Four Easy Steps to Sell Online

If you’re thinking of setting up an e-commerce store, it’s never been a better time as U.S. online retail sales are expected to grow 57 percent by 2018. Here are some key tips you can use when starting to sell online:

Four Easy Steps to Sell Online1. Brand Your Store With a Domain Name

One of the easiest yet most critical ways to brand your business online is to register the right domain name. This will give you a memorable Web address to market your store and promote your brand. Additionally, your customers will have a Web address to easily find you – even if you need to change e-commerce providers down the line. A little known secret if you’re planning to have your storefront within an e-commerce platform like Amazon, eBay, Shopify or Etsy, is that you can choose the Web address your domain name points to, so customers can get to your online store directly.

When selecting a domain name, keep in mind that it should be memorable and descriptive of your business in order to stand out from the competition. A domain name that contains your location, includes popular search keywords, or creatively highlights certain aspects of your business may be the most successful in getting customer attention.

2. Choose the Right e-Commerce Solution

Do you want a store on your own website or do you want a store within an existing marketplace platform (e.g. Amazon)? Are you just selling one product or do you need a more sophisticated shopping cart? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you choose from a number of available solutions. Here are some to consider:

  • A hosted provider like Shopify or Bigcommerce allows you to create a store and have it live on their servers for a monthly fee. Different budget options are available.
  • If you already have a website with a hosting provider, many offer e-commerce packages that will upgrade your website so you can sell products online. Or you can choose to add e-commerce tools, such as Opencart, to transform your website into an online store.
  • You can create a store using an existing online marketplace like Etsy, Amazon or eBay. Benefits often include a quick and easy set-up for a low-budget Web presence, and a built-in base of potential customers.

3. Make the Shopping Experience Easy 

  • Write Product Descriptions and Take Photos: Your customer isn’t in a physical store to touch or try on your product, so help them make the leap to purchase with a comprehensive description. It’s important to provide as much information as you can, like weights and measurements, along with quality, high-resolution images.​
  • Don’t Forget About Mobile Shoppers: Consumers are shopping more frequently with mobile devices, so if there is an option to make your website mobile-friendly, it will be worth the investment. There are also additional SEO benefits to having a mobile site.

4. Create a Trusted Shopping Experience

  • Clearly State Store Policies: This includes shipping times, shipping costs and return/exchange policies.​
  • Implement Security Measures: One critical tool is an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate which encrypts parts of your website that collect personal information, like credit card and customer details. Having an SSL certificate not only helps to keep your customers safe from hackers and identity thieves, but also gives your business credibility.

About the Author

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