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Published on June 26th, 2017 | by James D. Burbank

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Should you Start Selling Stuff Online?

People find it more and more tempting to launch an eCommerce website. The industry has been thriving for several years (NRF estimates an 8-12% growth of online retail in 2017 in US only), so it’s a great field to get into. There are enough tools and resources laid out ever for the beginners in eCommerce. However, besides the strong desire to succeed and good work ethic, there are many questions to be answered and many steps to be taken in order to get everything to work together. Should you start selling things online or not?

Do you have a product?

Without a good product, your efforts will be futile. First, you need to find a product to sell. Do a market research, find which products are trending, look for product ideas and opportunities, and find the products you’d like to sell. Next, evaluate your product ideas – both the product and the target market. If the evaluation turns promising, find a way to obtain your products.

Do you know how to launch an eCommerce platform?

An eCommerce business can’t be run without an online selling platform. The platform on which your site is can pose as a supporting or tormenting obstacle, depending on whether you’ve made the right choice. Choosing an outdated, not professionally supported, unnecessarily customized, and underdeveloped eCommerce platform can make the whole endeavor very frustrating.

What you need is to establish functionality for yourself (representing the management area) and the visitor. You can opt for outsourcing web development services for a custom website, or a cheaper (but not less quality and secure option) WooCommerce platform (a WordPress eCommerce combo is especially great) which allows people with less technical abilities, considering platform support, to run an eCommerce site successfully. Your eCommerce website should provide the best user experience, from the home page to the checkout section.

Do you know the basics of modern web design?

Minimalistic web designs are the weapon of choice of many major companies. Minimalistic requires simpler design, more blank space, and fewer pages. It suggests placing two-dimensional images, lots of open space, and bright colors. Get professional photos of your business and working team, instead of stock photography (which will turn your eCommerce site into a mediocre one). Another important thing to have in mind is that your website should be mobile-friendly, because Millennials use their smartphones and tablets to make online purchases. According to many statistic results, more than half of online sales today are made through hand-held devices.

Do you know how to listen?

Running an online business means that there’s no face-to-face communication with customers. However, you will definitely start hearing from them the day you launch, and you should listen. The feedback you’ll receive from your customers should be your guideline to improve your business. They’ll point out things that you may have never thought of. React quickly after considering their suggestions, and continuously upgrade your eCommerce site. Also, when your customers notice that you’re listening, you’ll foster brand loyalty and create much deeper ties with them.

Do you know your SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is used for making a website stand out from the crowd. If you have your website come out on the first page of Google search, after someone type in the right keyword, be sure that your conversion rates will explode. Millions of websites are competing for clicks today, so your site should be well-optimized for search. Find an SEO expert to help you or follow an SEO guide for eCommerce sites (in case you’re able to learn and execute it properly), and it will launch your online shop to the top. Ranking higher than the industry competitors on Google search engine is an absolute must.

Do you know your social media?

We all know how to use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but what about leveraging their power for raising brand awareness? Social media is a part of your customers’ everyday lives, and it can be used for different purposes, from driving traffic to your website to building an online community. Do you have a social media strategy? Reaching your target audience has never been easier, thanks to social media, so make sure you don’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime.

Building an eCommerce business is a hard task. You need to find the right product, evaluate the business idea, build an eCommerce site, launch it, build a brand, reach to your customers, and grow sales. However, with enough resources and guidelines, you should have a clear roadmap to building a successful online shop.


About the Author

James D. Burbank has spent years travelling the world while in the trade show industry. Back in the days when phone apps included a calculator and a calendar. If you have the time, check out his blog, BizzMarkBlog.


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