Anyone can set up an online store these days but here are just a few ways to make your online retail business more professional.
Nowadays, anyone can set up an online store using a Shopify website or even an Amazon account. However, in order to create an online store that people love and trust, you need to present your business in a professional manner. Here are just a few ways in which you can make your online retail business more professional.
Take your own professional product photos
If you’re selling products that you haven’t made yourself, you may find it convenient to simply use existing photographs of these products. However, most professional online stores will take their own product photos. This allows you to display all your products in a specific and unique way rather than having an array of different styled photographs. Taking your own photos is particularly important when it comes to used products – if you’re selling used cars, no-one is going to trust you if you’re displaying stock pictures of these cars as they do not show the condition of the vehicles. It’s worth paying a professional photographer to take snaps of your products – there are photographers that specialize in product photography.
Make sure your site has an SSL certificate
Customers want to make sure that they’re using a site that is secure. While using a secure payment gateway is one way to put customers at ease, it could also be worth installing an SSL certificate. This encrypts all the data on your website making it harder for hackers to steal personal details of visitors. A site with an SSL certificate displays a padlock symbol next to the URL – many visitors will notice if your site doesn’t have this padlock symbol. You can find guides online on how to apply for an SSL certificate.
Encourage positive reviews
Positive reviews of your business can help to encourage trust. Nowadays, reviews are impossible to hide from – sites like Amazon and Google automatically enable them. You can encourage positive reviews by firstly offering a good customer experience and by then following up purchases by asking customers to leave a review. Many eCommerce sites automate this process – sending out requests to leave reviews along with confirmation emails.
Invest in customized packaging
If you want to encourage return customers, you should also consider the presentation of the product when it arrives. If you package your own products, consider opting for custom printed boxes instead of generic boxes. These can give a sense that you are an official company with a warehouse (even if you are packaging products from home). You may also be able to add information cards, business cards, or vouchers with your product to help create brand awareness and further show that you’re an official company.
Choose the right courier service
When choosing a courier service to help deliver your product, weigh up the costs and the convenience. You don’t want to skimp out on a poor courier service that takes ages to deliver your product and doesn’t ask for a digital signature. If you’re trading internationally, you may want to weigh up the pros and cons of shipping vs flying – shipping is cheap but slow, while flying is fast but expensive. Determine what will benefit your customers the most.