Building An Online Business: Getting Started with E-Commerce
“You need to get your business online.” By now that’s old news, but if there’s any wisdom that has proven its worth in the past decade or so, it’s the truth of the idea that not only should a business promote itself by having an online presence, but business owners and managers should bring e-commerce to their business in a big way. After all, exposing your business to the public as much and as often as possible is a good idea, and using e-commerce only expands your customers’ options to give you their money. This article will give you what you need to know to do just that.
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1. Do your research. Having a product that nobody wants will earn you nothing more by being online. That’s the truth. Fortunately, you can forecast the demand your product or service will have online by doing some simple market research. the good news in this regard is that companies such as Google have collected insane amounts of data on small business e-commerce that you can get access to for the asking.
2. Plan. Once you have what the research numbers are telling you, build a marketing plan for the e-commerce phase of your business. This will naturally build on the plan you have established for your brick and mortar store, only with the e-commerce aspect added on.
3. Test. Marketing anything, whether it’s e-commerce or not, is a case of Murphy’s Law in action. If it can it will go wrong and at the least opportune moment. Fortunately, doing good market testing will tell you a lot, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Heed what you learn. Many of the tools that allow you to build your own website will allow you to change your product as conditions change for virtually nothing. Small business e-commerce by trial and error is an order of the day.
4. Do It Yourself. There’s a lot to be said for taking your website requirements to a professional marketing firm, but in many cases the web has turned out to be too new a concept to really have very many experts at work. Interestingly enough, many outstanding and successful websites were created by ambitious amateurs with a good web design book.
Being Cost Effective With E-Commerce
The truth be told, small business e-commerce can be very inexpensive to get into. In fact, there are so many programs available online or not that can show you how to build a website, including small business e-commerce capabilities, that you can do practically everything you need to get start by yourself. This puts that much more money in your pocket.