Many small businesses are making the jump online. However, this is more easily said than done. True, the global e-commerce market is rising at a rapid rate—many experts claim that it will overtake the retail market in the near future. The costs of creating and running a website can soar to up to $15,000, according to a new article from NewObserver.com. So this prompts the question—is e-commerce right for your business?
How to Determine if You Can Make the Jump
It seems simple enough. Make a digital representation of your storefront and list your inventory online to attract more buyers. However, there are many important factors that you must take into consideration before taking your business online.
1. Do Some Budgeting
The first and most important step in making the jump online is to consider the costs that are involved. It may take a significant amount of money to launch a site. If you don’t have any web design experience, you’ll need to hire someone to create your website. You’ll need to pay fees to acquire a domain, self-hosting fees, and if you don’t have the time to keep your site updated with fresh inventory and content, you’ll need to hire a staff to do that. This brings us to step two.
2. Hire Reliable Staff
In order to draw people to your site, you’ll need to hire a staff dedicated to keep your site updated with fresh content. Research good content marketing and SEO strategies, and find people who are experienced in these fields. Having a site is one thing, having a successful site is another
3. Get a Merchant Account
Once your site is operational, you’ll need an online merchant account to accept payments through your site. Search online for reliable merchant services providers, preferably one with a number of different credit card processing options. The ideal provider will provide features such as multi-currency processing, live client support, and more.
4. Watch the Profits Rise!
If you can successfully complete the above three steps, your new e-commerce presence will boost sales. Follow up with some social media marketing work to promote certain products and send special offers to customers. Before you know it, you will have a great e-commerce presence while still keeping your store in your community.