Advice on starting online shopping business

shoppingStarting an online shopping business is exhilarating yet challenging! With virtually the whole world to compete with, your new online shopping business needs to be carefully thought-out. But no need to get thwarted! When your business really kicks-off it will be worth the effort. Here a list of actions you absolutely must undertake when thinking to start a new business:

1. Business clarity – make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to sell and why you want to sell it? Have you identified a niche? Why did you think of this product/service?

2. Carry out market research – who else is selling similar product/service. What are the competitors offering and more importantly what are they NOT offering?

3. Unique selling points – what is it that you are offering? How is your product unique and why would people choose to buy from you? Will people prefer buying your products?

4. Plan and prioritize out your expenses – even if you don’t have a clear idea about the costs of starting a new business, you might want to start by making a rough budget and then inflating it 20-30% for unexpected/unforeseen expenses. Create a profitability and sales forecast so you can track your finances well and review performance.

5. Buy/create a domain name & email adress – give your business a name. The business name should be relevant, easy to pronounce, and small and easy enough to remember. To top it all off – it should be creative, trendy and catchy. Once you have chosen a business name, create a domain name. Make sure you have an email address that handles all your business needs.

6. Generating traffic – online shopping business is all about visibility, search result optimization and luring customers to your website. If you are a popular brand, then this is not difficult; but if you are a new business, then driving traffic to your webpage is the biggest and most time-consuming challenge you will face. Invest in SEO articles, blog reviews and articles that describe the products you sell.

7. Webpage layout and Design – make sure you design a web layout that is interesting and easy to use. Minimize use of Java and Flash. Make it easy for shoppers to navigate around the website and allow browsing for related items.

8. Social media and network integration – make sure you augment your webpage with social networks. Integrate Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, Twitter and other social platforms into your business model for driving traffic, improving visibility and increasing sales.

9. Dynamic maintenance – whether you start your new online shopping business or own an existing one, the content on your webpage must be refreshed and promoted on a continuous basis. Plan and announce promotions, coupons and discounts to drive traffic.

10. Payments & Shipping – craft out an easy to use payment method and collaborate with postal companies for delivering products you sell.

For now you need to concentrate on creating a unique image for your online business and tune out the fine details of your exciting new venture.