E-commerce Street Sign

E-Commerce Need To Knows For Small Businesses

As of 2020, the value of e-commerce in Europe was around €460.5 billion. It’s projected to grow by 42% by 2025 to €655.6 billion. Worldwide it has grown exponentially and has experienced the birth and growth of large multinationals in recent years, including eBay and Amazon. With an expected increase of 22% by 2023, small businesses need to adopt virtual offices and shops to generate more revenue.

However, this is no small feat. Most small businesses find it daunting to set up shop on the vast web. In this article, you’ll gain great insights into what you need to know to set up a functional e-commerce shop and the best practices to manage and maintain it.

How to set up an e-commerce store

Setting up an e-commerce store for your small business requires time and effort. It’s a worthwhile experience if you’re determined to grow your business in the shortest timeframe.

In setting up an online store, there are factors you need to consider for its success. They include the following;

1.      Type of e-commerce software

Like any marketplace, there are several e-commerce service providers you need to consider before settling for one. What differentiates them is the kind of structure they offer for your website hosting requirements. For small businesses, we’ll consider the following,

  • Open source– you can either host your website or have a third party host it for you
  • SaaS– here, you rent the software and the hosting from the same provider. It includes software like ClydeOffices.

The two e-commerce software offers the best foundation for small businesses or startups seeking to grow their online presence. As a result of their use by various developers, it has led to the formation of different e-commerce platforms for small businesses, including;

  • ClydeOffices
  • Wix
  • Shopify
  • Squarespace
  • Weebly and,
  • WooCommerce

They all have pros and cons. It would help if you did due diligence to decide the right fit for your small business.

2.      Cost of the e-commerce store

To choose the right platform to host your virtual office, you must keep in mind the cost associated with it. Always go through the rules and regulations to get acquainted with the charges and any hidden costs you must pay. It can be on a monthly or yearly basis. Keep an eye out for the following fees;

  • Hosting fees
  • Credit card processing
  • Domain names fee
  • Site maintenance fees
  • Plug-ins or add-ons fee
  • Security and PCI compliance fee
  • Website themes fee

You can use the free trial before settling on the software to use. It will give you the total exposure you need to know the functionality and cost of the platform.

3.      Data insights

Online stores largely depend on data to deliver effective online marketing campaigns. You should choose a platform with analytical tools to help you understand your customer’s preferences, shopping experience, shopping cart abandonment rate, products that sell together, purchasing habits, and their location.

You can go the extra mile by incorporating SEO, email marketing campaigns, and social media to create brand awareness and improve conversion rates. Finding a platform that tracks this data and can work well with other marketing options is vital for the long-term survivability of your business.

4.      Security

E-commerce stores handle a lot of private information. It includes addresses and credit card numbers, making them prone to fraudulent activities. Though the minimum requirement to avoid fraudsters has an SSL certificate, it might still not meet the cut.

It would be best if you went the extra mile by ensuring that your site is PCI compliant. This will prevent cases of loss of customer trust, inability to receive payments, or fines.

Best practices for online marketing

You might have an online store, but your conversion rate is low. What conversion rate means is your ability to influence your target market to do what you desire them to do. After setting up your store, implement the following practices to improve your conversion rate.

a.      Inventory management

The sole purpose of an e-commerce shop is to provide a flawless shopping experience at the touch of a button. There’s no need to have an outdated or out-stocked store; this is a frustrating experience for shoppers and damages your online brand.

Therefore, it’s imperative that you continuously update your inventory in real-time to ensure quality service delivery.

5.      Compatibility

Many online shoppers shop using smartphones. Though most sales are by desktops, smartphones play a critical role in reaching out to potential customers and eventually converting them. For better customer engagement, your website must be compatible and viewable on smartphones and desktops.

6.      A good logistics system

Nowadays, shoppers want to shop from the comfort of their homes. This also includes the delivery of goods to their doorsteps. It would be best if you devised a well-thought-out plan to satisfy your customer’s requirements.

Some of the ways you can ensure you have a sound logistics system include the following;

  • Offering free delivery for purchases over a certain amount increases their purchasing appetite.
  • Doing deliveries as soon as possible. For far-flung areas, deliver within 24 hours; this will improve customer satisfaction with your services.
  • Offering free delivery within a specific area, for instance, large cities, to capture your target audience.
  • Partnering with delivery companies or courier services to enhance your delivery efforts.

You can gain more clients and retain your previous customers with such applications.

7.      Awards! Awards! Awards!

You should apply this strategy if you’re having trouble getting consistent sales. Customers like awards for shopping with you. There are many ways of going about this, including;

  • Offering presents for purchases made at a certain amount. It would help if you gave out affordable and profitable presents for your business.
  • Giving out incentives. For instance, if you’re a service provider, make your long-term purchases cheaper than your short-term purchases. This will ensure you get committed subscribers on a yearly or termly basis compared to the weekly or monthly group.
  • Partner with businesses offering complimentary services or goods to offer promotions and create brand awareness. You can also run promotions on products that sell together on your site.
  • Create loyalty programs for your day-one clients or repeat clients to retain them and encourage brand loyalty. Such programs can have points that are redeemable for goods or services.

The power of awarding something for free while you’re shopping shouldn’t be underrated. It improves brand loyalty, increases turnover, and creates brand awareness.

Wrapping up

The retail space has grown and continuously expanded to new heights. Small businesses need to improve their revenues as they hold the most significant chunk of the market, at around 99%. However, most companies shut their doors within the first 120 days of operations.

By following through with the above strategies, from setting up an e-commerce store to the best practices of online marketing, you can change the narrative and grow to be among the big multinationals like eBay and Amazon. I wish you a wonderful e-commerce experience.

Stuart GraceStuart Grace
11:06 30 May 24
Very efficient and friendly service. Excellent value for money. Strongly recommend this service. Have used this service as my ltd company registered address and hence get correspondence forwarded to my home address.
Business 83Business 83
21:16 16 May 24
Very easy sign up, clear and fast communication with competitive pricing. Just joined and hoping the service is as good as the sign up process.
Muhammad ADMuhammad AD
09:29 16 May 24
Great service, great rates and quick admin staff replying to emails and sending through stuff very quickly. 10/10 would recommend if looking for a virtual address in Glasgow for business or private company purposes.
Morag WebsterMorag Webster
07:39 03 May 24
I recently signed up to Clyde Offices and so far I couldn't be happier with the experience. From the moment I initially enquired about their services to signing up, their communication has been prompt and efficient. The sign-up process was incredibly easy and straightforward.
Calum PatersonCalum Paterson
06:16 03 May 24
Recently joined Clyde Offices and the whole process has been so easy. From signing up to the initial engagement from the team, the whole process couldn't have been better. would highly recommend.
SA PietrzakSA Pietrzak
16:05 24 Apr 24
I would like to recommend Clyde Office for friendly and professional service. The set up process was easy and straightforward.
Tom McDonaldTom McDonald
19:25 18 Apr 24
Great Service and very easy to use.
Teresa RTeresa R
13:43 18 Apr 24
Only recently joined, however, I am really pleased with the ease of joining, the promptness of engagement and the general engagement received. Thank you.
08:00 12 Apr 24
Setting up a new registered address for my business was so stressful with all the other challenges a new business faces. Clyde Offices took all the stress out of it. The service was so simple to use and we're very happy with the ongoing relationship.
Y. R.Y. R.
10:13 11 Apr 24
The registration with Clyde Offices was easy and efficient and the fee was very reasonable. I've been with them for a few weeks now and have been very happy with the service. Responses to a couple of queries I had were prompt and resolved easily. I would happily recommend this service.
esther iesther i
11:45 28 Mar 24
Really happy with the service so far very proactive and happy to help us with whatever we need
10:56 28 Mar 24
I am totally enjoying the services. This is one of my best decisions I made beginning of 2024.
Eryk SzyminiakEryk Szyminiak
11:02 26 Mar 24
I recommend it, easy access to the website and unrivaled low cost... '
Kerry HarveyKerry Harvey
12:22 21 Mar 24
Not long started using this s service and so far amazing. Easy set up and very fast.
Ian HoughtonIan Houghton
12:37 11 Mar 24
Excellent service. Centrally located Well priced
a ea e
09:40 04 Mar 24
Speedy on-boarding process, efficient mail notifications and friendly reception
19:43 15 Feb 24
Very fast service , address sent via email immediately after purchase. Attentive staff and customer service
Tom GairTom Gair
09:39 09 Feb 24
Found these guys, easy to follow online instructions. Quick to set up. Very fast response times to welcome us on board. Not yet used their services, but I'm sure they will be great!
Jordan SmithJordan Smith
13:49 01 Feb 24
Mark MunroMark Munro
14:50 29 Jan 24
Quick and easy to set up, very competitively priced with good support and friendly follow-ups.
Team NeonTeam Neon
09:40 26 Jan 24
Great service!
Michelle LydenMichelle Lyden
16:59 25 Jan 24
Clyde Offices provided us with a consistent and really good service for almost 4 years. Gerry was always at the end of the phone to help us with our queries. I would recommend Clyde Offices if you are looking to add value to your office needs, i.e. outsources answering service etc.
David HeriotDavid Heriot
11:08 11 Jan 24
Super easy to set up, very competitively priced and friendly follow-ups.
Gillian's WalksGillian's Walks
14:01 30 Dec 23
Quick and easy to set up. Great to have an option like this locally.
12:41 07 Dec 23
I was looking for a mailbox provider as I am studying and I live abroad. I found Clyde Offices and they were very helpful in answering my questions. Very reasonably priced and would allow me to receive a few parcels. I highly recommend them and I will be using them for many years. The staff were very attentive and friendly.
Julie MurphyJulie Murphy
15:16 06 Nov 23
This is a great idea if you have your own business but would like an address in the city centre on top of, or instead of your own address or other location.Allows you to advertise as being based in the city centre.Anytime I had to contact the offices the staff were great and very helpful. I didn't need to contact them much at all because the process is so easy and straightforward.
Charles RidleyCharles Ridley
08:55 20 Oct 23
Really easy to get set up and competitively priced service.
William KimmetWilliam Kimmet
23:25 19 Oct 23
Very good and very cheap rental
Jon ChristieJon Christie
11:25 10 Oct 23
Can't fault the service; long may it continue. A good choice for most I would think
Stacy MairStacy Mair
09:56 10 Oct 23
Clyde Offices were very helpful and informative when setting up an account with them, they provide the full service at competitive prices and no additional fees.
j caldwellj caldwell
16:47 21 Aug 23
Setting up my virtual business address with Clyde Offices was so quick and easy to set up in minutes. They also were in email contact to make sure everything was ok and if I needed any other services from them just to make contact with them. I couldn't be happier with the service I received. Thank you
Levati LearningLevati Learning
14:13 21 Aug 23
Very good experience working with the team at Clyde Offices. They have been helping us out for over 5 years now and couldn't survive without them.
Joanna “C.”Joanna “C.”
16:12 14 Sep 22
A vastly superior service from Clyde Offices than any of the corporate virtual offices I have used in the past. A fab team, very efficient and friendly, always very helpful. I would recommend them one hundred percent. Great Central Glasgow location if you ever need to visit.
Audrey JenkinsAudrey Jenkins
04:00 03 Jul 22
I hired a mailing address through Clyde Offices for two months and the service was hugely helpful during that time. I rented some camping equipment for my hiking trip and could only find it for mail delivery; because I flew in from the USA, I needed an address in Glasgow and it so happens their office is very near the train station so this plan worked out perfectly as I set out Monday morning for my trip via train. In addition to easy communications and set up, the service worked with me on my order so that delivery time and pick up were arranged and I had no issues arriving and picking up as planned despite an awkward delay between delivery and pick up. My box was also large, which was certainly an inconvenience for them to hold for a week, but they understood my situation. I recommend Clyde Offices if you are seeking a mailing address in Glasgow.
Kathleen RobertsonKathleen Robertson
09:33 21 Mar 22
I have found Clyde Office to be 100% committed to all work that they carry out for people. Very helpful polite and trustworthy.
Ralph FlemingRalph Fleming
14:44 20 Mar 22
Alan and the team have been a real find for me. They do my reports and deal with all my mail for me. They automatically scan my mail over to me so that I can pick it up on the go, I could not recommend them enough for a small business like me. It's true what they say if you don't have an admin person then you are the admin person!
Austin PowellAustin Powell
17:56 19 Mar 22
Clyde Offices provide me with an incredible service that is invaluable. They help me manage my business. I use for call answering, mailing address and also they help with some of my admin via the virtual assistant service. 5 stars for sure.
Hunter StellaHunter Stella
18:45 16 Mar 22
Sign up was straightforward, and got a virtual mailing address confirmed within minutes. Would recommend.
Glasgow ClinicGlasgow Clinic
11:57 16 Mar 22
Amazing service for a new startup. Understands my business needs and always happy to offer solutions. Professional staff at the end of the phone every time.
hondo madhohondo madho
15:19 14 Mar 22
The staff are professional and timeous in their communication to customers.They give you confidence to work anywhere in the world and they handle your administration in a fantastic way.....keep it up...