There’s no denying that the ecommerce industry is enormous in 2015! Businesses of all sizes are taking to the Internet to sell their wares. The Web makes it easy to connect with an international audience, thus increasing revenue. If you’ve not sold your products online until now, you will no doubt be missing a great opportunity!
To some people, selling online can be a scary prospect. It could feel like there are so many things to consider, and you just don’t know where to start! But, don’t panic! Today’s handy guide will show you how easy it is to get started. And, no, you don’t need a computer science degree to understand what you need to do.
Buy a domain name
Just as you would with any website, you will need a domain name before you can set up your online store. If you’ve already got a site, you can use the same domain name and skip this step.
Make sure you choose a domain name that’s memorable and relevant to your business. For instance, don’t get a .org domain unless you’re a non-profit organization.
Organize hosting for your ecommerce site
The next step is to set up a server for your online store. There are two ways you can do that: use someone else’s, or build your own.
If you “rent” space on an existing Web host, you get restricted by the limits they impose on disk space. That means if you plan on using lots of images for your products, you could soon run of space!
Some hosts offer “unlimited” disk space, but there’s usually a “fair use” policy. In other words, there is still a limit; you just don’t know what a “fair” one is according to their terminology.
The other option is to build a Web server yourself. If you know how to build a PC, you shouldn’t have any issues creating a server for your ecommerce site. Here are some tips to ensure reliability and high performance:
Install the most powerful CPU(s) you can afford;
Opt for a motherboard where you can install vast amounts of ECC RAM;
Use SSDs (solid-state drives) instead of conventional hard drives. Build them into a RAID array for added reliability and backups; and
Configure your server so that you can take advantage of in memory databases. That way, your page content gets delivered to your visitors quicker.
If you go down the self-build route, you’ll need to co-locate your Web server in a high-speed data center. That way, you don’t have to worry about security or leasing data links to the Internet.
Install an ecommerce system
There are plenty of solutions that allow you to have a powerful online store platform on your server. Examples include OpenCart and Magento. It’s important you find the one that best fits your needs and budget.
If you need help installing and setting it up, it might be worth hiring a developer to do the work for you.
Populate your site
Once the ecommerce platform is up and running, you’ll need to start adding your products to the site. That means adding categories, product descriptions, and photos.
If you sell a lot of products, doing so may take a while! In those cases, you should get some people to help you add the items to your site.
Driving traffic to your ecommerce site
Last, but not least, you’ll need to start marketing your new online store. There are many ways you can do that. For example:
Set up PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaigns;
Include your products in the Google Shopping database; and
Invite high-profile bloggers to review your products and link to your site.
By following the above steps, you’ll soon have an online store open for business. Thanks for reading!