Your Own Retail Clothing e-Store: Building a Website (Part One)
Couple of weeks ago we talked about the basics of opening an online store. Every now and then we’ll be posting about its certain specifics. Let us start with the website itself. Of course, if you think you’re too inexperienced in all this and decide to use a ready-to-go solution, there is no point in reading further. But if you want a custom-built website, we may have some advice for you.
Have you looked at your competitors’ websites? Do so, if you haven’t. You’ll probably notice things that you like. Keep those in mind – you’ll need something like that too. See something that’s wrong? Make sure you don’t do the same mistake. Now, how is your user experience? Would you buy anything from this site if you were a client? This exercise helps you understand what your website should look like.
Already know the name of your e-store? Then think about its domain name. It should be simple and easy to remember. No super long names! Have some ideas? Check the availability of these names. If they are available, decide on the one you’re going to use.
Hosting is where your e-store is going to “live.” It has to be reliable and inexpensive. Don’t forget about customer support – it has to be fast and reliable too. Most companies offer will offer you a free trial, so why not give it a try?
OK, time to find a company or a person that will develop your website. Since it’s relatively simple, even a freelancer can do it. Do some research, ask around. Look at the portfolios, compare prices. Companies usually charge a bit more. Freelancers can deliver good quality and help you save money. But, of course, you never know whether they will be available later to provide tech support or add new features. Consider these pros and cons before you decide.
Now think well about the main features of your online store. How will you organize your goods? What sections and pages will you need? Will you need a photo gallery, a blog? Book-keeping, analytical tools. Ways to interact with clients, collect feedback. Think about the design: colors, images, even fonts. You’ll also need to promote your store, so there has to be room for banners, and good integration with social networks. Upgradeability is very important. You don’t want to trash the current site in a month or so simply because you cannot add a new feature.
Too much information? This is what terms of reference are for. Spending long hours on all this may seem like a waste of time, but it’s not. The more details you specify – the better. And it’s going to be a lot easier for the developer. Try to avoid last minute cardinal changes. Remember, you can’t turn a boat into a cruise liner. So proper planning is a must.
We’ll continue in a week or so. Meanwhile, you can do some research and planning. By the way, if you haven’t found the right supplier, check out the wholesale dresses we offer, and our terms and conditions.