Stepping into the online platform is not as simple as it may sound. Entrepreneurs, businesses and other brands and organizations that create an online presence must be aware of what they plan to do? What are their goals? How much capital is involved and what must be done to keep track of the trends. All and all, to get your business into ecommerce, there are certain rules that you must follow to prevent your venture from spiraling into a costly catastrophe. In this article we have shared 7 guidelines that are imperative before any business decides to move towards selling online.
1. Understand What You Want
First off you need to understand what you want from this platform. It’s a rookie mistake amongst many businesses who move from their physical medium into the online channel without considering their stakes in the online industry. The merchant must know the demand of his products and define a niche for them. Without a demand the supply defeat its purpose.
Selling online is more than just interacting with customers and throwing a pitch, it’s also about showing them the content they are looking for before anyone else. That is why you must have a thorough keyword research along with user feedback and trends to know what they are looking for. SEO or search Engine Optimization a branch of online marketing that you can use at your advantage.
2. Set Your Budget
Allocating a budget is among the primary tasks before entering ecommerce. Now that you have set your goals and created a structural approach for your business, you can assign funds to each process before implementing them into your website. Everything from hiring resources to renting or buying a workspace, you must put all costs into the equation and create a tangible budget to dispose your funds. This will help you manage your spending and allocate the saved funds for other improvements that your might need in the future.
3. Selecting a URL
Now that your have set aside your funds according to each task, you need to set your process into order. First you must secure a domain name or URL that sits well with your brand name.
Domain can end with .com, .net, .org., but what comes before it is important. Your domain name must clearly identify your brand to prevent online users from getting confused. If your company name has already been taken in another domain then don’t hesitate to add another letter to the spelling that does not alter the pronunciation. This way you can secure the domain and keep the identity of your business through the URL. For example, if your company name is ‘Orange’, you can alter it to Orannge.com if the former is not available.
4. Website Hosting
You can get website hosting cheaper than a haircut. Hosting providers such as Bluehost give it for $2.95 a month and gladly throw in a FREE domain name with it. What you need to see is if the service can live up to the mark in the long term. You will be buying their services for years to come so you need to make sure their bandwidth, storage and hardware is technology appropriate. You don’t want a slow and logy web host that drags your online business down with it.
5. Find a Suitable Ecommerce Platform
Since you are running a business that entails selling of goods through the internet, you need to find a suitable ecommerce platform. Although creating a website from scratch is not a bad idea, it is very expensive and take a lot of time before coming into action. Even if it does, the chances of encountering bugs and small time errors remain high. Maintenance and the total cost of resources to run the website is also not very budget-friendly. The best solution to tackle this issue is opting for a suitable ecommerce platform. If you need uncompromised features with a powerful backend, then Magento is the choice for you. You can also choose from the free Community edition and the premium Enterprise edition. WooCommerce is an ideal choice for startups that are looking for cost effective online stores to begin their operations, while Shopify can be used for all types of businesses with top tier features and extensive community by your side. There are hundreds of other ecommerce platforms as well that you can choose from.
6. Managing Content
Next up is adding content to your web pages. You need to make sure that your web page content is non-plagiarized and updated on routinely basis. You can hire a dedicated content writer or outsource your tasks to companies who offer their services in writing content. Keep the product pages simple yet attractive with the help of visual content such as images, infographics, videos and banners. Images can help balance your product descriptions by adding appeal to them. This will generate healthier engagement that will invite conversions to your store.
7. Using SEO Marketing
SEO or search engine optimization is no doubt the most important part of the website building process that keep going till the end of days. SEO helps your website rank its pages to popular search engines such as Google, so that your products get maximum attention when searched on these channels. SEO is summed into several techniques that are practiced by SEO experts. These techniques can be divided into on-page and off page SEO. On page SEO is based on targeted keywords, titles, meta descriptions and image tags and blogging etc. This helps in internal linking of your website, while techniques such as guest posting, forums, commenting and Q/A etc. are off page techniques to generating back links. However, you must refrain from using black hat SEO techniques for your website if you value its performance in the long haul. Black hat techniques can easily spike up traffic temporarily, but get flagged by search engines that run by smart algorithms such as Google. This can result in dire consequences which can cost you dearly.
Building a website and then managing it is no child’s play. Through these 7 useful guidelines, you will be able to create your ecommerce website according to your own preferences and generate revenues for a healthy online store.