Have you had an idea to create an online, or e-commerce store? It is certainly possible to sell products over internet the if you have the proper resources, passion, time, and dedication. No doubt there is plenty of competition out there, but building and managing an ecommerce website has at least become easier and more affordable then ever before, especially with 4GoodHosting’s services.
What is needed?
There are many free applications available, so setting up a store does not require a large outlay of money to get started. We offer many e-commerce shopping cart selections to choose from – installation is straightforward and easy with our Softaculous application installer. OS Commerce, PrestShop, ZenCart, Magento are some of the popular choices, but there are about about 14 different choices within our installer. These solutions have been built to help get your shop online as quickly and effortlessly as possible. All of them offered for free, at no additional charge with your hosting account.
You can read about them and compare their capabilities and test-drive a demonstration within the Softaculous installer. These solutions may not possess the custom perfection of an in-house solution, but showcasing your products on the Internet sooner rather than later is a clear advantage.
With a working ecommerce store in place under the domain name of your choice, decorated with the theme of your choice, and populated with your product line its important next to be able to facilitate transactions.
Customers are likely only going purchase your products if there are many payment options available that they trust. PayPal typically offers the easiest integration, although their 2.9% surcharge + $0.30 fee per transaction can add up quickly. Once you have made some sales, there is no better solution than setting up merchant accounts with card vendors to enable credit card transactions.
Basics About the Look & Feel of your E-commerce store website
If you already have an existing business website, and you are expanding to offering a e-store, then your online store should blend in with the theme of your website as much as possible. Doing so adds a proper touch of professionalism that people have come to expect.
Most eCommerce solutions at least allow you to select a color scheme and upload your company logo, which is a good start. You can research how to do further modifications yourself, if desired, or you can hire an appropriate website designer to help you with any additional modifications. Many e-commerce applications are open-source and even come with instructions on how to further modify the application’s programming code.
Presentation of Your Products
Modern day shoppers have specific expectations when shopping online, outlined by the unique context of digital purchases. Online visual presentation should be done extremely well as online-shoppers don’t have a way to touch the products and likewise gauge for themselves product quality.
It is key to make the process as simple as possible. Make sure the price of each product is clearly visible so that customers know what they’re getting into. List product information and specifications that are relevant to its quality. If you can, mimic an in-store experience as much as possible, with multi-angle high-res photos and a few images of the product line being worn or used by someone. This inspires customers to visualize themselves using the items, which will help generate more sales.
Basics of Shipping and Logistics
It is important to present clear store policy and protocol; such as refund policy or handling returns. Shipping and returns/exchanges is another component of your store. It is best to build a relationship with a carrier as having an account with an established carrier may help you earn a discounted rate. Most eCommerce platforms automatically calculate and display the shipping costs upon checkout.
Promoting Your Store…
Once your store is online and all the essential pieces are in place, it’s time to take it to market. The Internet definitely is a crowded place. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical concern. You will want your store listed as high as possible in ranking, if not on the first page of google for your specific product offerings. Making a good first impression in the minds of prospective customers is essential.
Find out where your core audience resides and build your strategy around those channels. Having and promoting a facebook page for your store will help develop your brand and its credibility. On Twitter use a #hashtag that exemplifies your brand in order to spread the word. Another idea to reach more customers is to post pictures of your new products on Pinterest.
Creating a store is also about letting your creativity flow. Present your products with the customer’s needs in mind. With time and effort, administered slowly but surely, your website’s success can be built on these ecommerce webhosting founding principles.