Sep 10, 2013

Design Tips for a Successful Antiques Ecommerce Website

Do you love spending your weekend travelling to estate sales and small villages in search of hidden vintage treasures? Is your storage space already overflowing with porcelain teacups and velvet art? It might be time to start thinking about monetizing your hobby by creating an online art and antiques shop. Creating an ecommerce business may be easier than you think. However, it’s important to set up a well-designed, user friendly website to maximise your profits. The following are a few design tips to keep in mind as you get started.

Website Hosting Solutions

If you already have a source of quality inventory, then the next step is to create a secure website in order to sell it. Many people choose to sell antiques online on auction websites like eBay, but you can create a customised ecommerce shop of your very own if you choose to sign up for a hosted platform. This can oftentimes be more convenient than eBay, because it functions more like a brick and mortar shop. You retain control of when and how your items are sold, and the host service provides you with a fully functional content management system. This allows you to register a domain name, choose from various templates, process orders, and track your inventory.

High Quality Images

Whether you choose to sell art online or solely antiques, it’s vital to take high quality photographs of your wares. Some antique pieces may be in need of a little TLC before they are photographed. It’s worth cleaning and restoring each piece when feasible and shooting it in flattering light. Photo editing apps can be used to make each piece look its best, for posting in your online catalogue.

Listings and Descriptions

Along with high quality photographs, you’ll also need to take the time to research and write an accurate product description. This can be time-consuming, but it will enable your customers to find exactly what they are looking for. It’s helpful to put a search bar at the top of your site so that they can enter descriptive phrases or words.

Streamlined Checkout Systems

Finally, when designing an online antiques website, you’ll want to use a secure shopping cart system. The payment and checkout area will ideally only take up one page rather than involve multiple steps, and will also give clients the option of storing their data for later purchases. There are numerous payment gateways to choose from. Many eBay sellers work with Paypal as a default, but when you use a hosted ecommerce platform you can choose from virtually any payment system. This allows you to accept debit and credit card payments as well as electronic forms of payment.

Hosting, descriptions, and shopping carts are a few of the most important features to work into your ecommerce website. With these systems in place, all you need to do is source and list your antiques to make a sale. For the art and antique enthusiast, this can be a fun and rewarding business venture.

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