To set up a simple online shop is something that many small businesses are now considering, with a new ethos of working from home. Rather than pay a fortune for yearly hosting, it’s easier to just set up a site with WordPress hosting and a domain name at LCN (around £50 a year), then choose a free shop software (below). Take a trip to Beautiful Dawn on how to keep your blog secure (Updraft is a good free plug-in, and download Really Simple SSL to make give you the needed ‘padlock’ in the URL address). Many customers won’t buy from sites that don’t have this as it will say ‘your site is unsecure’.
Setting up an online shop is not about encouraging people to ‘buy stuff they don’t need’. But increasingly we are seeing small artisans wishing to make a living from home, by selling everything from homemade cakes to zero waste gifts. See the small business category for more on choosing a pretty theme.
- See You On The Internet is a book by a digital marketing leader. Learn how to launch an online shop in hours, and market it effectively in 5 simple steps. Build your brand, increase your customers and earn more revenue. The book includes tips on design, SEO, social media, email marketing and online ads.
- Bluchic (also at Creative Market) offers nice themes that work with free online shop software). Ideal for small business, the three latest themes are specifically for service or retail shops. These are really nice, take a look.
- WooCommerce is a popular plugin to add to WordPress (the basic version is free). Just download to set up a new store in minutes. You get secure payments, configurable shipping options and more. Creative Market offers over 300 eCommerce WordPress themes, set up to work with plugins.
- Payhip a popular way to sell digital downloads, whether that’s a recipe book or music download. It’s easy to set up, and you can offer discount codes and ask others to promote you, as affiliates (they get a share of your profits).
- Jimdo is a new type of online website. Created in Germany, just sign up and get a simple website with a store built-in. You can upload product photos, add your info and create a modern professional online shop in no time. You host the site but there are no transaction fees and you get beautiful layouts, flexible variants and convenient payment methods.