The internet offers creative types plenty of opportunities for selling their wares. Certain e-commerce marketplaces such as Etsy and Amazon Art are raising awareness of art outside the traditional markets and providing local artists with global exposure.
Prefer to have more creative control over your brand? Then think about setting up your own online storefront. Not only will you enjoy instant payment, but you will also have access to valuable customer information for future marketing. Discover four points creatives should know about launching an e-commerce page.
Decide How You’ll Create Your Canvas
The process for setting up an e-commerce page has become automated and simplified over the years, you can choose from among many options.
Explore the following steps to make sure you have a solid foundation.
Choose Your Hosting and E-Commerce Platform
Your e-commerce page will need a place to exist in cyberspace. You can think of web hosting as you would buying a home. You can either choose an empty block of land and build on it (self-hosted) or buy a land and house package deal (fully hosted).
Services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Bluehost, and Rackspace offer hosting products for businesses of all sizes and complexities. These services offer 24-hour support, plenty of room to grow, and access to compatible e-commerce website software.
For a monthly fee, software such as Shopify, Wix, and Volusion will combine hosting with an e-commerce solution to give you everything you need from setup to sale, including security and credit card processing.
You need to get paid, and a merchant account helps you receive payments.
Again, you’ll find many options, ranging from well-known brands such as PayPal and Chase to smaller businesses such as PaySimple and BluePay. Yes, you will have fees involved, but the simplicity and security these services offer make this choice a non-negotiable one.
Focus On Security
Your customers expect you to protect their personal information. Make sure your hosting provider is meticulous about security and that you aware of your options for protecting client data. While many hosts, such as AWS, give you the tools you need to keep your website safe, you may need to configure identity and access management (IAM) arrangements on your site to suit your own requirements.
Track orders with a number to help discourage chargeback fraud, and use address and credit card verification systems for peace of mind. Finally, only store customer information that is essential to your business.
Build a Website That Google Will Love
Google will love your e-commerce site if the content on your pages — especially your homepage — is content relevant to your product and business. You will want people to find you when they search for both branded keywords, your name or the name of your business, and nonbranded keywords, words that relate to your product or business.
Make sure that other sites link to yours, especially sites that have significant traffic themselves. Registering your e-commerce page on directories and e-commerce marketplaces will both broaden your exposure and improve your site’s keyword rankings.
Above all, remember that your storefront is the canvas that will reflect you and your work. Make sure that your e-commerce page is as professional as you are.