In recent years, the world of sales and commerce has been transformed by the internet, and it’s now easier than ever for firms and ambitious entrepreneurs to start a business online with very little overhead or design/programming knowledge. However, whether you’re looking to start up a little side earner or a fully-fledged, all-singing, all-dancing e-commerce operation, there are some basic tips you should follow to maximize its chances of success.
If you’rejust starting out with your first e-commerce site or want to explore the opportunities to add online shopping capabilities to an existing website, read on for some of the key considerations to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
Choose a domain name that encapsulates what you do and what you sell
Your choice of the domain name is vitally important if you’re to have clients remember your company name and reach you. Ideally, you should try to find something catchy with a minimum of letters to avoid users having to make too many keystrokes to reach your site. You should also try to think up a name that summarizes the products and services you intend to offer. However, while a summary name is desirable, sometimes even just a memorable domain name like Uber can work – though it’s worth remembering, you will likely have to invest more time and money in advertising and marketing a more obscure name.
Identify a niche market
While there’s no harm trying to enter already established markets – and, indeed, this can be a sign that your proposed business model has a proven track record – it will still be substantially harder for you to gain a footing if you’re up against multiple competitors already offering what you intend selling.
Ideally, you should try to find a less cramped sector rather than going all-in with a company idea that already pits you against multiple rivals before you even get started. Nonetheless, even if you find your idea has rivals locally, it might be worth exploring the potential for selling to overseas markets where there could be less competition. By using translation and localization software, you could quickly set up selling internationally, which may provide a better route to profit than just focusing all your attention on markets closer to home.
Decide whether to use an agency or go it alone
These days, there is a vast range of off-the-shelf e-commerce products that can have almost anyone up and running with an e-commerce store in a matter of hours –and without the need for any design or programming skills. However, just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. In truth, unless you have at least some knowledge of art, design, or marketing – plus a basic understanding of coding – you’ll likely end up producing a lackluster or unprofessional-looking website.