It can be both exciting and nerve-racking to begin your very own online store for the very first time. Naturally, you'll feel even more intimidated if you're not prepared or guided accordingly. Thus, it's important to learn as much as you can while building your website before you even launch your business to the public.
One of the most essential parts of setting up your online store is configuring your general settings. Check out these 12 important elements you'll need to give importance to:
Columns and Numbers
In the general settings, you'll often come across areas where you can pick out the number of columns that will appear on particular pages such as in each category page, in the related products section, and in the up-sell products portion. You'll also be asked to specify numbers of items in various pages.
How can you tell which are the ideal numbers? For one, the figures can depend on how many products you're offering. For instance, you can't have too few items on one page if you have tons of other items. Naturally, it's also not good to put too many together as it will appear crowded and won't be as appealing. To help you decide, it would be good to go through both small and big online stores and see which ones seem more attractive and helpful to you as a potential buyer.
Invoice and Account
You ought to pay attention to which items will appear on the invoice given to a customer. The invoice and packing slip print-outs needs to be well-organized in order to avoid conflicts and other problems. You can decide on how the different elements included here such as product name, quantity, and warehouse location will be sorted.
Meanwhile, it's also vital to properly arrange the things that will appear on each customer's "My Account" screen. This way, there's no confusion and they'll find it easy and convenient to monitor their purchases, billings, etc.
Time and Currency
Orders might be delayed or missed out on if your regional time settings are not correctly fixed. If your online store is open worldwide, shoppers who visit must be aware of the actual time in your location so they can be informed of when their orders were received or processed.
Moreover, you must set the default currency for your store. If your target market is local, then there won't be any problem. But if not, you might want to set a standard such as the use of US dollars. Don't worry because chances are you'll be able to offer a currency conversion tool for your customers for their convenience.
Home Page Settings
Think of your home page as the façade of a physical shop. It's the first thing that prospective buyers see. This is why when you go to a mall, you'll find enthralling display windows which seem to draw you in. In the same way, your home page should have the same effect.
Which products would you like to be featured as home specials? How would you want your categories and subcategories to appear? Should you hide "Browse by Price" and "Browse by Manufacturer" buttons? These are just some of the questions you'll need to deal with in fixing your home page settings and optimizing this welcome area for your store visitors.
When you enter a boutique, would you rather see several clothes on mannequins and displayed separately or do you want all the clothes folded up in shelves? When you're configuring product settings, you have to determine the sizes of pictures and which details will immediately be shown. You need to decide if you'll use a dropdown image option and if you'll show the "Email a friend" tab.
There are numerous settings that you must take care of when it comes to your products. After all, these are the most crucial "content" of your store. So be careful when making your choices. And of course you can always change these options later on.
The store URL is your store's address on the Internet. It's utilized for your main site navigation and will thus play a huge role in attracting traffic and being easily recalled by web users. Thus, you should definitely not underestimate this element.
As much as possible, don't use numbers and hyphens in the URL. Also avoid words that can be spelled in different ways, unless that's really the name of your business. These can just cause confusion when a potential customer types in your store address. Keep it as simple as possible.
Keeping track and managing your inventory is no easy feat. It's very time-consuming and can be taxing too. Hence, it's important to go with an ecommerce builder that offers automated inventory management. When you configure your general settings, keep inventory in mind too.
For example, we allow our merchants to choose if they want to hide a certain item or simply show "Out of Stock" when the stock reaches zero. They can also decide to use a waiting list when there's no more stock for a particular product.
Would you like your customers to be able to search for specific items within your store? Then you'll need to enable the store search box and configure it accordingly. You might want to add an advanced search option wherein store shoppers can arrange particular settings as necessary.
Have you ever received a system-generated email when you ordered or bought something online? This is another essential but often overlooked part of general settings that you have to consider. It's a great way to keep in touch with consumers, remind them of interrupted or unpaid orders, and inform them of order statuses (which is part of good customer service). Therefore, you must carefully go through your email settings too.
The checkout part is highly valuable because it's where the actual sale happens. It would be good to enable the single click checkout option in order to present a hassle-free process. This way, shipping and billing info are shown on the same page.
For checkout settings, you'll need to take into account email confirmation, password requirement, and many more. Those included in the process of adding items to the shopping cart and saving carts are also part of the checkout settings.
Do you think it's effective to display your top selling items on the home page or even in category pages? If your answer is yes, then better enable the top sellers option in your general settings and also indicate how many you want to be included and the days of top sellers history among other considerations.
Aside from top sellers, it can also be helpful to display your new releases. After all, you want these to swiftly move up to your list of sellable products. In order to propel their popularity, you also have to configure the settings for these items.
Being aware of these 12 elements to be thought of when going through your general settings, at least you're assured that you won't forget any of the most essential settings for your online store.
3dcart makes it a breeze for new merchants to handle these matters. If you still get lost along the way, don't worry because you can always consult our support team's knowledgebase for guidance or even contact us if you need to. We're always ready, willing, and able to hold your hand every step of the way!