might take advantage of options like:
- Paying for your website to be developed
- Using a shopfront provider like Shopify, Magento or Simplify
- Taking advantage of existing marketplaces like Amazon or eBay
How will you showcase your products?
If you’re selling goods, you’ll need to think about how you merchandise your products online. Your customers won’t be able to touch or physically experience your product, so it’s a good idea to be as descriptive as possible by providing accurate and enticing product descriptions, photography and customer reviews.
How will you find your customers?
If you have existing customers, you can tell them about your new website through email newsletters or face to face. To find more customers, you may need to look to social media or paid digital advertising across different channels. These could include search engine marketing, using an affiliate marketing program, or optimising your website for search engine traffic, which is a practice known as SEO (search engine optimisation).
How will you take payment?
Offering different payment methods can help you convert customers into sales and get paid faster. Here are some things to think about.
How will you package and send your product?
Once you’ve made the sale, you’ll need to make sure that your product gets to your customer’s door securely, in the condition you both want it to. Think about adding touches of personalisation to your packaging that set your business apart. This can help to keep your customers engaged and turn them into return visitors.
What about delivery and returns?
You’ll have options to use Australia Post or utilise private couriers. It’s a good idea to research competitors and see what kind of delivery and return terms they’re offering. This can help you manage customer expectation.