Tips for Starting an E-Commerce Site in Toronto
The e-commerce industry is a very competitive place, because most competitors are only a click away. If a potential customer does not like your site, he can easily turn to another platform which is more attractive. However, in order to be able to get your customers’ attention, it is of paramount importance to know how to start an online store. Here are the most basic things you need to keep in mind in order to be successful as an e-commerce business owner.
1. Find a Good Product
First and foremost, you need a good product or service to sell. You can either sell physical products or downloadable software. In order to find a product that will sell, you can go to Amazon and check the best selling products in each category.
2. Hosting Service
After you have chosen the product, you need to find a secure location to host your website. There are a wide variety of hosting companies to choose from. However, choose one whose hosting server is compatible with the shopping cart software used by your website.
3. Attractive Website
Next, you need an enticing Toronto e-commerce website. You can buy a website from the scratch, choose a WordPress template or add e-commerce capabilities to an already existent website. Whatever the case, make sure you make it attractive in order to entice potential customers.
4. Design the Shopping Cart
This is probably one of the most important parts of your e-commerce platform, because a properly designed shopping cart leads to a smooth e-commerce buying experience. Some elements that have to be integrated into the shopping cart include website wizards, payment options, shipping configuration, security, statistics and additional merchant tools & shopping features.
5. Credit Card Processing
You need to be able to accept online payments, which usually involves debit and credit cards. Additionally, you can integrate other types of payments, such as checks, e-checks, phone orders, codes or PayPal.
6. Make use of Merchant Accounts
A merchant account allows your business to accept credit card payments. These accounts act as a contract between the bank and the e-commerce site owner. Each merchant account works under certain pre-set rules that define how products will be sold, bought or paid for. Any violation of these pre-set rules is considered fraud and punished accordingly.
7. Payment Gateway
Another extremely important component of an e-commerce site is the payment gateway. After a customer enters his credit card information, this data is passed to the merchant web server through a payment gateway. Once it receives the transaction data, the software verifies if whether or not the information is correct and then accepts, respectively declines the transaction. The payment gateway then sends a receipt to both the customer and to the merchant. Additionally, it sends the order to the bank. You need to have a secure and reliable payment gateway in order to avoid any potential transaction-related problems. Our Toronto web development team has wide experience in development of e-commerce solutions.
9. Complete Marketing Strategy
Lastly and most importantly, you need to have a powerful marketing strategy to promote your business and attract new customers. The standard saying “just build it and they will all come” does not apply to e-commerce websites. Having a unique marketing strategy is therefore a must in order to be successful in your niche. A complete marketing strategy should include SMO (Social Media Optimization), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), banners, PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, e-mail marketing and affiliate marketing techniques.
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