Many individuals have an online business these days. There are people that make several hundred or thousand dollars per month through their online retailing business. Selling products online can be a lucrative business. It can also be complex and competitive.
With online retail sales drastically increasing annually, it is an opportunity with great potential. Online retail websites (e-commerce websites) increased around 15% in 2014. This is a drastic increase from the previous year; retail sales only grew by 4.4%.
Mobile has gone already mainstream in retail. Retailers that are starting out, must ensure they launch Responsive Design e-commerce websites. Retailers already in business must upgrade to mobile-friendly platforms and design (redesign of their websites with HTML5 and CSS3). Online retail industry is growing fast due to more and more people shopping online and gaining access to the Internet.
To get started retailing online can be overwhelming and complex seeming, but it does not have to be. Entrepreneurs and businesses can work with experts such as consultants through consulting services and gain the professional help and assistance required. Otherwise, here is how to start the first online retail business.
Starting The First Online Retail Business
What to Sell
What to sell? This question does not necessary apply to all. Often the first online retail business is by a company that already manufactures products and just now is starting to sell online. Often, it is an entrepreneur who has made a product or invented it and now it’s time to sell online. There is also the individuals, who just want to sell something online but do not know what. Those folks have some options, such as drop shipping, contacting manufacturers directly to resell their products, and so on. One should be passionate about what they sell online and believe in their offering.
The design of a website is a critical aspect of succeeding online with retailing products. In many industries, consumers have gotten accustomed to certain standards and simply have expectations. When those are not met, e-commerce website that fail in design, also fail with the online business. All e-commerce websites must be Responsive these days. That means developed with Responsive Design technology (HTML5 and CSS3). The design should be detailed, professional, and properly executed for the specific industry and types of products. Plenty of conversion tools and call to action elements should be integrated to drive sales and customer acquisition.
With shopping carts and e-commerce applications, entrepreneurs and companies have choices. First there is the choice of hosted solutions or open-source. Hosted solutions are managed, have monthly fees and can be restrictive, while open-source e-commerce applications are free, have higher start-up costs, but are fully controlled and owned by the entrepreneur and company. A decision has to be reached what shopping cart solution to integrate into the website to manage the sale and fulfillment of orders. Technologies for shopping carts vary drastically. For best results, the right type should be used that gives the right features to the shoppers and site operators.
The domain name is very important, since it is part of branding and the online identity. When starting the first online retail business, individuals and companies should pay special attention to the domain name used. A proper domain name should be short with keywords if possible. Domain names can be registered in many places these days. Preferably they should be registered with the hosting company for the website (if open-source – free application). Places such as GoDaddy are a good place to register domain names for example.
To ensure best results, people and companies can work with professionals and experts to make sure everything is properly setup. Experienced website designers and programmers or business consultants can advise on the proper e-commerce website, design, and setup.