It’s no secret that selling your products or services online, rather than just following the brick and mortar model, can generate a significant increase in sales for your business. To make E-Commerce sites a successful endeavor, however, it is important for you to take a strategic approach and cover all your bases.
Establishing an E-Commerce site is not an easy task. It requires well-developed skills, lots of time, and some serious dedication to show your true business potential to the world. This web-based portal can be the key that you need to unlock the true potential of your business.
Preparation for Starting E-Commerce Sites
Before you get started, it’s essential for you to lay the groundwork carefully. Here are a few steps that you should follow to make sure you are starting off in the right direction:
- Conduct a thorough market analysis – You must be fully aware of your niche to understand the market needs.
- Competition analysis – Next, you’ll need to scope out your competitors. Conduct a review of their sites and check out what they are doing right, as well as what they are doing wrong.
- What’s trending – Do a scan of the web to find out what’s trending in industry news related to your business and make sure you stay on top of the latest.
Once you’ve run through the above steps and developed a clear and better understanding of your area of focus, then you can take the next steps like allocating budget, organizing a business summary or plan and devising a business policy that will lead to success in the virtual marketing system. Now that you have laid the foundation, here are a few tips to get your E-Commerce site off the ground.
Marketing and Product Definition
Now you need to decide whether you want to market your own product or if it would be more effective to subscribe to an affiliate program (or multiple affiliate programs). Affiliate programs help give you another outlet to market your products, without a lot of the effort. The most popular affiliated programs to consider for your business are Amazon.com and eBay.
Or you can go the self-made route and do your own marketing. This means selling the products directly from your site and not having to pay commission to eBay or another affiliate for their assistance in ensuring that your products or services find their way to your consumers. Saving that commission percentage is great, but make sure you have a marketing plan in place and don’t forget to optimize your site to be easily found by your target market. Expect to invest a little more heavily here, but your efforts can be a lot more targeted and you can add more variety to your marketing actions as well.
Determine the Best Keywords
Keywords help you to get your website in front of the right audience and help your online marketing campaign to become more visible. While algorithm updates by Google have made it tougher to determine what keywords are working for your site, there is still hope. You can make use of Google AdWords to find the most relevant and appropriate keywords for your business. Once you have some insight here, make sure you are using these (appropriately) within webpage text, blog posts, titles, meta descriptions and other areas on your site.
Choose an Attractive Name
Choosing a catchy and funky name for your website increases the chances that it will get glued to your customers’ minds. For good branding purposes, you can use keywords for your website’s title. It will not only help your customers to remember the name but it will also optimize your website’s presence for better search ranking. Now that you have your marketing plan in place, and you’ve got a catchy name to go with it, you need to offer a platform for customers to be able to make purchases. That’s where the shopping cart comes into play.
To monitor your products, track sales and enable your customers to shop with convenience, you need an application to make the process more reliable. There are many shopping cart options available for this purpose. The most popular ones are OpenCart, eShop, Magento and ZenCart. When you decide on which shopping cart is most suitable for your business, the next thing to consider is integrating your website with a safe and reliable payment system. Consumers are wary of systems that don’t offer a high level of trust, which can lead to lower sales. The most popular option, perhaps, is PayPal, a credit card processing and bank transfer system that allows your customers to choose which method of payment they desire. But there are many options out there, so do your research and choose the one that is right for you.
In a nutshell, to develop an E-Commerce site, you need to come up with accurate planning that incorporates easy to navigate and user-friendly features to appeal to your specific target audience. Moreover, to keep your potential customers and clients engaged with your brand, you should maintain a blog on your website, which can provide useful information about the products and services offered by you, as well as serve to promote your expertise in your particular industry. This will help your website to be more effective in encouraging your users to return to help drive increased, targeted traffic.
Anaida Robert – Content Developer at Genetech Solutions