According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans are expected to spend $327 billion online by 2016. With expectations like these, you can’t afford to put off starting your online store any longer. The only problem is that you don’t know the first thing about starting an online store. If you already have a business plan, you’re well on your way to entering into the world of eCommerce.
Entering into the eCommerce World
The first step you will have to modify your existing business plan and modify it to include the goals you have for your website. Like your original business plan, you have to know who your target customers are. This will include what these customers want, what their needs are, as well as what you want your target customers to use your site for like gaining information or purchasing tangible products.
After you have established who your target customers are, it’s time to establish what you want to sell on your site. Do you want to use it for selling music online, or do you want to provide your customers with information. Knowing this information will help you decide how you want to design your site. The design of your site is almost as important as what you sell on your site. A poorly designed site can quickly turn off customers resulting in lost sales.
When designing your site, it is important that your potential customers are able to find your company’s contact information in case they need to contact you should any questions arise. They should also be able to explore the rest of your site easily without getting lost within the numerous pages that are often associated with eCommerce sites. Easy navigation and prominent menus are an essential component.
To become a successful online seller, you may need to design a site that can be viewed on mobile devices, laptop, and tablets as well as PCs. The best way to do this is to create a responsive design. This ensures your site’s content will be translated properly across all platforms. Therefore, if a customer views your site up on their smartphone or tablet, it will look the same as if they are pulling it up on the home PC. With customers constantly on the go, it is important for them to be able to purchase your product at any time of day, and from anywhere in the world.
Just because you’ve created a superb eCommerce site, it doesn’t mean the customers will flock to your site. Just like a brick-and-mortar business, your eCommerce site needs to have a sound marketing plan in place in order to drive traffic to your site. Along with the traditional marketing methods of advertisements, flyers, coupons, and word-of-mouth advertising, social media marketing is a key strategy to drive traffic to your online store.
Social media marketing includes creating compelling copy to include on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. With millions of followers, posting the right content to these sites at the right time can lead to increased sales, and the potential to attract loyal customers. Social media has become one of the best forms of marketing in today’s technological society.
Transitioning from a brick-and-mortar store to an eCommerce site is something that can be completed with little effort. It is important to make sure you have a solid plan in place before you get started. As with any business, having a solid business plan, will eliminate much of the frustration and mistakes that you can potentially make if you jumped into the endeavor without planning.