Before we begin building out any e-commerce solution we need to understand all of the pieces the client is using, all the ones they need, and all the ones that are incompatible. Once we’re comfortable we have everything we need we can move forward. If a small business client is starting from scratch and the back end is current we may recommend a Shopify website. The most popular solution for small business owners, Shopify is easy to understand and operate, is a hosted solution, and has card processing built in. Shopify has excellent tools for you to optimize your products for search engines and it generates a product feed that integrates seamlessly with Google Shopping. Larger clients with more complex programs are built out on Magento. WordPress is another less robust e-commerce solution. So, ready to move forward? Here are the questions you need to ask before you invest in e-commerce:
1. How many product SKU’s do I have?
2. Is my price point competitive online?
3. Is there demand for my product online?
4. Can I locate a competitor that appears to be doing well online?
5. Will my fulfillment house and my business software work with automation?
6. Do I have one person that I can dedicate to store management and operation?
7. Am I prepared to invest in web development necessary to make it work right and on mobile?
8. Do I have a budget for social media marketing?
9. Do I have a budget for advertising?
10. Am I prepared to dedicate my own time to ensure the success of my program?
If the answer to all those questions is yes then it’s time find a firm like VOX to help lead you through the process. One of the biggest misconceptions about the internet is that it’s free. Another is that it’s easy. There are tools and clever marketing strategies that are both affordable and easy to understand. But all of these pieces require integration, monitoring and adjustment. You can’t really stick your toe into online sales to see if it’s for you. If you’re selling merchandise and making money doing it then most likely e-commerce is for you. So how much money will it cost? The website, software customization and integration, Google Shopping, an internal employee, and social media marketing can add up. But, when you do it right you’ll be in the money as one of the first options people see when they search for your product or a similar one online.