Before you jump in though, there a number of things you need to
consider first of all and perhaps the most important of these is to
work out who your customers are and what their experience of using the
Internet is likely to be. The following questions will give you a
better understanding of your customers needs and expectations and will
therefore help you to narrow down the sort of software you should be
1. What is the age range of your customers? If they’re younger then
they will probably be using the Internet regularly and be comfortable
buying online. If they’re older then they will probably be more
2. Are you selling tangible (products you can hold) or digital (music, ebooks, tickets) products, or even a mixture of both?
3. Do you want to sell services, such as training, consultancy or counselling?
4. Are all your customers in the UK or might they be overseas? You may
need to consider offering the ability to pay in foreign currencies and
there is also postage costs to think about too.
People will only buy online from someone that they trust and it is
important to remember that building this trust is a complex process.
As a minimum, you will need to include your real world contact details,
VAT registration number if appropriate, details of trade
associations/professional bodies you are a member of, your trading
terms & conditions (which must include how you will deal with
It would also be a good idea to look at how other organisations and
your competitors sell online. This is because they have already done
all the research to find out what works and what doesn’t. They know
how people shop online and how to make their sites so enticing that
customers are willing to part with money. Why not have a look at
www.amazon.co.uk, or www.shop-com.co.uk and see what they do.
It may be worth bearing in mind that almost all online shops follow the
same (or very similar) process as the one outlined below when
encouraging customers to part with their hard earned cash:-
1. Customers choose a product/s and add it to their shopping basket
2. Customers review the items in their basket, adding and deleting as necessary
3. They then click on the ‘go to checkout’ button
And enter their customer details – name, address, delivery address etc…
4. Then they click on ‘make payment’ button
5. And enter their credit card/debit card details or print out to send a cheque
6. Finally, they confirm payment and if payment is processed correctly, they receive online confirmation plus follow up email
It would be wise not to deviate from this process too much as this is
one that users of the web are now familiar with. In my next article,
I’ll be looking at easy to implement ways to actually get started
selling your first product or service.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda is an
Information Scientist specialising in health information and a business
analyst specialising in small business use of the Internet. This unique
mix comes together beautifully on the hysterectomy association website.
Linda has written several books, including 101 Handy Hints for a Happy
Hysterectomy and How To Build A Brilliant Business With The Internet.
You can find more information about all the subjects Linda writes about
on her websites: www.hysterectomy-association.org.uk and www.growabetterbusiness.co.uk
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