New business owners and entrepreneurs have never had it so good!
Starting a new online business is easier than ever, thanks to great e commerce packages and platforms available now.
The secret to success is to choose the right level of e commerce platform for your needs. This will be covered for you here, but before that how do you decide what to sell?
One of the first important decisions is choosing what products to sell. Not just what products to sell, but what products to sell profitably.
It’s worthwhile doing a Google search for your planned product keywords to see likely competitors and find out their pricing. Also worth checking selling prices on EBay and Amazon for competitor products.
Identifying a product to sell goes hand in hand with identifying a suitable, reliable supplier. One that can provide bona fidi, quality products that don’t break any copyright patents anywhere.
Best to have a supplier in UK or one overseas? Good question as it may look cheaper to buy overseas, but import taxes need taken into account, which may make it more expensive to import goods, so do you research beforehand.
Also, it is worth remembering that reputable overseas suppliers will probably be happy to supply a product sample usually free initially, then expect you to purchase in bulk rather than in volumes of one or two’s.
Best to consult the Gold supplier list on the Alibaba website or a similar quality supplier directory website for reputable suppliers. Read up on the supplier reviews and make contact on Skype is always recommended before parting with payments upfront. Alibaba’s highest and most premium level of membership helps find a reliable, trusted supplier overseas.
There are some very good suppliers out there and the joy of e commerce is to find them and build a relationship that will get you good service and discounts.
Ready now for choosing an e commerce platform and a local partner developer to get you ready to sell as quickly as possible with a professional looking e commerce store that you can upload your product images, descriptions, buy now buttons ready to take orders.
You know what you want to sell, but how do you create an ecommerce site that’s both affordable and effective?
A tried and trusted e commerce platform I really like is Shopify.
With a custom Shopify theme design and set-up you’ll be launched and on your way to success very quickly.
Quick, simple, cost effective. I’ve been working with Shopify ever since I discovered their awesome design and ease of use. I’m impressed that they are constantly growing and adding new features to the platform, while maintaining what I consider the most user friendly shopping cart system available.
Ease of use is key to my clients, as most would prefer to spend their time selling rather than figuring out a complicated cart system. This shopping cart is easy enough for anyone to use and its simplicity makes it convenient to update things if needed.
The hardest part of launching an ecommerce site is developing your content, gathering photos, determining your shipping etc. I can certainly help you with all of that as well – I’ve operated many ecommerce stores and have plenty of tips to share.
Basic design using current logo (or typeface company name)
Shopify theme setup, navigation, layout and coding (I use my own Shopify themes as a base)
Home page slideshow and featured products
Layout and styling of product and content pages (adding products and copy on your behalf is additional)
Custom checkout pages to match your site
Integration with current email marketing service
Social media integration
Customization of hosting account to accommodate Shopify
Customization of shipping, taxes, payment and account admin
Set-up of blog/news feature
Responsive layout (looks great on desktop + mobile)
Cross browser testing
Assistance with copy editing
Best practices for search engines (Shopify’s built-in SEO rocks)
Custom HTML customer emails (Shopify comes with standard emails ready to use)
Integration with third-party apps
Colour swatches – great for clothing shops
Customized forms to collect unique information
Even better news – you don’t need to know how to code to use Shopify.
Shopify is a hosted cart – they keep everything on their super-fast servers for you (instead of one that you rent space on and install the software yourself). This means they keep a close eye on any service disruptions or other problems for you. And anytime they improve or upgrade the software it gets added automatically to your shop without anyone having to upgrade it.
You need to be able to quickly add and adjust products, process orders, keep track of stock and promote your items. Shopify has the basics beautifully covered and then some. Plus there are some very handy apps that we can add on if you extend its capabilities (like showing hand-picked related products).
Sure there are carts out there that have a plenty of features, one-time fee, or are open-source (free to use). But the compromise is the need for complex customisation, expensive developer fees for any updates or changes, and a complex admin section that confuses a new shop owner.
Shopify has a monthly hosting fee that starts at $29 (US) = approx £20 GBP and I believe it’s worth every penny for the peace of mind knowing your site is in good hands. Check out the different levels to see what is included – and feel free to ask me which I think might suit your needs.
This Shopify monthly fee is a cost effective way of quickly getting up and running with a quality e commerce site that will allow selling integration via Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, EBay.
This is in contrast to choosing a more more complicated shopping cart that will require initial development and set-up costs. customisation costs, then either to train yourself up to use it or to hire someone to do that for you. Shopify on the other hand, does all this for you for a monthly fee.
Have a retail store? Meet customers and clients one to one? All you need now is the Shopify POS which will tie your online and offline sales together seamlessly.
Contact me with any questions you have – I’d be happy to help you decide if Shopify is right for your project.
If you want to want to get straight on with selling on Shopify, you could take advantage of the Free Trial Offer below:
Try a Free Trial of Shopify For E Commerce
Facebook is a social media success phenomenon.
1) More than one million websites have integrated with Facebook platform.
2) 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month.
3) Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated already.
4) Facebook likes, shares, and comments, are feeding the social interactions of users, resulting in greater the personalisation inside Facebook.
5) Facebook hit 700 million active users earlier this year 2011 and now it has a population of around 900 million.
6) 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day.
7) The average user has 130 friends.
8) People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
9) Facebook has just introduced Timeline, which aims to allow users to enter details of their key life moments going back to their birth.
It is clear that as long as people want to communicate, network and socialise online, businesses, brands and service providers will need to get a Facebook presence. In addition, growing opportunities with other popular social media channels such as Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Stumbleupon, Delicious, Digg and Reddich.
The social media revolution continues to change the world and the world of business communications.
Make sure your business is using social media to communicate your social marketing messages.
Steve Johnson is a Digital Marketing Consultant at SEO Allardice, Twickenham, London. United Kingdom.
What are the top priorities for a business website?
Yes, research shows time after time, that when careful questioning of top priorities for a website are undertaken, it’s not always pretty websites that businesses require, but websites that generate, attract and increase visitors and traffic.
Why is this not a surprise ?
Well, it’s because a flash website with no visitors is like a plush restaurant with no customers.
It looks good, but in business terms is not achieving its business potential or profit objectives.
So how do you attract customers through the door or visitors to your website?
At SEO Allardice, we will share these strategies with you, so you know how to increase website traffic.
So take action and contact us today.
Let’s discuss the website traffic increase you require.
Steve Johnson is a Digital Marketing Consultant at SEO Allardice, Twickenham, London.