Make Money Selling Online -

Ecommerce 101

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

Just 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.

Your URL (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.

Security

Because 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.

Product Feeds

As 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 even better.

Pictures

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.

Follow Up

Offline, 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.

Finally,

The Golden Rule

Treat 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.

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