Setting Up an Online Store:
Tips to Follow, Pitfalls to Avoid
The web has certainly changed
the way we do business. Most companies, business owners, and other
service and product providers have turned to the web to increase
their presence in their respective industries. A lot of businesses,
in fact, are now based entirely on the web.
If you’re looking to sell products or offer a service online, you’re
getting into the right trend at the right time. Online businesses,
if executed properly, are a fairly simple, convenient, and highly
profitable ventures. They will cost you less than having a real
store: you don’t have to buy or rent property, nor hire and pay for
a staff. You and your customers alike won’t even have to leave the
house to make transactions. You could always open a website
However, there are possible pitfalls as well. There have been known
instances of fraud, often on the store owners’ side, and many
struggle to get recognized as honest business. A lot of retailers
also don’t realize that visibility is a top priority in a virtual
world where everything is offered for sale. But you can avoid all of
these things – you just need to get started on the right foot.
First and foremost, know your target market. Tailor your products,
services, and their respective price to the particular needs,
tastes, and spending capacity of your customers. Market your product
or service in such a way that it has an edge over similar providers.
It is imperative that whatever you’re selling has something that no
one else can provide – whether it be quality, original design,
affordability, or effective service and delivery.
Secondly, get a domain name – such as paythroughthenose.co.uk
- or one that ends with a .com, .org, or
.net. This will make your business look all the more legitimate. It
will also make your company or store name much more memorable and
much more visible in search engine results.
There are tons of affordable domain name providers on the web, and
most of them will also offer you web hosting and bandwidth that’s
really more than you need each month. Just make sure that you get a
provider that doesn’t come with ads that you don’t want on your
Get a skilled web and graphic designer to customize your site. A
clean, simple, user-friendly interface will get you more customers.
Upload images and descriptions of your products or services – you
don’t have to paste them all over the site, just place them on a
prominent spot on the page at will draw every visitor’s eye. Make
sure that your photos put your product or service in the best light,
and that your descriptions for each are succinct and informative.
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Now, this is perhaps the most
important of all: offer your customers a valid, safe means to make
payments. Accept deposits and transactions through as many credit
cards as possible. Assure your buyers that you can deliver on time
and according to their requests. Offer them refunds if they are
unsatisfied. And put up a customer service hotline – or, at the very
least, an email address – where they can contact you and ask
questions about your store.
Finally, make use of social networking sites and online marketing
tools. Set up an account on a networking platform where its users
could look you up and see what you’re selling, as well as get timely
updates on new products or developments on the site. If you want to
nurture a loyal customer base, you can set up a mailing list and
send your subscribers a couple of newsletters each month, or
Designed by Dave Parsell 2010 All