A Beginner's Guide To Setting Up A Successful Online Store
Online selling is by no means a simple task. To sell products online not only
requires making use of high end marketing strategies but also involves lots
of planning. This article is meant for those of you who intent to start an
online store. It is intended to give you a fair idea of what you would need
to do and what you need to avoid while planning an online selling business.
The following are the various steps that you would need to take in order to
open a successful online store.
1. Designing a website that sells
The first most important aspect of online selling is to have a professional
looking website that is designed to sell. You can go about creating the website
from code up using web designers or simply go for readymade website templates.
If you are purchasing website templates, be sure to go for templates that are
professionally designed and have the option of shopping carts.
Buying templates from providers who offer allied services like template
customization, web hosting; SEO etc would be even better. Some template providers
like 'buytemplates.net' offer allied services irrespective of where you actually
purchased the template from. To get a rough idea of how your site should be
designed you can take hints from successful discount online stores like
Gap Inc. and
2. Hosting your store online
There are many factors that you need to take into consideration before selecting
your web host when it comes to online selling. Some of the major factors are discussed as follows.
a. Secure servers
Firstly you got to make sure if your web host offers you with SSL encryption which
is very important for secure money transactions online. Most web hosting companies
would offer you with SSL secure server facilities along with a regular package
whereas a few would charge you an extra amount for the service.
b. Up time guarantees
Your business is only as good as it remains online. Make sure to go for web
hosting service providers who promise you an uptime guarantee of 99 percent. Also
check to see as to how they back up their data and what kind of back up systems
they have in place in case of emergencies.
c. Private CGI-BIN
A CGI-BIN directory is a location on your web server where you can upload your
binary scripts or interactive programs. This is very important for payment
processing and shopping cart management. So be sure that the hosing company gives
you a private CGI BIN directory.
d. Web logs and web statistics
Web logs and statistics are vital for your online business. Studying the web logs
can give you much needed information about your customers and your sales records.
Understanding your customer behavior can help you retain customers and attract new customers.
e. Customer support
Get as much information about the hosting company's support policies and the type
of support they offer. Go for web hosting companies that offer 24/7 customer support.
Most web hosts promise you lots of goodies but may not live up to it. Make sure to
test the web host's credibility by asking them for references. The existing
customers of the hosting company can give your first hand information on the service
that you can expect to get.
In addition to this you should also look for services that offer you Mysql database
and PHP scripting, unlimited emails and a minimum space of 10GB.