Your handcrafted business is gaining traction, and you’re wondering whether it’s time to create your own website and sell your products through that platform. While online sites like Etsy provide space for budding entrepreneurs, they also have a long list of fees that eat into profits. And while the initial setup of a site does incur start-up and maintenance costs, these may pale in comparison to the fees that you are paying now. Furthermore, you can customize your site in a way that helps you build brand recognition, interact with clients, and adapt to your changing needs.
As you set up a site, however, you will need to create your own e-commerce merchant account so that you can accept payment cards and checks from your online customers. At AVPS, we specialize in helping businesses, including web-based operations, with comprehensive card processing solutions. Here are some tips for starting your site off on the right foot:
- Look at sites of businesses or competitors similar to yours. Note what you like and don’t like about each and use this information as part of your brainstorming process.
- Focus on ease of navigation. Sometimes, what makes sense to us doesn’t make sense to others, so get several opinions on how easy/intuitive your site is.
- Avoid going overboard. While you want your site to be visually appealing and interesting, it shouldn’t get so “busy” that your products get overshadowed on the screen.
- Make space for clearly defined policies, including shipping costs and time, refunds, or any other disclaimers you may need. Don’t forget to include contact information as well.
- Make your check-out process clear and easy to complete.
- Test your site thoroughly before you launch it so that you work out all of the bugs.
When you take the next step and create your own e-commerce website, you set yourself up for growth, while possibly avoiding those endless fees from other marketplace sites.