Website built? Check. Social Media campaigns launched? Check. Marketing on-line? Check. So now what? Perhaps it's time to take the next step, and begin selling on-line!
Step 1: Be prepared. You need to select ecommerce software or a service to run your site. When considering your options, ask yourself, do you have the technical know-how to manage on your own? If not, go with one of the more interactive hosting options, in which all technical intricacies are handled by the host site.
Feeling technically savvy enough to manage it on your own? Then prepare to build your own ecommerce site, from scratch. The most important decision at this stage will be which online transaction software (otherwise known as Shopping Cart Software) will work best for your business.
Explore your options - there are many. Read reviews posted by similar businesses and gather the most accurate information to make your decision.
Step 2: Research payment options. While most Shopping Cart Software incorporates payment options, with hosted services to guide you in a certain direction; it is important to know there are many choices here as well.
Merchant options vary, though the majority of payments will be made via credit card, so again, conduct due diligence when choosing this critical feature.
Step 3: Ensure the safety of your customers and yourself. The major objection merchants and consumers have regarding ecommerce is the prospect of sending data into cyberspace, opening potentially dangerous channels or unwanted information sharing.
However, merchants must protect their customers. The most secure way is through the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TSL) portals. These act as encryption tools to protect and secure information being shared via your site. Customers will immediately feel more secure when they see your site is supported either by SSL or TSL technology.
With these technical aspects handled, you should select the best techniques you can employ to encourage online purchasing.
Send out free samples to your most influential audience including bloggers, reviewers, and journalists - they are integral (and free!) in driving traffic to your site.
Host an event, create blog/vlog content, stage a PR stunt, publish a press release, run surveys, consider affiliate marketing - the list goes on. There are hundreds of ways to elevate your ecommerce launch and you'll want to utilise as many as possible. Your successful launch often dictates the long-term success you find in selling online.