From the article: 8 Rules for a Successful Ecommerce Website
When you're thinking of how to start an online business, probably website design pops into your mind. But actually, the physical appearance of your website is just one aspect of how to start an online business - and probably not one of the most important aspects you need to pay attention to when you're first starting out. What one piece of advice would you give anyone on how to start an online business to increase their chances of success? Share Your Advice
E-retailing needs investments
- A good quality ecommerce site will require a experienced development team (ideally outsourced), and a full time maintenance and content management resource. It will also need search engine optimization experts, an in-house photographer, good reliable hosting services, payment service provider and merchandise delivery logistics. During initial stages of the ecommerce retailer will also need to spend on PPC. So in all it’s a sizable investment. Prashant Telang CTO TransPacific Software
- —Guest Prashant
Start an E-commerce Site
- An e-commerce site is the best way to gain exposure and profits since the future is turning out to be an e-commerce world. Once you get the required e-commerce site designed for business then its time to start the process. The e-commerce site should be flexible to attract the customers. Additional features such as customer support, shipping, discounts etc. should be available to attract customers worldwide.
- —Guest Shawn Irwin
Start a business in a recession
- Recession becomes an opportunity as people are scrabbling to save money, hold on to their money or plan for good times.
- —Guest Costa Neocleous
- To start an online business means hard work, which for me means not giving up and continuous improvement for the business.
- —Guest Alma
Find a Niche Market
- Starting an online business is very competitive in itself, so finding a niche is a beautiful start. The name is very important; make sure it's captivating, memorable, and short. The website must be easy to navigate to, in two to three minutes the customer must be able to find their answers, or shopping carts, with a nice piece about the product with its description. Keep your promise; if you guarantee a product to be delivered within 2 to 5 business days, make it happen. A customer appreciation area is important where they can document their services, and note if anything they would like to see improvement on about their purchase, and on the service overall. A niche market is the best, because if you are the only one with that particular product this is equal to a lot of cash flow. Therefore, let's get to work, and bring in profit.
- —Guest Maggy Reed
Have a Strategy
- In the online world, every page is an entry point. Your prospects can find you because of an article you wrote four years ago. That's the power of the internet so learn to harness the power. Make every page stand alone. Make every page powerful and make every page a landing page where you can learn more about your customers and get them to sign up for your newsletter or offer.
- —Guest GetYourSuccessNow.com
Build your Website on Open Source
- 1) Find a Need in the Market. 2) Hire a great developer. www.elance.com 3) Build your website on Open Source. The best are Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress. 4) Build an email subscription list. Then send monthly, weekly newsletters. 5) Open a Facebook Page, Blog, LinkedIn Group, Twitter Profile, Google Profile, YouTube. And the many Google services: http://www.google.com/services 6) Put your site in Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. 7) Get inbound links by joining discussions like this. 8) Don't give up.
Demand is everything
- My one piece of advice would be to thoroughly know your competition as in who's got the same product, who do they use to move it, what does their website look like, what is their market share and what are their biggest mistakes. You are swiping business from these people; how are you going to be better at it than they are? How badly do they want their customers and what are they willing to do to keep them. That's it! Service, service, service! But you have to know how.
- —Guest mousepaw
Make Sure Your Back-End Is Ready
- Don’t launch your online business until you have enough product to fulfill demand and your back-end capabilities are fully tested. If the item they want is out of stock or the customer has to wait or otherwise has a bad experience, they tell dozens or hundreds of people, never come back, and your business is damaged.
Get a Real Domain Name
- Make sure that you get a real domain name such as yourbusiness.com rather than one of those extension domain names like domainnamesareus/yourbusiness.com. They may be cheaper but they make you look like an amateur.