The reasons for setting up an ecommerce website are often wide and varied, but they usually boil down to two key points; 1: You want to be a wealthy Internet mogul, and you view selling things online as the best method to achieve this, or; 2: You create an original product or service, think that traditional means of sales and distribution aren’t for you, and so opt to offer your product or service online. Selling things online, or the creation of an ecommerce website isn’t the easiest thing to do, and yet there are many things that can be incorporated into your process that will make your chances of success much higher.
You Need to Compete
Remember that you will be competing with other companies, both online and at the shopping mall, who will be offering a comparable product to yours. So how do you stand out from the crowd? Sure, it’s nice to think that your original shirts will appeal to a customer more than the ones they can find at a chain store, but with your need to cover more immediate overheads, your prices might not be so appealing. You need to remain competitive without undercutting yourself, so look at offering things like free shipping and returns (which differentiated online retailer ASOS from their competitors), and consider loyalty/bonus schemes for members (and membership comes with purchase).
Consider Your Content
You can use the confines of the online retail environment to your advantage, and come up with a web page layout and content selection that tells a story – your story, and that of your product. Be creative – it’s little things like this that have the potential to go viral and get your name out there. Think of the J Peterman catalog, which was popularized in the sitcom Seinfeld – each page contains a dramatic story about the product it features, and real effort and love has gone into this kind of content creation. It’s this sort of thing that perhaps brought the company back from bankruptcy.
Visitors Will Find You
You need to create your own buzz, or else you’ll be drifting in the Google ocean where nobody will find you. You can learn how to make and design your own website, and the way you do this will help to build your customer base. Don’t forget a social media profile, and you might also want to consider an affiliate marketing program to build your Google ranking. Try to build a mailing list as soon as possible, and send them discount codes if they refer a friend.
How Would You Like to Pay for That?
Paypal is quick and easy for a retailer to activate, and yet there needs to be more. The system is safe and secure, but remember that physical retailers can also accept cash, credit cards, checks (not that many people use these anymore), debit cards, and a multitude of payments. It’s easy enough to attach a number of different payment options to your ecommerce site, but remember that you might have to pay for the privilege, and so it will be an additional expense to consider. Don’t forget to be creative, and some websites such as Drop ‘Til You Shop come in for some heavy criticism, with Yahoo Finance describing it as, “Instead of throwing a bunch of deals up at once and giving users a certain time limit to purchase them (a la Groupon or eBay), the site posts just three deals at a time and gives shoppers mere seconds to snap them up while the price drops before their eyes. There’s just one catch — you’re competing against other shoppers to purchase products at the same time.” But morals aside, this is a fantastic example of a successful new ecommerce website!
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Guest author Marianne Ross is an online marketing enthusiast who spends most of her time online and loves to share her thoughts and articles on various channels in topics related to business, social media, marketing and SEO. If you have any question to ask from her, feel free to leave a comment below.