In terms of the futuristic business trends, eCommerce is the most promising one. As most of the modern cities are equipped with internet connection; the processes like purchasing online and making payments online are simplified. The improvisation in the eCommerce technologies has given rise to many new digital web stores that sell a wide range of products and operate in the global marketplace.
Business relates to trade and trade related to transactions. For an online buyer, the most important aspect is ‘Security’. Given the fact that there are devastating issues of online fraud happening all around the world, every buyer thinks twice before purchasing any product online. Setting up a web store is a different process as compared to establishing a regular website. It requires in-depth planning and careful consideration of many important factors.
It’s hard, but not impossible! Many opportunities lie ahead for any aspiring individual willing to setup an online shop and being a part of the ever evolving eCommerce industry. It’s time to get down to business!
Inception Of The Business Idea
Before you start thinking about launching your website, it is crucial to spend some time in ‘building your idea’. Think about what kind of products you will be selling? How many competitors are there in your niche? What should be the ideal interface of your website? These are important points of consideration that need a profound thought. Getting these points right will also help in the long run in terms of building a brand name in the initial phase of development. You can easily purchase the suitable domain name ahead of time in order to secure your company name and then you can start working on the logo.
Registering The Domain
Once you have a rough idea about how the online shop will look like, it’s time to make the next step. Registering a domain name and finding a web hosting company are not difficult tasks however you need to get them right. A lot depends on the domain name, it has to be impressive! Give a good amount of thought to the desired domain name before you move ahead for purchasing it.
Selecting The Web Hosting Service
Things get serious from here! Before you select the web hosting platform, you need to be clear with the idea that the functions of your website depend on the web hosting package and you need to give the best to your website for getting the best out of it. You will also have to think about the backend language for the online shop. Selecting the proper server specifications is also crucial. It is recommended to go with a PHP based hosting platform as it is open source and supported through a wide range of server environments. Ensure that any web hosting package that you purchase supports PHP and provides with MySQL databases.
Selecting Your eCommerce Package
You have two main options to choose from:
Hosted solutions are provided by the web hosting companies that provide you with a complete full fledged platform for executing the functions of an eCommerce website. This means you don’t have to get into deep technical aspects like programming or file uploads for setting up the online shop. The web hosting company will also provide you with the option of registering the desired domain name.
You can also work with the Licensed scripts. They can be paid and open source. These scripts can be customized according to your preferences. You have to follow the instructions to complete the process of downloading the scripts and re-uploading the script files on the hosting server.
As you have to work with money, online payments and critical customer information; there are many security risks that you have to consider. This is the reason why it is a wise decision to opt for a good eCommerce website hosting solution. You can discuss the security aspects with the representatives of the web hosting company for getting a clear picture. You can utilize the most resourceful hosting platform so that your online shop is fully equipped to provide an exclusive online shopping experience to the people. This can be done with very little work on your end! The administration panel provided is standardized towards all the scripts that enable you to upload photos, content and product catalogues. The overall safety and experience of the customer should be held in highest regards for generating revenue on a consistent basis.
Taking The Merchant Payments Online
All over the world people prefer making payments through credit card instead of utilizing any other source of online payment. Many digital payment solutions like Google and PayPal are dominating the global eCommerce market; however, the credit card companies have also made their mark.
Preferably, you can sign up for two different accounts and incorporate your new business name on the file. An ‘internet merchant account’ is utilized to receive payments over the web or the products / services offered. A ‘payment gateway’ is a service that connects your store with the merchant account. After setting up the merchant account, you will be authorized to accept payments through credit card when your customers purchase something through your website.
You can check with your local bank for creating a merchant account. Banks provide with a sign up process that enables you to setup an internet based on the merchant account. Once the merchant account is setup, your next step would be selecting the payment gateway. Payment gateways acts as a secure channel for transferring the data customer data online to your merchant account.
Alternative Payment Options
The online payment solutions are extremely easy to work with. PayPal is the apparent leader in the market. Google Checkout is also an efficient option. If you have a gmail account, then it is extremely simple to setup an account with Google Checkout. Their backend provides support for widgets that can be added onto your web page for a better design. There are many other runner-up enterprises in this field, however they haven’t got the hold of the eCommerce market in comparison to PayPal and Google Checkout.
Invoicing solutions are provided by both, PayPal and Google Checkout. This can be a useful option if you are planning to buy modules or more domains. It is recommended to have a single account for all the online business transactions as this facilitates simple management of accounts. Installing an SSL certificate is important for securing the online transactions, only then people will be willing to purchase through your online shop.
Add Content And Products
Once your script is live and online along with the desired domain name, you have covered some major factors so far! Moving further to this process, you have to work on establishing the website structure.
Before performing any task, get acquainted with the administration panel. This will help you to figure out the way to work with the product pages. The most important factor of an online shop is ensuring the convenience of the customers and thereby generating sales. It is important to use the appropriate images for featuring the products. Make sure that you standardize the image size so that your products are sequentially displayed through rows/columns.
And The Story Goes On…..
Well done! Your first online shop is live with new content. It gets more amusing from here as you start playing in the international market. You will have to select the right marketing channels so that people will be able to find you. Creating a Google Analytics account is highly recommended for tracking the performance of your website and planning the online marketing activities.
This is a complete walkthrough comprising of the highlights for setting up an online shop. This information will simplify the process of creating your first online shop and with time you will be a master at managing your online shop.