The digital marketplace offers a multitude of opportunities, which is why merchants both big and small are bringing their businesses there through different platforms. If you have a business and you’re looking to break into that space as well, then you better start building your online store.
But how and where do you start? What do you need to prepare? Is it advisable to tap an E-commerce enabler in the Philippines? Don’t worry because here’s a quick guide to building your own online store!
Establish your identity
Before anything else, your store needs to have its own name. It can be simple and straightforward, or creative and unexpected. It’s all up to you and how you want to make an impression. Put a face to your name with a logo, which you can also use for your packaging and business cards.
Another thing that’s equally important to any business – your products. What do you want to sell? Clothes, toys, houseware, general merchandise, tech? You need to finalize the products that you’ll be selling so you know what to focus on and how to market them later on.
Identify your preferred digital platform
For starters, you need to know where you want to be seen and how you can be accessed. Nowadays, you can explore multiple platforms in setting up your digital store. It all depends on your preference and how you want to manage your operations.
You can develop your own website which you can fully design and manage. On the other hand, you can explore online marketplaces like Shopee and Lazada. These platforms allow you to build an online store easily thanks to their templates. Want something much simpler? Go for social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram where you can just upload product photos, create witty captions, and share posts regularly.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even mix and match these platforms to help you attract customers across different channels. Plus with the help of E-commerce enablers, it will be even easier to manage your operations and reach Philippine customers.
Make your products stand out
Competition is stiff online, especially now that this has become an entry point for many businesses. You can always get the upper hand over your competitors not just with promotions, but by how you present your products.
Building an online store is very different from a physical one because customers don’t get to see your products firsthand. You can enhance their shopping experience by uploading multiple photos of your products. Work on the angles, and the setting, or if you can get a friend to model for you, then better. It’s all about what makes your products different, better, and more enticing to customers.
You should also level up your copywriting game. Aside from sharing basic information, you can engage your customers by adding a twist to your product descriptions. Filipinos are known to be witty so go for short, punchy, and funny content. You can also add a story to convey different product experiences. What’s important is that you strike the balance between what your customers need to know, and what you want to tell them.
Plan your logistics
Whether you’re new to doing business or looking to expand online, you should also have a plan for your logistics. Identify where you want to sell your products or areas that you want to reach. Is it within your city, or in multiple locations? This will help you decide if you need to rent a warehouse to better manage your operations.
That said, you also need to consider how you deliver your products. Look into different couriers that you can partner with, as well as their delivery routes. They should match your target locations so you can effectively reach audiences and efficiently deliver packages.
Offer different payment and shipping options
Payment and shipping options are crucial in building an online store. Filipinos have different preferences on how they want to pay and how they want to receive their products.
For payment options, you can always go for card transactions, bank transfers, and e-wallets. But if you want to reach more customers, offer Cash-on-Delivery (CoD). Many Filipinos still prefer CoD because it gives them time to save and the chance to check the product before paying for them. This also shows consideration on your part as a merchant.
For shipping methods, you can opt for the standard ones offered by different couriers. However, what many customers really prefer these days is express delivery. This can be in the form of next-day deliveries or shorter delivery times.
Provide communication lines
For any online store to flourish, an open or direct line to consumers is a must. Make sure to have a chat function on your website so customers can message you. For social media and online marketplaces, the chat function is readily available. You can set up auto-replies so customers can get quick responses and you can provide more details later on.
These lines are also important because it’s not only for inquiries but for concerns and feedback. Whether they’re satisfied or unhappy, giving customers a communication line highlights that your store is reachable and can assist them anytime.
Building an online store is quite easy thanks to today’s technology. For those who aren’t as tech-savvy or would need assistance, Payo is one of the leading E-commerce enablers in the Philippines that can help you do the job.
Payo is the perfect partner in building and managing a holistic online store. It provides various services such as Marketplace Optimization, Live Customer Support, Fulfillment, Last Mile Management, and Warehousing. These will not only help simplify your operations but even grant you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Want to get started on your online store already? Sign up with Payo today or send us a message at [email protected]. The digital marketplace awaits!