On paper, this whole checklist might seem like your business should run like clockwork. In reality, you will not get everything right the first time (no one ever does). You might be losing customers during checkout, your content might not be competitive enough to show up in search engines, your business value offering might be misdirected , and so on.
Realize a couple of key facts: A) the prices for e-commerce software have fallen, so you don’t need to spend a fortune unless your needs are complicated, and B) many of today’s e-commerce packages include a full range of tools in one package, from an inventory management system to marketing tools. Many of today’s merchants prefer this “all-in-one” approach because it makes life simpler.
Augusta National, which hosts the Masters Tournament this weekend, goes to extraordinary lengths to cloister its roughly 300 members, a group that includes some of the wealthiest, most powerful businessmen—and, as of 2012, women—in the world. Guests must be accompanied by members at all times. Autograph requests are forbidden. And in recent years, the club has acquired an estimated $55 million in real estate surrounding its courses, clubhouse and cabins, creating a bigger buffer zone to insulate its members, and to better control the Masters experience.
The barrier to entry into the online market is much lower than traditional businesses, which is great. But, it's a double edge sword because the easier it is to do something, the more people try it out. This means that you have to work harder at distinguishing yourself from the melee of other startups out there - because, believe me, there are a lot.
Apart from converting customers, there are other ways to monetize a website. If you have done a good job of persistently creating engaging, highly relevant, SEO enhanced content then it is likely your site will begin appearing on the first page of the search engine results. When this starts happening, advertisers sit up and take note. You might find offers to advertise on certain high ranking pages start trickling and then flooding in.
You must make your site as easy to use as possible. Potential customers won't waste their time trying to work out how to use your site. If it's not immediately obvious how they can get what they want, they won't do it. Not only should the UI (User Interface) be optimized, but the site itself should be designed to make it as easy as possible for visitors to convert to customers - i.e. it should be optimized for conversions.
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