E-Commerce is neither a new term nor a new concept. It is such a rage that we do not even remember buying air tickets offline anymore. With reliable, international sites like Amazon, e-commerce has become a part of every person’s life.
Almost all international brands now have their online stores which feature exclusive discounts and offers for premium customers. As a result, many local business endeavors are now warming up to the idea of e-commerce. It is ideal and extremely convenient for the customers as well as the sellers. There are mega-brands like Reebok, Nike, Puma, etc. which now have their e-commerce websites. This is an excellent idea for building a steady customer base.
The basic e-store concept is that even if the customer cannot reach out to the land-based store the store reaches out to them. Here the location of the store or mart does not matter as long as the product is delivered for a nominal charge to the doorstep. It also perfectly complements today’s fast lifestyle. But the million dollar question is, do you know how to set up an online store? Check some of the practical guidelines below.
How to set up an online store
Come up with a domain name
The domain name is what users will type into their browsers to access your site. This could be www.myecombusiness.com. Domain names are leased on an annual basis for as low as $20. Don’t just pick any name. Choose something short, sweet and memorable. Also, extensive research will help you get a unique name that doesn’t look like your competitor’s.
You need to come up with your unique e-commerce site from scratch. Here the smart alternative is to hand the responsibility over to an external company. The setup will be the responsibility of the external organization. Just make sure your website adopts a more attractive and unique look.
Scout around for reliable and reputable web hosting plans. This usually includes taking a look at several websites, comparing their prices, number of services and customer reviews. Avoid dealing with a company with many negative reviews.
Generally, a hosting service you need depends on your expected traffic, the number of customers, amount of space and bandwidth you need and the number of products to be sold. Getting off the ground usually takes some time. It’s therefore essential that you work with a hosting provider who is willing to work and grow with you.
If you don’t want to deal with website creation, then you can set up your store on platforms like eBay, Amazon, and any other site that pleases you.
Set up merchant account and shopping cart software
Learning how to set up an online store usually involves setting up an e-store ordering cart for your customers. The shopping cart needs to support several payment methods starting with PayPal, and other major credit cards.
In the beginning, you can rely on PayPal, but as your business expands, it’s usually advisable to set up a merchant account in order to handle credit card payments directly. However, this means you need an SSL for secure credit card payments.
Start taking orders!
You’ve got your goods and services ready, the website is up and running, and your credit card payment is PA-DSS and PCI compliant, it’s time for the real work. Speaking of working, you need to market your business on social media and other platforms so netizens can be aware of your business.
Last but not the least, ensure you know SEO techniques or hire an expert to optimize your site for you. Since you now know how to set up an online store, go on and run a productive online enterprise.
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