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A Guide to Setting Up an E-Store

You probably know someone who runs a shopping cart website; many Australian entrepreneurs have carved out a share of a growing global market and why not? It has never been easier to set up a shopping cart website and in this article, we outline the process.

Contents

Choosing a product line

Most people follow their interests; if you love cars, why not sell auto parts? You might be passionate about model aircraft, or you are knowledgeable about certain products, following a passion or interest is recommended. People prefer products made with natural ingredients; analyse the market, do some online research and crunch the numbers to find out if it is doable. Demand must be evident and you should ask yourself, what your product has to offer the consumer; research selling online in Australia to find out more about emerging markets. It is critical to choose a product line that has a future.

Business plan

Like any other business, your e-commerce venture needs a comprehensive plan that includes:

  • General overview of the industry and the company.
  • Detailed startup costing.
  • Running costs.
  • Marketing plan.
  • Logistics
  • Web & IT needs
  • Forecasts/predictions

When you think the plan is complete, let a business coach take a look; they can play devil’s advocate and try to find issues.

Web design, construction and maintenance

Of course, you need a shopping cart platform, from which to sell your products; talk to a leading web development agency and let them turn your concept into a workable digital platform. There are several software brands, such as Magento, that are ideal for e-commerce platforms; let the web designer select the best program to build your site.

High-resolution images

Your products need to be showcased using hi-def images, with a roll-over mouse feature that magnifies the image for closer inspection. Professional copywriters create product text and the web developer builds the platform; they also offer a one-stop solution for all your web & IT needs, which includes:

  • Web hosting
  • Cyber-security
  • Website management
  • Dedicated servers

Most e-commerce entrepreneurs have their web development agency handle all IT needs, including site management. When you want to make any changes, call your webmaster.

Digital Marketing

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can make it without some form of online marketing; we recommend focusing on SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media marketing. Talk to a local SEO agency at the very outset and they can design an aggressive online marketing plan that delivers high traffic. 

Order fulfilment

Logistics is part and parcel of e-commerce; from the time a customer clicks on ‘buy now’, the delivery clock is ticking; most site owners outsource their logistics to a 3PL warehouse, which is geared up for rapid picking, packing and delivery. Deliver your products and packaging to the 3PL warehouse, and then all you need to do is forward orders. Click here for tips on choosing cardboard boxes.

Don’t forget to register your business with the Australian government and take advice from a business lawyer.

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