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The Advantages of Online Stores Sales and Marketing

Aug 17, 2007
There are plenty of online stores in the Internet numbering to millions. Online stores present a win-win situation in which both consumers and business owners can benefit from the Web and its connectivity. Consequently, they make for smart investments for anyone interested in pursuing e-commerce opportunities.

The utilitarian concept of the online stores benefits both the consumers and the proprietors. It is the primary reason that online stores have grown in recent years. Clients can enjoy easy access to the products they desire to purchase, while in the case of business owners, they can capitalize on a sales approach that affords easy maintenance and low overhead costs.

The good news is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to advertise your store effectively. Targeted e-newsletter and keyword ads are cost-effective ways of reaching customers who are already interested in your products.

However, at the early stage, online stores are difficult to manage. The development of the website can be dull, prolonged process needing a lot of rounds of pilot testing before a site is ready for the consumer to use. Even though maintenance procedures evolve and simplify over time, they can be difficult to manage in the first months of business.

So if you decided to take your business online, these are the few things you will need to take into consideration:

Many "e-tailers" expect customers to find them by accident. But with millions of Web sites competing for a finite number of customers, this gets less and less likely with each passing day. If you don't advertise your store, your chances of attracting new customers are slim.

If your store looks like it was thrown together and is difficult to navigate, customers will look elsewhere. Your Web site is your link to customers; as such, it should look as professional as you can make it. It will inspire confidence in your users and let them know you take your business seriously.

Before launching your store, think carefully first about how to organize your products and give the customers more than one way to find what they're looking for.

When a customer hits the Buy button, they don't expect to spend several minutes waiting for a response or even worse, get an error message. In fact, nothing frustrates customers more than a Web site that keeps them guessing about their orders.

Make sure your software and servers are capable of handling whatever your customers throw at them. If you're using a third-party service, this means ensuring they use first-rate technology. If you're building your own site from scratch, it means investing in the best possible software and hardware.

A shopping cart is a necessity for any online business. There are lots of cart applications to choose from, so make sure the one you choose is easy to install and easy to use and understand.

Since you'll need a way to accept online payments, you have more choices than ever for processing payments online. It can be as simple as a PayPal account, or as complex as your very own merchant account. If you opt to go for a merchant account, you will need to decide how you plan to process payments, either in real-time as the customer enters their data; offline, where you process all of your orders at once; or over the phone.
About the Author
Jay Peterson - Marketer - TicTacWebsites. Online website builder Get your small business online in just 5 minutes with easy online website builder loaded with 30+ business features.
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