e-commerceMany people are eager to start their own online business, but are unsure how to begin. We’ve helped hundreds of clients start new online business ventures, here is some advice to those newbies looking to get their feet wet! Test the Waters One of the most important elements of setting up an online business is finding out if there is a market for your idea. The Internet makes this kind of market research easy. Do some research to find out what people are searching for, if anyone else is selling similar products and who is buying it. The best way to get started is to put up a simple website and see how it goes. Informational websites are relatively inexpensive, can be easy to update with photos and descriptions of your work and can net sales though PayPal. This type of site is an excellent way to share your product or service and, more specifically, to gauge interest. Get a Website For a truly custom website design, expert help is necessary. As you do not have a brick and mortar store, the website is considered your storefront. This means that the visual design and ease of use for the customer is very important. People will buy from you if they trust the site and can find what they are looking for. Your site should make it as easy as possible for users to navigate the site and to get in touch with you. An experienced web design company can help make buying your product an experience. Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website in search results from companies like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The higher on the page and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from search engine users. The biggest challenge of a new online business is getting noticed and converting browsers into buyers.  If you correctly optimize your website, you’ll reach potential buyers who are actively seeking out your products. A correctly designed website can help increase your search engine ranking. Integrate E-commerce Once you have a feel for whether there is a market for you product, you will want to upgrade your site to one that can process credit cards security. In order to effectively distribute, market and sell goods or services online you will need certain features only found on e-commerce sites. These features may include a shopping cart, ability to process credit cards, online product catalog, automated inventory system, databases and email marketing program.  An e-commerce storefront creates an easier means for your customers to purchase your products. Logistics Many people do not think about what happens after their online business takes off. An important part of a successful business is growth, but what happens when the demand for your product grows larger than the space available to you? Eventually the logistical demands will start to become overwhelming or inventory will take up too much physical space and you will need to outsource. A third party distribution company rents out storage space and will handle small businesses’ online order fulfillment and packaging and shipping duties. Your web design company may be able to point in the right direction when it comes to third party logistics. Now that you have an idea about how to start your own online business, the next step is to find the right web design company to help you test the market, design your site, implement a search engine optimization campaign and integrate an e-commerce system. Contact D4 Advanced Media today for a free consultation.