Success in online Business
Building a successful online Business!
Achieving success in an online business requires more than just a Shopping Cart - Checkout - Payment Gateway software. The primary aspects of any business involve Merchandise, Marketing, Sales, Service and Accounting. Your online business, essentially an e-commerce website, should take care of the various aspects of your business pretty well. An online business is equally extensive as an offline business and does involve all business functions fully. Hence the software system that drives your online business should be capable of taking care of the various business functions in an integrated fashion.
People often misunderstand what an eCommerce or eBusiness is all about and under-estimate the potentials of an online business. It must be understood, that just like your invest substantial sums of money in setting up and establishing your offline business, like wise you need to invest a decent sum of money in launching and establishing your online business. Please bear in mind that an online business can give you a much wider market reach than your offline business and can fetch you significant increase in sales volume. Therefore, there should be no compromise on the e-commerce website solution that you decide to procure and deploy.
This knowledge base section attempts to impart more clarity on how online business should be perceived and to prepare you to embark on a successful online business. We are giving below a list of important points to consider:
Is there an online Market for your products/services? What is your competitive edge? In what way are your deliverables different and better from those offered by your competitors?
These are the questions you need to answer.
Do you have a budget for Marketing?
Please keep in mind that marketing for an online business is quite different from marketing a brick and mortar (offline) business.
Can you afford to invest in a professional e-Commerce Website?
A professional level e-commerce website requires a substantial initial investment in terms of money to be paid to your website developer, and a significant amount of time to manage and market your online store. Therefore, you must be prepared to deploy the required resources so as to provide your e-commerce website the opportunity to succeed.
Do you have access to the necessary expertise?
In addition to your core Business expertise, you require Technical and online Marketing expertise to be able to operate a successful e-commerce website. You need access to such expertise to be successful. You may not necessarily have your own in-house team of experts for this. It is practical to outsource such expertise to third-party providers who are focused on such activity day-in and day-out.
Register Your URL:
Your URL (domain name) is your web address. If you don't already have one you need to register one.
Choose an E-commerce Solution Provider:
There are several e-commerce solutions available that enable you to create your online store. Here are a few of the points you need to consider when choosing a solution.
- Is it easy to maintain?
- Is it easy to process orders?
- Does it provide the most important marketing processes?
- Can it be customized if necessary?
- What kind of support are offered after the sale? In addition to technical support do they provide:
» Marketing help
» Search engine positioning help
» Promotional help
- How long will it take you to learn how to use the solution?
- Is it flexible enough to be able to add custom features when you need them?
Establish a Merchant Account:
To accept orders over the Internet you need a credit card merchant account. This account allows you to receive credit card purchases and transfers the money to your merchant account. Many retail merchant accounts do not allow you to accept remote payments (mail order or online orders). If you already have a merchant account check with your account manager to see if they allow orders that originate online. If you need a merchant account for online orders, please contact us.
Choose a Payment Gateway:
An online payment gateway automatically processes credit card sales and authorizations online.
Key Word Research:
Key word research is absolutely necessary if you plan to optimize your site for search engines or use pay-per-click advertising.
Create a marketing plan:
Like your physical location, your online location will require advertising and marketing. There are thousands of online advertising opportunities. However, your primary marketing focus will probably be getting listed in the major search engines. Since this can take months of continuing effort you need to understand the search engines and what you need to do to compete for better page rank in search engine listing.
Create Product Descriptions:
This will be one of your most time-intensive processes. Once you have your list of the most popular key words you need to include those keywords in your product names and descriptions.
Design a Shipping Process:
Shipping can consume a lot of time if you don't have an established process. Research and decide which shipper you are going to work with and establish an order fulfillment process.
Making the decision: GO FOR IT.