Today we are living in a digital world, which means having your business online is one of the ways to see your profits soar. However, not all online stores are built the same. If you have come to the conclusion that you are going to launch an eCommerce site, you want to make sure that you set it up and launch it appropriately to ensure success.
What You Will Need
Starting an eCommerce site is fairly simple, but requires some knowledge and work. All online business owners will need a domain name, web host, and then a website. Once you have the basics, you will need an eCommerce platform for your sales to take place.
Research the Platform
When you are in the planning stages of your online store, you want to make sure you research the various platforms to use. There are two main styles of platforms, hosted and self-hosted.
With hosted platforms, you will pay your web host or server for the software.
However, if your host does not offer eCommerce software, consider purchasing self-hosted software and then put it on your site.
The benefits with hosted software is the host will be able to help diagnose problems, preventing your store from going down for long periods of time.
Key Elements Necessary
To increases chances for success with your eCommerce store, there are a few key elements that you must have on your site to encourage people to browse and make purchases.
These will include:
- Easy to view product pictures and descriptions
- Easy to use shopping cart
- Clear return policies
- Protected purchasing methods
- Ability to shop whenever you want
Starting with the images, make sure you have a very clear picture of the product. You will also want to try taking pictures from various angles because your customer will not be able to pick it up to examine it.
Please make sure to use a balance with your pictures on a web page because people demand things immediately, so they will not wait around for a picture to load.
Don’t forget to add a description to your products so customers can learn more about your offer
Successful stores will also have a shopping cart mechanism to add and process products they buy.
You will also need to have a variety of payment methods. One of the key methods to have available is PayPal or Authorize.net
Always make sure that you are very clear in the purchase process and allow people to save their cart.
Finally, do not have any distractions in the shopping cart, or you have a greater chance of a purchase not being completed. This also means make sure you have strong calls to action so your consumers know exactly what you want them to purchase and why.
The final element to a successful online store is your ability to promote the products. Provide tools on your product web pages to easily post product reviews and the ability to share across social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
The easier it is for people to share what they like with others, the more successful you will be.
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