Starting an Ecommerce store for the first time may seem to be an overwhelming task. Most owners will not know how to setup or develop their own store, but these days there are hundreds of shopping cart platforms to choose from. In almost every circumstance you should go with a proven, stable shopping cart as opposed to a custom developed one. The reason being that custom carts are often buggy and lack the proper extensions that you may want. Plus they are much more expensive.
Every owner will have a different level of knowledge when it comes to e-commerce, online marketing, programming, etc. Many owners just know that they have a product to sell online, but don't know the first thing about e-commerce. Whatever the case, below are some helpful hints for starting and Ecommerce store.
1. Product – Choosing the right product may determine how well your store succeeds. Competition on the Internet is immense, and much research must be done prior to developing an online store.
2. Research – Research is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of starting an Ecommerce store. You need to know your what you are going to sell before you begin the actual store. Researching the product(s) is a critical step in determining the demand and competition for that product. It will also help you better determine your marketing approach after the store has been launched. Or it may even detour your from starting the store all together. Google's Keyword Tool is a terrific tool that allows you to research keyword search.
3. Distributors – Who is going to supply your product(s)? Are you going to store your own inventory or find a dopshipper? These questions are vital to the success of your online store. You need to find reliable wholesalers/dropshippers that will supply you your products at a competitive cost. Researching distributors can be a lengthy process, but is absolutely necessary. Wholesale Lookup is a resource where you can search for wholesalers and dropshippers from around the world.
4. Software Choice and Development Team – For most owners choosing a company to develop/implement the store is a critical step. Open source shopping carts will save you time and money. Most are very stable and have been around for many years. When you are choosing a company tell them you would like to use and open source shopping cart. Three of the most popular carts are osCommerce, Zen Cart, and Magento.
5. Selling Platforms – Determine your selling platform. There are many different ways to sell your product online. You should always consider all the options including selling on Amazon, eBay, Google Base, Shopzilla, Nextag, and others. Of course you should always have your own Ecommerce store and use the above as compliments.
Starting and managing an online store is a serious commitment and should be treated with patience. Be sure to research as many different avenues as possible before making any decisions. If you do not have time to research, then you probably will not have the necessary time to put into your online store.