Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Creating an eCommerce site is the way to go. Such platforms are more cost-effective and convenient than opening multiple locations and provide business owners with the opportunity to reach a larger audience, build brand awareness, and increase sales. If you’re going to be successful in making this transition, however, there are a few things you’ll need to get started:
An eCommerce Platform
The first decision you’ll need to make is on the type of platform you wish to use. You can have a developer create a customized eCommerce platform for your business, however, this does cost a lot more and is very complex to manage. Another alternative would be to look into a SaaS eCommerce platform which is a ready-made eCommerce solution provided through the cloud. You simply pay a monthly or annual fee to build your online store through this platform. It’s a lot more affordable and easier to manage.
When reviewing eCommerce solutions, be sure to keep key features like this in mind:
- SEO – The platform you choose should have search engine optimization features including customizable domain names, product descriptions, meta tags, and integration for Google Analytics tools. You need to be able to do both internal and external SEO such as link building and especially article writing. Remember that there is a minimum number of characters and words needed to be met in order for your articles to be truly beneficial so keep in mind to use a character counter to help you identify the current number of articles.
- Mobile – Many consumers shop online using their mobile devices. Therefore, you want to make sure that your online store can easily be customized to meet the needs of mobile users.
- Security – Keeping customer data secure is essential to the success of your business. Therefore, you should only consider eCommerce solutions that have advanced safety features to protect your most valuable assets.
- Ease of Use – Look for service providers that offer easy website builder applications with drop and drag features and easy integrations and plug-ins to customize your site.
- Customer Support – As you’re building and managing your eCommerce site, there are going to be times when you need assistance. Select a provider that offers 24/7 customer support, guides, and easy-to-use tools for customizing your site.
You can’t very well accept cash payments through your online store, therefore, you’ll need to select a payment service like Blue Snap that allows your customers to make easy, fast, and secure payments online. The payment service you select should easily integrate with your eCommerce software and other applications. It should also provide fraud management solutions for safer transactions and the capabilities to accept international payments (if you plan on extending your brand outside the US).
Last, you’ll need to select a fulfillment or shipment service to get your products to your customers. You’ll need to choose a third-party vendor that has the capabilities to store your inventory, fulfill orders, and ship them. When choosing a fulfillment provider, consider things like costs, location, shipping rates, branding solutions, and customer support.
eCommerce sites have become an increasingly popular option for small businesses looking to expand their reach. After you’ve acquired the above-discussed tools, you’re ready to open for business. The final step to making your online store a success is utilizing offline and online marketing strategies to spread the word and bring in new business