5 Critical Tips in Launching an eCommerce Website
Launching your own business can be challenging. Launching a new eCommerce business for newbies can definitely become a challenge. It’s a great way to start a business compared to traditional businesses mainly due to the cost associated with starting up. So if you’ve got something to sell and you know people would buy it, your first step should be to setup an online store.
This will allow you to keep the costs low and focus on product quality and marketing. Starting up is always hard but these tips will help you get you on the right way.
1. Shopping Cart – Importance of Good Software and Functionality
Your shopping cart software is the backbone of your online business. It should be powerful, easy to use, and most importantly working. There are many new shopping carts out there. Many of them charge a fee but there are also some free shopping carts out there. When starting our business, Dealster and Daily Dealster, we used open source software and shopping carts. We used a free shopping cart called Spree Commerce. Now, the importance of choosing the right shopping cart is the ability to be comfortable with it and having the ease of use.
Tip: Do your research before you commit. A few hours spend researching will make sure that you don’t get stuck with more headaches going forward. After all Technology can be painful, especially for beginners.
2. Design – The nicer design the more you will be successful
Oh my. You do not know how many eCommerce sites are out there selling a killer product but have an awful and “ugly” design. Sorry folks, but this is your face of your company and if you look like you own a beat up eStore, you won’t be attracting a lot of business. This part is vital and investing more time on simplicity, user experience, and great design will help you go along way.
Tip: Focus on simplicity and easy colors. Don’t use big rainbow colors and big skewed images. That’s so Year 2000.
3. Product – It’s all about the product and what you sell
Now this is all up to you. Of course, if you believe in your product and you have some competitors, then you are most likely on track. If your product is new or innovative, reach out to Friends and family for feedback. This is the most secure, free, and easy way to get some customer feedback. Your product is the life of your business so focus on it more then anything else.
Tip:There are a few ways to increase attractiveness of your product. If you are shipping your products, perhaps work on a unique packaging and delivery that will make your customers feel special. Trust me, it works and little things go a long way.
4. Marketing – New Age of Advertising – Daily Deals
Now this is where things become fun and challenging at the same time. With the internet and social media and of course our big giant brother Google, you have the capability to reach any person anywhere at anytime. The biggest challenge will be your budget and how much you can put aside for marketing.
There is a solution for you tight-budget sellers – daily deals. Daily Deals have become a phenomenon on acquiring new customers without any up-front cost. There are few hundred sites that are out there that can help you get product as a daily deal in front of a large consumer audience and get you 100s if not 1,000s of customers. Websites like Dealster.com, can help you leverage a “deal” to bring in new customers and increase your exposure.
Tip:Start of slow. For example, Dealster.com allows you to have more control of your promotions so you can even start with 50 or 100 deals to sell at a time. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed and you can test which deal works best for you and your customers.
5. Virality – Social Media, Contests, and Giveaways
Now, what’s better then Advertising? Free Advertising, of course. Utilize the power of Social Media and Bloggers alike. By being creative and creating viral campaigns such as daily giveaways, contests, and promotions, you will be able to utilize the power of Facebook and Twitter to drive new customers to your site. Remember, new visitors = new potential buyers.
Tip: Don’t be shy and don’t think your promotion is out there or even stupid. You would be surprised on what people react and what they share.
The last tip we have for all of you is to be bold and don’t be afraid of doing this. Yes, there are many millions of ways to sell but the first step you have to do is start. It is a great way to supplement your income or create your own job.
About the Author
Alen Malkoc, Founder, Dealster.com
Alen Malkoc has been helping small businesses create an online presence for over 10 years. He’s currently disrupting the daily deals industry with his third Deal Company, Dealster.com. Dealster.com focuses more on merchants and helping them acquire customers both local and national.