The e-commerce business is thriving. With over 4 billion active internet users, every business person is looking at leveraging this opportunity by establishing an online store. While creating a website seems easy, running an e-commerce company is not a walk in the park. You have to get it right from the word go. Wondering how to go about it? Well, we have compiled some tips to help you set up an e-commerce business from scratch.
Create a nice E-commerce site
If you are tech-savvy, this should be quite easy. You can spare hours or days to come up with your website. You can use some of the best e-commerce Content Management Systems (CMS) in the market to help you build a nice website faster. Some of the best e-commerce CMS platforms in the market are the likes of WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify, etc. However, if you are not, you should not worry. There are several good website builders in the market. A good example is Wix, a platform that enables people to create beautiful and highly functional but simple e-commerce sites from scratch.
Get a domain name
If you care about protecting your online business from copyrights, building credibility, and increasing awareness, registering your domain name is a must-do as you delve into the e-commerce business. Take time to find the right name that will represent your brand in the long term, and then you can proceed to register it. Remember, you can either register a name that has not been registered before or acquire a registered one from the person who owns it.
- Allocate a small budget for a paid domain to get the best features. With free domains, you do not have ownership of the site, you will get poor SEO rankings, and have limited bandwidth.
Find your audience
You are probably wondering why this is important, yet there are over 4 billion internet users? Well, the truth is not everyone on the internet is going to see, let alone buy your product. You need to find out who would be interested in your product and where they can be found. For example, if you are selling cosmetics, you need to understand at least the lifestyle and behavior of people in the beauty industry. Having the right audience will help you strategize effectively.
Obtain a secure SSL certificate
This is an essential step when setting up an online business. With cybersecurity becoming pervasive in the digital world, investing in an SSL certificate is the way to go. SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer, and logins. In essence, SSL ensures secure transactions from a web server to a browser. There are lots of SSL vendors in the market. You just have to pick the best type of SSL for your store.
- SSL certificates can also help increase your search ranking, increasing visibility, enhancing customer trust, thus converting new visitors to customers. As you know, high SEO ranking is good for your online business.
Build a proper tech infrastructure
When you venture into the e-commerce business, you will be handling a lot of information and sensitive data, i.e., customers’ credit card details. You will also need to manage your inventory, manage your network and servers, handle procurement, etc. All these can be quite tasky and time consuming without the help of technology. Hiring an IT team, on the other hand, can be quite expensive for a startup. Well, you outsource IT support management services at a lower cost and still enjoy professional services. This way, you will not worry about cyber-attacks, network & server optimization, or any other IT services needed to run your online store.
Secure an internet merchant account
An internet merchant account is ideally a bank account for an online business. It allows you as the merchant to accept payments or debit cards. When a customer pays for a product on your site, the money is deposited in the merchant account before it is transferred to the business bank account. It is ideal to have one, and the beauty is you can get it from the same bank that holds your business or personal accounts. However, you might want to start the process early because of all the scrutiny that goes into obtaining one. If you prefer an alternative to IMA, you can try PayPal or credit card readers.
Draw a digital marketing strategy
It would be so unfortunate if you invested lots of effort into creating a website only to find that no one visits your site or buys your product. But think of it like this, if no one knows your site exists, how will they buy from you? Having a marketing strategy is ideal in establishing an online presence and generating traffic for your new business
Here are simple tips you can employ:
- You can list your website on a reputable business directory like Google My Business
- Write high-quality content with backlinks to your site
- Set up social media accounts beforehand- Link them to your websites to generate traffic
There are so many products that you can sell online, thanks to the growing numbers of internet users. Even so, it is also possible to start a promising venture only to shut it down within no time. So, ensure you keep assessing the market needs, map out your funnel, and use the right tools to penetrate and stay in the competitive e-commerce market.