Every business wants to sell online and if you are an entrepreneur or a wanna be entrepreneur and want to sell online, then you have to read this article in detail. It will definitely show you the path on what to consider and how to start your online business.
The 5 Essential Steps to sell online.
Is online the best channel for your business
The easiest thing to sell online is a digital product. Which means an ebook or an audio file or a software. When it comes to selling physical products online, then life is not that straight forward. There are a lot of things you will need to consider before you start selling online. Here are some –
- International shipping – Are you set to deliver your products online, if so, then what is the impact of that on the overall shipping cost and delivery times.
- What your policies when it comes to returns or exchanges. Are you ok if customers use and return your products and if you are not ok, then how do you make sure your customers are ok with it
- Pricing is another important aspect and you need to be also aware about the taxes that exist at a state level and at a national level.
Make sure your customers know about you
- Marketing is the most important aspect of selling online since no one can physically see your store.
- You need to ensure that you are aware about the different traffic sources, for example, SEO, SEM, Social, Direct, Referral etc.
- Each and every traffic source has its pro and cons and you need to be aware about that. For example SEO and Direct will give you the best quality and conversion rates, but you cannot get high google ranks or direct traffic in a day. It will take time.
How to create an online store
- Another important aspect is the capability of your core team and what is your focus area. Are you a technology heavy company or are you a product / marketing heavy company. This will help you decide if you want to buy or build.
- You need to know the size you want to grow to. If you are a serious player and are expecting to grow to a few hundred thousands visitors a month, then you need to probably devise a strategy that will help you build rather than buy.
- The most critical decision that you need to make at this point is whether you want to build or you want to buy. While buying gives you various options and technologies to choose from, building gives you higher control and flexibility.
- You also need to check on the coverage (number of banks supported and locations supported) of the payment gateway provider, payment cycle (when will they pay you), technical support and overall ease of integration.
- You need to ensure that you know beforehand on the amount of revenue you are aiming for in the first year or in the current year and then calculate which payment gateway provider will be the cheapest for you.
- Payments are typically done via integration with Payment gateways and here also you need to consider the fixed and transactional cost for each payment gateway provider. Some PG providers do not charge any flat fees but are heavy on transactions and some are a combination of both.
- One of the most important areas to focus on as you don’t want to spend the same amount of money every time to get a new customer. Once you have a customer, you want to make sure that you not only keep that customer happy, but also create enough opportunities to cross sell and up sell more services and products to him.
- Keeping a customer happy is not easy but you got to do it. Customer is the king and Customer is always right. These are the two mantras that you cannot forget and you need to ensure that you are prompt in responding to the customer, that you are always respectful, that you do not avoid customer interaction and you win the trust of the customer first.
- You can use tools for managing the telephonic, web and email queries or complaints. These tools will not only help you monitor the overall performance of the customer support team, but will also help you ensure that you are able to create customer segments based on their overall experience and use this data for future marketing opportunities.
These 5 points are just a summary of what you will need to do to start your online business. There is a lot more to setting up an e-commerce business, but the good part is that there is a lot of information available on the internet and you can learn and grow with the online support system !