Online shopping is a new form of electronic retailing that lets consumers to directly purchase goods or services from an online seller via a web browser or a special mobile application. It has exploded onto the internet and into the homes of millions of Americans who are no longer limited by the brick-and-mortar stores on their high streets. While many of us were brought up to shop in our communities, the rise of the internet and its amazing ability to reach millions of potential customers worldwide has caused this phenomena to happen much quicker than previously thought. In fact, it is now the fastest growing retail sector on the planet.
To take full advantage of the power and reach of the internet, you must have an online store where you can display your products and services so that consumers can easily locate them when they visit your site. An ecommerce platform, or ecommerce web host is the software that allows your online store to be located online. There are many different ecommerce platforms available to you including Google Commerce, WordPress, Magento and more. Google Commerce is currently the most popular and allows you to manage all aspects of your online store including product creation, payment and shipping solutions along with custom login areas for customer and merchant accounts. Google’s product and service offerings include Shopping Carts, Google Checkout, Google Enterprise Cart and more. Google provides the online store design and you are given the choice between hosting on their server or on a third party server through Google Commerce.
After choosing an ecommerce platform through which to online store, you need to come up with a solid business model that allows you to create and promote your online store. You will have to come up with a unique selling proposition (USP) that allows you to differentiate your business from that of your competitors as well as offer a unique solution for consumers. Your USP should include the design, the keywords and the benefits that customers will gain by ordering from you. When developing your unique selling proposition, you have to take into consideration your target audience, the products and services that you sell and how you intend to reach out to these consumers.