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As an independent retailer in an increasingly digital world, selling your products on e-commerce sites such as Amazon, eBay or Etsy can be a powerful way to reach new customers. For businesses looking to take online retail to the next level, a great option is selling on your own e-commerce website.

It may sound intimidating to sell products directly to customers on your own site, but don’t let it daunt you. It can actually be quite simple and affordable to set up your own custom website, complete with online store capabilities. As with any project, planning is important, so keep these tips in mind if you think you’re ready to transition to e-commerce sales.

1. Patience is a virtue

It’s very exciting to start selling products on your own website, but you don’t want to move too quickly. It’s important to make sure you have everything up and running to meet your needs and your customers’ expectations before your online store goes live.

Think about it in brick-and-mortar terms: You wouldn’t open a physical retail location before you stock all your merchandise and your point-of-sale system is ready to go. That should be no different when it comes to online sales, whether it’s through your own website or an e-commerce platform.

2. Clarity is key

When selling products online, it’s important to make it instantly clear to visitors what you’re actually selling. In many cases, several different photos of each product you sell is a good place to start. Most e-commerce platforms make it easy to upload photos, and if you’re handling sales on your own website, you want to make sure visitors can easily see different aspects of your merchandise.

It can also be helpful to include key points about your business on your website or as part of your profile on an e-commerce site. If you offer benefits such as free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount, or an easy-to-use return policy, make that clear to visitors from the beginning.

3. Make yourself available

Customer service is an important factor in driving repeat business in many industries, including retail. One way to make sure customers know they have your support is to place your contact information on every page of your website. This includes both your email address and a phone number where you or a member of your team will pick up.

Easy access to contact information will give online shoppers some peace of mind. It lets them know you are just a click or a call away in case they have any questions or concerns.

4. Make things easy for your customers

This should be a no-brainer for any online business, but it’s particularly important for e-commerce sales. Put simply, the easier your website is to use, the more likely visitors are to make purchases and come back to buy again. E-commerce giants such as Amazon and eBay help a lot in this regard if you’re new to online sales, but it’s also possible to create a smooth and appealing shopping experience on your own website.

If your user interface is too clunky, or if it takes too many clicks for a visitor to complete a purchase, it could discourage visitors from making that buy. However, if your site offers a frictionless experience that makes the purchasing process quick and painless, your sales rates will increase and it will leave a positive impression on your customers.

5. Offer a sense of trustworthiness

Many people shop online, and a large number are rightfully concerned about the risks associated with entering credit card information over the internet. There have been a good number of data breaches in recent years, and they aren’t limited to small businesses.

Give customers a sense of security by using an online payment-processing provider that is trusted, reliable and secure. Such providers let visitors know that their private information will be kept safe, so customers won’t be distracted by other worries during the purchase process and will come back expecting a pleasant shopping experience.

Get started on your e-commerce website

Once you’re ready to make the jump to running a store on your own website, Deluxe offers professional website design for businesses of all types. We will work with you to create a custom website that is easy to use and allows visitors to make purchases swiftly and securely.

Deluxe-created websites also display properly and allow purchasing from any device, helping you drive sales on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. After all, the more options you give potential customers, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Is your business ready to open an online store? Take our quiz to find out.

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