E-commerce is one of the most popular activities performed today. It refers to any transaction of a commercial nature which is perfomed over the Internet. E-commerce covers a wide variety of enterprise types. Examples of these are retail websites, auction sites, music and video purchasing platforms as well as online exchanges. The ability to conduct cross-border business is one of the most powerful aspects of the Internet. Having started in the 1960s on Value Added Networks (VAN), e-commerce is now a very lucrative online venture. Entrepreneurs are always being encouraged to start up an e-commerce business. By doing so, they can sell their products or services to consumers all over the world. Thus, e-commerce has very high potential for massive revenue and healthy profit margins. Here is how to build a successful e-commerce business from scratch and make it profitable.
How to build a successful e-commerce business from scratch
Get a domain name for your e-commerce website
There are more than 1 billion websites on the Internet and each one has a unique name. This identifier is known as the domain name. It is a descriptive name that people can use to search for your e-commerce site in search engines such as Google. It is also the official name of your online enterprise. There are online platforms that sell domain names and hosting for websites. A popular example is GoDaddy. You can get a domain name on this platform for less than $10.00. It should describe exactly what your business is about and also be catchy enough for your consumers to remember. However, do not over think this name and waste precious time in this step. It is the foundation of your e-commerce business website.
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Perform the actual web development
This is the process of building your e-commerce website so it has the features which you want your consumers to utilize. Today, there are two ways to develop an e-commerce website. The first is through traditional coding and webpage development. You can do this on your own or with the assistance of a professional web developer. The other option is using an online web builder tool. Modern hosting platforms often provide website owners with an online tool that they can use to build their websites by picking, dragging and dropping website elements. Examples of such platforms are Shopify or WordPress. The website builders are so easy to use and do not require any prior training or special skills. Moreover, they provide you with e-commerce plugins to help your customers buy items from your online business. You can use any of the two methods to construct your e-commerce website.
Get the paperwork for your e-commece business
Despite being a virtual shop, your enterprise still needs to be registered in the real world. This is for purposes such as taxation and legal recognition. Therefore, make sure that you register your e-commerce business, get a license as a vendor and invest in the necessary insurance cover for your enterprise. You can seek the advice of a professional attorney in this step. This process will cost you money. However, it is a necessary investment in the future of your e-commerce business.
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Launch your e-commerce website
After completing all the preliminary steps in creating a foundation for your e-commerce business website, it is time to launch it. Take it live by publishing it with your hosting service and making the domain name active. By this point, it should have a homepage, a page about your e-commerce business and a contact page too. You should take it live even if you do not have any products currently added into it. Moreover, it does not have to be beautiful and stunning on its launch. There are a number of reasons why this is the case. Firstly, when you have a live e-commerce website. You will have much more success with potential vendors. This is because you will have a tangible website to present to them. This boosts your credibility. Secondly, you will be able to link back to your site easily. This is a key SEO strategy. The official launch is the capstone step of building a successful e-commerce business.
How to make your e-commerce business profitable
Focus on user-friendliness
An e-commerce business is very different from a traditional brick and mortar establishment. Your users cannot touch, feel and physically inspect your merchandise. Therefore, you have to overcome this challenge with information and convenience. Provide them with cost-effective pricing. Add incentives for purchase such as free shipping, an easy check-out process and the ability to accept various types of online payment. By doing this, you improve the user experience and your consumers are likely to keep coming back to your e-commerce business. Repeat purchases are a great stimulant of profit in an e-commerce business.
Promote your e-commerce business in social media
Today, the world meets on social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are meeting places where more than a billion people catch up to exchange messages, pictures and videos. Social media platforms are the perfect place to promote your e-commerce business. You can even create a page for it and request your current and future social media friends to like it and shop there too. Social media is also a great spot to get the opinions of your target market. You can learn what they like or don't like about your business on these platforms. Along these lines, you can add social media activation buttons in your e-commerce business website.
Examples of these are follow buttons, like buttons and even the option for your visitors to log into your e-commerce business using their social media credentials. Social media promotion and activation is actually a strategy of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Therefore, it is a crucial step to perform. The more people know about your e-commerce business, the more revenue you are likely to make and the healthier your profit margin will be.
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Ensure that your website is dynamic and can be accessed on mobile devices
Majority of people access the Internet through their smartphones and tablets. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to ensure that your e-commerce business website can easily be viewed on the various displays of these mobile devices. A website that can do this is known as a dynamic site. Ensure that your e-commerce business is dynamic so as to capture the mobile shoppers too.
The Important Take Away
E-commerce is multi billion dollar industry. Entrepreneurs today can make a handsome profit by investing in it. The steps to build a successful e-commerce business website and how to make it profitable are indicated above. Are you interested in conducting business on the World Wide Web? Read the guidelines above and get a headstart in this promising business horizon.
Finally, here are two resources that we highly recommend if you're serious about ecommerce and dropshipping :
1. The best shop builder we recommend is Shopify. Their technology, customer service and the variety of ecommerce solutions they offer are simply unmatched.