If you’ve ever been interested in starting your own online shop, now could be the perfect time. Customers are trending more and more toward online shopping, and it doesn’t appear that this trend will slow down anytime soon. Here are just a few benefits of opening an ecommerce store:
- You can sell to anyone in the world.
- It’s less expensive than opening a physical store.
- There are more efficient sales options (e.g., dropshipping).
- You can sell 24/7, 365 days a year.
If you decide that starting an online shop may be the right path for you, here are some tips to remember as you build your business:
Build a stellar website.
One of the first things you need to consider when opening an online shop is your website. It is, after all, your storefront and the center of commerce.
Start by choosing a solid web hosting company with the features you’ll need: user-friendly site for you and prospective customers, a domain name, customer support, marketing, and online shopping features. Other factors worth considering when picking out a hosting company are:
- Ecommerce support
- Backups and security
- Bandwidth and storage
- Web builders
It’s also essential that your website looks appealing and is easy to navigate. This means having the right mixture of fonts, colors, and other design elements, as well as making it easy for customers to know how to get to the area they need to.
Also, it’s imperative to have quality product photos to showcase each item. Moreover, good content (e.g., blog posts, infographics) can boost viewer interest, strengthen your credibility, and grow your customer base.
Of course, when you’re building a reliable website, you need to lay a good foundation, and a lot of that relies on the back-end technologies you use to power your processes. So, when you set out to create your site, look for someone who has a firm grasp of PHP, a scripting language that can be included in HTML code.
As Upwork points out, in order to hire the best PHP developer out there, you’ll need to first ensure that they possess knowledge about different PHP frameworks, have experience with databases, and understand the fundamentals of web design. You’ll also want to check reviews from their previous clients to see how their work stacks up.
Choose a good store platform.
Part of an ecommerce store website is choosing a web platform. Many businesses use off-the-shelf platforms, which are ready-made and less expensive. Depending on your needs, this type of platform may work perfectly.
However, if you need more than what an off-the-shelf platform offers, you may need to go the custom route. Custom platforms require more time and money, but you have more control of the customer experience your website provides.
Know enough about taxes.
In one sense, running an ecommerce business is just like operating any other kind of business: you can always expect to pay taxes. While understanding sales tax, resale certificates, deductions, and so forth can be daunting, it’s important to have at least a surface level knowledge so you can avoid hurting (or losing) your business.
To make this task easier and ensure you stay above water, consider hiring a qualified CPA at Remote Quality Bookkeeping.
A strong online presence is vital to an ecommerce store. This can be hard to achieve when competition is fierce from local and regional companies, as well as massive retailers like Amazon.
Nonetheless, for your shop to be successful, people must know about your products, they must believe them to be worth purchasing, and they must be satisfied enough to come back. Here are a few marketing tactics that can propel your business:
- Simplify everything, from your page layouts and menus to your checkout process.
- Put up a search bar.
- Utilize SEO.
- Create an email subscription list.
- Offer free shipping.
A lot goes into opening an ecommerce store, but it can be an exciting and rewarding experience if you do it strategically. Be sure to go through all the necessary steps to make a great website that serves your company well. Gain basic knowledge about taxes, and think about hiring a CPA to keep your business running smoothly and legally.
Finally, plan to commit money, time, and energy to market your products — and business — to success.
Photo Credit: Pexels