How To Set Up Your Own Online Store

Don’t let the prospect of setting up a website prevent you from putting your business online. Even as e-commerce has evolved, the tools to create and manage your online store have gotten easier to use.

Use eBay. One of the fastest ways to start selling online is to set up a store front on eBay Stores. Your design options are somewhat limited, but all the logistics are already taken care of. eBay Stores also provides some assistance with promotion and search engine optimisation.

Your own store. If you’d rather have your own space, Vendio offers a simple platform for creating your business’s website and provides assistance with web analytics and promotion. Although there are no monthly fees, Vendio takes a small percentage of your total sales, decreasing the percentage as your sales increase. An extra $10 per month connects your online business to eBay and Amazon.

Simple technology. If you would rather design your own website from scratch, you will need to make sure you can process your customers’ purchases. Zen Cart, a program that is open source and free to use, provides an interface that your customers will find familiar and intuitive as it securely handles transactions. Or you can build an eCommerce store quickly without any technical skills using Shopify.

Monitor traffic. Of course, setting up your website is just the beginning. Traffic analysis sites such as Google Analytics shows you which parts of your website generate the most sales, allowing you to highlight your strengths and rethink your weak points.

Advertise online. No matter where you set up shop, you shouldn’t wait for customers to stumble onto your website. Get the word out by launching an online ad campaign with Microsoft’s adCenter, which publishes your advertisements next to relevant Bing searches.

Matthew Stibbe is writer-in-chief at Articulate Marketing. He is also an avid blogger, closet geek and HP fanatic.