As a startup business, you'll no doubt be keen on earning some money sooner rather than later. Startups often have lots of expenditures during their early days. As a result, it's crucial they start generating revenue soon.
One of the most cost-effective ways for new businesses to do that is by setting up an e-commerce site. These websites allow small firms to sell to an international audience. They are also cheaper and easier to maintain than a conventional retail store.
Are you thinking of setting up an e-commerce store soon? If so, there are some questions you must ask yourself first. That's because the process can be quite involved, depending on your needs.
Read on for the questions you should ask yourself before setting up your online store
What e-commerce platform should you use?
A quick Google search will reveal there are plenty of options available to you. In my experience, the most-supported and widely used service is Magento. There is an open-source "community" edition that is free to download and use and perfect for a startup or small business. It's easy to use and customize for your needs.
Do you think you may need some development work for your site? If so, you won't have any trouble finding a Magento developer to help you achieve your goals.
Magento is worth considering but remember to always do your research before committing to a platform to use.
Which currencies will you support?
By their nature, e-commerce sites are useful for selling to an international audience. Consumers will want to pay for your products and services in their currency. When you set up your e-commerce website, think about which currencies to support.
Many sites support the leading currencies (i.e. US Dollar and British Pound). If you're targeting a specific area of the world, be sure to support the currencies used in that region.
How will you accept payment?
Many startups choose PayPal as their default payment option. After all; it's usually quick and easy to set up, and many people use the service when they buy stuff on eBay.
But, you should give consideration to those that don't want to use PayPal. How will you accept payment from them? The obvious answer is to choose a gateway that supports card transactions. Many gateways support a variety of debit and credit cards.
Examples include WorldPay, Barclaycard, and Authorize.net.
Who will update your site?
Setting up an e-commerce site doesn't just stop at adding product details and photos. Someone will need to manage it on a regular basis, updating prices and stock levels. They'll also need to add new or remove existing products where necessary.
If that person is you, make sure you give yourself enough time each day for the task. Otherwise, you can always outsource the work to a freelancer.
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