How to Use E-commerce For Small Business

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With 51 percent of Americans preferring to shop online, e-commerce businesses are on the rise. Even if you have a business in a physical location, you can set up an e-commerce business online to increase your exposure and sales.

Signing Up for an E-commerce Platform

According to INC., the top seven e-commerce platforms are Shopify, Magento, YoKart, BigCommerce, Vtex, WooCommerce and Tictail. E-commerce platforms are not a one-size-fits-all type of solution. A platform that works for one business won't necessarily be the best match for another business. Research each and make sure the platform you choose has the options you need for your business to grow.

Getting Your Store Up and Running

If you're going with an e-commerce platform, you won't have to bother with any coding or other technical aspects. For example, by going with a platform you can choose from professionally designed templates and upload your products into specific categories. To start, choose the platform you wish to use, set up the monthly plan that works best for you and has the specific features you need and select a domain name that relates to the products you're selling. Once you customize your template and add product images, descriptions and prices, you can set up your preferred method of payment. Next, configure your shipping settings. Once you complete all of that, you can preview and test your store to make sure it's ready to go live.

Promoting Your Store and Making it Successful

Once you publish your store online, you need to build traffic. With several options and consistent effort, you can gain traction quite fast.

Blogging: Create a blog that is associated with your product. Write regular blog posts around your product niche. For example, if you sell baby items in your store, your blog posts should be related to babies and parenting topics. The point of a blog is to give your audience some interesting, entertaining and insightful information and lead them to your store.

Create an email list: Much like blogging, an email list can make a tremendous impact on building an audience. According to research conducted by MarketingSherpa, 60 percent of marketers who were polled found that email marketing increased their return on investment (ROI) for their company. Overall, the group said their ROI increased about 119 percent, which is a number any business owner shouldn't ignore.

Get involved with influencers and send free samples: You can find an influencer on almost any platform from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to journalists, entrepreneurs, bloggers and vloggers. Look for the perfect influencer for your niche. Because an influencer has such a large following online, you have the potential to increase your traffic rapidly. By sending an influencer a sample of your product, she can post about it on her social media, which will entice her followers to want to see what you're all about.