With more consumers enjoying the convenience of online shopping, business professionals are looking to capitalize by creating ecommerce sites to reach the masses. Whether running their business strictly online or adding online shopping to their existing business, web sales are increasingly vital to a company’s success. If you’re looking to get in on the “money train,” you’re most certainly going to need to design a high-quality ecommerce platform for your customers to find you, and here’s how:
What You’ll Need
In order to run your own ecommerce site, you’re going to need several services and software. Some of the most important will include choosing the right ecommerce platform, web hosting service, shopping cart software and payment processor. Here’s a breakdown:
· Products – Above all else, before you set up an e-store you need to have a product to sell. There are plenty of options for you to choose from, whether it’s software that is downloaded onto a customer’s computer or actual products that must be shipped, you’ll need attractive products to keep the customers coming.
· Domain name – Your domain name is the name that will be used to find your website. The domain name that you choose should greatly relate to the products you’re selling.
· Web Hosting Service or Ecommerce Platform - If you’re creating your website from scratch, you’re going to need a web hosting service that will publish your e-store once you’ve designed it. You will then be responsible for creating your entire website and investing in the ecommerce add-on software you’ll need, such as a shopping cart and payment processor. However, others prefer using ecommerce platforms such as Shopify or Amazon to create their e-store. Such hosted platforms come with software and add-ons you’ll need to efficiently operate your store. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons and determine which route is best for you.
· An Interactive Website – Your website will act as your company’s virtual business card and as such, needs to leave a lasting impression. You’ll want to create a website that sums up who you are and what you have to offer in a few brief seconds. Utilizing easy to use interfaces and also incorporating some graphics and images on the site will keep shoppers interested and hopefully convert them to sales.
· Shopping Cart Software – You’ll need to have shopping cart software attached to your ecommerce site so that customers can search the inventory and select as many items as they’d like to purchase. The shopping cart software you invest in should be easy to use and should walk the shopper through the process with ease. In addition to customer assistance, the right shopping cart software should help you keep track of inventory and shipping costs. While most hosted ecommerce platforms offer such features, if you’re creating a site on your own you will need to look into various software packages to see which works best for your site.
· Payment Service Provider – You can’t very well accept cash payments for your products and services; therefore, you will need to find a merchant services provider to process your credit and debit transactions.
Once you’ve acquired all of the above, you’re ready to be open for business. The last phase of having a successful ecommerce site, of course, is marketing. You’ll need to spread the word about your products or services and watch the big bucks come rolling in.