In the brick and mortar world, success of a store depends on three actors, "Location, location, and location!" An online store does away with this key requirement but requires considerable effort from the entrepreneur to become visible.
The best options for budding entrepreneurs are starting online stores at e-commerce sites such as eBay and Etsy. Riding piggyback on such sites allow some of the reputation of these websites to spill on, provides the ability to tap on to thousands of customers who visit such sites, and provide for a good template on which to structure the business.
Starting an independent e-commerce website requires effort in designing the site to make it appealing for customers, selecting a reliable hosting provider to ensure the site remains online always, a tie-up with credit card providers and banks to effect payments, establish secure payment transactions, and other considerations. The entrepreneur also needs to invest resources in search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure the website tops search engine rankings, and also promote the website in various e-commerce and product forums.
Very often, visitors to a website remain attracted or turned off by the items they see when they enter the web page. Two important considerations when developing a virtual store are:
- Ensuring that your best sellers remain at the most visible spaces, and at entry points to the website
- Attractive web page design, powered by a simple, uncluttered and easy to navigate design
Regardless of the store architecture option, a key consideration is to arrange for a sound arrangement to pack and ship the goods, and incorporate the different shipping rates and policy along with the product specifications.