With the 2020 pandemic, many businesses who only have physical outlets are suffering loss because no one is going outside their homes to shop. While this is happening, businesses with online outlets are experiencing a boom in sales as more customers do more online shopping. So, if you’re just starting out in business or you already have a brick-and-mortar shop, you might want to take your business online. It could not only be very rewarding, but it could also mean that your business has a better chance of surviving future crises.
What is E-Commerce?
E-commerce is the buying and selling of products and services through online platforms. For established businesses, selling online opened new opportunities for business growth, reaching new customers they wouldn’t have been able to reach through traditional marketing. So, if you already have a business, it’s a good idea to set up an online store to diversify the risk of your business, especially now that physical shops are finding it difficult to survive under quarantine conditions.
For starting entrepreneurs, the online marketplace is a good starting point for establishing their business without needing to set up a physical shop that would need substantial capital.
Do you want to sell online and establish an online presence? Take these steps to start selling your products online.
Get a Good Domain Name
Your domain name or URL is the web address of your business’s online presence and outlet, and this is what a customer types in the address box to go to your website. And just like the street address of your shop, the easier to find your website is, the more that customers will visit.
If you’re just setting up your business, it is strategic to have a business name that’s the same as your domain name. That way, if customers use your business name in the search box of their browser, your domain name will come up as the closest match.
So, choose and acquire your business and domain at roughly the same time. That way, you’ll have a domain that reflects your business while avoiding problems like choosing a business name whose matching domain name that has already been taken or just doesn’t work as a domain name.
What Makes a Good Domain Name?
Good domain names should:
Be short and memorable – Short names are easier to remember. And the easier it is to remember, the faster it is for customers to type into the address box.
Be clear and easy to say aloud – When you’re talking about your business to potential clients over coffee, you wouldn’t want to have to spell out your domain name. Therefore, in choosing a domain name, don’t use words that sound too much like other words, or with digits mixed with spelled-out numbers, or anything that sounds awkward or unclear when said out loud.
Contain keywords – Keywords related to your business are important for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. They make your domain rank higher in searches that has those keywords
What To Do If The Domain Name You Want Is Taken?
So many domains are being registered every day for the past 20 years because of their low prices. Because of this, all the generic and predictable domain names have most likely been registered a long time ago. Therefore, whatever domain name you have in mind with the .com extension may no longer be available.
So, if your business is not in a position to pay for a premium domain name or if your preferred domain name has already been taken, then consider using a different domain extension.
Google shows that .com addresses are not favored by search engines compared with other extensions. If your business name reflects a certain niche and will make for a memorable web address, go for it! Let’s say you have an ecommerce business, then the domain extension .store would be perfect for you.
With a .store domain name, your website will be instantly seen as an online retail site. This helps you get more qualified leads just by making it obvious to visitors that your site is a virtual store. Online shoppers prefer to click on a link with .store at the end of its domain name instead of a .com site, which might lead to a blog or unrelated site.
Set Up Your Online Store
You can build an attractive and easy-to-use online store without writing any kind of code. All you need to do is find an e-commerce platform that has all the tools you’ll need to build your online store, add products, create a checkout system, and other essentials.
Be careful in choosing your platform, though. Make sure you won’t need to pay extra for necessary features. If you have many different products, Shopify would be one of your best options. But if you only have a few core products to sell, then you might want to check out ClickFunnels.
Market Your Products and Your Online Store
The last step is to tell people about your online store! Market your online store as early as possible to have a steady stream of customers going to your website. Use any or all of the following marketing approaches:
- Social Media Engagement – Facebook is a great way to engage your customers and so establish your business’s online presence. Create a Facebook Business Page to let people know about your company, and then upload images of your products and link everything back to your website. Instagram and Pinterest are also popular venues for engagement. And through these platforms, you can sell your products directly to the users.
- Email Newsletters – Send email newsletters regularly to inform your customers about new products, upcoming sales, and other news. Send them regularly but not too frequently — once a month is enough to not spam those on your mailing list. And beyond advertising your products, your newsletters should have more added-value content for them to be interesting and fun to read.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO helps new customers discover your website through searches of certain keywords on Google, Bing, and other search engines. To help your website rank higher in searches, publish high-quality content that contains the appropriate keywords for your products on your website in the form of product reviews, blog articles, etc.
- Promotions and Discounts – Just like in physical shops, you can also do regular coupons and promotions, discounts, and even Daily Deals or Group Deals that are exclusive to online purchases. These would help drive traffic into your online store.
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