The world has advanced to levels we never imagined. You might be running a boutique, selling children’s clothes, ladies’ dresses, suites, shoes; or an electronic shop selling phones, fridges, watches, televisions or computers. If you have not taken advantage of technology to market your products, then you don’t live in this world. Did you know that you can run your entire business from home? Yes! It’s possible. All you need is to follow the following guidelines in order to succeed in running an e-commerce business:
Step 1 Build a Website
The assumption here is that you have already established a business area you want to deal with. Next, you must have good internet connection. You then have to find a good and reputable hosting company like Bluehost and buy a space and domain name. Once you are done, you can then launch your website either through WordPress or Joomla among others. I would recommend WordPress because of its simple interface. WordPress also offers a variety templetes and plugins that you will find so useful.
In order to succeed in all this, you must have done enough research and talked to experts like myself. You must look for reviews on various hosting companies and site builders before you make a choice. Just don’t feel shy to seek help for you are not alone. There are many people out there just as green as you. There are plenty of site-builders out there who can help you build an attractive website. Feel free to talk to me or higher me to develop your website.
Step 2 Organize for a shopping method
You need to organize for a way in which your customers can make purchases and receive your goods or services. You need to organize for transportation and shipping services depending on distances involved. You need a good way for customers to add their purchases to a shopping cart service and then pay for them.
Step 3 Avail payment options
Here you have to provide a variety of payment options. Find a merchant account provider that can work best for you. You should be able to receive a variety of payment options including wire, credit cards and PayPal. Personally, I prefer to make purchases through a method that is quick, easy and efficient. If I encounter technicalities, I move on to the next available offer. This is exactly what all customers expect. Therefore, the payment methods you accept should be easy to send and receive money from all over the world. If you use an option that is limited to a specific country, then expect to find few customers limited within your country.
Don’t forget to pay attention to foreign transaction fees and conversion rates when dealing with customers from overseas. Beware also of transaction fees that come with accepting credit cards, wire transfers and any other form of online payment.
Step 4 Take note of the legal and financial considerations involved
Doing business online comes with other additional considerations like taxation, security, privacy and copyright. Remember, you will be collecting massive consumer data that is very sensitive. We have agencies charged with the responsibility of monitoring e-commerce activities, commercial emails and online advertising and customer privacy. You must ensure that you comply with laws and regulations related to e-commerce.
Ensure that you protect your customers’ privacy from identity theft and misuse of personal information. You will be collecting customers’ financial information through credit cards etcetera so you have to ensure that you understand rules and regulations involved.
Don’t get into trouble with the tax collector. Remember, online business is different from having a physical store or office in a particular state whereby you collect sales tax directly from your customers. In some countries like the USA, if you don’t have a physical presence (nexus) in a particular state, you are not obliged to collect sales taxes from your customers. This might vary according to your country’s requirements. Some countries have tax exceptions on certain items. Many online retailers use online shopping cart services to handle their sales transactions. Many of these services are programmed to calculate sales tax rates for retailers.
Don’t forget also that you are bound by Copyright Act and any infringement can lead to your arrest and prosecution.
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Step 5 Market your site
Expand your market in order to increase your sales. Use the internet wisely and avail your information online so that customers can search and find you easily. Push your information through social media campaigns like Facebook pages, Twitter, and Pinterest. Do tutorials and post videos online detailing information about your products and services. Post videos to YouTube channel. Ensure that your website is easily accessible and has all the details being sort for. Ensure that the information you avail is relevant and organized depending on your objectives.