Every online business is modeled after the e-commerce space. Buying and selling on the Internet is definitely not a new notion. And as a business owner, there are orders to fulfill, the need to provide a fantastic shopping experience, and of course, the need to drive profits and build business.
According to this article, each year, e-commerce continues to grow at a 16% growth rate. This means there are new business opportunities happening constantly. Obviously, this proves that there's enough wealth to be shared by all and from the looks of it, e-commerce is not going away.
But to stay on top of your game, there are things you need to do to ensure that your e-commerce continues to grow. If you want to build a successful online store, you need to build your business to target the right customers.
To reach your target audience, you need to improve your search traffic and rankings in the search engines. Some of the most important SEO fundamental building blocks are often overlooked such as the following:
1. Make things easier for your user in SEO. This means structuring your URLs in such a way that you are using a single domain name that is readable, which is better for the search engines. For example, if your e-commerce service focuses on unlocking i-phones, then you'll want to include these words in the URL.
2. Use search engine keywords. This means that when your target customers scout the web for your product or service, they are actually getting what they want. Research has shown that the URL is one of the most important features when searchers decide which URL to click. This expectation shows up in three ways:
• Using the URL as the anchor text which gets searched by the search engines.
• Use the keywords in the URL and also in the text itself so when you hover over the anchor text, the URL will also appear.
• Keep URLs consistent with the page titles
Know Your Business Model
Choosing the right model out of the four e-commerce business models is especially important for understanding how an e-commerce website can help with making money online and targeting your customer.
The type of business model has important implications particularly for sales and marketing. These four questions should help determine your model:
1.Are you marketing and selling products directly to the consumer? (B2C)
The well-known e-commerce business of all time such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target sell directly to the consumer. Are you selling a product or service directly to your consumer? If so, then you're a B2C or a consumer type model.
2.Are you selling products to help operate another business?
If so, then you're a business-to-business (B2B) which refers to the goods or services that are used by another business to operate their business? This can be selling plastic bubble wrap to a glassware company or as additional as selling coffee creamer to be consumed by workers.
With this model, you'll need to collect "leads" about a prospective customer and assess whether the receiving business needs your products or services. The customer will then select those products that are appropriate for running his business. The retailer (you, the business owner) is selling to strengthen your own business operations.
3.Are you selling products and services to businesses?
If so, then you are a consumer-to-business model. Typical examples include the prospective employee listing his "product" including a resume and skills to get the attention of a business or a business posting a job ad.
4.Are you marketing directly to your consumer?
Think of e-commerce platforms like E-bay, and Etsy where the products are sold by individuals instead of organizations and businesses. In this way, the e-commerce website facilitates the buying and selling between two consumers.
Your business model will determine your strategy for designing a user-friendly e-commerce site, one that's easy to navigate and use so you can make as money as possible providing you have the right shopping cart software.
Choose the right shopping cart software
In the online marketing world, one of the biggest problems facing many entrepreneurs is that they don't know how to go about selling their products online. This is where shopping cart software comes in.
Shopping cart software gives online customers a way to select a number of items for purchase so at checkout, there is a calculated total for the order including shipping and handling.
Given the wide array of shopping cart software, it can be pretty challenging to choose the best one for your business. The first main question you might want to ask yourself is:
Do you want a hosted or self-hosted solution?
Obviously, with a hosted solution, everything is already set up. There's very little configuration or customization needed. The better shopping carts are housed on secure servers and require some downloading, installation and configuration.
To get your e-commerce up and running, choose your template and add your products. The more robust the shopping carts, the easier it will be to maintain "stay-in-touch" relationships that are perfect for developing that first time personal contact with new customers.