Checklist: How to start your online shop

by Kristof Maletzke, 08.04.20

With ePages, creating a shop is easy and requires no previous technical knowledge. However, the many options present merchants with the question of which steps should be completed before the shop is opened. ePages offers many features such as the connection of product portals, the creation of coupons or the use of apps to increase sales, but these are not mandatory. We have therefore compiled all the necessary steps in this checklist – from the selection of the design theme to product creation and the final shop test.

1. Choose a domain

The domain is the address at which your shop can be found for customers. Usually you get the domain from the provider with whom you have also booked the shop. The name should be as short as possible and easy for your customers to remember. You can find more tips in our article on finding domain names.

2. Design the shop

For your shop you can choose between different design themes. These provide the basic design. With ePages, you can choose from a variety of attractive themes that meet all the requirements for a modern design. The themes are responsive, which means that they are displayed perfectly on all devices. After choosing a theme, you can individualise the shop’s design – for example, by changing the colours and fonts or displaying the unique selling points of your shop in the header. By showing the logos of the payment and shipping service providers you offer in the footer, you can give your customers an immediate overview of the options available to them when ordering. You can find more information about design in our tutorial video on this topic.

3. Upload a logo

The logo of your shop is displayed in the header and enhances the recognition value with your customers. If you don’t have a logo yet, the name of your shop is simply displayed here. A tip: Online marketplaces for digital services, such as Fiverr, allow you to have an individual, professional logo created for little money.

4. Create products

The most important thing in your shop are the products you sell. When creating a product, you should always include its name, price, and description. Also important: high quality photos, with which your customers can get a perfect impression of the products. You can find more information about products in our tutorial video on this topic.

5. Create content pages

On the content pages of your shop, you can, for example, tell the story of your company or present your customers with information on delivery. Use various elements such as texts, images or videos to do this. By including a contact form, you give your customers the opportunity to ask you questions quickly and easily. As an online retailer, you are obliged to provide your customers with various legal pages. These include, for example, the legal notice, the terms and conditions or the privacy policy. With ePages, these pages are already created and only need to be filled by you. You can find more information about content in our tutorial video on this topic.

6. Present your shop

Do you have a retail store? Then you should definitely present it in your online shop. To do this, create a separate page on which you enter the address of the shop and the opening hours. By including a map from Google Maps, your customers can find you quickly and easily. With attractive photos of your store, you can give customers a first impression of it.

7. Create payment and delivery options

You can offer your customers different payment and delivery methods. For delivery, you can either use a shipping service provider such as DHL or set up your own methods – such as in-store pickup. You should also provide your customers with the most important payment methods. That way, every customer will find his or her preferred method and can shop with you conveniently. You can find more information about these topics in our tutorial videos on delivery methods and payment methods.

8. Optimise the shop for search engines

Shops based on ePages are already preconfigured for search engines such as Google through clever default settings, so that they can achieve good rankings and can be easily found by customers. To further optimise your shop, you should make settings for pages and products. For example, it is worthwhile to enter a meaningful page title that contains the keywords relevant for your shop. It can take a while before search engine optimisation takes effect. In the long run, however, it will definitely pay off for you. You can find more information about search engine optimisation in our tutorial video on this topic.

9. Test and open the shop

Visit all subpages of your shop and make sure that everything is displayed to your satisfaction. By placing test orders you can check the order process, payment and shipping methods as well as the mails the shop sends to your customers. If possible, you should also ask friends and acquaintances for their feedback. Are you finished and satisfied with your shop? Then you can open it now!

10. Win your first customers

From now on you focus on attracting the first customers to your shop. If you have a physical store you can draw the attention of the customers to your online shop. This can be done, for example, with a QR code in the shop window that refers to your online shop. Make sure you also maintain your profile on Google My Business and add a link to your shop there. Are you already active in social networks like Facebook or Instagram? Then use your existing reach to promote your shop.

We wish you a lot of fun with the setup of your shop and much success!

About the author

was Communications Manager at ePages.

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