One of the many advantages an ecommerce business gives you over a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront is the great gift of flexibility. By installing your business in limitless dimensions of the online marketplace, you’re able to devote as much or as little time to making the ecommerce business grow and thrive as you want.
For many people, the online enterprise is a hobby, or a supplementary second income that augments or enhances their current lifestyle. For others, however, the ecommerce marketplace represents a frontier on which to build a lasting and prosperous livelihood. Getting started with an online business is actually much easier than most people suspect, as the steps below illustrate.
Step One: Determine Your Product
A big part of succeeding in ecommerce is to find the right product for sale or online distribution for your time and cost investment strengths. Many ecommerce startup business owners choose to market and vend a product for which they have no interest, as a means of maintaining a professional detachment from their product. Others go the opposite route, marketing and selling something for which they have an expertise or deep affection.
Step Two: Find Your Platform
The platform for your ecommerce business is the software and hosting services you will use to present your online business into the marketplace. Many search engine companies and internet service providers, including most famously Yahoo, supply such services to ecommerce startups in exchange for a percentage of profits or other consideration. These platform providers will work for virtually every kind of mail order fulfillment ecommerce business. Most even provide themes and design ideas with which to help you create your store’s visual look.
Step Three: Build Your Site
Using the tools presented by your platform provider, it’s time to build your site’s pages and tab functions. Your provider will have tutorials on these subjects, and remember too that nothing succeeds like success. Visit some of your competitors’ sites and see what decisions they’ve made, then incorporate them into your own choices.
Step Four: Determine Your Payment Processing
Online payment services are crucial for your business’ success, as customers expect to be able to safely and quickly pay online. There are several services available, including most famously PayPal.
Step Five: Outsource Your Order Fulfillment Needs
Fulfillment service companies will manage your inventory, prepare and process your orders, and ship your packages for your ecommerce business in exchange for a small percentage of each product’s cost. This allows you to fully concentrate on developing your ecommerce business’ front end.