Starting an online business can be easy, but you need a strategy.
To start on the right track, take a look at these six major items to think about as you dive into the world of eCommerce.
Figure out what to sell online
- Do you have an amazing product that you’d like to offer to the rest of the world?
- How about a blossoming fashion line that everyone should be wearing?
Whatever the case, the first step in successfully selling online is to decide what you’ll be offering for sale. It’s important to work with products that you’re passionate about. After all, you’ll be working with them quite a bit once your online business takes off.
Also, make sure you have a way to secure your inventory, whether you’re getting it from a third-party supplier or creating it on your own.
- Don’t have any products? Don’t fret. There are multiple vendors and drop shippers that can provide various items to sell on your new online store.
Decide which eCommerce solution is best
An eCommerce solution, or shopping cart software, is the platform you’ll use to sell your products and manage your online business.
Start building your online store
Now comes the fun part – building your online store. As you become familiar with your chosen shopping cart software, you’ll start setting up your product categories and entering your inventory.
You’ll also want to start thinking about adding different pages to your new website, including information about your business, contact details, and more. You can easily launch your new online store without having everything on your website perfected – you’ll quickly learn that selling online is a dynamic work in progress. It’s also important to begin thinking about the design of your eCommerce site, as it’s critical to your success.
Even if you’re selling the most incredible product, if a customer comes to your site and is underwhelmed, they won’t trust your business or purchase from you.
Secure your domain name
A domain name is the web address where customers can find your online store. Selecting the perfect domain name for your business is very important – it’s a long-term decision that can make or break your success. Try to pick a domain name that is short, simple to remember and describes what you’re selling online.
Determine how you’ll get paid
No matter what type of product you’re selling, everyone’s in the game for one reason – to make money!
Your next decision is how to receive payment from your customers. There are a multitude of options out there depending on your business needs. Several first-time online business owners opt to use a simpler method of customer payment, such as PayPal or Google Checkout. These options can be utilized in the beginning if you’re on a tight budget.
Another option for accepting customer payment is to process credit cards directly from your online store. This allows your customers to select from several payment options, and more importantly, keeps them on your site. Credit card processing also creates a higher level of credibility for your online business.
Spread the word
To truly succeed online, it’s not enough to simply have a website. There are millions of other sites out there, all competing for the same shoppers. That’s why it’s critical to spread the word about what you’re selling online. There are tons of different ways to tell others about your new store.
Some of the quickest methods include reaching out to your friends and acquaintances. But to really stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to look to search engines for help.
Most online purchases begin with a search in a major search engine like Google, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting your piece of the pie. One quick way to boost traffic to your site is through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Based on various search terms, an ad for your online store will appear within the search results.
Regardless of what you decide, make sure you trumpet your online store to anyone that is willing to listen. You’ve worked hard to sell online – don’t be afraid to tell the world about it!
Attract new traffic to your site from search engines.