Bizwiki Blog

Advice for Online Retailers in the UK

Online retailing is rapidly expanding. Major online retailers like Amazon and eBay are achieving high sales, bringing more and more retailers online. According to The Centre for Retail Research, in 2014, online retail sales in the UK increased by 15.8 percent, whereas the estimate for 2015 is a 16 percent increase. British consumers spend on average GBP59 for online shopping, mostly on tablets (82 percent).

Here is some online retail advice.

Tips for online retailers

a) The basics
An online business does not have a physical address. You should not neglect to list some basic information like your phone number and/or an email address. Customers should feel that they can contact you anytime with questions about your products or services.

Write straightforward, accurate and easy to understand product and/or service descriptions, including prices and any extra fees. Over-complicated descriptions will confuse your customers, who, most likely will prefer another online retailer.

Include nice, colorful pictures of your products so that customers can actually see what they are buying. Don’t forget that your business is not brick-and-mortar, so customers trust your product descriptions, but they also need a visual communication of what they are shopping for.

Create a user–friendly website where visitors can navigate with easiness. Check out eBay or Amazon to see what makes them so easy to function. Don’t forget that your website is, in fact, your shop window, the entrance to your business. Make it attractive, but, above all, efficient.

b) The Marketing
Send a promotional newsletter to your current or prospective customers to promote your products and/or services. Promotional letters seek to get your customers to take an immediate action using a persuasive process that may result in a sale, including new sign-ups, downloads or registrations. In fact, this marketing strategy seeks to turn prospects into customers and customers into repeat customers.

Join LinkedIn, the great professional network for brand promotion. LinkedIn is a powerful business resource, which currently hosts more than 332 million members in 200 countries. By creating a complete and descriptive company profile you increase your target audience and have a unique opportunity to exponentially grow your customer base. Additionally, you can connect with your competitors and perform a competitive research.

Join an affiliate program to enjoy the advantages of the best online marketing programs. You pay a referral fee to your affiliate partners for each lead or sale generated. Your partners advertise your online retail business to their target audience.

c) The Customer Relationship
Communicate with your customers to know what they think of your online store, what they need, do they have any suggestions etc. Effective customer relationships can bring more business in your store, provided you target your audience effectively using social media and direct mail.

Keep customer data to know what each customer prefers, what they bought, how often they return, if they are repeated customers etc. In retailing, it is a common practice to send out a gift card to regular customers.

Offer great customer service, either through online chat or by picking up the phone. Customers need human contact, and if they cannot have it, they are repelled.

d) The Sales
Make the sales process as easy as possible. Don’t forget that online shoppers go online because they don’t have time to go to a brick-and-mortar store. More than three clicks may be a disaster.

Keep a sales record to keep your online store updated. Promote your best sellers, put offers on your slow movers, cross-sell relevant products.

Do not complicate the return process. Accept unopened, unworn items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund as most online and brick-and mortar retailers do.

Conclusively, online retailing is all about personalization. Because your store lacks a physical space, you need to personalize the shopping experience. Customers need to feel intimate. Suggest complementary products to your customers and they feel like you know them well. Remind them what they viewed last and they feel like you are interested in their preferences. Little details make a huge difference and in online retailing is all you need to provide the best customer service.


Bizwiki provides a list of financial advisers and accountants that may be useful when setting up your online retail business.

 Digg  Reddit  Delicious  Yahoo Bookmarks  Facebook  BlinkList

No Comments

Leave a reply