Whether you’re just a hobbyist looking to make a little extra cash on the side or are a full-on, established business wanting to develop your online operations, there are tremendous opportunities available for anyone expanding into e-commerce in 2021.
There has been a dramatic shift to internet shopping in recent years, and recent statistics prove the online retail sector is growing exponentially. Indeed, it’s estimated shoppers now spend a whopping $3.53 trillion online, while e-commerce is expected to account for 22% of global retail sales by 2023.
With improving technologies and easier-to-use software, it’s never been easier to publish a shopping site online and start trading. However, before you get started, there a few decisions you’ll need to make. Here are three:
Check for a domain name that suits your business idea
There is a vast array of domain name authorities where you can check the availability of web addresses to find one that works best for your company concept. As a general rule, you should try to keep your address as short and as memorable as possible to help potential users remember you. Remember also to pick a name that is relevant to your company – either reflecting your firm’s name or its areas of operation.
Decide whether to hire an agency or do it yourself
As mentioned, there is now a considerable range of internet-based companies that offer DIY e-commerce software solutions that require zero coding experience. Services like Shopify can easily be configured to display and sell your products securely with just a few hours’ work.
These pre-packaged services work directly out of the box and come with numerous support options and tuition files to help you get started. They also feature the possibility to incorporate additional add-ons that can be configured to help you tailor your shopping experience to generate more income. For example, a profit tracker can help you isolate the items that are performing best and give them more prominence on your site.
However, suppose you choose to use a DIY platform at some point. In that case, you will inevitably reach limitations in their service – whether from a design or functions perspective – and this is where the agency approach can often prove a better option. Skilled web design agencies have experience taking ideas just like yours and making them a success online. Also, a professional web designer will advise you on aspects of the development that don’t occur to most casual web users – such as the need for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), online security, antivirus precaution, etc.
Only you can decide which approach is best for you, depending on your venture’s precise requirements and the complexity of the work involved. One thing is most certainly for sure – you will encounter considerably fewer problems if you choose to partner with a professional agency (even if the fees involved will be higher).
Choose which shopping platform you’re going to use
If you choose to hire a professional design company, they will likely advise you and make suggestions on which platform is best for your particular products or services. However, if you decide to do things alone, you will need to research your options and choose the one that looks to be the best fit for you. Typical considerations include price, any relevant commissions charged, possible limitations on transactions or stock, plus the level of support provided.