Just 10 short years ago, the Internet was a virtual unknown to the average person who was seeking to start their own business. A decade from now, there will be even more people who choose to shop online for a variety of reasons. They will do this not only through their computers and smartphones but also via their televisions, landlines, even their appliances. Everything that a person needs to lead their daily life from groceries to other convenience items is either available online now or will be very soon. This is just a glimpse of what the future of an online business can hold. There are many ways that an online business can be born.
How Is An Online Business Born? Can You Design Your Own Online Business?
There are many considerations when you’re considering an online business. You’ll want to consider who you want to host your website, there are a variety of options for hosting or you can even do it yourself. You can choose an ISP or you can even go with a DIY service on the Internet. How do you decide? What will you want to look for and, what are the basics required for a thriving online business?
Before you ever start your online business, you’ll want to perform several steps and answer several questions. The more you know now, the better your business is going to do later. You’ll want to determine the right home for your online business. You’ll want to choose a site that will allow you to do online e-commerce services in order to be successful in your online business. First things first, however, regardless of whether or not you’re hosting the site, or having it hosted for you, you’ll want to choose your domain name and obtain that domain name so that people will be able to find your website.
How To Register Your Domain Name
If you’re sincere about your online business, you’ll want to have a domain name that reflects your products. Choose your domain name carefully. Your domain name will represent your company. A good example is that Amazon uses its own name of “Amazon” for its domain name. Other large corporations do this as well. What will you do if the domain name that you select is already in use?
Your domain name should be short, sweet, and to the point. It should be easy to remember, reflect your product line, and be convenient for both you, and your potential customers. Keep it easy to spell and ensure that it clearly reflects what you’re selling.
Ecommerce Basics To Consider
It’s important to remember that e-commerce isn’t like a brick and mortar store. Regardless of what you’re offering, the Website should adhere to the basics of e-commerce:
3 Cs of E-commerce
Your goal is to sell your products or services in relation to the target audience. You’ll want an online environment that is user friendly and helps to lead visitors to a sale.
Delivering Your Services Or Product
Your user-friendly site will be a lot of hard work in the beginning. However, once you’ve got it all set up, it should be far easier to maintain.
You’ll want to set it up to accept orders and payment. Your customers must be able to see that their orders have been accepted and paid for and they’ll want to know approximately when their products or services will be received. Without any form of acknowledgment, they’ll never return let alone order in the first place. Your customers must feel as if they are talking directly to you in person. They need that “warm fuzzy” feeling that talking to a person gives you even if they’re only dealing with you online.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that your site is protected from hackers. That no one can simply glean your customer’s credit card information or bank account information nor can they find a way to steal the product. This can be a daunting task. You’ll have to choose protective measures to ensure that no one can hack this personal information and you’ll have to reassure your customers that you’ll never sell their names or email addresses creating spam for them.
Marketing strategies per Foire (2000) that can help to increase the exposure of your website are as follows:
You’ll want to utilize every means of SEO or Search Engine Optimization and utilize search engine rankings.
2. Grass-Roots Marketing (my favorite)
3. Backlinks, exchange links, and banners on other sites.
4. Register your website with online promotional businesses or services.
5. Join newsgroups, discussions, and other Internet sites that will help you to promote your business.
6. Viral marketing means.
It’s important to remember that your online business isn’t going to grow if you don’t put forth the effort in the beginning. You want your online business to brand itself and show your potential customers that you’re the “go-to” company for all of their needs. Focus on quality services and drawing in the right target audience in the beginning and you’ll be successful.
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