Ecommerce is an enormous industry, with worldwide ecommerce sales totalling over $1.5 trillion dollars every year. More people than ever are buying and selling online, within well-known giants such as eBay, Alibaba, and Etsy, and out on their own. Everything from computer games to high fashion can be purchased online, so here’s some tips on how to get started making money online!
- Know your product. As simple as it sounds, the first thing you’ll want to be doing Is choosing a great product. Your entire ecommerce site and online presence will be optimised around what it is you’re selling, and it’s no use having a great website if you’re peddling rubbish. This also means becoming an expert on your product: this makes it more difficult for people to rip you off, and allows you to provide top-notch customer service.
- Have a business plan. Knowing your product falls within your business plan. The way to differentiate yourself from anyone banding together old tat to sell online is by acting as a business – you might not be purchasing a store front but you’re still selling things. Knowing the expected profit margins for your products, analysing the competition and finding an opening in the market all fall within this section. You’re deciding what it is you can offer to pull people away from other retailers.
- Choose the right platform for you. There are a huge number of ecommerce solutions available to budding entrepreneurs, and it’s crucial that the right one is chosen for your site. If you’re choosing a hosted solution like Etsy or the increasingly popular Shopify, then you’ll have to factor in their percentage, as well as take time getting to grips with their terms of service and back-of-house functionality. If you’re installing custom software and hosting your own site, then hosting costs and website building will prove a considerable obstacle, though possibly worth it.
- Take time on your brand. Ecommerce is a big industry, and that means a lot of competition. Taking the time to work on your domain name and branding will help you to get ahead of your competitors. It can be personal and quirky, but it’s definitely a bonus if it relates to your core product. You don’t want your web address to be too complex, but it still has to be unique. There’s something of an art to this – so experiment!
- Get SSL certified. SSL certification is a cheap, relatively uncomplicated way to ensure that your website has a badge of safety for online purchases. These certifications give your URL a healthy green ‘padlock’ symbol, just like the one you can see on SmokeCartel, in most modern browsers, and even the cheapest will help to keep your customer’s purchasing information safe from potential online thieves. These certificates not only provide customers with peace of mind, but even the most basic options will encrypt sensitive information related to their purchases and your business, helping you to sleep easier too.