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10 Things to consider before trading online: part 3

Oct 11th 2010

With online shopping becoming more and more popular, building an online shop can be an excellent way to generate additional revenue. Many businesses fail or struggle to make an impact online. We look at part 3 of how you can avoid the most common mistakes.

7) Data Entry
This is often one of the most time consuming and vastly under-estimated parts of any new online shop build.

Product information entered product by product takes time, and data sourced from different suppliers will invariably be in different formats and take time to migrate if possible at all.

Every shop in the world will need the following data:
Product Name, Product Description, Price and a picture.

Many products have variations such as a product with a Green, Blue and Red version. These can be handled differently in different shops.

Always be clear on what data is available before developing your shop. Just assuming “it will all just import and be fine” could be a costly mistake.

8 ) Service Uptime
There are many different types of Web Hosting packages ranging from shared hosting to banks of dedicated servers.

Shared Hosting is fine for a low traffic shop that doesn’t need 24/7 support, but as you grow, expect to have to upgrade.

Platforms like Amazon Hosting and Rackspace are fail-safe but costly. Standard shared hosting with GoDaddy and Fasthosts (for example) are inexpensive but not 100% up-time guaranteed.

9) Business Strategy and Marketing
Too many new businesses with an idea for a new online business go to see a web designer first.
Just because it’s initially an online business, it doesn’t mean the website is the business.

Website developers are experts at building websites, but not always experts at developing a business and marketing strategies.

Always get the right people for the right job.

10) Time
With everything signed off first time and all the content ready before the job starts, a good size online shop could be built in a couple of weeks. In six years in this industry, this has yet to happen!

It takes time to:

  • get content ready
  • draft up terms and conditions
  • sign off all of the page templates (typically at least 6)
  • enter product information
  • get bank accounts set up
  • build
  • test

Expect to be online in a few weeks, you’ll likely be disappointed, a few months if you’re lucky.
Work on the basis of 3-6 months and you won’t be disappointed.

Good luck, and call us on 01727 739812 if you need any help.