Clearly, building the elements of e-commerce into your Web business is a big job, but it's too important to ignore if you want your e-business to grow and thrive.
The elements of e-commerce
Your business may be smaller than your competitors, but the Internet lets you think big. Whatever product or service your business offers, the Internet levels the playing field and lets you compete with bigger businesses, reaching customers around the world who can conveniently buy from you 24 hours a day.
Planning your e-commerce website
But in the competitive world of the Web, growing your business and increasing your profits online requires some careful planning. For every successful e-commerce businesses, there are dozens that fail by not addressing basic risks and pitfalls along the way. So to take full advantage of the e-commerce opportunity, make sure you base your Web business on a solid foundation that covers every element of e-commerce:
Establish your identity. The right domain name, or URL, can make the difference between a memorable e-commerce identity and getting lost in the online crowd.
Find the right online home. For brick-and-mortar stores, location is everything. Your e-commerce business needs the right home, too. Purchase and set up your own Web server, find the right Internet Service Provider or use a dedicated service like Flow.
Build an attractive store-front. With the right tools, creating a Web site is easier than ever. You should also make your site easy and fun for customers to navigate. And that means more sales for you.
Let customers know they can trust you. In the anonymous world of the Internet, customers will communicate private information, like credit card numbers or phone numbers, to your e-commerce site only if your is protected. Make sure your site is secure, and that your customers know it. Make it easy for customers to pay you. Make sure you not only offer customers a variety of convenient payment methods, but that you can process them all.
- Let the world know about your site. A memorable domain name, a great-looking design, and top-notch products and services can make your site successful only if customers know about it. Don't neglect promoting your site to drive traffic to it.
Clearly, building the elements of e-commerce into your Web business is a big job, but it's too important to ignore if you want your e-business to grow and thrive. Just take the following steps to ensure that your e-commerce business gives you the competitive edge.
The next 6 posts will be putting some meat on the bones above, so look out for the following information…