In order to
make money selling online, you have to have an understanding of the
basic economics that govern eCommerce. Just like it was once true that
"location, location, location" would govern a small business' success
because of foot traffic, there are similar basics that govern success
with eCommerce business.
I'm assuming you've figured out how to
set up an online store. Here's a high-speed introduction to eCommerce
theories to help you learn to make money selling online:
Location, Location, Location
like the 1920's soda fountain, your 21st century internet business'
virtural location is the key to it's success. This 'location' is made
up of three factors: URL, Search Engine rank and online buzz. Remember,
to make money selling online you need one thing and one thing only -
traffic. Once you have that traffic, you can figure out any of dozens
of ways to sell to them more effectively.
(www.yourstore.com) is your easiest way to impact your business. Your
URL should have your #1 search term in it and should be easy to
remember and pass by word of mouth. Dashes are acceptable, but harder
to remember. If you must use dashes, make sure you own both the dashed
and non-dashed version of your name. Your URL helps you make money
selling online by improving your search engine ranking as well as your
word of mouth buzz online and off.
Your Search Engine rank
refers to how close to the first result your website appears when a
specific search term is typed into one of the major search engines
(Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, etc.). Most people only click the first
result. Almost no one clicks past the 5th result and less than 5% click
past the 1st page of results.
Finally, you have online buzz.
If your store is getting talked about on other websites, social media
forums and blogs, you'll get more direct traffic. This will also
naturally help your Search Engine ranking. A great way to increase your
online buzz is to do something worthy of being talked about. Something
worthy of being talked about by someone who doesn't know you, of course.
so many shoppers are concerned with security, especially in this age of
identity theft, you absolutely MUST make sure that your online store is
secure. Then, you really should pay to get the security seals and such
to prove it. They're expensive, but they help you with the Search
Engines and with customer conversions.
good as you are in your main keywords, you still want to take advantage
of places like Shopping.com where people go first to search for
products and compare prices. This includes Google product listings,
which will appear in their universal search results (yay easy first
page listings). Don't assume that the automatic feed your store host
provides will cut it.
Instead, either modify the feed yourself
to meet all of Google's standards, or use a service like SingleFeed
that will modify it for you and give you pointers on how to make it
If you had a brick and mortar
store (or if you do) you know that people wander around and pick things
up, turn them over, touch them and examine them closely before they
buy. They can't do that online, and it makes them nervous. In order to
make money selling online, you need to give them this experience as
much as you can on your website. No matter your items, you need to
offer lots and lots of high-resolution images. Oh, and you also need to
make sure that as you do this you aren't killing your bandwith and
storage space - you still want your site to load quickly.
if you don't make the sale when the customer comes through the door the
first time, your chances of ever making it are slim. Online, however,
expect that it may take up to 5 visits before a customer converts. And,
once they DO convert, make sure to keep in touch with them as well.
Newsletters are great for this. As are automated follow-up emails and
the opportunity to review items that you carry. Customers like to have
a place to give feedback and read what others have though of what
they're thinking of buying.
The Golden Rule
coustomers, even if you never see them or talk to them in person, as
individuals and as you would like to be treated. Don't treat them like
a number and you'll get longer relationships which will bring you more
revenue in the long run.