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E-commerce: Is It Right for You?
The birth of the Internet and the mass availability of personal Computers in the late 80's changed peoples life forever, Everyone now has had the potential to be their own boss whether you are mother at home looking after your children or a manual laborer there are opportunities in abundance . Just a search on Google for business opportunities will bring up more offers than your parents would have had in their whole life. So it must be easy to make a living from the internet right? No it's not, you need a firm business plan and you need to work hard at it.
Setting up and running an online business does have several advantages over setting up a "normal" business. You can usually run it in conjunction with your current job, your potential market is bigger your initial overheads are usually smaller and you can operate it from the comfort of your own home. Once you decided that you want to enter into the world of E-commerce you then need to take a lesson from main stream business and create a business plan.
The very first thing you need to decide is what type of business is right for you and then research the market. Possible businesses open to you are.
An Affiliate Program
With an Affiliate Program you are paid a commission for selling a companies products. You have no contact with the customer, all you do is provide sales leads to the company of whom you are an affiliate. An Adsense program is where you take an existing website of yours about a particular subject and add contextual Adverts from Google's Adsense program. When a person clicks on an advert you then receive a few cents. There are 2 approaches to Adsense programs, build a well respected Niche site with lots of traffic the more traffic you get the higher the Click Through Rate (CTR) and thus the higher the income. The second method is sometimes referred to as the shotgun method, build lots of sites with less traffic but earning a smaller amount from each site. A $1 a day income from each of 50 sites is better than $40 from 1 site. It is worth pointing out here that it against Google's TOS to build site specifically to target Adsense revenue.
The final E-commerce method we will look at is the most similar to mainstream business, selling a product. You build a web site with a shopping cart and give as many details about the products as possible. The products can be something you make yourself, or a product you buy in bulk or a product from a drop shipper. With drop shipping you sell products which are then dispatched from a location elsewhere by a 3rd party.
If all this sounds too easy it's not. Setting up the business is just the start of it, the hard work needs to start now. You need to get traffic, the more traffic you get the higher your sales will be. In addition you need to look at the performance of your site and tweak the layout so you make more sales. You need to get your site onto the first page of Google and other search engines. You may need to write adverts and operate an pay Per Click program. In short you need to become an expert in many new subjects. If you have the drive and dedication then it is possible to make a good income from E-commerce but don't expect to spend an hour a day at the computer and the rest of your time on your Yacht.
Mark Thompson ran an IT consultancy in London for many years . He now live in Spain and runs an number of websites including BleX Tech
6 Steps to Attracting Black Customers Online
by Jamila White, "The E-Commerce Diva"
Shopping Carts and the E-Aisles
Have you ever gone to the store and thought you only needed a few things so you didn't grab a cart? The next thing you know your hands are full and groceries are crashing everywhere making a big mess. If only you had gotten a cart. Shopping carts are not necessary on your website as long as you do not mind doing a little extra work (just like carrying all those groceries) and processing each order individually. If you choose to forego having a shopping cart on your site, it is important to remember you will have to calculate all the taxes and fees yourself. This delay will ultimately kill your sales.
10 Reasons To Survey Your Visitors, Subscribers And Customers
1. To find out what type of content visitors want to see on your web site. This should increase repeat visits to your site.
5 Powerful Ways to Make Money Online with a Website
There are many ways to make money online and the best way for you is to simply be creative with your skills, knowledge, and abilities. However, the following five options are powerful ways to make money online with a website and definite something you should consider.
Selling From Your Website
Intranet Portals ? Collaboration through Team Rooms
Knowledge Management for beginners
Accepting Credit Card Payments Online
Being able to accept credit cards and other online payments is crucial to the success of your business and profits. Your customers are more likely to buy from you if you offer them a secure and convenient way to order goods and services online at your site.
Simple Steps to Start a Profitable Member Only, Subscription Web Site
Having a successful member only, paid membership site is one of the best ways to make money online. A successful membership site can give you the steady income of a CEO ?.but without the job!
Google Catalogs - Old Gashioned Mail Order Meets High Tech Search
In addition to Google's Froogle shopping service (still in beta), which features a searchable database of online merchants, Google is also beta-testing their Google Catalog service. Google Catalogs provides a searchable central repository of hundreds of mail-order catalogs.
Two Pillars of a Successful Web Site
For a web site to get close to fulfilling its potential, you need absolute clarity on two points.
Accept Credit Cards Online Without A Merchant Account
It is often assumed if you want to accept credit cards on your website that you must have a merchant account. This is not the case. You can accept credit cards with a Third Party credit card processor.
Database: The Secret of Success
BENEFITS OF A DATABASE
Home Sweet Home Page
"Your home page is the world's introduction to you and your company. Make it COUNT!" ? Heidi Richards
eCommerce, How Much Does It cost?
Making profits with your existing website design or creating a new online store can be exciting, affordable and most of all; rewarding. Mmmm . . . that's what the last sales guy told me.
Does Your Shopping Cart Have a Squeaky Wheel?
Have you ever gone grocery shopping just before a holiday? The aisles are packed with people pushing carts, shelves need restocked, all the checkout lanes have long lines...not a fun experience.
Turn Your Rusty Junk Into eBay Gold
Often times people to stop to realize the income potential of their "junk". And, when they DO decide it might be worth selling, they never give eBay a second thought.
Electronic Commerce and WTO
The Internet may not be useful for all businesses, nor do all have to develop an Internet information strategy. Some businesses are concerned with the start-up costs of connecting such as purchasing hardware and software, subscribing to an Internet connection or service provider, and training staff. Others are concerned with the necessary search and navigation skills one has to develop to be able to use it as a cost effective business tool. Some businesses are concerned that, as a result of technical congestion during certain times, the Internet will not effectively improve their ability to disseminate and retrieve information. Most businesses are concerned about Internet security relating to issues of unwanted intrusions into sensitive databases, electronic payments, contracting with authorized parties and protection from electronic viruses.
How Measuring Key Performance Indicators Can Improve E-Commerce Strategy - Part One
The problem with most e-commerce marketing strategy today is that companies don't understand how they use things like web analytics. Most e-commerce directors or web marketers are given a budget and told to stick to it, and good analytics don't usually come cheap. Without web analytics you can't even begin to measure key performance indicators (KPI's), which should be a part of any good e-commerce strategy. We often see that marketers face a problem in that they know they need Web Analytics, they just don't know why they should pay for it and don't know what to measure. This three part series of articles will hopefully help clear up some of the things that marketers should measure as key performance indicators concentrating on one KPI per article.
Managing Project Risks and Issues
Inherent (or Business) Risk
How Measuring Key Performance Indicators Can Improve E-Commerce Strategy - Part Two
Why time spent on your site is important
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