If you’ve reached a point where it’s no longer viable to run your brick-and-mortar shop, or if you simply want to expand your operations to virtual selling, joining the e-commerce bandwagon is probably on your mind.
The online shopping industry has seen massive growth in the past decade, and to keep your business going, it makes sense to expand your customer base by going online. If you’re ready to become an e-seller, here are five tips to help you get started and achieve success as an online entrepreneur.
Create an ecommerce site
The first step, of course, is to build an ecommerce platform to showcase and sell your offerings online. A good strategy is to invest in a ready-to-use ecommerce website builder as that will give you access to a number of in-built features you may not be able to explore if building your own self-hosted site.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to take on the additional task of managing an e-store, you can test waters by signing up as a seller with an existing online marketplace such as Amazon or eBay.
Select products to sell online
Remember that you need not add every item in your physical store to your e-store. For starters, pick a few select items and then take it from there as you learn the nuances of effective ecommerce selling.
As the seller has no personal interaction with an online consumer, everything—from product photos to pricing and quality of your products to your online store’s layout—should be able to interest potential buyers and enthuse them to buy from you.
Set up an online payment system
The second most important step is to sign up for a payment platform to receive payments from your customers. If you decided to be a seller on an e-commerce marketplace, you need not worry about this step.
But if you’re building your shopping website, ensure that you have a foolproof payment processing system in place and check it multiple times before going live.
Have a robust bookkeeping plan in place
Hire accounting experts that specialize in accounting for e-commerce entrepreneurs, such as amazon seller bookkeeping, as they would have the knowhow and experience to help you manage your expenses, transactions and payments in a professional and reliable manner.
Choose a company that can offer more than just accounting services. Check if they have the knowhow and resources to offer comprehensive financial analyses, help you make income tax savings and ensure compliance with local laws.
Devise a digital marketing plan using expert knowledge
To be successful selling online, you need to establish a strong presence and reach your target audience through digital marketing tools such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media, email marketing, newsletters, content marketing, link building and brand collaborations.
If starting small, educate yourself about these tools and use them to send traffic to your site. If you can afford it, engage a professional internet marketing agency or freelancer to design and run a campaign for you.
Infographic created by Fiserv