Are you interested in capitalizing on the growing popularity of online shopping? If so, there’s no time like the present to get started. As the global health crisis has resulted in billions of people remaining close to home, the internet has become a reliable resource for making purchases. Whether you’re the owner of a brick-and-mortar store or starting a business from scratch, creating a virtual storefront can work to your advantage. That is, of course, as long as you’ve developed an efficient strategy to succeed.
You’ve decided you want to sell products online, but have you given any thought to what type of platform you’d like to use? The two primary considerations are open source and Saas. Each style comes with its pros and cons depending on what you’re selling and your goals.
Open source is the best option for those who want complete control over their site. You would be responsible for developing the site from scratch, hosting, PCI compliance, security, and making changes and updates. As creating an eStore from the ground up is involved, you may need to hire a web developer to assist with the launch and periodic changes.
Saas platforms are ideal if you’d like assistance from an established host. The provider would be responsible for hosting, product updates, security, and PCI compliance. For a monthly or annual rate, users can access templates and easy-to-use features to customize and design their sites. Opting for Saas platforms, therefore, save you time and money without the need for extensive technical knowledge.
If you want your online store to be a success, you can’t just put any product up there and expect it to sell. There needs to be extensive research and thought when deciding which products you’re going to sell. The idea is to select items for your store that perform well. Some of the best options are products in demand, reasonably priced, easy to manufacture, and not presently sold by too many competitors.
You’ll also need to decide if you’re going to sell existing products or merchandise you’ve designed yourself. Selling your own merchandise, though rewarding, requires some extra steps. You’ll need to figure out how you’ll manufacture, package, and ship products to your customers. Since your brand is new, you’ll also need to invest more in marketing to build an audience and generate a profit.
On the contrary, selling existing items would eliminate the manufacturing and packaging process. If you were to purchase wholesale cell phones from top manufacturers and advertise them on your site, you’d only have to consider shipping inventory to customers. Since they’re already established brands, you wouldn’t have to work hard to market your merchandise.
Once you’ve determined what you’re going to sell and which platform you want to use, the next consideration is your virtual storefront design. Much like a brick-and-mortar establishment, your eCommerce site must be aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate to create a positive shopping experience. You’ll need to consider color schemes, layout, navigational features, and content. Whether you plan on making the site from scratch or interested in a Saas platform, doing some market research and consulting with a web design company is advised.
No matter how great your products are, if no one is aware that you’re selling them, you won’t get many sales. If you’re going to advance, you’ll need to develop an efficient marketing strategy. From implementing SEO techniques on your site to creating content for social media, several concepts work to build brand awareness, boost site traffic, generate leads, and increase sales. Review each of these methods and determine which will work best to connect with your target customers.
Selling products online continues to be a popular solution for individuals looking to start a business or enhance a brick-and-mortar store’s performance. If this is a route you’re considering, be sure that you’ve done your due diligence by thoroughly evaluating the factors listed above. In doing so, you give your eCommerce site a jumpstart on the path to success.