HOW TO BECOME AN ONLINE SELLER (AND NOT JUST AN ONLINE SHOPPER)
Of all the reasons to open your own online business, ease of access is the most compelling. Not only can you set up shop from the comfort of your own home, but you can potentially enhance or replace a 40-hour-per-week-income with a bit of determination. It may not be easy, but you have plenty of tools at your disposal to help you along the way. If you are ready to be on the other end of e-commerce, keep reading for tips and advice to get you started.
Find a Great Domain Name
Your domain is a digital address where your customers will visit your online shop. GoDaddy’s tip for choosing the perfect online name include making it easy to type, using keywords, and avoiding hyphens. InnMarketing.com, for example, is a much better choice for a domain than Inns-And-BedAndBreakfasts-For-Sale.com. A memorable and relevant domain name will easily integrate into your marketing strategy and make it easy for customers to find you.
Understand Your Selling Solutions
There are two options when it comes to launching a website: custom or cookie-cutter. Your products are what dictate which of these is best for your business. If you’re selling on-trend merchandise, such as drones or seasonal clothing, a predesigned eshop will probably be more than enough to get you started. However, if you offer custom products, you might be better off financing the design of a new site from the ground up.
Manage Yourself While Away from Your PC
Gone are the days when you have to be behind a desk all day to run a business. An online shop is easily accessible from anywhere, meaning you can work from the bed, the beach, or across the Atlantic. However, to do so, you need a data plan tailored to your needs, especially if you’re running your business from a personal phone or tablet. To avoid exceeding the limit of data usage and being hit with overage charges, look to a provider that offers affordable unlimited plans. You can opt for a plan that includes basic features like unlimited text, talk, and of course, data.
With your phone or tablet in tow, you can do everything from review orders and invoices to respond to customer inquiries almost immediately. This is crucial as online shoppers grow more accustomed to instant satisfaction. Just look at Amazon, which offers online chat, direct customer service, and no-wait call-backs. HelpScout notes that your email response time should be six hours or less, especially if your customer has a problem.
Offer Flexible Shipping Solutions
When you sell online, you have no choice but to ship your products. This can lead to a sticky situation if shipping costs are high. Most major retailers offer free shipping on orders that exceed a certain threshold; of course, this may not work for you if you have a low profit margin. If possible, plan to absorb shipping costs, but otherwise, charge a fair rate. Be careful, however, not to back yourself into a corner by charging a single shipping and handling fee if you offer products of varying shapes, sizes, and margins.
Market Like a Rock Star
A final word of advice: Market your business well, and market it often. If you are unfamiliar with social media, SEO, and viral marketing, brush up on these and other attention-grabbing strategies. Otherwise, you may wind up with a basement full of items that will never see the inside of a shipping box.
Starting your own business is exciting, but it does take work, even with all of the digital tools available today. Remember, only you can guarantee your success. The above tips can get you started, but hard work and passion are the keys to sitting on the other side of online commerce.
Article written by Guest Author: Dean Burgess from Excitepreneur.net.
Image via Pixabay