As a business owner you’re always trying to find new ways to make money. The Web is a great place to start, especially if you sell products and services that people love. If you’re looking for ways to access new customers then an ecommerce site is a great place to start. Follow the steps below to get started.
You know all about the competition in your locale, but what’s it like on the internet where anyone can set up a site? Do a few searches to find out what kind of competition you’re up against. You can search by general niche terms or by specific products to find the information you need. If you sell unique products or services then you’ll need to look in the general niche. It should be fairly clear how many people are out there after a few searches, and you can alter your business plan accordingly. If you’re in a highly competitive space then more of your operating budget might have to go to marketing.
You should have a pretty good idea of what your business is going to look like based on your current operations. That said, selling on the web can be quite different depending on your particular situation. Like we said above, things like competition can affect your operations. On the plus side, you probably won’t have a ton of extra overhead from the expansion to the web. Sit down with your current business numbers and your research from above to come up with a tentative plan. If you’re still unsure about the potential returns from moving online you can set up a cutoff or failure point. This is essentially a point at which you either succeed or abandon the store altogether and it can be based on money spent or profits.
The next step is to get selling! If you already have a website then you can get your web team (or whoever got the site going in the first place) to start putting the site together. You’ll need photos and descriptions of everything you’re selling, along with a shopping cart and payment processor of some kind so you can get paid. There are plenty of platforms out there to build the site on, and your developer can help advise you on the particulars. If you haven’t had a site before then you should spend time researching some local companies that can help you get set up. Once everything is up and running it’s just a matter of marketing the site to increase your sales and taking care of any customer service issues that come up.
If you haven’t expanded online then now is the time to make the move.