If you're looking to start a business, there are many reasons why you would consider starting an online business first, prior to a brick and mortar one, or having an online simultaneously with a brick and mortrar presence


The first clear advantage would be cost. With the skyrocketing of commercial rental in today's hot property market, store rentals go easily into tens of thousands, not to mention other necessary expenditures associated with a brick-and-mortar store such as store renovation, employees wages and utilities, not to mention rental hikes imposed by landlords after the cessation of 1 or 2 year leases.


An online ecommerce platform selling your wares cost easily much less - technically all you need is a computer to act as a server to "host" your website. But nowadays we often outsource this to the thousands of web hosting providers with extremely competitive rates.


Secondly, "store renovation" is likend to the building of your website, or your web design fees. This is a one-time expenditure, and unlike brick and mortar store renovations which runs into tens of thousands, web design is a fraction of the price.

Finally what's best is that once your ecommerce website is set up, it can practically run itself 24 hours a day, with customers placing orders and automatically directed to checkout and payment. You may or may not employ someone to help you with the admin of the sites, but even if you do, that person can work part time, tending to orders in batches during a few hours a day, leaving the rest of the day available for other duties such as inventory, procurement, deliveries etc.

Having an online presence also helps you reach out to a different group of consumers than brick and mortar ones - more discerning consumers looking for good deals, value for money offers and quality online. They are more experienced, hence confident to purchase online, and often know more or less what they want and go in, browse, and purchase.

This same group of consumers may find shopping in real department stores too time consuming (or just too tiring on the feet) and prefer the convenience of online shopping through just a few mouse clicks

Enough of the benefits of having an online business - how do you go about doing it?

First off you need a virtual "location", i.e. a domain name (your address) and a web host (your store). There are many on the market now, often offering you package including both aspects. (Simply search "web host" and you will be spoilt for choice. (Chloe Design provides web hosting services for our web design clients)

Next, you need a web site. There are many available platforms online. If you're adept at web design, you can build one yourself, or if not, hire a web designer to do it for you. (Chloe Design provides professional web design services) It can be something as simple as a simple blog where you accept orders via emails, or a fully featured e-commerce website that allows you to manage thousands of products and orders.


Lastly you need to get your website known. To do that, there are a few main advertising channels.

1. Search Engine Optimization - SEO is the optimizing of your website such that it appears on the first few pages of Google's search on specific keywords "e.g. shop online, buy clothes online". SEO is a complex art trying to understand Google's requirements and how to value and rank websites against each other. Chloe Design provides SEO services. Email us to enquire in detail.

2. Paid PPC Advertising - Google Ads and Facebook Ads. These ads, also called "Paid Per Click" ads allow you to put up text or image ads, and only pay a certain amount if your particular ad is clicked on. They also allow geographical and demographical targeting. (Chloe design provides consultancy on Google and Facebook Advertising for our web design clients).

3. Social Media - Increasing this is a force to be reckoned with, common platforms include Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google +.

4. Finally, once your business is up and running, do not forget a very enduring driver - word of mouth. Good quality products and excellent customer service will spread, and these often form quality leads translating into more loyal customers.

The building of a customer base takes time, and time being the essence, you can look to SEO, PPC and social media for a headstart into your publicity campaign.

So take the first step now into your venture online. Consult an expert to help you shorten your learning curve and to carve your business niche on the playing ground known as the world wide web.


Article by Chloe Design Pte. Ltd, a web design and SEO company.

About The Author : Chloe

Chloe Design is a web design house specialized in ecommerce websites and corporate websites, SEO and social media integration

 Visit  Author Website : http://websitedesigns.sg/
 
Article Sourcehttp://www.ezinepoint.com/2012/12/ecommerce.html

Tags :  blogshop , Business , ecommerce , online business , online store