Seeking input from anyone who is selling from their web site. Have minimal knowledge regarding what is available to use for this piece of business. Will be offering less than ten items (initially) with growth in future.
Please advise what I need to know to accomplish this. Specific programs, etc.
Hello Nina, there are quite a few sites that offer complete storefront services that includes hosting the site, templates for product arrangement, shopping cart, and checkout. I use Go Daddy but don't particularly like the administrative side. They are aimed more at domain name buyers and sellers so managing their storefront is cumbersome.
Here is a link to my Go Daddy storefront Napier Precision Products Most of the graphics and product organization originates with Go Daddy. All I had to do was insert product pictures & descriptions and provide a PayPal address. When the customer places an order I get a confirmation from Go Daddy. Then when the customer pays I get an invoice in my email inbox. That part is fairly simple it's too bad the admin side of the store front is easy to use.
I really don't haven't done any research to find what else is out there but there are better store front providers.
Sounds fairly straightforward. I clicked on your link - very easy to read, fast. What do you mean by the "admin side"? Thanks for your input. Nina
Every website has an administrative site that allows you as the user to manage the page. Some are really simple allowing you to change content (primarily the language you want to display on each page). Others are more robust allowing you to add users, uoload items, establish sales tax protocols, etc.
It you are just starting out you will want to use a site with a simple admin or outsource the function. Obviously, if you outsource you increase your monthly cost. Typical admin charges range from $50 to $150 per month.
When you use a site like Etsy - they provide an admin page that allows you to easily add items, set the price, etc.
The site I referenced last night is a really good example. She has a domain name for her business and simple re-routes it to the Etsy site. As her business increases, she will add her own e-commerce platform and drop Etsy.
The beauty of Etsy and E-bay is that they have an established following. IE: It makes it a litte easier for folks to find your site. If you start out with your own site you will need to solicit your own web traffic.
I should note that there isn't anything wrong with doing both.
When it comes to web marketing the key is to identify your perfect customer, and then determine how you can best reach them. Whether it is on forums like this, speaking engagements, trade shows or pay per click advertising the key is to get them to your site.
I have some marketing information when you get ready.
Great topic Nina!
There are a number of different options. In the beginning it really comes down to cost. IE: How much do you want to invest in the initial site?
You can use a site like ETSY.com or Ebay.com and set up a storefront for little or no money. I have two young entrepreneurs I am working with who are using ETSY very successfully. One of them has acquired their own domain name and added re-routing code to take shoppers to their ETSY site. I highlighted one of them in an earlier post. Her site is called "Anything You Can Do" or anythingyoucando.com
What type of business are you opening?
Have you already checked your local code to see what permits are required and how your sales tax will be reported?
If not, I can offer you some really great resources. They are in the "Resource Center" on our business portal at http://RealBusinessSolutionCenter.com
As Doug stated below, GoDaddy is another great option for start ups.
At some point you will likely want to migrate to your own domain name and secure a POS (Point of Sale) software that you can integrate into your site. You can typically accomplish this for as little as $300 plus monthly fees.
Terry - what great resources!! I had to stop reading. I'm unsure how I would use ETSY or EBAY. Please understand my lack of tech knowledge. (Definitely not my area of passion - I will be paying for someone's services) Would I list my items for sale on these sites? How would I use my web site and these sites?
Thanks for your input. Nina
Here is another example for the Etsy site. http://www.etsy.com/shop/atouchofwhimsy1
Rachael has done a great job using Etsy to augment her walk in store front.
Let me know if you have any questions.