Tuesday, October 9, 2012

5 Top Tips for Those Thinking of Opening an Online Shop

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Image via CrunchBase
These days more and more people are deciding to open up their own online shops- and none more so than those over 50s. Setting up an online store is not only a great mean of making some extra cash; it can also be a really rewarding pastime for those that find themselves with a little extra time on their hands. Here are five tips for those looking to set up their first store. 

It’s cheaper than you think


It is quite remarkable that these days it is possible for anyone to set up an online shop within a couple hours for next to no cost. There are a huge range of different e-commerce platforms out there and it is well worth having a look around and working out which one is for you. Many people waste thousands of pounds having a bespoke website created for them by a web design company when a much cheaper option could have worked just as well. 

Think about marketing 


It’s all well and good having a great looking site but how will anyone find it? Underestimating how difficult it can be to get people to a site is probably the most common mistake that new online business owners make. Think carefully about how you plan to acquire customers and have a good sense of how much this is likely to cost. There is nothing more frustrating than having a beautiful looking website that nobody ever visits.
 

Think about stock 


If you are just setting up your business you do not want to be holding a lot of stock. One way around this is to work with a drop shipper. You market their products but they keep them all at their warehouse and fulfil the orders as you notify them. Although the margins are not as good, it removes any risk you might have of being stuck with products you cannot sell- and it also takes the headache of fulfilment! And believe me it can be a headache. There are many companies offering
drop shipping services, covering a huge range of different products, from pet supplies to electronic equipment. If you do decide to work with one then make sure you do plenty of research to ensure they are reliable.
 

Do your homework 


The more you understand about e-commerce then the more likely your shop is to succeed. You may not want to become an expert in user experience, organic search, pay-per-click, analytics or any other mysterious online phenomenon, but having a working understanding will be incredibly useful. There is a huge community of first time internet entrepreneurs and they are incredibly eager to help out newcomers. Sites such as Warrior Forums and SEOMoz are full of great information and support for newbies. Do not waste money on e-books or expensive courses which claim to explain how to set up a successful online shop- all the information you could ever need is available on the web for free. 

Market research 


It is amazing how attached you can become to your online shop and it is always good to try and get other people’s opinion. Market research does not have to be expensive- in fact it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. Simply construct a list of questions and email them to everyone in your address book and ask them to respond- before you know it you will have a useful sample size. Feedback is really important and the beauty of having an online shop is that it is relatively quick and easy to act upon it. It is important that you have a shop which you are happy with- but ultimately it’s more important that you have a shop which your customers will love.



3 comments:

  1. Excellent article. From lot of days ago i was searching that types articles.
    Finally got it......

    Take Care:)

    over 50s life insurance

    ReplyDelete
  2. The more you understand about e-commerce then the more likely your shop is to succeed. You may not want to become an expert in user experience, organic search, pay-per-click, analytics or any other mysterious online phenomenon, but having a working understanding will be incredibly useful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Opening up an online store is easy but promoting it on the internet needs lot of efforts. Marketing plays the major role. User must experience excellent comfort, ease of use and safety features. This would definitely brings direct traffic rather than relying on the search engines.

    ReplyDelete

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