Making Your Mark on Ecommerce
If you are still dreaming about opening your first web-based business, it’s time to get to work. It’s not difficult to get started online, but staying there and becoming successful require time, patience, and diligence. There’s a lot to consider, and it’s up to you to make good choices now to lay a solid foundation for your business’s future. Read on for more.
The pros and cons
There are numerous benefits to starting your own web store. The power to control your income is key among these. But if you’re thinking that job flexibility is another perk, you are probably wrong, at least in the beginning while you get yourself set up. Starting a business takes work, and it’s a hands-on obligation that requires your input even in areas that you don’t directly have a hand in creating. Your website is one example.
Tech tools are essential
Unless you are an accomplished web designer, your first step in launching your business is to find someone who is. Your customers’ experiences can make or break your business. For this reason, you must have an intuitive website and dynamic online presence with your social media, industry profiles, and business sites blending together seamlessly. Consider hiring a web designer who can handle the technical details for you. If you can’t afford a full-time, onsite employee, Upwork recommends searching online for experienced full-time, part-time, and recurring web designers — particularly those who specialize in HTML5, which is essential if you want to incorporate multimedia into your website. The ideal candidate should be knowledgeable in various design platforms, educated in web fundamentals, and experienced in engaging user interface design, among other important skills.
If you would rather use an out-of-the-box web design for your online platform, there are options for that, too. CodeinWP recently listed the features of some of the most popular platforms including Shopify. While many offer a range of features, they are not without their flaws. One of these is that they may not be fully able to handle custom products. When you sell commissioned pieces, such as unique jewelry or party decor, your best bet is to design your own website from scratch, so that your customers do not get frustrated from having to call you mid-order to clarify their wants and needs.
Online marketing is another technological consideration that can help you catapult your business to the spotlight. Keep in mind that as an ecommerce business, you are going up against larger sites like Amazon and Walmart, which undeniably dominate the world of online sales. However, as Sellbrite explains, there are many ways to market your ecommerce business. These include forming partnerships with complementary companies, utilizing SEO best practices, and providing your customers with content they will want to read.
No matter how you choose to market, make sure to avoid mistakes such as using other people’s content and making your website hard to navigate with superfluous features like drop-down menus and add-on gadgets that bog your site down.
The shipper’s conundrum
Finally, when you begin taking orders, it pays to know ahead of time how you plan to pack and ship your products. For most packages up to 70 pounds, the US Postal Service will be your best bet and is typically considered a great value on services from ground through express. FedEx and UPS are more expensive but can get you through time-critical shipments and may become more viable alternatives as your volume increases.
There’s no denying that starting a business is tough, and you will face challenges. But do not let these obstacles stop you from making your mark on the world of ecommerce. You can do it, but only if you try. The above tips can help you get started.
Credit: Dean Burgess