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Running a successful online store

Updated on August 31, 2013

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Being your own boss comes with simple ideas

As the founder of Budget Buyz, it has been a long road to achieving success. Because of the intense competition to selling online, it’s hard to get noticed and even harder to turn traffic into sales. While every site wants to offer great closeout prices, great deals, and free shipping we offer great prices as well as great customer service. See most of the top online stores on the Internet offer the same products for the same prices, but it’s the level of service that customers really want. Ebay and Amazon are what is considered marketplaces were there are many sellers who sell there products and pay those sites a fee for doing so. To run a great business you need to understand your competitors strengths and weaknesses as a blue print for your model.

Customer service

With the economy struggling to make a turn for the better, servicing your customers should be your top priority. Most customers would like some type of communication with their order, and it’s your job to provide that. Once a customer orders a product from your site send them a message as acknowledgment that you have received that order. Depending on the shopping cart structure you are working on it may do this as soon as your customers order from you. Even as it does take this as a chance to get personal with your customer. Be sure to thank your customer for their purchase, ensure them that their order will be shipping soon, and let them know how much that appreciate their business. Once you ship the order send another message. let them know what shipping type the item has shipped with(USPS,UPS,Fed ex,etc), be sure to provide the tracking number for the order so that they can track their shipment on their own. Once you have confirmed that the shipment has been delivered send them a message stating “We see that you have received your order” ask them to leave feedback of the order and/or the product. If you offer discount coupons/codes take this opportunity to buy more and save some money in the process. When your customer sends you a message make sure that you always respond within 24 hours. Customers love to know that you will respond if any concerns arise.

Shipping

Shipping and shipping cost are very important factors customers will use when it comes to choosing a site to shop from. You need to choose which shipping companies you will use to ship to your customers. USPS is one of favorite choices these days. They have many great options when it comes to domestic or international shipping costs. Their cost are half the price of using UPS and you get some of the same benefits. Offering free domestic shipping is a great option which is a great sales driver. The cost of the shipping can be added to the price of your products and allows your customers great shipping options. International should always be handled as calculated shipping as depending on where the shipment is going can cost a pretty penny.

Payment Gateways

There are many payment gateways out there to choose from, the most popular being Pay pal and google checkout. Pay pal allows you receive payments, send payments, and depending on where you source your products from you can make purchases through them. The processing fees are reasonable and allow you to send invoices, refunds, and partial refunds as well.

Product sourcing

The name of the game is to get great products for great prices. If you are selling items that you make, you need to figure out the worth of these items and how much you can sell them for. On the other hand if you are looking for products to sell there are millions of places on the Internet to choose from. Wholesale and drop shipping forums are great places to get resources on the types of products you are looking to sell. Reseller ratings is a great place to inquiry about potential suppliers. You can get real reviews from customers of any site that you want. You can get a sense of of praise or compliments customers had for a particular vendor. Get an understanding of the products you want to sell and what those products go for. Check Amazons and Ebay prices for the items you are trying to sell.

Getting Traffic

Once you get the products, shipping, and payment gateway setup now you need traffic. Not just traffic, but the right traffic. Start with social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others. If you sell clothing or electronic gadgets, look for circles or fans of those types to market too. Create a blog for your site and constantly update it with some of the new products or deals that you offer. Post articles on Hubpages or Ezine articles of what your site are all about. These places carry allot of pull with Google, Bing, and more. Just remember that it will start off slow you will just have to keep going.

In the end the road to any successful business takes allot of hard work. Always remember to take car of your customers, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to ideas for your store. Good luck to all and I hope that you have a great journey along the way.

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