27 Jul, 2018 By Wayne Wang

Did you know 28 per cent of millennials between the age of 18 and 26 are running their own side hustle? What’s a side hustle you ask? Well, it’s essentially a business on the side that earns savvy professionals a little extra cash on top of their regular income. And there’s no wonder the popularity of side hustles is exploding when all you really need is a laptop and a decent WiFi connection!

Of course, there are lots of people running side hustles in 2018 – not just millennials – and one of the most popular choices for making a bit of extra moolah is online retail. That’s right, with ecommerce taking off in a big way, it’s never been easier and cheaper to set up an online store with all the web-based tools and hosting platforms we now have at our fingertips.

From selling art and posters, to candles, clothing and cosmetics, there’s plenty of opportunity to serve the growing number of shoppers looking for a convenient sale and something unique. So, if we’ve inspired your next adventure in the world of online retail, here are some great tips make sure you get it right.

Think of a catchy name

Yes, you’re enthusiastic but don’t jump in with both feet just to get going! Your brand name is said to be one of the top five most important factors when it comes to influencing purchase decisions – so give it some careful thought.

Whether it’s one word or a few, the name of your online store should do a great job at reflecting the products, image and all-round vibe you’re trying to create to entice your target customers. Why not test a few among your friends, family or ideal customers first?

The “About” page

Believe it or not, people will actually read your “about” page; and here’s why. Customers are so much more resilient to traditional marketing messages and techniques than they used to be – or at least, they’re increasingly sceptical when it comes to being told what’s best for them! Today, customers prefer to buy from brands they feel a real connection with, which means they want to know the ins and outs of your brand story, ethics and values.

So, if you have a motivating start up story, share it; or, if you’re using profits to do some good in the world, let everyone know about it. All these details will do wonders for your sales and social following.

Include detailed product descriptions and don’t scrimp on images!

Think about it this way; as an online retailer your biggest competitors are not just other online retailers but good old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar stores too. Here, customers can pick up products and examine their every detail before committing to a purchase – and this puts your online store at an immediate disadvantage if your product descriptions are a little skinny and lacklustre.

On the other hand, detailed, engaging and compelling descriptions could easily do a better job at driving a sale than products sitting idle on a shelf. What’s more, with the human brain being hard wired to respond to visual stimulation and messaging, ensure your descriptions are always accompanied by a few sleek shots.

How to order and return

Before any customer commits to a purchase online, they’ll want to be absolutely sure they’ll have a painless shopping experience from the moment they click “Purchase” to when goods arrive at their door. The problem is, many retailers don’t help themselves when they leave out those easy details.

To put a potential customer’s mind at ease, make it clear how they can make a purchase, what the delivery options are and how they can make a return if required. Indeed, speed of delivery and ease of returns is said to be two of the most important factors when it comes to choosing an online retailer.

Be contactable. Be present.

Nothing gives customers peace of mind more than knowing there are real people behind an online store front – people who are always on hand to offer support or help them out of a potential jam. After all, no one wants to run the risk of being left high and dry when the wrong product turns up!

Always ensure your contact details are clearly located on your website along with as many communication channels as you can muster. These might include your Facebook page, telephone number, email address or a link to an online enquiry form.