Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
If you’re a first-time entrepreneur — especially if you’re lacking in technical knowledge and skill — you may worry that setting up an online store for your business will be overwhelming or more work than you can handle. Luckily, there are countless tools and resources available to help you get started with little to no experience required.
However, it’s not all about technical know-how. When it comes to providing the best e-commerce experience, there are other considerations to be made. Below, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council each share one important tip for setting up your first e-commerce store and the impact it will have on your overall success.
Consider Your Payment Options
Consider what type of payments you’ll accept and their fees. The fewer payment options you have, the less of a reach you have. People want to pay using the easiest method for them. – Susan Johnston, New Media Film Festival®
Take a Consumer-First Approach
You are in the attention game, and you have mere seconds to engage with a potential customer. It’s critical to take a consumer-first approach when developing your site. Create a journey that is clear, uncluttered and seamless from discovery to conversion. Your new customers will thank you. – Michael Klein, Trees Corporation
Ensure You Can Make Changes Yourself
I would advise entrepreneurs to use an e-commerce platform that allows them to make changes themselves. Learn the technology — how to add products, edit the design and more. For example, I find Shopify to be intuitive and user-friendly. Don’t invest in a site where you have to pay someone else to make changes for you. Outsourcing may make sense in the long run, but not at first. Time is money! – Liza Pruitt, Liza Pruitt Art
Keep Simplicity in Mind
Set your site up with simplicity in mind. Test it for how many steps it takes to find anything you are selling and for how many steps it takes you to be done with your purchase. Use white or blank spaces in places that are crucial for your customers to focus on. Set your pop-ups, upselling and more at the right timing so they don’t annoy the customer or distract from the purchase. – Rene Nunez, Sensum
Think of It Like a Physical Store
Your e-commerce store needs to be user-friendly and uncluttered so that shoppers can easily find what they need and make a purchase. Think of the site as you would a physical store; offer convenience, attention to detail and answers to visitors’ questions as you welcome them to your virtual home. – Nicole Rodrigues, NRPR Group
Sell In-Demand Products
I have two simple rules. The first rule is to sell in-demand products, which should be your niche. The second rule of setting up a successful e-commerce store is don’t forget the first rule. – Jenny Ta, GalaxE by HODL Assets, Inc.
Set It Up in Shopify
Always use Shopify. Shopify has the best e-commerce apps and integrations, is very user-friendly and has amazing tutorials and courses that entrepreneurs can use to grow their knowledge. Not to mention, Shopify also has its own funding program, so if you’re achieving consistent sales, they will automatically offer you money to grow your business further! – King Holder, PROCUSSION
Here are a few tips to help your SEO. First, make sure you have unique and valuable content on your site. This includes product descriptions, blog posts and even metadata. Second, use keywords throughout your site, including titles, URLs and anchor text links. Third, make sure your site is easy to navigate and will load quickly. Finally, build backlinks to your site from other high-quality sites. – Evan Nison, NisonCo
Do Your Research
Research! Always ask questions and then ask more questions. Make sure you’re getting what you want from your store. If you’re not, move on and don’t take “no” for an answer. – Chris Martin, Hempful Farms
When you’re setting up your e-commerce store, you need to realize that you’re going to do a lot of experiments in different areas to see what works or what does not. So, as a result, my tip for aspiring entrepreneurs is to try not to overwhelm yourself. It takes a lot of experimentation to achieve true success. And you will get sales. Just be patient and believe in the learning curve. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day