Continue to Part II: Retail Ecommerce Online Marketing»
IntroductionRetail ecommerce basically refers to any method of online selling and marketing if products. The internet has become a powerful new tool for shoppers, advertisers, and buyers, and is responsible for billions of dollars of retail sales each year. Sites like eBay, Amazon, Buy.com, and many others are the internet equivalent of huge, one-stop department stores, while millions of individual companies also have their own sites which feature their own products. What is typically needed for getting started in retail ecommerce is a web host designed for ecommerce, a web site, a product to sell, and a marketing strategy to advertise your site.
CostsRetail ecommerce can be a lower cost alternative to selling in stores, or opening one's own brick and mortar store. Essentially, a website allows for the opportunity to sell to a larger pool of customers across the world or country, while a traditional store is in one fixed location. Website maintenance and upkeep is generally much cheaper than putting in a regular store.
TimeframeOf course, there really is no fixed timeframe for creating a ecommerce website or business, and it usually is an ongoing process. Advertising, site maintenance, product purchasing, and so on are not one time projects, but should be done on a regular basis, just as they would be with a regular, brick and mortar store.
Action PlanThere are basically two ways to sell things online - build and start your own website, or sell through someone else's. Of course, both have their pros and cons. Building one's own website is a more professional way of selling, and allows owners more freedom to design and sell many items, as well as a chance to brand the company. Selling on a separate website, such as eBay, can save lots of time, money, and energy, as there are no sites to build or advertising to deal with. Of course, selling on eBay also means that you are not in control of your own business as with a self-owned site, and you must play by someone else's rules.
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