[vc_row bg_type=”bg_color” bg_color_value=”#ffffff”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Congratulation on choosing Blaze Online for your new Online Store – you’ve selected a solution that will not only look amazing, but will provide you with the features you need today, and into the future, to ensure your online store is a success.
The following is a Getting Started Guide for you new Blaze Online Online Store. It covers a range of areas and considerations that you need to be mindful of as we go through the process of ‘building’ your new online store.
Online Store Design Brief
The first step in getting started with your online store is completing the Blaze Online Online Store Design Brief. This will form the foundation for our Graphic Designers to start designing your new store.
Please try to provide us with as much information as possible when completing the brief – the more information and detail we get from you, the faster we can get design back to you that reflect the online store you’re after.
Give some thought to the forms of payment you want to offer. Remember that your online store is all about generating sales for your business, so offering a range of payment options to your shoppers will reduce the chances of them going somewhere else because you don’t offer their preferred payment method.
Your new online store can provide your visitors with a range of payment options, including:
Do you want to accept payment by credit card? Our experience suggests you should provide this payment option, as this is the preferred payment method for most online purchases. You have three options for accepting credit cards:
- Off-line processing – allow your shoppers to input their credit card details when ordering, and then process the card manually using your eftpos/point of sale terminal (if you have one).
- PayPal – accept credit card payments via PayPal – see below for more information on this.
- Payment Gateway – linking your new online store with a payment gateway will enable you to instantly process a shoppers credit card when they complete the checkout process. More on this below.
A payment gateway authorises payments for purchases through your online store. It is the equivalent of a physical eftpos/point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets. Credit card information is passed securely from your online store to the payment gateway for processing instantly. Funds are usually in your bank account within 2 business days.
Blaze Online uses the industry-leading SecurePay and eWay payment gateway.
If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to establish a Merchant facility with your bank in order to accept credit card payments via SecurePay. This is usually a simple process, but often takes a week or more to complete.
Offering PayPal as a payment option on your online store costs you nothing – they take a percentage of each transaction. Click here to see their fees. If you don’t already have an account with PayPal, the sign-up process with them is pretty simple, and usually takes a few business days to complete.
EFT – Direct Deposit
You may want to consider allowing your shoppers to make payment directly to your bank account. Using this option costs you nothing, and as your shopper completes the checkout process they are provided with you bank details in order to complete the payment process. All you need to do is check your bank account the next business day to confirm receipt of payment before you send out the order.
Most likely you’ll be selling products from your online store that you’ll need to ship or mail to the client. Your online store has a range of option to enable you to calculate shipping, including:
If you include a weight against all of your products on your online store, you can take advantage of our link with Australia post to calculate freight both domestically and internationally – your shoppers are presented with one or more shipping options, think Express Post, standard post, registered mail, and the selected shipping cost is automatically added to the order.
You can offer a flat rate shipping option to your shoppers, something like:
- $5 for orders up to $50
- $9 for orders up to $100
- $12 for orders up to $150
- Free shipping for orders over $150 (this is the sort of thing you want to promote on your home page and at checkout to encourage users to purchase additional items)
We suggest you take a look at your competitor’s sites and see what sort of shipping charges they offer and use that as a starting point – it can always be easily adjusted later.
Multi-zone Shipping Rates
If you use a shipping company that has different rates depending on the destination, such as regional NSW, Sydney, regional VIC, Melbourne etc, your online store can be configured to calculate the appropriate shipping charge. Depending on the complexity of the zones and calculation method there may be an additional charge for setting this up for your online store. Check with you Account Manger for further details.
Domestic and International
Decide if you want to accept orders for international shipment. We can restrict orders to have a delivery address in Australia, or some/all international destinations. If you do want to ship internationally then you also need to think about how you want to charge for this. If you’re using the Australia Post option the cost will be calculated and added to the order automatically, but in the case of Flat Rate or similar, you can apply fixed rate charges or chose to advise the shopper of the delivery cost after they have placed the order.
Preparing Content for your Site
You should be thinking about the information and content you want to include on your new site, including:
- About Us page – many people question of this page is really that important. We think it is, so take a read of Writing and Effective About Us Page.
- Contact Us page – as the name suggest, you should include your address, phone number, email address and other contact information, and opening hours if relevant.
Please prepare your content using Microsoft Word or similar, and then email it to your Blaze Online account manager when it’s complete. Keep in mind that we upload site content once, and in one go, so please prepare your site content and email it all together to us rather than in multiple emails over a period of time.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
A Frequently Asked Questions page is a great way to group information about commonly asked questions in one place, that should address common questions visitors to your site will ask. Answers should be to-the-point, and should be answered in a way that provides them with comfort, and a reason to make a purchase with you.
Our article – Do your FAQs give a visitor a reason to do business with you, or go elsewhere? – provides some ideas on how to prepare Frequently Asked Questions for your site.
Examples of good FAQ pages include:
If you aren’t already doing so, you should also be thinking about product images for your site. Have you ever been to a nice looking site, but their product images just don’t cut it? You can have a great looking site, but if the product images aren’t up to scratch, visitors will be turned off your site quickly, and spend their money elsewhere.
Our article – Tips for creating photos for your website – provides some advice on ways to approach images for your site. If you’re planning to do it yourself, then it will be worthwhile investing in some basic equipment, or if you want to get a professional photographer involved, speak with your account manger at Blaze Online and they can recommend one or two options.
Preparing Products for your new Online Store
There are two ways we can upload products to your new site:
- You can upload each product individually, and if you have 20 or less products this may be the simplest and easiest way to proceed.
- If you have 20 or more products, you might find it easier to enter all product information into a spreadsheet and we’ll upload it for you. This may sound like a bit of work, but when you’re dealing with a large number of products, this is the easiest way for you to prepare and upload your products to your new site.
Visit Preparing Product for Importing to your new Online Store for information on preparing product information for uploading to you new Online Store.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]