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13 Sep 10 10 Things You Must Remember When Starting Your Own Ecommerce Business

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Are you a stay at home person looking for a way to fill your day, but would prefer to start your own online business as opposed doing other random jobs to make extra money? Or, perhaps you’re a working hoping desperately to escape the 9-to-5 rat race and start building a business for yourself rather than someone else?

It has never been easier to pursue building your own online business, but there are some common pitfalls you want to avoid to shorten your road to success.

1. Determine your products and market.
These days nearly every form of product and service is being sold online with the ability to reach millions of potential customers all over the world. Before you start your online business, you need to decide exactly what you would like to offer to consumers. Ideally, your choice should be mainly based on your own interests so that your heart is in the business even if sales are slow in the beginning. You should also check the market to ensure that there is a demand for the products or services you intend to offer.

2. Develop your unique selling point.
The key to a business distinguishing itself apart from its competition is to have a unique selling point. Your unique selling point concentrates on the uniqueness of your business and how you will help your customers. Consider what is special about your business, as well as the needs of your customers, in order to develop a quality unique selling point.

3. Build your marketing strategy.
Prior to contacting any ecommerce hosting company or purchasing shopping cart software, it’s vital that you ask yourself how you will promote your new business. Depending on your targeted audience of potential customers, you may want to focus on advertising online more than offline. Online marketing can prove to be highly effective even with a tight budget. You should also factor in future costs for search engine optimization to ensure your site ranks high.

4. Research available shipping methods.
If you are selling an actual product then you will need to decide on which shipping methods you will use to fulfill orders. It’s important to choose shipping methods that are fast and reliable, whether you are maintaining an actual stock onsite or you have chosen to drop ship with a manufacturer or wholesaler.

5. Pick your domain name.
Selecting the domain name for your business is one of the most critical decisions that you must make when selling online. There are different ways to approach choosing a domain name. If your company name is not too lengthy, then one idea is to use it as the domain name. Another strategy is to use a phrase consisting of one or more core products you intend to sell so that when consumers search for this item your website naturally has a better opportunity of ranking at the top organically. Regardless of which method you use to select your domain name, make sure that you purchase it with a .com domain extension. It’s also useful to buy other top level domain extensions, such as .net, .org, .info, and others, to prevent anyone from trying to steal or ruin your brand.

6. Decide on an ecommerce hosting company.
Once you’ve chosen your domain name, it’s now time to pick an ecommerce website hosting company to use for hosting your online business. You’ll want to shop around and look for genuine review websites to find a reliable host that offers ecommerce hosting plans. Compare between companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal out there. You want to make sure that the company you decide on is able to handle websites that run on ecommerce platforms.

7. Select the ecommerce software for your online business.
After choosing an ecommerce hosting company, you now need to determine which software you will use to power your online business. There are a multitude of ecommerce solutions available, both free and paid, and you should research online and ask others to help decide which software is best for your store.

8. Get a professional design for your website.
Although the ecommerce software you have decided to use may work just fine out of the box, it may be necessary to have a design made for it to increase your online store’s uniqueness and personality. Based on the software you are using, you will have the option to choose from ready-made themes or hire someone for a completely custom design.

9. Locate a payment processor.
Before you can actually process any orders you will need to sign up with a payment processor. This is a company appointed by a merchant to deal with credit card transactions. Payment processors verify payments and help prevent fraudulent transactions. You will need to compare between different companies and look closely at the various fees that can be hidden at times.

10. Provide remarkable customer service.
Once your online store is up and ready to accept payments, the final point to keep in mind is to guarantee that you provide outstanding customer service. If your customers have a terrible experience shopping at your store then you should never expect them to return as they can easily shop from your competition that is only a click away. Consider whether or not you can provide a customer service telephone number, or at least an email service that responds promptly.

These are ten things that you should remember when starting your own ecommerce business so that you can be on your way towards success without any regrets.

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