How to Build Your Own E-Commerce

By Jake Rhodes  

The popularity of the internet is here to stay and the longer it’s around the more comfortable people are becoming with purchasing online. That’s why more and more individuals are turning their backs on the usual nine-to-five grind and opening up their own e-Commerce. With little in the way of overheads – almost anyone is financially able to run an online business.

While being your own boss sounds fun and easy, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You need to have a great deal of self-belief, motivation and determination. If these aren’t qualities you possess then please stop reading now…

If you’re still here then you must have what it takes to run your own online business. Fantastic! I run a successful e-Commerce so I know exactly what it takes to get to the top. I’ve come up with six key points for you to follow if you wish to become an online entrepreneur.

Decide on your niche product. It would be nice to be able to match the sales of a super seller site, such as Amazon, but it’s not a realistic goal for a beginner. Instead you need to tap into your talents to create a product, or number of products, that you believe people would be interested in purchasing. For example if you’re a dab hand at pottery then get to work on a range of funky looking vases.

From my own experience it’s much easier to set-up an e-Commerce that sells downloadable goods such as MP3 files, e-Books, digital art, etc as you can automate your delivery system – meaning you can complete sales from purchase to delivery while you sleep!

Study your competition. Unless you’ve tapped into a brand new market you probably have at least a handful of competitors within your niche. Study every aspect of their business, including their websites, products, prices and customer service.

E commerce

Each competitor will have things they do well, and things they do badly. Take note of all the good points and try to model your own business around those while avoiding the weaknesses of your competitors.

Create a website. This used to be the common falling point for many an e-Commerce. Hosting was expensive and having a website designed was even more so. However you can now find well-designed web templates all over the internet for extremely low prices…some completely free! The price of hosting has dipped incredibly over recent years, and with the boom of the blog you can build your entire online business on a free blog hosting site such as Blogger.

The design of the site itself is very important. You want a nice, clean layout which is easy to navigate – this will avoid losing customers through visitors leaving your site due to confusion. The color scheme is also to be noted. If you’re selling funky vases (as in the above example) then you should base your site around vibrant, primary colors.

Find an online merchant. They will take care of your entire checkout procedure and alert you whenever you make a sale. If you are selling downloadable goods then the product will be automatically emailed to your customer upon purchase, otherwise you will need to ensure speedy delivery of your products by post.

These merchants usually either take a small percentage of each sale or charge a flat fee each month. E-Junkie is generally considered to be the top site in this field.

Drive customers to your site. Your business is all set-up now…but you have no customers. How do you get them to visit your site? Well there are a large number of ways and the more creative you get in your marketing the better.

You should particularly aim to take advantage of highly visible, social websites. Try making a short video promoting your products and posting it on YouTube, with information on how to visit your site. Open up Facebook and MySpace accounts for your business and try to entice as many friends as possible. Soon you can find yourself with 1000’s of potential customers at your fingertips!

If you have the time then you should also consider becoming an article writer. You can place these articles on your own website for unique content or offer them up to article distribution sites where others may decide to publish them on their own site. With well written, thought provoking article you can gain respect and be considered an “authority” within your niche.

It’s also important to get as many links to your site as possible. Not only does this help customers find you but it also helps your listings in the search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc). The higher your search engine listings the easier it is for customers to come across your e-Commerce.

Keep working. When you start-up your e-Commerce you are probably already years behind the competition so you have work hard every day to catch up and overtake them – find/make new products to sell, improve your website, get new links to your site, whatever it takes to get to the top.

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