The number of smartphones and tablets exceeded the world’s population as people want to stay online wherever they may be. People not only chat, share pictures, read news, but also do shopping online. That’s why the internet is great for business. The first reason for launching a shopping website can be expressed in the language of economics – demand breeds supply.
The Internet gives an opportunity to reach customers across borders and oceans. Transportation technology has leaped forward and thus shrunk our world. You don’t have to meet people to sell your goods. If you are an owner of a brick and mortar store or a wholesaler, you definitely would like to acquire a new sales channel to bring your products to market.
Online commerce is a modern gold rush erased like a spontaneous phenomenon. The startup costs are relatively low. You need to invest money in a domain name and hosting to get started. E-commerce prospectors, don’t be misleading about it, business is business even if it is run online.
Do you want to get what Internet business can give you? – Get ready to work.
Pay attention to the strategy and plan before you will start an online store
Many have come to an understanding of unlimited opportunities of the Web, however, it’s hard to figure out how to plot the route. Think carefully the whole strategy and every step of your e-business. You shouldn’t start an online store unless you’ve looked into principles of e-commerce and considered priorities for action.
Having a plan certainly is not a guarantee of success, but the strategy makes it possible to see your project development in dynamics, identify areas of weakness before you will start acting.
Planning points to create online store:
- Market – determine your target audience (who are your customers?), market size (is it enough attractive?), competitors (do you know all of them?)
- Offer – describe the value of your offer. What amount of the product or services and at what price are you ready to offer your customers?
- Resources – What skills do you need starting an online boutique? How much time and money are you ready to spend?
- Online business subtleties – Develop a content management plan. Where do you get content and images? Also, consider inventory, payment methods, shipping and delivery terms and conditions, terms of return.
- Promotion – Prepare keywords, outline SEO strategy, marketing and social media plans.
The options available to make an online store
When you’ve prepared the plan of actions it’s time to consider options to sell online. Create a website by yourself? Hire web-designers? Or maybe sell on marketplaces like eBay? Here is information on available ways of selling online so you can make a decision.
There is no doubt you’ve heard about Amazon or eBay or even bought something there. Millions of online shoppers buy different things with these services which means it can be a significant sales channel for almost any business. To sell products on marketplaces you need to setup a seller account even without creating a website.
Despite the many benefits of selling on marketplaces get ready to a list of fees and limitations. Be ready to an astronomical level of competition.
Open source ecommerce software
If you have time and skills or willingness to learn the core of HTML and CSS programming you can give open source ecommerce software a run. Or you can hire a developer to do the work for you. Anyway, each stage of building the online storefront is under your control. The design of the site is limited only by your imagination.
But keep in mind, it is up to you to host the website, to ensure its security and smooth functioning, to update latest versions. You are responsible not only for your business but also for the operation of the site.
Use a one stop solution such as Getsocio. It is the best option to make a website and start selling online as quickly as a flash. You sign up and get a ready to go package for a fixed monthly cost – hosting, shopping cart, maintenance, support without any technical skills. All you have to do is to add content and you are ready to sell.
Modern times demand transferring of part of a business to virtual environment. In today’s winning formula the rate plays an essential role. Here you can create online shopping cart in a few minutes.
There are many companies that offer hosted ecommerce software. So many companies, so many differences.
Points to focus on with hosted ecommerce software:
- M-commerce – Is there a mobile-version of the site? It’s must-have for any modern online business.
- Additional fees – Are you sure you know all fees?
- Limitations of packages – How many goods can you place on the site?
Example costs to expect as you build a shop on the Internet
The following information gives an overall picture of how much does it cost to create an online store. It is based on experience of customers who opened online shops with Getsocio.
Domain name – 10$ for a .com.
SSL certificate – included in a pricing plan.
Hosting – included in a pricing plan.
Website – depends on pricing plan you choose. Getsocio starts at 15$/month.
Payment integration – included.
SEO – included.
Email list management software – 11$/month.
One time costs such as design, customization and content depend on your budget. You can start small and do everything by yourself or pay a designer to customize and add content for you.
General eBusiness costs
Any business requires costs. To avoid many mistakes a business owner should understand the real picture of revenue and expenditure items. Don’t forget about traditional costs such as human resources, taxes, cost of goods, logistics.