Creating a website alone will NOT generate sales for you.
Now the true question remains: How can my website generate sales?
The best advice I can give is to treat your online business as any business.
Take this scenario for example:
I am a coffee aficionado and I have decided to open a coffee shop to share to the whole world my love for coffee. Naturally, I would not open my store if I didn’t have the proper personnel to run my coffee shop. In addition to having the right personnel, I would also need to constantly update my product offerings. My coffee supply should never run short, and I should have a list of the lowest-priced yet best suppliers on hand so I can offer my coffee without sacrificing my profit margin.
The same attitude applies to online businesses.
To put it clearly, there are three main elements that one should consider before opening an online business.
First is the TEAM. You have to put in the right people for a business to run properly. In the case of an online business, there should be an ebusiness manager and a web designer. An ebusiness manager is tasked to run the online store, create and determine timely promotions, and conduct competition analysis on a regular basis. A web designer, on the other hand, should always make sure that the web store always has a fresh look and that new products are featured instantly.
Second is EXPERIENCE. Never go into a business you are not familiar with. For example, the ladies shoe business is the latest craze online now. A male doctor deciding to join in the bandwagon and opening a shoe business somehow does not seem too credible to sell ladies shoes. When it comes to online businesses, always start with something you are already familiar with.
Last is RESOURCES. Take the coffee shop scenario again. Before you plunge into that business, you should have enough money to buy the initial inventory of coffee supplies, cups, lids, etc. The same goes for an online store. Money is a resource that should never be neglected. You should have enough cash flow to run the operations and buy your supplies. A proper ecommerce platform is an absolute necessity in order to conduct your sales. This ecommerce platform should have a solid inventory and accounting system for transactions to run smoothly.
One thing that you should remember is that an online store is not like a real store wherein automatic foot traffic can be expected once the store opens. A website needs marketing and advertising for it to generate the much needed web traffic. Think about it. There are millions and millions of websites out there and the only way to stand out amidst the competition is for your website to be known and seen.
How? Through internet marketing. Hence, a sufficient marketing and advertising budget is needed to generate enough potential customers to come to your website. You must also determine the proper internet marketing strategy that could do wonders for your web business. You can choose from different marketing channels such as: pay per click advertising (PPC), search engine optimization marketing (SEO), Email marketing, Shopping Comparison Site marketing on Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo Shopping, and much more.
Team. Experience. Resources.
Without these three basic elements, an online business is guaranteed to fail.
Stay tuned for the next part as I talk about strategizing to beat your competition online.