Consumers spend millions of dollars each year shopping online and the trend isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon. In fact, online shopping is predicted to triple in the next decade. Corporations aren’t the only ones taking advantage of this phenomenon. Individuals all over the country are opening online storefronts and reaping the benefits of online shopping. Running a successful business online isn’t a pipe dream. It’s easier than ever to do with all of the online resources available.
Once you’ve decided on a product (or products) to sell and you’ve researched the competition, the hardest part to opening an online storefront is knowing where to begin. Luckily, there are tons of resources available to facilitate the process.
The Domain Name
Purchasing a domain name is the first step in opening an online storefront. Your website will become a staple in your marketing so choose a name that will describe your product, appeal to consumers, and be unique all at the same time. It’s not as hard as it sounds. You are no longer limited to the .com. When choosing a domain name consider the use of it. For instance, .org implies you are a non-profit and .biz implies you are a for-profit. Others are: .info (used for sites strictly providing information), .me (useful for bio sites) and .us imply you are a U.S. based company.
Next, hire a webmaster to create an ecommerce website using the domain name you have purchased. Designing a bold and graphic website isn’t the only thing your webmaster should be concerned with. Choosing the correct ecommerce platform is just as important. It will not only make your life easier but will give your customers the payment options they seek so keep that in mind. You will be limited in sales if you limit the options consumers have to pay, so make it easy for people to pay in as many ways as possible.
Marketing Your Products on Social Media
While you are waiting for your site to be built, it is a great idea to begin selling your product(s) through social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter or Fiverr.com; or online platforms such as Etsy, EBay or Craigslist. Tracking trends for your product will be easier to do because you’ll see where traffic is coming from and which online resource is benefiting your sales. Once you have your store opened, you will be that much ahead of the game.
Promoting Your Online Store
Once your website is complete, now it’s time to promote your online store. This will be a little easier to do since you’ve already begin to sell your products through social networking sites and online platforms. Include your website address on these sites to draw traffic to it. Don’t rely on the search engines to promote your site for you and don’t expect traffic to boom overnight. Nothing will happen if you aren’t promoting your online storefront.
The Brand – Build It
Build your brand. New products are introduced online by the thousands every single day. You will have a harder time competing if you don’t build your brand to set you apart from the rest. Your brand should be an attention getter and can be something as simple as a catchy logo or a simple character that can be associated with your product.
Mobile Marketing – Success Mantra
Finally, expand your online storefront a mobile app if applicable. Believe it or not, consumers are finding it even easier to shop online from their cell phones or tablets. In fact, it is becoming more and more common for people to do all of their online business from their cell phone. Some analysts have even posited that the heyday of laptops and desktop computers are is slowly waning. Creating a mobile app so that shoppers can access from these devices is a win-win for everyone.
Know Your Guest Author:
Ryan Franklin is a marketer, writer, and small business owner who writes on behalf of Ordoro. Click here to learn more about Ordoro’s helpful order management software.