With growing consumer confidence in online shopping and trading, and legislation to regulate and protect ecommerce businesses, it is becoming more attractive to launch an ecommerce business and carve out success online. The 2018 Irish Online Economy report showed revenue at Irish ecommerce sites grew by 45% – a trend that looks set to continue for some time yet.
With so many ecommerce businesses out there, you will be wondering how to make sure your company stands out – and that you start bringing in revenue as soon as possible. There is a plethora of information available out there, and it can be overwhelming to know where to look. We’ve sourced the best guidance on offer to help you launch your successful ecommerce business in Ireland this year.
Sort out the paperwork first
It’s tempting to leave the so-called ‘boring’ tasks to later in the process, but don’t – get your company name registered, set up your business bank account, register for tax purposes and confirm the legal status of your company. Some recommend you don’t incorporate too early for tax purposes, but it’s always best to seek professional advice tailored to your situation.
Make sure you choose and secure your domain name, and register for barcodes and SKUs for all the products you have. Take this advice from a successful ecommerce business in Ireland and don’t learn the same lessons they did the hard way!
Choose the right CMS software
To ensure your visitors – and, hopefully, future customers – get a great user experience (UX), you need to make sure the website software you choose is right for your business. You will need to consider the scale of your business in the short and long-term, security requirements, data storage and usage, marketing and the kind of experience visitors should have browsing your site.
Ultimately, your website must be light and streamlined to ensure fast site speed. Google estimates that 53% of website visits are abandoned if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load!
With WordPress usage at an all-time high (and growing) as the choice of 26.6% of the top million websites on earth, it really is the obvious choice for most entry-level businesses, but naturally different business needs require different systems.
Make sure your site works well on mobile
You will also want to ensure your site is mobile-friendly, given how frequently we use our phones and tablets to purchase and browse online. Google is set to release a hugely important update to their algorithm this year – the mobile-first index – meaning Google will crawl and index the mobile version of your site first and foremost, and use that to determine whether you deserve to rank in search results for keywords your prospective customers are searching for when shopping online. Without a mobile-friendly site, it’s likely you will struggle to generate the traffic you are looking for – and without traffic there are no sales!
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Make your checkout process user-friendly
You don’t want potential customers getting agitated with the checkout process and ultimately abandoning their purchases. Avoid this by limiting the number of steps a customer has to go through to make their purchase – for example, eliminate the need for them to set up an account. Make it as streamlined and simple as possible, with as few screens to click through as is practical. Users will remember having a great experience on your site and come back to shop again if the process is simple and user friendly.
An integrated marketing strategy
A business is almost non-existent without an effective, clear and streamlined marketing strategy. Integration is key to success when it comes to digital marketing. Your SEO should focus on keywords that convert in AdWords and pull ideas for your meta titles and descriptions from ad text that converts well. Your AdWords remarketing should target your email database and social followers as they have a higher likelihood to convert. Your social ads should retarget visitors who have come to your site through organic and paid traffic with dynamically generated images of products they looked at while on your site. The list of ways your marketing efforts can be synergetic is endless and will save you a lot of advertising euro!
It can be overwhelming and daunting to run and market a business from scratch. But with the right skills and qualifications behind you, it can be exciting. It’s a good idea to get an entry level qualification in digital marketing, with some of the very best course options available right here in Ireland from the world-renowned Digital Marketing Institute, headquartered in Dun Loaughaire.
Investing the time and effort into upskilling your digital skills in a fast-paced, comeptitrive eCommerce sector is a guaranteed step in the right direction to help give you the skills and confidence required to develop a well-rounded understanding of what makes a great ecommerce site and UX, how to develop a marketing strategy, and how each marketing channel feeds into the other.