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The Internet can provide a lucrative marketplace to owners of physical stores as well as purely online ventures, although there are some important tips for any ecommerce startup to consider. One important factor to remember is that an ecommerce startup cannot rely on foot traffic like a store that has a physical location can, so it is important to invest some money or effort into marketing. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be effective for a new ecommerce business that has a sizable marketing budget, but social marketing and natural search engine traffic can also provide much-needed customers. Another important factor for new ecommerce startups to remember is that customers cannot interact physically with the merchandise, so product photos and detailed descriptions can be an important factor in making sales.
"Ecommerce," which is short for "electronic commerce," is a term that simply refers to the sale of goods and services through the Internet or other computer networks. Established businesses that already have physical storefronts can engage in ecommerce, as can businesses that exist only on the Internet. When a business first engages in electronic commerce of any kind, it typically is referred to as an ecommerce startup.
The best tips for an ecommerce startup can depend on the specific type of business. Some ecommerce startups are formed by new entrepreneurs who lack extensive experience or bugetary resources, which can create some unique concerns. One option for a new ecommerce entrepreneur is to start a drop ship business. This can allow a new startup to begin selling items without the costs that normally are associated with stocking a store. As customers purchase items from the storefront, the dropship company will fulfill the orders and require payment at that time.
Another option for an ecommerce startup that is lacking in funds is to take advantage of an existing online storefront. Many large online retailers allow small ecommerce businesses to sell through their sites, which can provide access to a large customer base. Online auction sites are another option for a startup that lacks the necessary funds to build an extensive ecommerce site. These options also can be used in conjunction with a custom site to reach the largest possible audience.
For any type of ecommerce startup, it is important to remember that marketing can be just as instrumental to the success of a business as a good website and ecommerce store. Unlike physical stores that can rely on foot traffic for new business, ecommerce startups need to use various marketing techniques to draw in potential customers. If there is any kind of budget available, PPC advertising is one way to draw in interested customers. Social media can also be useful, even if there is no extensive marketing budget, and word of mouth is often a very effective way of generating business.