Once the main product has been identified, funding is generally necessary to get the business started. There are a variety of methods that small business owners obtain funding, but most utilize their personal savings initially. A business plan and legal documents will be needed as well to avoid any potential problems with regulating bodies, such as the government.
Once a domain name has been purchased, an online store will be necessary. This may easily be outsourced to experienced freelancers, as learning to set up an attractive e-store can be quite time-consuming. The store will need to have a merchant account to securely process customer payments. Many people new to e-commerce prefer to use an existing online payment website to handle this aspect initially.
In order to answer most potential questions from customers, be sure to add a page dedicated to answering frequently asked questions. Additionally, a page detailing any and all policies and procedures is necessary as well. Include information about shipping fees, shipping insurance, returns, and estimated delivery dates. It is extremely important to offer more than one method of contacting customer service, such as an e-mail address and a toll-free number. Hours of operation should be included as well.
Once these basics have been set up on the web site, it is time to begin developing and adding product information. Consider hiring a local freelance photographer to take professional pictures of your items so that customers know exactly what they are buying. Ideally, multiple photos of each item will be taken, from different angles. Having the option for viewers to enlarge the pictures is a tool that will be well worth the investment.
Product descriptions should be as detailed as possible, usually between 75 and 200 words. Include all details about the item, such as dimensions, weight, shipping, and material. Clothing items need to have at least the size provided, and ideally the measurements as well.
In order to ensure that customers find exactly what they are looking for easily and quickly, a search tool should be provided at the top of every page. Products should also be placed in logical groups. For example, to find women's boots, viewers would click on "Women's clothing", "Shoes," and then "Boots."
With some basic knowledge of e-commerce and investments in time and money, perhaps your website will be the new Internet success!