There can little doubt the tremendous impact the web, computers and tech have had on modern life. However, their influences have perhaps been most profound in the arena of business and e-commerce.
These days, it’s almost impossible to think of any firm that doesn’t rely on tech to at least some degree in its day-to-day operations. From the basic one-man-band business using email and browsing, and fledgling online retailers building their businesses online right up to global multinationals crunching Big Data, the web and computers have become an integral part of most modern companies.
Your first e-commerce site
Today it’s easier than ever for firms or individuals to set up an e-commerce site. From website builder systems to templates powered by Content Management Systems (CMSs), building an online shop is no longer the complex, time-consuming task it used to be. However, before you start down the route of selling online, there are some important points you should consider:
Try to choose a niche:
In the online arena, there’s little point trying to be all things to all people (Amazon already has that covered). Instead, you should try to find a niche market to help you stand out. Of course, if you already have a business up and running, this part of the process will be largely already decided.
Choose your domain name:
If you already have a company name, choosing a domain name (also called URL) should be relatively simple – but you should also bear in mind that your domain name should ideally be short and memorable. It’s also a good idea to try and stuff some keywords in there that relate to your business type to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For example, if you intend to sell handbags, you might want to incorporate that word into your URL title.
Build yourself or use a professional firm:
Largely through the widespread adoption of technologies like HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a lot of the previous grunt work involved in web design has largely been removed. These days there is a vast range of builder systems available that could have you up and running in a matter of hours. However, if you were to put these sites side by side next to a professionally designed site, you’ll almost always notice big differences. Bottom line, if you can afford it, you will pretty much always get better results using a professional firm. It’s also important to remember you’re going to want to ultimately convert these website visitors into paying customers (equally applicable for B2B and B2C business models) so making that process as easy as possible should be your end goal – read more in this article by Web Presence.
Work out hosting:
Just like a real-world shop needs premises, so your online store needs a ‘home’ – a place where your files, text and images are stored and served to your customers. If you choose to work with a professional firm, they will likely look after your hosting for you. Otherwise, the best advice is to check online review sites for a recommended hosting company that covers all your requirements.