A successful ecommerce business owner requires a product or service to sell, traffic to a web site, and converting traffic into sales. Success can not exist if one of these three is missing. Step 1 is the easiest but steps 2 and 3 are where things can become hard because there are so many choices out there; it is extremely easy to get confused and frustrated with it all.
But let’s break steps 2 and 3 down into a more manageable list of categories. You’ll need a domain name, a web site and web host with web hosting related services, a shopping cart, a merchant account, multiple marketing tools, traffic, training and support. You can see why things can become confusing for someone who is looking to become serious on the internet. All of these aspects will all come at a cost, if not just from your pocket but time too.
The three biggest issues are too many choices, logistics and costs.
Too many choices cause a headache right from the beginning. If you’ve ever tried to search for a decent and cost efficient web hosting service you’ll more than likely end up with no hair (sorry if you’re already bald!). The problem is that almost all web hosts that have been reviewed on public forums, have been because of a complaint and not the other way around. Unfortunately you will find this with all aspects of the ecommerce business world, from domain name registration services to merchant accounts; and so you run the risk of choosing the wrong ones. It can be a complete pain having to change an integral part of your ecommerce business.
Logistically speaking it can get very messy. Let’s say you approached a separate company for every single aspect of your ecommerce business because they focus on the specific aspect, for example domain name registration. You have to browse through their site to ensure you get what you want; you’ll have to create an account so you can use their service, and then learn how to use their online interface where your account is housed, and then get to know their support module because it is guaranteed you’ll need it, especially if you’re new. Now assume you have to do this for every aspect of an ecommerce business.
Then there are the costs. In actual fact the most taxing cost is time, however the financial costs increase the more services you use. You’ll also have the administrative hassle of having to know which time of the month each service is going to bill you.
Then there’s marketing, driving traffic and training. The list of marketing methods becoming available on the internet is increasing all the time. Many ecommerce business owners think they have to use them all, and what’s worse, learn them all. Internet marketing is about reach and automation; getting the most reach efficiently to attract traffic, and automating the process of dealing with this traffic. When you consider there’s pay per click, banner, newsletter, link and classified advertising, all with costs associated, how do you know which method is working the best?
When people visit your website you’ve got to convert them to sales. You’ve got to test headlines, graphics, colors, guarantees and sales copy. You need to determine the most wanted response, whether it is a direct sale, or to sign up to your email list. But once again, you need to test and automate the whole process, not to mention store the customers details – another service that will cost money.
Having affiliates sell your products and services is one of the greatest ways if not the best way to gain more reach but how do you manage them? You’ve got to track the traffic, clicks and sales they generate not to mention pay them. This requires another service you have to pay for.
In recent times some companies have become multi-service. The more of these services a company can offer the cheaper it becomes for you, not to mention the time saved logistically because of a shorter learning curve and support for all the services is in the one place. Imagine being able to build and operate a complete ecommerce business from the one service and the one bill?
Finding a solution to all of the above requires finding a company that offers domain registration, web hosting and web hosting related services including a web site builder; a shopping cart and merchant account to accept online payments; marketing tools including opt-ins, auto responders, email and newsletter list management, affiliate tracking and promotional services, ad tracking and customer interaction; and to top it off, have training materials by way of online videos, online user guides, a knowledge base and an expert support team experienced enough to deal with all aspects of running an ecommerce business including technical support. Find one of these and you have the most powerful partner possible to help you in operating your successful ecommerce business.
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