How to set up your own online web store


Posted on 15 Nov 2009 09:33 in Small Business Hacks by ShimBi Labs

Written by Shweta Kale, ShimBi Labs

So want to set up an e-commerce store? But you don’t have any idea from where to start? Well, you are not alone many entrepreneurs face with same question. But we can assure you it is perhaps not as difficult as you think, provided you following few steps introduced in this article and get some help from professionals. Thanks to the inexpensive, easy-to-use and out of box e-commerce services available today. If you\'re a small firm, you have or some one from your company having some knowledge of Internet and you only sell a few products, there\'s no reason not to do it yourself, particularly with the easy to use e-commerce software’s available nowadays.

You are just few steps away from your live online web store with shopping cart; the following steps will help you to start up:

Set Up Your Own Website: 
Whenever you start an online store you will need a domain name, web space and e-commerce application of your choice. So get started with them read following steps carefully:

1. Get a Domain Name Registered For your Store
A domain name is an identification label that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet. It gives your enterprise an internet identity. Domain names are provided by various domain registration providers.

2. Sign up with a Website Hosting Company
Getting a domain name registered is not enough you still have to actually host your site. You can do it yourself on a pc that can be dedicated as a web server and which have an internet connection, but such systems are very expensive and also have limited capacities. So your other option is sign up with a web hosting company.

Many entrepreneurs swear by some of the bigger names in website hosting. But some entrepreneurs prefer small hosting providers since they offer a direct online assistance or direct contact. Whether you use a large or small provider, basic hosting services as well as domain name registration and e-mail accounts are basic necessity for you to get started.

3. Selecting E-commerce application for your online store
Once you are ready with your online web stores, domain name and hosting space ready, next you need is e-commerce application, which will allow you to update your products, allow buyers to browse the product and add to shopping cart and finally allow them to select from range of payment options including credit card payment.

4. Design Your Online Store
Many entrepreneurs are initially attracted to free e-commerce software providers (mostly open source applications), not realizing the future consequences. These softwares require some technical knowledge to install and get running them, further such application (Free open source applications) are complicated to use as they are designed to meet wide verity of online shops often making them crowded with many features which you may not need at all.  In such case finally one has to turn back to web designing company for there help to customized and configure your application before you can start using it and such assistance from web designing company will cost you. So it is necessary for you to be careful while selecting your e-commerce application.

Finding a good e-commerce solutions company that imparts more features in one package will be a wise decision. Once you buy your e-commerce software start designing your store.  While doing that you are most of the time powered with good manual and direct support from company you contracted.  Designing a store involves displaying products, describing them, pricing and also adding coupons, schemes or bargains. This online store is viewed by customers who can select products from large product categories, obtain bargains etc. all online.

Before setting up a store entrepreneurs have to consider few factors:
♦ How many total products are there? Can we segment them?
♦ What discounts, coupons can we provide to customers?
♦ Pricing products, including tax, shipping charges
♦ Old discounts should be removed from the database.
(Feature List Check List)

5. Accepting Credit Card Transactions
Most important step in setting up online store is accepting payment. There can be several methods to accept payment from your buyer, mainly classified into

- Off line payment - Pay orders, Pay on Delivery, Payment Kiosk, ATM etc.
- Online Payment - Bank Transfer and Credit Or Debit Card Payment.

Credit or Debit Card Payment need online payment gateway to process your buyer’s payments and deposit it in to your bank account online without human interference. Such kind of payment is often instant and transaction can be finished instantly. But such transaction involved transfer of sensitive information and must be ensure that is done very securely.

To get such secured transaction done often your e-commerce applications provides you several options to connect various types of direct and third party payment gateways. Such as most popular Payment Gateway providers, including Google Checkout, Pay Pal, CCNow  as third party vendors and most of multinational banks will provide you direct gateways, either using VISA or Master card. Integration price will vary depending on vendor you select.

Most easy and popular third party payment gateway provider is Pay Pal, which is FREE for initial setup and charge you very reasonable transaction commission. It is also very easy to integrate and work with your email Id as identifier.

6. Advertise Your Online Store
Now that your e-commerce store is online, you will need to let others know about it by advertising. Basic Advertising Techniques are newspapers, radio, TV, cable, flyers, etc. But a better way of advertising online is by implementing Search Engine Optimization [SEO] on your site. It helps to attract all the online customers who are regularly buy products online. (SEO can generate sales). SEO activity also helps your website’s position on the search engine results pages (SERPs), which will contribute to branding and name recognition of your company.

Customer Retention can be improved by providing good bargains to them. E-commerce Store is a dynamically changing store so change should be your main factor. Keep on updating products pictures, bargains schemes, coupons etc.

We hope you will enjoy reading this article as much as we enjoyed writing it and ultimately it will work as a manual for “How to set up your own online web store”.

Related Links
Domain Name | Web Hosting | E-Commerce Application

About the author

ShimBi Labs        
Established in 2005, Shimbi Labs was born with the idea of developing simple, powerful yet affordable software. At Shimbi Labs, we create beautiful software to solve business problems.

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