The world is getting dependent and addicted to the internet these days. With easy access to the internet on the go and the availability of internet powered mobile devices, it has led to a new craze in people. Fueled by this power, people are now spending most of their time on the internet, and a part of this time also goes to surfing the net for various products giving a new surge to eCommerce business.
If you are the one looking to trap the immeasurable potential of eCommerce with your innovative idea or product, then creating your own online store would be the best option for you. You will be able to market your product on your own terms and do proper justice to the segments you want to promote if you create your own online store. This isn’t always possible when selling on other merchant portals like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc. The thing to remember is that building your own eCommerce store isn’t that technical or difficult when you use the right online shopping cart software system.
We will now go through the basic requirements of building and running your own eCommerce store.
1. Have you found your niche brand and prepared a business model?
If you are really serious about building your own eCommerce store, then the first problem that you’ll have to face is the biggest problem of economics. ‘The problem of choice’ is one question which you will have to definitely answer and will make or mar your business.
- What will you sell?
- To whom will you sell it to?
- How will it benefit the end user?
- What will be your business model?
- Who are my competitors?
- How can I succeed over my competition?
You must have clear answers to all these questions, and if you don’t, then you aren’t yet prepared and should do more homework before starting your online business. Find the practical and reasonable answers to these questions so that you don’t regret it later. You must make a choice yourself first before you ask others to choose from what you have to offer.
2. Which kind of site are you going to build?
This is another important question that you must ponder deeply. Don’t get swayed by the fancy looking already established eCommerce portals as they have traveled a long way to reach where they are. The key to success in a new eCommerce business is to keep it subtle and easy to manage for yourself.
Keeping your site simple gives you the liberty to launch your eCommerce portal at bare minimum cost so that you can make improvements in later stages as per the requirement and result of the ROI that you are getting. In any case, the website is going to evolve as you slowly and gradually understand your clients and their needs, so why would you want to invest a lot of money at an earlystage when the focus should be on improving your return on investment and understanding what your customers want from you.
3. Which eCommerce platform are you going to use?
Yet another staggering question that you will face is what kind of eCommerce platform shall you choose? There are a lot of options available in the market, but you shouldn’t get swayed by the fancy looking eCommerce shopping cart software because they might be too difficult to handle and complicated to customize by yourself.
When choosing the right eCommerce shopping cart software keep the following points in mind:
- Is it easy to build and will you be able to customize it to fit your needs?
- Will you have to pay recurring charges or just one time fee?
- Is it PCI certified with latest requirements to accept credit cards?
- Is it mobile friendly using the latest responsive website design technology?
- Is it search engine friendly and does it support latest SEO features?
- Will it grow with you while your business expands?
If the eCommerce shopping cart software is satisfying these criteria, then you are good to go. Some shopping cart providers offer hosted-only solutions where you pay a monthly fee. Be careful if you are considering this type of soluion! The time and investment you put into your online store is where the true costs are spent. If you outgrow or become dissatisfied with your hosting provider, then you will lose all that hard work initially invested in your website. You may be hesitant to go for a sophisticated eCommerce shopping cart software application thinking that it is not meant for you, but consider the future and the evolution of your business and mostly the investment you will make. A good shopping cart provider, like AbleCommerce.com, can provide you the option to own an easily customizable eCommerce shopping cart with a one-time payment, loaded with all the required security features and latest platforms so that you can manage and expand your website easily for years to come.
4. What is going to be your marketing strategy?
Now that you have decided what to sell, chosen the domain for your eCommerce store, and customized your eCommerce shopping cart software, you are faced with the final, and possibly the most important question; how are you going to market it?
Marketing your eCommerce portal extensively will take your website a long way. Your focus should be on using correct marketing tactics and adopt a long term strategy so that your website remains at the top on the search portals. Getting good content, marketing on social media platforms and doing proper SEO of the website will greatly help in taking your website up on the search engines organically. Adwords and PPC campaigns will definitely give you the beginning push but they can be a heavy drain on your resources in the long term. So you must have the answers for the following questions:
- What is going to be your marketing strategy?
- How are you going to advertise your site?
- What kind of SEO work are you planning?
- What will be your content strategy?
5. What have you done to secure the trust of the customer?
From the customer’s viewpoint, besides the quality of the product and service you provide, their only concern is the security of the online transaction they have with you. As long as you aren’t selling the antidote for the venom injected in the consumer, he/she is likely to abandon the cart if your site cannot guarantee the safety of transaction. Always use a PCI certified eCommerce shopping cart to avoid excessive merchant fees,, and instill the confidence to the consumer by displaying the logos of security certificates obtained by your site.
Although the list of the points to be mentioned can be very long and dynamic as per the need and resources of each individual entrepreneur, the most important points to be considered are the ones mentioned here, as they will be the standalone factors forming the seeding ground to create your online store. A new business is like a newborn baby. You have to nurture, tend to and train it to stand up on its feet slowly and gradually aided by time.
If you create your eCommerce store carefully and plan everything, keeping in mind all the factors and vulnerabilities, there are high chances that you will succeed in your venture and have the opportunity to expand your online business. Remember that to reach the top floor you need to climb the ladder step by step. Just remember to keep your eCommerce site simple and easy to customize, chooe an eCommerce shopping cart software which you will own with a one-time payment, and is easily programmable and effective in use so that the customers can complete the transactions effortlessly and safely. Last, but definitely not the least, pay proper attention to the SEO part so that your site gains as much traffic as possible and as fast as possible. If you can make all this happen then the limitless world of eCommerce awaits you with open arms.