How to manage your small business during the Covid-19 crisis

Mother working on laptop at home, while her child using tablet. Boy and mother sat on the sofa. The Mother is managing her business on her laptop during the Covid-19 crisis

Change can be scary and when it happens fast it’s even more worrying. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our movement, our work, and how we go about our daily lives. Sadly, small businesses are highly impacted by the global pandemic and need to adapt during these uncertain times. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to support you. In this article, we’ve outlined 4 areas to help you as a small business owner navigate this crisis: wellbeing, work, communications, and taking stock.

Of course, the most important thing is to always act in accordance with local health guidelines and official advice. Don’t do anything that would endanger yourself or others.

With that in mind, we hope the following information is useful.

Wellbeing

Taking care of your wellbeing is the most important thing during a health crisis. If you are well, you’re able to look after the people you love and serve customers effectively.

Take care of your physical wellbeing:

  • Online fitness classes – exercise outside might not be possible right now. There are many, many classes available online, from free exercise videos on YouTube to personal trainers carrying out virtual workouts. Try to get a good mix of everything, as you would in normal life, for example: movement, cardio workouts, strength training, and flexibility
  • Keep moving – regularly get up from your workspace and walk around. If allowed, take permitted exercise outside
  • Get some fresh air – open windows, sit on the balcony and make use of outside space at home, if it is available to you
  • Cook homemade meals – use what’s available. Eat a balanced diet and keep regular mealtimes

Look after your mental wellbeing:

These are unprecedented times; keeping your mind healthy is an important part of staying well.

  • Exercise – As above. Scientists have shown a link between physical activity and an uplift in mood
  • Homeworkers/homeschoolers – set up a desk away from where you sleep or rest if possible. Dedicate a specific area of the house to ‘work’ or ‘school’. If that’s not possible, tidy things away once the day is over to create separation
  • Stay in touch – contact loved ones virtually, FaceTime wherever possible and share messages of support to keep each other going
  • Accept the new normal – it is beyond all of our control. Focus on what you can control, such as cooking, school, or sending a text to someone you care about
  • Get some rest – keep your regular sleep routine and make sure you are getting enough rest. Sleep is an important part of our health. A good night’s sleep will mean you’re present, alert and better able to connect with people – including your customers

Work

All of life has been impacted by the crisis, including work. Many small businesses have been particularly affected. Control the controllable with these tips:

  • Keep communicating – with workers, suppliers and customers. Let people know what will change due to the pandemic, what you’re doing about it, and how it impacts the service you provide
  • Keep channels open with suppliers – we are all in difficult circumstances. Bear in mind that your suppliers’ challenges may impact your turnaround. It’s important to communicate this information to customers if this is the case
  • Things are different – stay focused on what’s possible, rather than what isn’t
  • The situation is changing constantly – keep up to date with official government guidance on public health and financial measures to support businesses and individuals. As a business owner, take it upon yourself to establish the facts: trust government websites and media, reliable news sources, and respectable journalism. Do not rely on information shared on social media

Communications

The situation is scary. There are many unknowns. In the face of a crisis, running away and hiding feels like the only option.

Whatever you do, keep communicating. Customers rely on you, and it’s up to you to let them know whether you can still serve them during this uncertain time.

  • Update customers – let them know what is going on. If you are able to carry on working, communicate key information such as new hours, availability of support staff, and changes in shipping times
  • Review scheduled posts – emails, content and social media must all be reviewed, especially if campaigns were scheduled days or weeks ago. Check if the content is still appropriate in the current climate. Change it if not
  • Be mindful of your tone – keep on sharing on social media, but be careful. People are frightened and the entire world is impacted by this crisis. Be sensitive
  • Avoid posting if you have doubts – if the message could come across as insensitive, too much of a hard sell, or seems to contradict official guidelines, do not post the content
  • Be helpful – now is a time for kindness and community, even if we are physically distanced. Thanks to the power of the internet one thing you can do right now, is provide help and insight. Share your knowledge with the world: your customers might not be able to visit you physically, though it doesn’t mean that you can’t share hints and tips with them

Take stock

The challenges the world faces now are unprecedented. The impact on small businesses is far-reaching. If COVID-19 means you are unable to trade, try not to panic. Is there anything you could do differently? If not, is now an opportunity to review your business and plan for the future? 

We’ve divided the following section into two: the short term and the long term. The short-term actions are designed to help you make the best of the present moment, if that option is available to you. The long-term actions are designed to help you plan for the future, so that your small business can come back stronger.

Think short term:

  • Things have changed a lot in a very short space of time – ask yourself, ‘What CAN I do?’
  • If you can’t sell in person, can you trade online? – online stores mean customers can visit you any time of the day or night to make purchases. If you can ship your products, or provide them as a download, then you can sell online
  • If you make things, can you make something different at this time? – for example, can you create essential supplies such as masks, soap or hand sanitiser?
  • If you provide a service, take it online – if possible, carry out meetings and work over video and phone call. Perhaps you could record a series of videos, create a course, or write an eBook and sell them via your online store

Think long term:

  • Reflect on your business – so far, what has worked? What didn’t work so well? Think about your answers to each question and plan ways to do more of what worked well in future
  • Plan for the future – think deeply about your business goals and the strategy that will help you get there
  • Adjust the way you operate – has the Coronavirus revealed any weak spots in the way you run your business? What steps can you take to strengthen these areas and make sure your business is watertight going forwards?
  • Make contingency plans – nobody could have predicted a global pandemic just a few months ago. If you haven’t already, now is the time to imagine the worst-case scenarios your business could face. Plan how you would respond to them and the resources you would need to survive
  • Consider diversifying your business income – you’re fantastic at what you do, we’re sure about that! Focus is great. Though a crisis means that if you only have one way of making money, and that is impacted, your income suffers. Think about different revenue streams, new products and services. Variety helps ensure you maintain a level of income if one area is hit

We are here to support you…

Times are tough, and we really hope that the information in this article is helpful. Our aim is to provide practical support to help your small business thrive – with or without a crisis! That’s why we’ve put together an exclusive offer, to help small businesses at an uncertain time….

Our 14-day day trial is still free, and always will be. That means you can set up a website and an online store when being online is more important than ever.

After that, if you wish to upgrade your account, we’re giving you the first 12-months at a 50% discount. That’s just £6.50 per month for a domain name, up to 5 email addresses, SSL security and a professional website or online store with no limitations.

To get this offer, simply head over to our getting started page and the discount will automatically be applied at checkout. Remember, you’ll always start on our 14-day free trial where you can access all features without needing to enter any credit card details.

We can’t wait to see your business online!

How to start a small independent online store

Online store owner writing an address on a package

The number of small independent stores creating an online presence is ever increasing. With a wide range of potential customers to reach and easy cost-effective ways to reach them, there has never been a better time to start an online store.

Although the thought of starting an online store may be daunting for some, the benefits for your business are worth the time. Whether you are selling arts and crafts or high-end trainers, an online store can help you promote your products, increase brand awareness and establish a loyal customer base. Online stores can also help in building customer profiles and creating a rapport, through emails and offers tailored to them. If you want to build a successful online store then read on!

Choose your Product or Speciality

You may already have an idea of the type of product you want to sell, or maybe you know exactly what your company specialises in. Either way, deciding on your product or speciality is a vital step in creating your online store. When deciding on your product is it important to think through the following points:

Supply chain – will this product be something you make yourself (and if so where will the materials come from?) Or are you selling something on from somewhere else? 

Price – the price of your products is central to how successful your product may be. The best way to scope out price is to take part in some market research, look up similar products and their prices. Alternatively ask people who you feel may use your product how much they would be prepared to spend.

Know your audience – it is key to know your target market. Does your product appeal to teenagers or avid sports fans? It is important to know who you need to market your product at so as to achieve the most sales. 

Gaps in the Market – with such high numbers of online stores selling an incredible range of products, how will you make your product stand out? Additionally, even if you can make your product stand out, is there a demand for it? There is little point investing time, energy and money into something which has no potential to develop a strong customer base.

Creating a Platform to Sell your Product

Once you have decided on what you are selling, it is now time to think about how you will sell it. The best way to do this is to create a website where customers can browse the range of products. It is also crucial for your website to have ecommerce features such as a shopping cart, pages for customers to view products and a method of securing payments. Many website builders will provide this if coding is not your speciality! 

When creating your website it is also important to think about how your website portrays your brand image and the products you are selling. Aspects such as photographs, colours, fonts, layout and logo can all have an impact on whether customers return to your website or continue browsing once they find the site. 

Think about how your Products are Displayed

In order to get the most out of your website, it is important to market your products correctly. Key aspects to consider are: 

Photographs – these should be clear, high-resolution pictures that clearly display your product from multiple angles. They should be bright images that are well composed in order to attract customers’ attention.

Product Description – having an accurate product description will help you promote your product and avoid any customer confusion. Consider including key specifications such as size and material of the product.

Policies – what is your returns policy? Ensure that you are clear with each product what the returns policy is and state the policy with every item.

Creating an Effective Marketing Strategy

Marketing can help improve how many visitors see your website and therefore how many products you sell. There are a few methods which your business can use to increase brand awareness and product sales. 

The first is utilising social media. By creating pages on sites such as Facebook and Instagram, you increase the range of people you can reach and communicate with. There are also features on these sites which allows you to link products to photos, creating an easy way for customers to find your products. 

Another way to increase brand awareness is to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools, which boost your product up the ranks in Google search results. Many website builders have this feature as part of their package to help you boost sales easily. 

These steps can help you build a successful online store with a wide customer base and high visitor numbers. 

If you are looking to build a website for your company, then look no further than Go Sitebuilder! Our simple design means you can have a professional-looking website up and running in minutes, and eCommerce features are included as standard. Try our 14-day free trial today.

Why is it Important For a Beautician to Have a Website in the UK?

Woman using mobile phone in beauty salon receiving a manicure by a beautician.

As a beautician, your client list is potentially endless. The analytics firm GlobalData has revealed that the health and beauty sector will be worth £26.7bn by 2022, and it is predicted to be the fastest-growing sector in the upcoming years. That means more clients, but also more competition on the market.

Whilst hairdressing and beauty salons could once rely on word of mouth to grow their customer base, the internet has now become a tool to draw in new clients. It is therefore important that you brush up on your tech skills so that your business can excel, both online and in person.

Have a well-designed website

A well-designed, easily navigable website is of paramount importance if you want to grow your beauty business. Having an appealing, aesthetic web design gives off the impression to users that your business is professional and of high quality – somewhere where they would want to go for their treatment.

Uploading high-quality photos of your work onto your website is also key: by showcasing what skills you have to offer, a client is much more likely to trust you to take care of their beauty qualms. You can even put these images into a gallery, enabling the site user to browse a selection of the different looks that you can create. 

As mentioned previously, word of mouth is no longer a reliable option if you want to expand your client list. In the digital world, reviews left by customers can be the deciding factor for those considering your services. By publishing the best reviews on your website, you can show visitors to your site that you have a great customer track record.

Write blogs 

This seems slightly odd – after all, you’re a beautician, not a writer. However, many famous beauticians grew their beauty empire from the once humble blog: influencers such as PixiWoo and Fleur de Force started up posting online content offering advice on different beauty products, and then were gradually able to expand and grow their business to an international scale. 

Of course, you may not get to be a worldwide brand by posting a few blog posts once a week, but it is a good way to attract new customers onto your site, thus increasing awareness around your business. For example, if a person googles a certain beauty query, and your blog offers the answer, then you give off the impression that you are knowledgeable in the field, and thus can be trusted.

Blogs are also an important tool to up your SEO – search engine optimisation. By using keywords that rank highly in Google search engines when writing your blog, you are more likely to rank higher on the search engine, and thus become more visible to those who are seeking out a beautician.

Social media 

Social media is a more personal way to market your business. By linking your social media to your website, you are creating a direct link between your different online profiles. Perhaps you choose to create a Pinterest account, uploading photos of high-quality content to showcase what you have to offer.

Another fantastic way to upload images is Instagram: it is incredibly popular, reaching 1 billion monthly users in 2018. Not only does this allow you to display your expertise in the beauty industry, but it also allows you to market any deals or discounts that you may want to offer. Everyone loves a bargain, so this is a fantastic way to reel in new clients, as if they like your treatment then they are likely to come back. 

You could decide to upload makeup tutorials or beauty tips onto Youtube, linking your Youtube account to your website. Whilst you shouldn’t rely on Youtube alone to market your skills, it’s still a great way to advertise yourself, completely free of charge and can be a great way to direct your fans back to your website.

Freedom

If you don’t want to be tied down to a salon, and want the freedom to control your own business, then working for yourself as a freelancer is a perfect solution, as you have complete flexibility over the clients you want to take.

Being your own boss is also great if you are new to the industry – you can carry on your day job, and work out of hours to test the waters, easing you into the beauty sector instead of plunging you in headfirst.

However, the issue with working for yourself is that you start from scratch. Unless you have already grown a reputation amongst the community via working at a beauty salon, it could be tricky getting in clients who have no idea what you can offer. This is why building a website is paramount – by improving your online presence, you are sure to bring in more customers. 

How do I build a website?

Nowadays, you don’t need to be a coding genius to build a great website. Go Sitebuilder is one of the best website builders in the UK: we have extensive knowledge in the area, ensuring that you can build your website stress-free. We offer all of the aforementioned and more – why not see for yourself, with our 14-day free trial.

What are some good online photo editing sites?

Close up, side angle view of a laptop on a desk displaying some photo editing software

If you’re looking to edit your photos, but you don’t want to waste precious hard drive space downloading software to do so, then try out these photo editors that you can run directly from your browser! They’re fast and convenient, and perfect if you’re editing images that you will use online – if you’re building a website for example, or posting to social media. However, bear in mind that if you’re printing images in high quality, you might be better off downloading image editor software.

Fotor

Fotor is a simple and fast photo editor that will help your photos stand out from the crowd. It has a huge variety of filters that you can choose that can help fix standard image issues – like low light or overexposure – without having to get into the complex world of saturation, hue and contrast. It also has a “batch” tool, meaning you can apply the same filter or edits to a group of photos – perfect if you want to cover up a recurring issue across multiple images.

One of the negatives of Fotor is that it doesn’t have the tools to work on specific areas that need retouching, which lets it down a little. 

Canva

A basic photo editor, Canva is both streamlined and fast, and has a super-simple editing interface. If you’re brand-new to editing photos and are looking for pre-loaded filters and templates, then this is for you! You can also adjust brightness and colour, and it includes tools to crop, resize, flip and rotate your image. 

Canva also includes backgrounds and other graphics to inspire you, giving you the tools to create original graphics for your company. The free version includes 1GB of free cloud storage, but if you run out of space you can upgrade to the paid option. 

Pixlr X

If you’re looking for a little more than just adding filters and playing with brightness, Pixlr X is one of the more advanced online photo editors you can find. You can combine multiple images, sharpen and blur images, but unlike most online photo editors, Pixlr X also supports layers, giving you a lot of freedom to play around with different edits before choosing the best one.

It runs on HTML 5 rather than Flash, meaning it will be compatible with any modern browser, and has a sleek interface that is slightly more complex than Canva and Fotor, but reflects its capacity for more advanced tasks.

If you’re building a website, you need to make sure your images impress – low-quality graphics are a sure-fire way to put visitors off! Try out Go Sitebuilder’s 14-day free trial to take advantage of our simple interface that helps you create a beautiful website with just a few clicks – there is even an image editor within the builder!

How to edit the images you use for your website

Caucasian male with a long beard is sat at a desk in front of a laptop editing photos with camera equipment surrounding the laptop

The visual aspect of website design can attract or turn away visitors, therefore when creating your website it is important to choose images that create an impact and relate to your brand.  Rather than just focusing on the content of the images, however, it’s vital to make sure that you take into account other aspects, such as file type and quality to really highlight your website and make it stand out from your competitors. Here are some considerations we think are really important to take into account to make your website leave a lasting impression.

Think about the quality of your images 

The quality of your images can significantly impact the way customers view your website and your brand. High-quality images imply a professional service and instil more trust in your brand for customers than images of low quality. The best ways to achieve high-quality images is either by taking them yourself (see our article on How to Take Great Product Photos) or by using stock images to ensure the quality is high. 

Know the type of file you need to use

When adding images to your website it is important to know the type of file you need to use, generally, this is a choice between a PNG file and a JPG/JPEG file. A PNG file is a larger file, which creates higher quality images than a JPG but can slow your site speed down if used for every image. A JPG file, however, is used more frequently as the file size is smaller; the only compromise is that its image quality is slightly lessened. 

Think about composition  

A good website will have images which engage the visitor and mean something to the brand or subject matter. Therefore the composition (how the image is ‘staged’ and shown to the viewer) should be taken into account when selecting your final images. A simple crop can change the focus of an image and make it more relevant when building your website. The built-in image editor on Go Sitebuilder is a perfect addition when cropping your images as you can visualise how small changes can impact how the image is shown on your website.

Aspects such as colours, filters and stickers

Depending on your brand image, aspects such as colours, filters and stickers can portray the personality of your brand. For example, a travel website may benefit from brightly coloured images to show locations in the best light, whereas a beauty website may have more use for filters.

If you are looking to build a website for your company, then look no further than Go Sitebuilder! Our simple design means you can have a professional-looking website up and running in minutes, and we even have an image editor incorporated in our software. Try our 14-day free trial today!

The best tools or websites to create images with text

A male photographer wearing a loose, casual white shirt is stood at a desktop computer editing images whilst a photoshoot is going on in the background

Often an image can portray everything you want to show for your brand, a concise way to represent an idea or a product. With high levels of competition for views on your website it is important to have features that stand out and may be different from other brands similar to yours. 

The technique of combining your images with text can create impactful designs which pull visitors into your website or catch their eye on Instagram. According to GraphicMama, bolod typography and text masking are going to be some of the hottest graphic design trends of 2020. In this article, we will show you the best tools to use when adding text to your images.

The Most User-Friendly: Canva

Canva is a website and an app that allows users to use their own images (as well as canva’s own images) and layer text on top of those images. There is a wide variety of fonts, styles and layouts, allowing a full scope image types. The basic version of Canva is also free, allowing you to try out your design talents before paying. 

The Widest Range of Features: Adobe Photoshop

One of the biggest names in the photo editing business, Photoshop can do it all – at a price. If your website is focused heavily on image quality or maybe you run a photography business and you are familiar with the software this may be for you. With a range of features, including layering text over images, Photoshop is a great tool. However, for most websites, it may be an unnecessary cost considering the other options available. 

For the Aspiring Influencers: BeFunky

BeFunky is an online photo editing tool that allows you to add text to images, and now has a super simple text and image masking tool. This is where you don’t choose a font for your colour; instead, you choose an image. One of 2020’s new graphic design crazes, this technique adds texture to your designs, is perfect for social media campaigns and ensures that you are bang on-trend.

If you are looking to build a website for your company, then look no further than Go Sitebuilder. Our simple design means you can have a professional-looking website up and running in minutes, and we even have an image editor incorporated in our easy to use platform. Try our 14-day free trial today!

Do I need to know Photoshop to build a website?

Female's hands resting on the edge of a desk editing images for her Go Sitebuilder website. A coffee is also on the desk

You’re probably aware that Adobe Photoshop is commonly used to touch up pictures of celebs in magazines or selfies for social media. However, Photoshop isn’t just a tool for vanity, it can also play a role in building your website’s design. Photoshop is a graphics editor, and it can also be used to optimise images and construct page layouts.

However, Adobe Photoshop is both an expensive tool and a daunting prospect if you’re new to editing images. Best of all – you don’t need it! A successful website can be created without Photoshop. Read on to discover how!

Photoshop is used for complex website developing tasks

Photoshop is used by web developers for a variety of reasons. They can use it to create a mock-up of a web design so that they can send PDFs to their clients for approval, or to integrate different ideas into one design. You can create a beautiful website design in Photoshop, but it is complicated, time-consuming and difficult to export if you’re inexperienced. 

Even now, Photoshop for professional web development is falling by the wayside as modern website design and creation is written directly in code. 

There are easier ways to edit your images

Photoshop is mainly used to edit photos, and it’s no secret that good images are paramount when they are to be used on your website. If you’re worried about your pictures not standing out, worry not – nowadays, there are much easier ways to edit your photos; countless apps offer similar services to Photoshop.

Online photo editors such as Fotor and Canva are a great alternative to Photoshop, and you can also download free image editing software to be able to edit offline. Another huge plus is that they are completely free, whereas Photoshop comes with a fairly steep price tag. 

There are website builders that already have the answers

If you want to build a website but don’t think you’ve got the technical know-how – we’ve got you covered! Go Sitebuilder has ready to go, customisable websites at your fingertips. Don’t let a lack of Photoshop or coding knowledge put you off building an online business – Go Sitebuilder also has an image editor to help you build the best website. Our 14-day free trial gives you all the freedom needed to create the perfect online business.

What is the best free photo editing software?

What is the best free photo editing software?

Got an image that would be perfect for your site if only it wasn’t just a little too dark? Or are you looking to grayscale an image to have as a classy background? Either way, you’re going to need a photo editor, but if you don’t want to pay the monthly fee for Adobe Photoshop, then we’ve compiled a list of some of the best free editing software you can use to make your website look amazing. 

GIMP

The GNU Image Manipulation Programme (GIMP) is one of the best free photo editors you can find. It’s full of a multitude of tools that you’d find in paid alternatives like Adobe Photoshop, but without needing to spend a penny!

A benefit of GIMP over other photo editors is that it allows you to create layers of edits, and has a smart selection tool if there are specific areas you think need enhancing. It is open-source software, which means there is a large community of users and developers who are constantly creating new features for you to use, but it does involve quite a steep learning curve if you’re completely new to editing images.

InPixio Free

If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to edit your images, then InPixio is the software you’re looking for! It boasts hundreds of one-click filters that you can use to instantly make your image stand out from the crowd. 

It also has automatic online sharing capabilities, which means you can send images to clients or customers with one click, rather than exporting the file first. It also supports all image formats, so from .png to .jpeg, you’re ready to edit!

Adobe Photoshop Express

You’ll have noticed from the name – this is Adobe Photoshop, but pared down to make it available without having to pay a monthly subscription. Designed for easy and fast editing, the software has a one-click auto-fix option, as well as filters, creative borders, and automatic red-eye removal. 

If you want more of a hands-on approach though, there are more intricate tools that can help you edit your image precisely how you want it. 

If you’re planning to build a website and you want it to look as impressive as possible, then why not check out our 14-day free trial? Our own photo editor is easy-to-use with stylish filters, options for stickers, text overlay and much, much more!

What day of the week should I launch a website?

Over the shoulder shot of a female business owner sat at a desk looking at a calendar. Also on the desk is a mug and notebook and pen

The moment you unveil your new website can have a big impact on its performance in the early days. It’s important to pick the right date to premiere your website, but choosing the right day is not always that straightforward. Here is some advice on how to choose the right date and day of the week to launch your site.

What is the best date?

The first question to ask is whether your business is a seasonal one. Is there a certain time when your target audience will most want to use your products/services? When is that time? For example, it wouldn’t be a great idea to launch your new skiing equipment store right at the end of the ski season, as nobody will be looking for new products at that time. Find out when your audience is likely to be most active online, and aim to put it out then.

What is the best day?

Days of the week, and times of day, make a difference for different audiences, but also for you…

For example, launching a site on a Friday is one of the worst things to do. This is because putting your website online is not going to be a smooth process; you want your web team, client, host, and the domain registrar all to be ready in case issues arise. These negatives hold true for launching your site on a Saturday or a Sunday, especially if your product is designed for a corporate audience. 

Tuesday is one of the best days to launch your site, as it’s likely that your potential clients are browsing online and haven’t yet been bogged down in so much work that they don’t have time to look at your site. Choosing Tuesday means that not only do you have Monday to properly prepare your team and tease out any loose ends when your brains are fresh, it also gives you the rest of the week to work with your team to deal with potential bug fixes or other problems as and when they arise.

The right day could be completely different for a different company though; make sure you know when your target audience is most online so that you can identify the best day and time to reach them with a new website. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but with the right work and attention to general trends and statistics, you can get an idea of what day might work best for you.

Be prepared and plan ahead

It is always a good idea to plan ahead to ensure a successful website launch. And, once your website goes live there is a whole new list of things you need to prepare for. For example, you need to plan who you are going to tell about the launch and what platforms to use on social media. Influencers and news sources that speak to your target audience are important too. You’ll also need to set aside some time to respond to people when they have queries about your business.

There are no real shortcuts when it comes to making a success of your website launch. You will need to do the research and plan accordingly to see the best results. You know your business, and this empowers you to understand who your target audience is. Learn about them, find out their habits, and launch your website at a time that they will be receptive to it.

Having a website is crucial for every business. If you haven’t created yours yet, why don’t you check out Go Sitebuilder? Create your website from anywhere without the need for any technical skills. Try Go Sitebuilder free for 14-days to see just how easy it is to get your business online.

How to overcome common obstacles to selling online

A caucasian female potter leaning over a workbench adding finishing touches to a piece of pottery. She is wearing a white strap top with a black apron on top

Being able to satisfy your retail therapy needs from the comfort of your own home is one of the joys of the modern age. This is why having an online business is now of high importance: selling online reaches customers worldwide and thus your potential target market is endless. If you’re nervous about selling online then read on – we’ve shown you how to overcome some of the barriers to starting an ecommerce business.

You have visitors to your site but they’re not buying!

A problem with selling online is that you are setting an expectation for your product. This means customers cannot tell the quality or fit of your product until they have purchased it. If what you’re selling is highly-priced, then some may be worried about handing over their money to your business. 

However, offering free delivery to new customers or free returns is a great way to soothe these fears. According to research by Barclaycard, 47% of shoppers said they wouldn’t order an item if they had to pay for the return and 30% admitted to deliberately overbuying products, knowing they would return the unwanted items. Not only does this stress the importance of having a free returns scheme, but it also means you’re able to send out more products. Even if items are returned, your visibility is improved.

Similar products to yours are already sold online 

This one is a toughie, as whilst it shows your product is in high demand, it also means that there are a lot of other business competitors out there. However, don’t let this sway you away from online selling: offering discounts is a great way to draw in users to your site, as the consumer will often look for the most cost-effective item. 

Putting a time limit on your discount is also an effective solution, as it pushes the customer into making a decision about whether they want to try your product. If you make these discounts seasonal then it is likely that you will create returning customers, who can then improve your online visibility by leaving good customer reviews. 

Setting up an ecommerce site is too tricky

Whilst the internet may seem like a daunting prospect, it is important to remember that setting up an ecommerce website is not as difficult as it used to be. Nowadays, website builders like ours can do all the hard stuff for you, making that transition into selling online all the more smoother. Our free 14-day trial allows you to create a website in minutes, and even have extra ecommerce features if you do decide to take the leap. Give it a go today!