The Booming Internet Industry and Successful E Commerce Sites

In 1994, Pizza Hut has decided to take the e commerce path by accepting orders online. This has proved to be a smart move for the said famous pizza company when it has experienced huge sales from its website customers. Pizza Hut is only one among the number of business companies that have seen tremendous sales growth due to the creation of e commerce sites. E Bay, a world-renowned electronic merchant website, is one of the pioneering examples of successful ecommerce sites as well; especially when it has teamed up with PayPal for its online transactions. Even the advertising industry has taken over a platform in the Internet, which has resulted to a decrease in the revenue gained by TV and print ads for many years. The Internet is truly a remarkable piece of technology that continues to intensify the way people do and breathe business.

The online world of business has many advantages for both sellers and buyers. Being able to stay at home is the most appealing and convenient benefit people get to have if they were to shop or run businesses through the World Wide Web. The only thing they need to do is to exercise those hand and finger muscles in typing and clicking their way around the Internet.

For those who want to build online businesses, being successful at it requires a lot of dedication and hard work though. The crucial aspects of starting an online business are the website creation and promotion. These two aspects should be able to attract customers in order to have a profitable online business. If the business owner has hired a professional web designer to develop his/her website, the web designer can help him/her more by providing SEO services as well. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an Internet marketing strategy wherein websites can rank as one of the top search engine results in sites like Yahoo and Google. Aside from SEO, website owners can also spread video ads online to obtain customers. This can be easily done by simply submitting interesting videos, along with proper meta tags and meta titles, regarding the online business to sites such as Metacafe and YouTube. Since these websites deal with thousands of web visitors all the time, there is a huge possibility that they would get to see the video ads.

How to Make an E-Commerce Site Popular

To be a successful name in e-commerce industry…it is tougher than it sounds! With more and more businesses coming online, it is just not enough to have a web presence. Your webshop has to have something different, something unique that can make it stand out from the rest. Brick and mortar shopping has its own challenges but when it comes to e-commerce, make sure you are acquainted with all the rules and tricks of the game. If the audience finds sufficient reason to come back to your portal, be sure of its dramatic success.

Adding to the popularity of your webshop and publicizing it is not that tough if you know the right way to do it. Let’s have a look at some of the basic steps to make your e-commerce site popular.

  • Design & Layout: The first thing that hits the user about your website, is its design and layout. Make sure the design of your portal compliments the type of products you sell and the taste of your target audience. For instance, an e-commerce portal for children can always use motifs like flowers, teddies, balloons and the like. Whereas, a lingerie site may use sensuous patterns and warm colors like red and orange. The goal is to make the site appealing enough to attract more and more audience. Also avoid using cluttered layouts with images of products, reviews, multiple colors, motifs, columns and other sections, all into the homepage. Make sure the pages are well categorized and in order.
  • Focus on products: Products are the catch of your website and your prime focus should always be on the presentation of your storefront. Arrange for multiple views of every single item. From extreme zoom in to side views, make sure users get all round view of the products they want to buy. Arrange the products in neat categories for the users to find it easily. Also mention the availability of products clear. For the ones out of stock must belong to a separate category.
  • Payment: It is not easy to win the trust of your users. It takes a lot of time to convince the buyers. The best way to start with the process, is to keep your payment terms and prices transparent and clear. Make sure the price of every product is mentioned clearly. The taxes involved should also be displayed and there should be no hidden cost involved.
  • Shipping: The most challenging job is to make the shipping terms and charges understandable for the users. Make sure the delivery date and charges involved are explicitly mentioned. Also mention the mode of shipping for the merchandises.
  • Payment modes: There is no doubt that credit cards are the most popular mode of payment on web, but not all users are comfortable with it and therefore, your portal must have alternative payment modes like Internet banking, check payment, cash payment on delivery, and the like. This will naturally add to the popularity of your website.
  • Spread the word: No business has ever survived without being popular with the target audience and this is where publicizing your portal becomes important. Spread the word on social networks, online communities, forums, discussions, threads and wherever you feel it’s relevant to talk about it.
  • Discounts & Offers: Shoppers love discounts whether it is at a shopping mall round the corner or at your online store. Promote your website by giving out discounts, offers, and free gifts.
  • Get the customer talking: Encourage users to comment on your portal, on whatever aspect of your website it maybe. This will not only keep the users involved and interested in your website, but will also help you to understand the status and flaws of your website. You can do the improvements based on their comments.

You don’t have to be a pro or a technical expert to make your e-commerce portal popular with the users. All you need to have a little business sense where customer satisfaction comes above everything else. Let me know if your have other ideas…it will truly help many.

How to Create Your Own E-Commerce Site

E-commerce is touted as one of the most viable online business opportunities on the Web today. In comparison to traditional brick and mortar businesses, e-commerce site requires minimal start-up cost and is relatively low-risk. However that does not imply creating an e-commerce site is a simple process, neither does it guarantee your future success. The purpose of this article is to walk you through the necessary steps and plans you would need in order to set up a successful e-commerce site.

Un-earth Your Niche

The very first thing to do is find your niche. Examine your hobbies and interests for potential business ideas. If you love soccer, consider selling soccer supplies or team uniforms, online. Focusing on your expertise or something you have great passion for would give you an advantage over competitors who do not have in-depth knowledge of that niche.

Research Your Niche

Once you’ve whittled down a few ideas, explore each one further. Ask yourself these questions: How many people are looking for your services? Where do they go and find people like yourself? How many searches are created for your product or service on Google? You may not have a budget to create demand, so it’s safer and cheaper to go where the demand already exists.

Scope out Your Competitors

Research your competitors inside out. Spend time to check out their websites and compare their products and services. Give yourself an idea of what you’re up against, so you can create your e-commerce site as professional as, or even better than theirs.

Write Your Business Plan

You want to have a foolproof business plan for your business. Work out a detailed formula – including your site theme, goals, business strategies. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of expenditures, sales, profits etc. Your business cannot just be a ‘me-too’ business online. Develop a powerful USP (Unique Selling Position) that sets you apart from your competitors and makes you stand out from the crowd!

Create Your Website

Register a good domain name as marketing tactic. Name that ends in *.com is best of all. Try to include relevant keywords that properly describe your business or product if possible.

A well-designed website creates a good first impression with your prospects. Get yourself a professional website template at an affordable price and customize it to suit your need. Most templates can be easily customized using common HTML editors and simple graphics software.

You’ll want your website content to target specific keywords for high search engines ranking and traffic flow. This can be done by creating informative articles, product reviews, descriptions and comparisons. If you’re short on time, many SEO (search engine optimization) experts are willing to help you out for a reasonable price.

Host Your Website

Find a dependable hosting company to host your website on their servers. A quick search on Google for “web hosting” should bring up hundreds of companies ready to do business with you. Select a reliable web host that provides adequate disk space and bandwidth with e-commerce scripts supporting features. Domain name-specific email accounts must also be available to give a professional image.

Your website files can be uploaded using a simple FTP program or file uploading service in your hosting account. Technical support personnel from your hosting company should walk you through the steps to upload your files and launch your website.

Implement a Shopping Cart

An e-commerce site is never complete without a secure shopping cart. The best option you can consider is a remotely hosted shopping cart which takes the burden of maintaining security and credit card numbers off your shoulder. Most remote shopping carts can be configured to look similar to your website so your customers may not realize that they have left your website when making a payment.

If a remote shopping cart is not within your budget, there are still lots of third party credit card processing companies that are ready to process your credit card orders using their merchant account for a small fee. Some popular ones to you can check out are ClickBank, PayPal and 2CheckOut.

Marketing and Promotion

You have identified your niche, set up your e-commerce site and you are good to go. Now comes the most crucial part – promoting your site! This could be a full-time career option for most people. Either you can learn to do this yourself or you can have an expert do it for you.

Begin by submitting your site to major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Dmoz, etc. You also need to optimize your site using profitable keywords and keyword-rich content. There are lots more business promotion strategies such as advertising, link exchange, e-zine promotion etc. which you may need to explore to create your online presence and build traffic.

Setting up your e-commerce site is sure a lot of work, but it’s just the first step. Making it successful is even more work, but the pay-offs can be rewarding. Remember, success can be yours provided you work hard and smart!