Online United States retail sales are expected to compound by ten percent annually between 2010 and 2015, reaching $278.9 billion, according to Forrester research. Increasing numbers of Internet-connected consumers, the ease of shopping online, and new shopping models are causing more skin care businesses to take their operations online. There are several things to consider when launching a skin care ecommerce venture.
The first consideration is typically how to build the online store. An online consultant can help with this process by selecting the right ecommerce platform for the business. With the correct platform in place, the client can design the appearance, atmosphere, and functionality of the online store and keep information updated without needing many technical skills. This business owner can upload product images and details, create an online shopping cart, accept payments securely, and fulfill orders quickly and with little effort.
If the skin care business has a website, the ecommerce components should have the same layout and color scheme. If the business is developing a website and ecommerce platform simultaneously, both should feature colors that complement the business logo. Magento and other ecommerce platforms feature design templates that do not require programming knowledge for customization.
PayPal is the recommended payment system for a new ecommerce platform. This processor has a reputation worldwide for being a secure method of accepting online payments. Skin care retailers should keep an eye on seller fees because these can add up. While PayPal charges a 2.9 percent transaction fee on the total sale and a 30-cent fee for each transaction, Authorize.net charges $20 per month and a ten-cent transaction fee, plus a $99 setup fee. New skin care retailers can also obtain merchant accounts with individual credit card companies.
Some ecommerce vendors offer customer relationship management tools to streamline merchant-customer interactions. These document customer contact information, purchases, pending orders, and complaints, making it easy for the business and customers to identify where things stand. Establishing a dedicated toll-free number or setting up a live chat for customer service is also recommended.
Online customers cannot see, smell, or feel the skin care products being advertised so retailers should use clear product images and short, detailed product descriptions that include sizes, prices, and intended uses. To increase sales, retailers should consider offering free shipping for orders over a certain value and allowing customers to share, rate, and review products. Once skin care ecommerce functionality is established, a consultant can help the business promote online shopping.
*Photo Courtesy of RichieMontalbo via Creative Commons License