Many businesses both large and small are making use of the Internet to enlarge their business and increase their bottom line. Even sole traders can start up an ecommerce store from which to sell their product or advertise their services. In fact, a great many people have found success in doing this. If you are thinking about starting up such a project, here are some tips on what you need to do.
- Create a plan. This will include several components such as deciding what to sell, finding out where to access it, working out how you will differ from the competition, locating your target market and getting the legalities and store policies into place.
- Setting it up. There are many things to decide in this step. Will your store have phone support? What domain and plan will you use? What will be the name of your store? Will you use drop-shipping or have stored inventory and if the latter, where will you store it? Selling digital goods saves a lot of problems with storing and packaging. You need to create a special bank account and decide on your merchant account so that people can pay you. PayPal makes it easy, but they do take a percentage of each transaction.
- Handling sales: It is a good idea to use a FAQ page to explain sales policies to customers. This saves a lot of time and effort answering the same old questions. Choose the payment method Credit cards are popular as nearly everyone has one – cheque and wire transfer are options. Find out the implications of each method. Will you sell internationally? It is more expensive – and you have to be sure your goods are allowed into the countries you sell in.
- How to handle unhappy customers. Not every customer will be happy. You need to decide beforehand how you will handle this. Set up the store policies and stick to them. At the same time, always try your best to smooth ruffled feathers and create a good user experience.