How to start your own online store in time for the festive craze

 2016-12-12 02:07 PM by
How to start your own online store in time for the festive craze

‘Tis the season for carols by candlelight, outdoor activities with gourmet meals, putting up Christmas trees, only dreaming of a white Christmas and of course shopping. What is it about the festive season that makes people want to buy everything in sight? Retailers aren’t going to complain, they love this time of the year because everyone is in the spirit of giving, even people who normally hate shopping. However, with each passing festive season, everyone seems to do the same thing every year: discounts, free delivery, a free gift with your purchase. So, how do you ensure your store stands out? Simple, by starting your own online store or amping up an already existing one. Stick around for great tips to drive revenue this festive season.

Why starting your own online store is kind of a big deal

There has been a surge in online transactions in recent years, making it abundantly clear that people prefer online shopping over standing in long queues in shopping malls. South African businesses have also seen an increase in online shopping, Makro’s e-commerce site saw an 80% increase in sales in 2015 and their turnover almost doubled compared to the previous year and is projected to steadily grow each year. According to Makro’s ecommerce executive, Paul van de Waal, a large portion of Makro’s customers chose to buy their products online.

How to stay on top of things as the sales start flooding in

To avoid putting yourself in the situation of having to work after hours just to keep up with the influx of sales, make it easy on yourself by integrating your website with accounting software. This will spare you the burden of having to manually update your books every time a sales goes through, making it one less thing to worry about. Additionally, merchandising and setting up your online store could also prove to be time consuming. We can configure your store for you, all you have to do is provide us with an excel spreadsheet with the following information and we will do the rest. Setting up your entire store need not take you away from running your business either. We have a team of dedicated designers and developers who can not only set up your website for you, but SEO optimise it as well – making it that much easier for customers to find you.

Keep the cyber criminals at bay by starting your own online store with secure gateway payment methods

Buyers are exceedingly skeptic to buy online during the festive season as cyber criminals also want a piece of the pie. According to an infographic by WebAfrica, 90% of consumers stated convenience of payment and access to secure payment facilities as factors that influence their purchasing decisions online. Your solution is to make use of secure payment gateways to put their minds at ease. Don’t allow online buyers the opportunity to hesitate buying from you because of security concerns. At Sage Online Tools you can easily integrate your website with the Sage Pay payment gateway that offers your customers a variety of payment methods that they feel most comfortable choosing from when making a purchase.

Provide a great online user experience

South African consumers will reward retailers that provide services that offer them an advanced user experience, this is according to the article Shopping Trends You Want to Know About featured in the October/November issue of Your Business. South Africans, much like the global community lead busy lives and have a desire to make every second count, waste their time and they will move on in a blink of the eye. Consumers are relying more heavily on using their smartphones, even to make a purchase online. According to a report by We Are Social, mobile phones accounted for 61% of web traffic in 2015. Therefore, you don’t just need a website, you need one that is mobile-friendly.

 

Therefore, to stand out this festive season you need to work on improving your online marketing strategy by enhancing the journey experience through your website and think about how you can add value and protect your customers as they shop online. If you’ve been putting off revamping your website or starting your own online store for any reason, now is the best time to launch your professional site just in time for the holiday season. If you want to see the website building software for yourself before you include one in your online marketing strategy then try our 30-day trial.