Ecommerce Business is booming. Hundreds of people are starting to make a living online in less than a year with ecommerce and online sales swiftly replacing traditional methods of retail. There are many benefits to this new way of doing business.For one thing, there are fewer overhead costs, such as renting physical spaces and hiring employees. However, there are new areas of focus, such as search engine optimization and online marketing, that you need to understand. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the online market, it can be difficult to know what steps to take when starting an ecommerce website. To help you get started, try beginning with these steps.
Create a Business Plan
Though we’re all often allured by the idea of tapping a market overnight and making money fast, that is never the right way to approach a business. You have to know your target audiences and how you intend to reach them. Then you should develop your branding strategy before even purchasing a website. Once you have your ideas on paper, you are ready to get started.
Choose a Domain Name
When starting an ecommerce website having an appropriate domain name is very important. There is debate as to whether a branded domain name is better or a keyword related domain name. While the latter may help you climb search engine rankings faster in the short term, in the case of an ecommerce store, a branded domain name is a better long term strategy. Remember, you’re looking to build a reputable brand name rather than just a popular website.
Choose a Web Host and Publishing Platform
In order to start an ecommerce website, you must choose a host and publishing platform for your site. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the technical aspects of web development, WordPress is an easy to use publishing platform. Starting an ecommerce website with wordpress is simple. There are various plugins you can use that will allow you to sell your products and services online with little hassle. These work across WordPress themes and offer you flexibility in regards to widgets, language and shipping options. Given that a large portion of your visitors will be using either tablets or smart phones, it is a necessity that you also have a mobile friendly version of your site.
Start and track an SEO Strategy
Once your site is up and running, an SEO strategy will be the next important step. A good starting place to track your SEO metrics is Google Webmaster tools. Two important concepts to remember when it comes to ecommerce sites are click-through-rates and split testing.
Tracking Click-Through Rates: In relation to sales, click-through rates are arguably the most important web related metric to consider. Many website owners get caught up in straight numbers and this undervalues the importance of the quality of traffic. If you have an ecommerce site that is attracting thousands of visitors per month, but very few people are making purchases, your efforts are going unrewarded.
Split test landing pages: Once you’ve managed to attract visitors to your landing page, you’ve only done half the leg work. If we want to start a successful ecommerce website you need to make sure you have the most effective landing page possible. This is done through a process called split testing. This involves using two or more alternate sales pages and alternating or tweaking them over time to see which one performs better and why.
Whether you decide to start an ecommerce website with WordPress or another publisher, you must make sure your customers are offered flexible experience, this meaning multiple payment and shipping methods, as well as discounts, promotions and incentives to return. The benefits of an ecommerce store are numerous, and have the potential to expand our consumer bases significantly. By developing a solid business plan, choosing a good domain name, host and publisher, and implementing an SEO strategy, you will have taken the first steps towards establishing a successful ecommerce business.