Lot of people think that running an online business is not an easy task and only experienced tech guys can handle online business very well. To start an online business is not a tough job as it is being assumed by most of people. You can start your online business or webstore easily by following simple steps.
Think carefully and creatively about what you are selling. This will affect everything, from the software you need to the shopping functionality you offer to the colors and shapes of the user interface you create. The product should be at the very center of your design work from start to finish — from browsing to cart to checkout.
2. Domain Name and Hosting
Setting up a domain name and finding a web host are two of the most important early steps. If your desired domain name is free, be sure to check whether there are other sites with similar names already up and running in order to make sure that your customers find you and not the competition. From a marketing perspective, domain names should be short, relevant, catchy and memorable.
The shopping experience should reflect the shoppers’ needs. If they are likely to be buying more than one item at once, be sure to give them a ‘basket’ or ‘cart’ where items can be viewed altogether, prior to purchase. Categories and choices will differ from product to product, where colors, sizes or models of items may need to be selected from drop-down lists. There may be images to look at, sound bytes to listen to, video clips to watch, text boxes to read, all to help customers make an informed decision prior to purchase. This information needs to be organized intuitively
How can customers pay for their purchases? Do they need to register? Can they use PayPal? (This is often the easiest way to start.) To accept direct credit card payments, you need an Internet Merchant Account before you set up a payment gateway. This can be via a ‘pay page’ where users are redirected from your site to enter their card details into a payment gateway server. Or you can do it through an integrated API, where their details are entered into your site and then passed to the gateway.
Delivery options will depend on the product. If your product is downloadable, will you provide message signaling successful download? If you’re sending something through the mail, can customers track the progress of their parcel through your site or do they need to be directed to an external delivery service?
There’s some great software available to help you set the technical aspects of your online store. Within the growing industry of e-commerce software you can be confident of finding the right programming tools for you and your business.
As well as functionality, the design aesthetic should also reflect the product and brand on sale. Whether you go for a minimalist monochrome finish or a brightly colored flat design, the look of your site should speak directly to the intended market audience.
To get traffic to your site, you need a marketing strategy. For those on small budgets, social media is a fantastic (and totally free) tool. Use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest to get people talking about your brand and promote free discussion of your products between users or potential clients.
Keep track of your progress. Measure what traffic comes from where. Keep an eye on your sales with each change you make. Google Analytics is a great tool for getting tailored feedback on your designs, helping you to establish the most used pathways, more intuitive designs and faster loading times. Use a detailed Analytics guide to get started.
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